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An A to Z of Social Care (Part Two – N to Z)

January 6, 2016


Needs:                                                                                   A catalogue of things that mark you out as not quite human. Nobody else on the planet has these things.


Occupational Therapy:                                                     Three years of intensive, intrusive assessments to get a bed pan.

One Page Profile:                                                                Reducing your whole life to one side of a piece of A4 paper. Popular amongst a certain group of happy clappers.

Outcomes:                                                                           Something we can use to withdraw your entire support package. Fail to meet a nebulous outcome and, whoosh, watch that support disappear.

Outsourcing:                                                                        Getting rid of all those expensive things. A win win because you can get rid of accountability as well.


Pathways:                                                                             Not sure. But modelled on Hampton Court Maze.

Patient Passport:                                                                 Similar to the One Page Profile but something that lets the medical profession know that you’re not quite human.

Personalisation:                                                                   Putting you at the periphery of your life.

Person Centred Plan:                                                          A chance to exercise our power by saying “No” to everything you want to do with your life.

Personal Budget:                                                                  How to become a director of your own company overnight when all you wanted was some support to go swimming.

Placement:                                                                             A place where non humans are caged. Not to be confused with a home.

Pooled Budget:                                                                      Spending your money on things that another resident at your placement wants to do but that you have no interest in.

Positive Behaviour Support:                                             An opportunity for a whole army of professionals from Kent to tell you that you are being inappropriate.

Prone Restraint:                                                                    A popular Positive Behaviour Support strategy that involves being pinned face down on the floor at a time when you are most distressed.

Provider:                                                                                 Someone who sends a person to your placement for £4.65 per hour and enjoys great holidays in Barbados.

Putting People First:                                                            That doesn’t mean you. I said “People” – you’re not  “People”.


Q:                                                                                              An NHS scheme that was all the rage in August 2015 but had died a death by September 2015.


Radical Change Agent:                                                        A self appointed title by people whose most radical thing they’ve ever done is to eat humus.

Re-ablement                                                                          Not sure. It implies that you had ablement, lost it, and are being given to back again.

Resource Allocation System:                                              A clunky machine full of algorithms that reduces your non human status to a monetary value.


Safeguarding:                                                                        Looking after the organisation’s reputation.

Service User:                                                                          Someone who can’t use non existant services.

Signposting:                                                                           A social care sat-nav to nowhere.

Spit Hood:                                                                              Another favourite of the Positive Behaviour Crowd. It covers your head completely when you are at your most distressed.

Stakeholder:                                                                           Anyone who can make a bit of money out of you.

Starprism:                                                                               A title given to those who have been showing some leader love and doing some top notch brown nosing.


Therapeutic Intervention:                                                    A wide range of tools that includes incarceration in an assessment and treatment unit (see A), an anti psychotic drug habit, prone restraint (See P) or use of a Spit Hood (See S).

Toxic:                                                                                         A term of endearment bestowed usually by psychiatrists on grieving family members.

Transition:                                                                                That moment when your world is turned upside down.

Transparency:                                                                          Another thing that the Minister for Health calls for every seven months. When achieved, it produces more mist than a Meat Loaf video.


Ulysses:                                                                                     A thoroughly modern computer system where you can lose all sorts of deaths you’ve classified as “natural causes”.

Underpants:                                                                            A garment favoured by NHS types for writing inspirational quotes on.


Val Murphy (Dr):                                                                   A modern euphemism (“Doing a Val Murphy”) to describe getting the hell out of the heat and fleeing to Ireland.

Vanguard:                                                                               Not sure. Possible one up the ladder from a Change Champion (See C). Often located in Concordats.

Viral Quality:                                                                          An award winning project that looks like it was dreamt up in primary school but costs £974k to produce.


Woman on All Fours:                                                          Someone who can seriously fuck up your Viral Quality presentastion by desperately needing a pee at the wrong moment.

From → Social Care

  1. Brilliant stuff …although I’m not sure its exactly what the Guardian had in mind ; )

  2. nic permalink

    Z – Zero tolerance, not liking the tone of your voice and an end to all conversation widely used in both NHS and LA settings. V – Vexatious complainant , pipe down and think twice before you complain again, we don’t care where you were signposted Sir/Madam.

  3. weary mother permalink

    .Wants. A tool for dismissing basic needs of a vulnerable person..

    A commissioner/care manager invented term; before same popped off: in own transport, to own doctor, on own holiday(s), to own home, to visit own family etc etc etc etc. (list very very incomplete) .

  4. Magi permalink

    You didn’t include the Panel one which you tweeted and which made me choke on my tea as I was laughing so much. It should really have come with a health warning:))))

  5. Sally permalink

    Package- A bag of whatever odds and sods we have lying about whether or not they will be of any use to you. Can also just be filled with hot air.

  6. frannie permalink

    Brilliant, No easy read needed for this, would love to see this in the guardian

  7. Sally permalink

    Oh! M is for Moving Away from…which means we have already sacked the staff and sold the building. (See also Independence-by which we remove your activities and social groups to help you to find them, yourself.As in “We have removed your wheelchair to enable you to learn to walk Independently. Or, you can Independently buy back your wheelchair. It’s all good.”)

    • Pauline Thomas permalink

      Sally I remember some years ago our LA outsourced their day services to a company that had a wonderful website that promised independence. (never believe any website from these companies) They slagged off the day centres. My son attended their workshop. However they wanted to take away his independent walking by making him use a wheelchair. Guess what? He never used his wheelchair in his day centre. To add insult to injury the CEO of this not for profit company wrote an article in the Times on how her company was giving people with LD their independence!

  8. Q
    Queuing on phone to sort out any health, social care, dwp etc issue, knowing that as your call gets taken either you run out of credit on mobile or person you are caring for needs you.

  9. Sally permalink

    J:Journey.Term used to cover a worker’s sloth, criminal neglect, incompetence and dithering by suggesting they are on pilgrimage of spiritual growth. See also “process” and “explore”

  10. Sally permalink

    Surely we need
    Inclusion-the opportunity to experience the world unfettered by any help at all.
    Goes with Assistant-the person who will sit with you in a shopping mall while you get stared at and he or she texts his or her real friends.

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