Department of Health’s New Brexit Fear Project

Project fear has reached new levels of sillyness in recent days, as Civil Servant and former Lib Dem Councillor Dominic Fear has been presenting Department of Health Brexit planning documents. In a classic piece of nominative determinism he was recently appointed Communications and Engagement manager for NHS England’s EU Exit operations team. The civil service making appropriate appointments as ever…

Civil Servants Receive ‘Resilience Toolkit’ to Help Them Cope With Brexit Grief

Civil servants have naturally been grumbling about having to do slightly more work than usual as they prepare for Brexit. Luckily for those working in the Department of Health, they’ve just been issued with a “Toolkit for staff during EU Exit” on “Change management and resilience” to help them “understand the impact which change and uncertainty is having on the way you feel”. Seriously…

The toolkit begins by setting out the Department’s “values and behaviours” as a “Great [sic] Department of State”. Staff are then reassured that it’s “natural” for them to be going through the classic five stages of grief over Brexit. They are literally plotted on a graph – rebranded here as a “change curve”…

Staff are then instructed how to “take back control” and shut those bad Brexit thoughts out. The key is to “challenge your inner critic” and “kill your Automated Negative Thoughts (ANTS)”. Kill those nasty ANTS!

There are also some nice colourful graphs to help civil servants get in the “feel good zone”. Just the right amount of “healthy tension”…

Struggling with Brexit Derangement Syndrome yourself? Guido has done the public service of reproducing the ‘toolkit’ in full to help you get through your Brexit troubles too…

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£250,000 Jolly in Cape Town for Striking University Dons

This morning there are at least 35 British public sector representatives in sunny Cape Town on a massive taxpayer funded jolly. Starting today for 2 days it is the World Conference on Tobacco or Health Health – on the theme of “tobacco and social justice”. 3,000 anti-tobacco busy bodies expelling a lot of hot tobacco-free air…

Costs to attend the conference are $650 / £500. Flights from London to Cape Town are £2,500 with accommodation at £350 a night. Guido reckons that the taxpayers’ bill – not including salaries – will come in at nearly £150,000. Include salaries and expenses and it will hit nearer £250,000.

The UK attendees listed below include the Deputy Director from the Department of Health, Public Health England, ASH and academics from a dozen or so universities.

1. Jo Pullen – ActivMob (funded by local authorities)
2. Deborah Arnott – ASH (funded by Department of Health)
3. Anna Gilmore – Bath University
4. Dr Tim Baxter – Deputy Director Department of Health
5. Catherine Taylor – Fresh NE (funded by the 12 councils in the North East)
6. Filippos Filippidis – Imperial College London
7. Mohammed Jawad – Imperial College London
8. Ann McNeill – Kings College London
9. Saman Warnakulasuriya – Kings College London
10. Ruth Bell – Newcastle University
11. Rosanna O’Connor – Public Health England
12. Aleksandra Herbec – University College London
13. Andy Rowell – University of Bath
14. Lion Shahab – University of College London
15. Marisa de Andrade – University of Edinburgh
16. Jeffrey Colin – University of Edinburgh
17. Sarah Hill – University of Edinburgh
18. Jamie Pearce – University of Edinburgh
19. Amanda Amos – University of Edinburgh
20. Ilze Bogdanovica – University of Nottingham
21. Catherine Best – University of Stirling
22. Danielle Mitchell – University of Stirling
23. Fiona Dobbie – University of Stirling
24. Crawford Moodie – University of Stirling
25. Allison Ford – University of Stirling
26. Sally Haw – University of Stirling
27. Olalekan Uthman – University of Warwick
28. Kamran Siddiqi – University of York
29. Omara Dogar – University of York
30. Karen A. Evans – University of Bath
31. Mateusz Zatonski – London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
32. Hilary Wareing – Tobacco Control Collaborating Centre (NHS funded)
33. Mona Kanaan – University of York
34. Robert Branston – University of Bath
35. Alisa Rutter – Fresh NE (funded by the 12 councils in NE England)

The Department of Health regularly provides grants to the universities listed above whilst the BEIS gave a collection of universities that make up the self-styled ‘Centre for Alcohol and Tobacco’ £3.4 million last year to researchtobacco related harm in Africa and Asia.’ Each of those universities in receipt of this funding is sending representatives to Cape Town so you can see how this is being funded. Cape Town this time of the year is a sunny 70 degrees, so this jolly it is a great chance to visit some of the local vineyards and top up your tan this winter whilst your university colleagues are striking on the picket line…

Department of Health Spending £25 Million on HQ Refurb

Refurbishing the Department of Health will cost the taxpayer more than £25 million pounds, new figures reveal. The projected future cost of renovating DH offices at 39 Victoria Street and Wellington House, Waterloo is today revealed as £15,120,000. Taken together with cash already splurged on offices for health mandarins, the total figure over three years now stands at £26,677,939.

That’s 5,335 hip replacements, 1,144 nurses or 29 MRI scanners…

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