The T&Ts* of TLAs**

One of the problems with working for the NHS*** is its near-obsession with TLAs.

If I am not thinking about PBR,**** then I am wondering how PBC***** plays into WCC.******

When you are new, you tend not to know what these abbreviations are, and you have to ask. I was, however, excited to recognise a TLA the other day, and promptly shared my knowledge.

I can confirm now, through personal experience, that when someone in my line of work talks about a PSO, they mean a Public Sector Organisation and do not mean a Phone Sex Operator.

I will leave the room full of stunned (and important) people, and my own mild embarrassment to your imaginations.

And, yes, Molly, this is all your fault.

* Trials and tribulations
** Three letter acronyms
*** National Health Service – come on you should have known that one!
**** Payment by results
***** Practice based commissioning
****** World class commissioning


13 thoughts on “The T&Ts* of TLAs**

  1. Yes, she is a trouble-maker, that one.

    Also, we at the SPA******* are strongly opposed to the proliferation of TLAs** in the NHS***.

    ******* That’s the Society for the Prevention of Acronyms, obviously.

  2. JPSALGHD endorses the ZQDIUB’s of your post and wishes you the HRTWGDVMLSU’s of the season.


    * that’s two kisses

  3. I love abbreviations. My dentist and I recently had an amusing mix-up regarding a TLA I had put on my information sheet thing.
    I thought, when you said ‘WCC’ that you were talking about white cell counts. And when I read newspaper articles regarding people being jailed for TWOC* I get quite concerned.

    My favourite recent TLA was when a consultant asked for a sputum (sorry; I know non-medical people find sputum a very nasty commodity to be discussed) sample to be sent for ‘PCP’. None of my colleagues were any the wiser as to what it stood for so we decided upon ‘poorly cough pathogen’.
    Yes, people like me really do look after incredibly poorly people. Worrying.

    *Taking without consent/trial without catheter

  4. Well, you are a trained nurse.

    It would be more worrying if it wasn’t you looking after them!

    I thought PCP was a type of hallucinogenic drug. I’m sure Dan Ackroyd gets found with some in Trading Places. But I could be wrong!

    I can see where the confusion could arise with TWOC. It really irritates me when you get people turning it into a verb (i.e. he twocked that car). Do you do this at work? (“Why hasn’t he got a tube in his willy?” “He’s being twocked.” etc)

    Meva, it is good to have you back, although you are incomprehensible today you should know!

    And, Dmgtth, sign me up! Unless this SPA is just a Monty Pythonesque made up organisation, of course, in which case I shall be heartily displeased.

  5. PS if they had a cough I hope they didn’t have Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia.

    That is very nasty indeed.

  6. I am going to look so clever in handover next time ‘PCP’ is mentioned now, thank you! And I’m afraid it is spelt “twoc’d”. Horrifying, I know, but you get used to it.

  7. Don’t think you will Welshy. Surely the point of the TLAs is that you then don’t say what the full name is? So you won’t get chance to show off your pneumonia knowledge.

    Interestingly, PCP is one of the NHS’ TLAs that I did not know. I know quite a lot of them. I also know a lot of the (other)TLAs, FLAs and OLLAs.

  8. Gah!


    What is this ABOMINATION?!

    Presumably this stands for National Health Service’?


    And what on earth are OLLAs? Are you sure you are not confusing them with HNLAs?!

  9. HNLAs do not include SLAs, you are right.

    How many SLAs are there though?!

    ONLAs do, but the question remains… what is am OLLA?

    Knowing nurses, I bet it is something painful!

  10. I can’t think of any SLAs at the moment – but I’m sure there must be some.

    And the Stevo gets it. Maybe I’ll let him back in the family after all.

    Very productive actually … what are you implying?

    No – I think Meva was just talking nonsense. Could be wrong though; it has happened before – twice.

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