The NHS is littered with acronyms, for example COPD, TIA, DNR, DNA, CPR, LSCS, PALS
Staff at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust try to ensure that they don't use too many acronyms with patients and ensure that patients know what the letters mean.
Director of Nursing, Caroline Ainslie, is responsible for PALS - the Patient Advice and Liaison Service - based at the Royal Berkshire Hospital. She explains: "The Trust is trying to ensure that our communications with patients are in plain English.”
"It is important to us that our patients understand what is being said to them about their care.” We know that we frequently use acronyms but we are working hard to ensure that we spell out what these things mean. For example, when we talk about strokes, we sometimes say the technical, medical definition of transient ischaemic attack or TIA. This may mean nothing to someone with no experience of strokes.
The NHS has produced a new jargon busting App to help with this. The free App, produced by the NHS Confederation spells out what things mean and gives definitions for more than 700 commonly used acronyms and abbreviations in the NHS.
You can download it for free from iTunes to your iPhone/iPad or from Google Play Store to your Android phone/tablet so you have the definition of over 700 commonly used NHS acronyms and abbreviations at your fingertips. Just search ‘NHSAcronym’ in the iTunes app or Google Play Store - http://nhsconfed.org/acronym-buster
The App will also be available to download from our website.