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This blog post was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

New jargon buster makes better sense of care and support

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Care and support, News

Even those of us working in communications for a living can sometimes forget the rules of Plain English. And when we find ourselves speaking to a particular audience, such as the care and support sector, the temptation to lapse into a presumptive parlance comprised of jargon, acronyms and phrases both glib and arcane, is even harder to countervail.

See what I did there? Sometimes I can't help myself...

That's why the Social Care News blog is delighted to join the chorus of approval for Think Local Act Personal (TLAP)'s latest version of the Care and Support Jargon Buster.


It's a collaborative lexicon of words and terms of reference designed to educate and reassure those of us who may think we know what all these phrases mean, but have never actually seen them written down - at least not in one place.

So, if you don't know your 'advocacy' from your 'eligibility' you might find this to be a valuable resource.

A previous incarnation of the jargon buster won a Plain English Campaign Award in 2013. You can help maintain the standard this year by submitting your own suggestions for potential inclusion.

Personally, I'd like to see the addition of a rogue's gallery of  words or definitions which, in the opinion of the proposer, are clunky and/or inadequate to the task. For me, 'reablement' has never tripped off the tongue, but now at least I have access to a clear and concise definition.

Either way, do visit the TLAP site and if you feel a term, word or phrase is conspicuous by its absence, submit an entry - and help bring more clarity to care and support.

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  1. Comment by Norman Spalding posted on

    Well done.
    Can we have an opportunity to comment on terms which are ungrammatical, or which are pointless because they simply replace perfectly good existing words? Perhaps there should be a Plainly Not English award too. "Reablement" would be an example of both.

  2. Comment by Paul Munim posted on

    This does demonstrate how complex the care sector language has become. We have created a website to enable people to access support from their local community organisations because we feel the language is so complex and off putting that people should be referred to their local organisations to receive advice and support on what it means for them. It is easy to forget that many of our fellow citizens have literacy problems so simply giving people documents and asking them to decide on what of course of action they should take is unrealistic for some

  3. Comment by termite posted on

    In my hospital we have a patient group that checks every document that goes out to patients to ensure it is in plain English. the group has been running for years ... so why has it taken the NHS so long to catch up?

    Some letters / reports are so full of jargon that the real content of the letter / report amounts to about two lines.