Health - this time it's personal

Don’t we all want the best for our health? How can we get it? Can we make a difference to its delivery as individuals? In answer: ‘yes’, ‘read on’ and ‘yes’. 

We need to discuss two things: BCS’s involvement in a new campaign to get health at all levels working together, and the latest BCS IT Impact event

Let’s start with IT Impact, which asked the question: Can the NHS deliver person-centred care? That question is hugely important as the UK faces the challenges of the multidisciplinary nature of health and care. Primary, secondary and tertiary care very rarely join up well - even whilst each individual part can do a great job.

Video of the presentations will be available soon, but here are a few choice nibbles.

Matthew Swindells, NHS England's National Director: Operations and Information, is a man who knows a thing or two about this - and he gave some fascinating background on his time in healthcare.

His view was that this is the time the NHS has a real opportunity, and the potential, to make real change by redesigning health systems. He mentioned the key point of joining up systems, and that its real motivator is to give people better lives if they are in the healthcare system, but also to get ahead of the curve to help obviate crises in people's lives to assist preventative measures.

He commented that the health of the nation and the best value for the tax payer comes together in judicious use of technology. 

He also said: 'The NHS needs steering through choppy waters, but we need to make a strategic shift to design the next generation of the NHS.'

Blah blah blah

The second presentation was by Simon Wardley, a researcher for Leading Edge Forum. He talked about the 'blah' in strategy-speak. How the language we use can often obscure what we are actually trying to achieve. He covered, in short order and in a very lively way, situational awareness; Sun Tzu's five factors; military strategist John Boyd and his OODA loop; the Vikings’ navigational techniques and much more.

All of this was about doing strategic mapping properly - and the application to healthcare was clear. And he showed some excellent, and funny, examples of strategy-speak mash-ups.

Presenter David McClelland also spoke to Dany Bell and Erin Bolton, two frontline professionals, about their day to day experiences and their motivations to be in the healthcare arena at all. They were both clearly highly motivated and committed individuals, but their plea to the assemble healthcare movers and shakers could be summed up in one phrase: please, please work together.

You can make a difference

As intimated above, a new campaign was recently launched to inspire those in the position to harness technology to put people and their communities first. It aims to gather people working on health and care digital and bring them into a multi-disciplinary community. That way it can help them to share ideas, good practice, and turn that into standards that they apply to themselves.

Its objective is to unlock the potential of everyone involved in making health and care the best it can be, harnessing information and technology.

It’s called Well Connected and is brought together by The Federation for Informatics Professionals in Health and Social Care (Fed-IP), organised by a coalition comprising of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, CILIP, IHRIM and Socitm.

And here is where you can get involved: anyone who is a member of a Fed-IP recognised professional body can sign a pledge and be added to the public pre-register (BCS, CILIP, Socitm, IHIRIM).

The pledge includes:

  • Actively promote and demonstrate my commitment to putting communities first in health and care, and set an expectation that others do the same
  • Seek to learn, develop and share what delivers the best health and care
  • Not tolerate professional or organisational rivalries that conflict with what our communities need
  • Play an active role in my own professional community, and multi-disciplinary communities that support these aims

Sign the pledge to the Well Connected campaign

And if you’re not in healthcare directly?

There is also an open pledge that anyone in the NHS or indeed members of the public can sign to show their commitment.

Watch this space for the full videos from the IT Impact event.

September 2017

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