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I was fortunate to attend the recent NHS Confederation conference and exhibition in Liverpool last week. I felt privileged to be able to see and network with many people from a range of organisations involved in health and social care.
Everyone I met or listened to was keen to share their experiences, and sharing for me was a constant theme throughout the three days.
I always reflect on what I’ve heard, who I meet and write up notes from sessions attended for information to share with my colleagues at http://gmcsu.co.uk.
I thought it might be useful to share more widely what, and who, stood out for me during the three days. I’ve put related links in so that if you weren’t there and are interested you can check them out in your own time.
So here are the ones I’m still thinking about:
This was a really impressive speech, which encouraged everyone to get off the ‘burning platforms’ and embrace a ‘burning ambition’ for changes needed in the future. Rob emphasised the need to support sharing of information and the collaboration of genuine co-commissioning.
2. One patient, different perspectives, many different outcomes: NHS Leadership Academy
I took part in this interactive session, taking on the role of a GP, where enthusiastic participants (who took on other health and social care roles) shared views, and discussed and debated many practical, ethical and real issues of commissioning and providing good health and social care.
Thanks to Helen Stevens, Head of Engagement, from the NHS Leadership Academy and her colleagues for their excellent facilitation of this activity. It brought out many of the complexities of systems leadership and certainly made me think further about integrated care for older people.
3. Dr Patrick Soon-Shiong: Transforming models of care – this time it’s personal
Dr Soon-Shiong is a physician, surgeon, scientist, businessman and philanthropist whose presentation completely blew me away. Firstly, this was for the clinical breakthrough he’s making in cancer diagnosis and personalised treatments using genetics, genomics and cracking the DNA of different cancers.
Secondly, for the work he is doing with NANTHEALTH on an interoperable system, which links data, knowledge, and information in an interactive way. The system can be added to any platform and can accelerate the coordination of health and social care data, and information for patients in real time, and in a cost effective way.
Kate Granger was the last person to speak at the conference and you could have heard a pin drop in the hall as everyone concentrated on what she had to say. Kate is now famous for starting the #hellomynameis campaign to remind healthcare practitioners to introduce themselves to patients. http://hellomynameis.org.uk
She talked about the ‘little things’ that make a big difference to her as a patient and gave examples of the kindness she has received and reflected on her experience.
Kate is actively raising money for the Yorkshire Cancer Centre and has written two books ‘The Other Side’ and ‘The Bright Side’ http://theothersidestory.co.uk
She has raised over £100,000 to date but has £250,000 in her sights before she dies. She plans to jump out of a plane in August to raise further funds.
She is a truly remarkable, compassionate and determined young woman.
These top four speakers demonstrated the art of sharing in different ways that can help to improve and/or change health and social care for the better.
Other people who made an impression on me included:
Helen Bevan, NHS Improving Quality
Lisa Rodrigues, Chief Executive, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Ceinwen Giles, Patient Leader and Trustee, Shine Cancer Support http://www.shinecancersupport.co.uk @ceineken
I’m interested to know if you were at NHS Confederation – what stood out for you and how do you share the work you do?
If you weren’t at the conference I hope you’ve found my thoughts and links interesting. Is there something you would like to share from your experience in health and social care that could benefit others?
The NHS, most public services and indeed many other organisations are living through and undergoing change of one sort or another, which is largely driven by financial, political, social or technological needs.
In the speech that Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, made on April 1 said:
“Today we face new challenges, and will need new solutions – while holding on to the vital gains of the past.”
It is not surprising to note how frequently the words ‘innovation’ and ‘different’ are used in the media and elsewhere with the expectation that doing something new or different will make a positive difference in work that needs to be done.
In the same speech Simon Stevens went on to say;
“ … I agree with MIT’s Eric Brynholfsson and Andy McAfee that, ‘the best way to accelerate progress is to increase our capacity to test out new combinations of ideas.’ Inevitably some of them won’t work out, and there’ll be criticism and honest disagreement along the way.”
Now I know Simon Stevens was thinking about large strategic, systems-led solutions but even those start with one person having an idea, sharing it, debating it and testing it out before anything happens.
One of the strategies being used by Greater Manchester Commissioning Support Unit (GMCSU) is through the work of a newly appointed Innovation Advocate, to encourage colleagues from anywhere in the organisation to think of different ways of doing or improving things. Or to come up with something completely new that will add value to the work of the organisation or its customers.
An innovation hub is being established at GMCSU so that all ideas can be considered, discussed and may be progressed and implemented – quickly if a simple idea, or if more complex, a business case may need to be developed before the idea is submitted for approval.
So how do you make sure that individual ideas are heard and used in your organisation? Do you have specific strategies to enable this to happen or particular times or events that encourage ideas to flow? Or is it as simple as really listening to a colleague as you work together and take further any ideas that arise?
I think it is worth reflecting in any organisation, and particularly now in the NHS, about how individuals are enabled to voice and share ideas and views on doing things differently or trying something new.
On a smaller, individual scale I do believe we can all make a difference in how we interact and react with each other, the public and anyone we come into contact with professionally or personally.
I started working in the public service of education, driven by the desire to make a difference to others. I’m now working part-time in the NHS with GMCSU as a Business Advisor/Lay member and that same desire drives me.
This drive is something I have seen from the many people I have worked with over the years in different public, voluntary and some private organisations and it is clearly apparent in the work of my current GMCSU colleagues who are making a difference directly and indirectly to the lives of others.
If you ever doubt your individual power to make a difference consider this quote by American, Christine Todd Whitman:
“Anyone who thinks that they are too small to make a difference has never tried to fall asleep with a mosquito in the room.”
And to end on a more positive note a quote by John F Kennedy
“One person can make a difference and every person should try.”