People Drive Digital #PDDigital at NHS Expo 2015

People Drive Digital #PDDigital at NHS Expo 2015

People driven digital emerged out of conversations towards the end of 2014 about wanting to put people firmly at the centre of digital innovation in health and care. These conversations took us to our #PDDigital event in May, followed by the publication of the People Driven Digital White Paper which we launched at King’s Fund Digital Health and Care Congress session in June, and then the inaugural People Driven Digital unAwards in July. We took a breather, did a bit of reflecting, and are now taking our learning to share with others at this year’s Health and Care Innovation Expo on 2 and 3 September 2015, where Mark Brown, Anne Cooper and myself will be running a session at the pop-up university. Our White Paper gives some clues and some challenges as to how a collaborative approach to digital innovation, as promoted in Personalised Care 2020 can be realised. We argue that the potential for people driving digital innovation from the ground up should be recognised, understood and supported at a strategic level. Health and care need to enable this to happen but it should be led by people not by institutions. We believe that it is only by people driving digital innovation that a step change can be achieved and outcomes in health and care transformed. So what next for people driving digital innovation in health and care? If you’d like to contribute to the conversation, please come along to our session, tweet using the hashtag #PDDigital or comment on this blog – the more we have people accessing and working in health and care services involved in...
Should social care staff friend people they support on Facebook?

Should social care staff friend people they support on Facebook?

Should social care staff ever friend people they support on Facebook? According to this great paper by Peter Bates, Sam Smith and Robert Nisbet, the default view of social care staff and organisations is a resounding no. This stance is echoed in the proliferation of social media guidelines for health care practitioners that you can find curated here. The authors make a case for a more nuanced response to this question as explored through the lens of support for learning disabled people. They argue that the multi-faceted nature of people’s lives resists the reductive notion of linear personal/professional boundaries implicit within social media guidelines. I have previously blogged about the positive affordances of boundary violation between the personal and professional on online social networking sites.  The authors point to the value of digital inclusion and potential of social media for accessing information and peer support. These ideas are beautifully captured in the context of mental health in a guest post by @positivitysmile. I concur with the authors’ stance that a thoughtful approach to social media is required for health as well as social care practitioners. Use and ethics of social media are not routinely incorporated within practitioner training and in my view this should be integrated throughout the curriculum rather than either ignored or sidelined as a stand-alone session or module. As our online and offline lives become ever more intertwined, health and social care staff will benefit from a sharpened understanding of online social networking both for themselves and people they support. Facebook is not a neutral space I would like to add a few additional thoughts to those...
Why people-driven digital health and wellbeing? #PdDigital15

Why people-driven digital health and wellbeing? #PdDigital15

Towards the end of last year I offered to run a session on people/citizen-led digital health for the Health 2.0 Europe which took place in London. My suggestion came about because I spent much of 2014 encountering many amazing digital entrepreneurs, but when it came to conferences they were rarely to be seen on the podium or as sponsors or with stands. We know that digital tools and services have to be born out of user-centred design approaches if they’re going to stand a chance of success; but we also need people accessing services to be shaping the discussion at conferences and events too. So back to Health 2.0… it took no time at all to pull together an amazing panel of people who had all developed digital tools and services out of their personal experience. The tracker session was full to the rafters and we had a lively and stimulating discussion as well as tons of interest in what our panel had to say.  This experience gave us an idea… why not shape an event entirely around the experiences and motivations of people who have done digital innovation from the ground up. Why not ask the question ‘how can the NHS unleash people-driven digital health and wellbeing?’ and see if we can collectively find answers to help shape the strategic direction of digital in health and social care and beyond. We chose the word people because this is all about everyday people sorting out everyday problems that they have directly experienced. We chose the word driven because it is people in the driving seat and many are really...
Digital and making the invisible visible

Digital and making the invisible visible

This week I was invited to speak at a Ministerial event in Leeds which showcased the growing community of data, digital and health in our city. The opportunity to share the mHealthHabitat programme with an audience was great, but that’s not what I want to talk about here. Instead, I want to reflect on who gets to be in the conversation and who doesn’t. My post is offered in a spirit of enquiry and in making visible what can easily be rendered invisible. It was visible to me that I was the only woman on the invite list (as it turned out there were two other women present in the audience). All the speakers, apart from me, were men. Once I had noticed gender it was only a small leap to notice that everyone was white, almost everyone was wearing a suit, and everyone was of a certain age. There was no one there bringing patient perspectives to the conversation. There are two things I am not doing in this post –  firstly, I am not taking the moral high ground, if it had been an event full of white women I may well have not noticed if there were no black women there. I noticed because I was in a minority myself.  Secondly, I am not criticising this particular event – it’s an example of what seems to be business as usual most places you go when it comes to digital. The event was successful in rendering visible to myself, and no doubt other participants, that there really is a growing community of people in the digital and...
The digital spirit level – four learning points for innovation

The digital spirit level – four learning points for innovation

Achieving equilibrium is a tricky thing when attempting to introduce digital innovation to large organisations. There are many different paces to manage; so many different interests to consider; and so many pot holes to fall down. Just when I think we’ve got one thing in balance I look over my shoulder and something else needs adjusting. If I were to hold a virtual spirit level to our mHealthHabitat programme I’d rarely see a balanced horizontal line. Here are a four learning points from our first six months: Tactics versus strategy We began our mHealthHabitat programme by doing stuff – finding pockets of interest and enthusiasm, supporting bright ideas, learning through experience, making mistakes and doing it differently next time. Doing is very important – it is grounded, it engages people and it generates evidence about what works and what doesn’t. But it is not enough. You also have to create a receptive context as well as alignment with organisational strategy if your innovation is to be sustainable. A beautiful strategy but no doing is another trap.  Doing and strategising need to be kept in constant equilibrium with one informing the other and back again. Keeping both in your line of vision are critical but it’s easy to lose sight of one or the other. Internal versus external Innovation often emerges when diverse perspectives enable us to see a problem differently and find an unexpected solution. Digital innovation requires not only different perspectives but very different skills sets, language and styles of communication. An internal NHS orientation focuses on building awareness and enthusiasm within organisational channels, and engaging with clinicians...