10 June 2019
I’ve been in a reflective mood for some months! The 70th Birthday celebrations of the NHS last year, publication of the NHS Long Term Plan, New GP contract, Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday next year to name just a few and I also have a significant ‘0’ birthday in 2020 which has led me to contemplate next steps for me.
This year feels like a watershed moment in the NHS as transformation is the name of the game. It’s everywhere and I’ve even got it in my title now!! But what are we trying to transform?
It would seem that the answer is everything and all at once! What is undeniable though is the statement in the Long Term Plan which states “we must accelerate the redesign of patient care to future-proof the NHS for the decade ahead”. The Plan outlines what we need to do and also raises the importance of research and innovation.
Research and innovation isn’t just for the clever few, it’s for all of us. Who hasn’t had a clinical question they want answered, or wondered about a bespoke piece of equipment to help a patient or been frustrated when something digital doesn’t quite do what we expected! But getting those developments though takes huge amount of time and support and that’s where an organisation like the AHSN comes in.
The AHSN network across the UK support and facilitate change across health, social care, industry and the not-for-profit sector so that’s unique as it provides opportunity for people to get together, debate, discuss, disagree and dare to dream about transforming services that we all might one day have need for.
I have really enjoyed the programmes of work I am involved with and in particular the Healthy Ageing work stream. I think we have had real impact, raised the profile of older people with frailty and undertaken some cracking pieces of work which are making a difference both locally and nationally. Hearing some of the stories that have come from the hydration project for example have given me goose bumps, people with advanced frailty participating in mocktail sessions, staff being re-enthused about their work and the difference it has made to many people’s lives. The AHSN helps us to think differently about issues we face, come up with, and test, solutions and most importantly share results.
I would encourage anyone to get involved!