My Topol fellowship problem / project:

Millions of people in the UK are not receiving the right health care for their needs in the way it would benefit them and many don’t have access to innovations and treatments that can help them get well and stay well. We also don’t know who a lot of these people are and what their health status is. As well as using traditional approaches like focus groups and workshops to help the NHS and health and social care organisations better understand how to address unmet needs, conversations online through social media and other platforms can provide helpful insights into what help people need, what would work for them and ultimately what matters to them.

Through my project I want to use social or digital listening to better understand this and respond accordingly. What is social/digital listening? It is the practice of monitoring social media channels and the internet for mentions of a particular topic of interest and using that information to help improve products or services. I am hoping that through this project, there can be a positive impact in the following ways:

1. Better understanding of population and system needs

2. Better informed, design, resulting in better use and impact of solutions

3. Improved trust and stronger relationships between health and social care and the public

4. Empowered citizens – I will be exploring both off the shelf solutions and those developed by experts in academic institutions and other similar organisations and looking forward to this journey of discovery and positive change.

I started working in the NHS over 17 years ago as an analyst and now work for Kent Surrey and Sussex AHSN, a connector organisation commissioned to support the adoption and spread of innovation across health and social care. I work at Kent and Surrey and Sussex with the NHS, local authorities, the voluntary sector and universities. Our mission is to make sure the people we serve benefit from the innovative solutions available whilst also making sure fewer people are left behind.

I started ‘flirting’ with service and quality improvement in 2012 while working at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, South London and then in the Transformation Team at Lewisham and Greenwich Trust before joining the AHSN. My experiences have taught me to balance meticulous rigour and agility to deliver meaningful outcomes…basically, rigour without the mortis! As a volunteer, I am the Chair of Governors at my local primary school and separately co-lead at a community outreach Sunday school, which serves over 700 children in South East London.

I am intrigued by new approaches to capturing actionable insights that can drive lasting change and am ultimately passionate about seeing individuals and communities thrive by giving a voice to voiceless and visibility to the marginalised. Some humble brags from my working life to date:

• Becoming a Topol Digital Fellow!

• Designing and launching an Innovation capability-building programme for organisations and Integrated Care Systems

• Launching and delivering the national Transforming Wound Care programme on behalf of KSS AHSN and successfully recruiting a Test and Evaluation Site to implement national recommendations on Lower Limb Wound care

• Setting up and leading the South East Local Enterprise Partnership’s, Digital Inclusion forum and enabled the distribution of devices to members of the public meeting eligibility criteria

• Leading, supporting and coordinating the activities of the Bedside Learning Coordinators at the London Nightingale Hospital during the height of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

• Setting up and running the Surrey Heartlands Clinical Academy

• Developing and delivering a values-based cross-organisational service improvement programme that was an HSJ awards finalist in 2015