How long is the programme?

The Topol Digital Fellowship is approximately 12 months in length. There will be regular learning sessions, talks from digital health practitioners and online community drop-in sessions scheduled throughout the 12 months plus additional opportunities across the digital healthcare arena.

Protected time to complete a digital change project

The fundamental basis of the Topol Fellowship is the funding of protected time to support the fellows to work on their personal digital project. The Fellowship will fund up to 0.4 WTE (basic salary not including banding) for backfill to ensure that appropriate time is protected for the fellow. This protected time is mandatory for the completion of the Fellowship. However, the programme is flexible as to how this time is taken over the year.

Programme components

To support the design and delivery of fellows’ projects, the programme will support and stimulate fellows to explore a range of digital transformation techniques. The workshop programme will have a strong focus on people-centred development of products and services and it will start with a strong emphasis on understanding problems, on researching user needs rather than identifying solutions to problems.

Overall, the learning will be delivered through a variety of sessions including: 

  • a series of programme workshops 
  • a series of lunch and learn sessions to support design thinking
  • an online course in Machine Learning in Service Design and Delivery 
  • a facilitated online community to support fellows 
  • a series of alumni masterclasses.

Pastoral Support

In order to support the Topol Fellows a number of pastoral support provisions have been put in place to guide them through the programme. This support comes from a variety of places and as adult learners there is an expectation that they will navigate through the options as appropriate to their own needs. The role of the programme is to ensure that there is an adequate number of routes to support offering a range of interventions. 

 Programme team support 

  • Two 1:1 review sessions through the programme – this is a structured, compulsory meeting with a member of the programme team, acting as a check-in for Fellows 
  • 1:1 support meetings – available at the request of the Fellow to explore a specific issue 
  • Opportunities to feed back formally to the Topol Fellowship Steering Group via the Topol Fellow Representatives on the group 

 Programme delivery partner support 

  • Two drop-in sessions following each learning activity – Fellows have the opportunity to join a group drop-in session and discuss anything the wish relating to the programme content 
  • 1:1 support meetings – available at the request of the Fellow to explore a specific issue 

 Mentoring and coaching 

  • Access to Alumni and professionals within the Digital Readiness Programme  

 Peer support 

  • Slack – a facilitated online community offering a platform for sharing information, interaction and communication 
  • Peer groups – regional groups have been established to enable face-to-face meetings and support for those who prefer a peer led approach 

 Ongoing quality improvement 

  • Evaluation of the effectiveness of the programme is continuous to ensure it meets the needs of the NHS and the individual learners 
  • Fellows have the opportunity to contribute to this evaluation and shape the future of the programme 

How do I complete my Fellowship?

The Topol Digital Fellowship does not require full implementation of a digital change project as an outcome from the programme. It is acknowledged that all projects have different timelines and phases of implementation. Completion of the programme will be demonstrated through the appropriate use of the funded protected time, within which the project will be expected to have moved forward, and attendance at all the mandatory programme sessions.

Hear from Topol Fellows and Alumni

In these videos Topol Fellows and Alumni discuss their projects and experiences.

Watch the videos.