When Change happens, don’t regress

In recent months we have all seen the heroic efforts of the NHS and marvelled at the way they have dealt with the challenge of Covid-19.

But behind the scenes, there has been a number of other changes that may have gone unnoticed unless they, of course, they touched you personally. And I was impressed to see how a treatment pathway that I was on changed as a result of Covid.

To explain: I suffer from sleep apnoea and am undergoing a programme of investigation that had reached a stage requiring me to use a machine to help me breathe at night. On the outbreak of Covid, most if not all the machines were re-prioritised to support those requiring assistance in dealing with Covid. The machine I was hoping to get was now no longer available. But I didn’t mind – there were far more pressing patients to be dealt with

And with no expectations of any progress, I was surprised one morning to receive a phone call from the clinic asking me if I’d like to join a trial of a new way of being treated. In a flash “Of course” was my answer. And so I was invited to an appointment in the car park of the hospital to allow social distancing,, where I would be issued with my machine that would let me resume my treatment

No problem! But how would follow-ups take place I wondered? The answer, of course, was: Remotely. and to facilitate that the machines had been adapted so that they could connect to a mobile phone which would then upload my results on a daily basis to the NHS. Bluetooth + Wi-FI = Result.

A few weeks in I had a call from the clinic to discuss progress and we proved that the reporting system worked when the nurse logged into my sleep data and we could discuss what was happening – and of course, I could see it on my phone at the same time.

As the discussion came to an end I asked the nurse how big a change this had been for her and her team. She was so positive and was really excited at the progress they had made, the changes they had made and the results they were achieving. And all so quickly. It was genuinely encouraging.

And then it broke: I received a letter! A letter sent to someone who was daily and automatically communicating with the NHS by mobile phone. They know my number, they know we connect, but this part of the process had not been put under the microscope for change.

It is so sad to see that where there has been great progress (that genuinely excited those involved) it was all too easy to slip back to the old ways.  I think there’s a lesson for leaders here to ensure that we do not let change regress to the familiar way of working.

Trooping the Colour

I send my very best wishes to The 1st Battalion the Welsh Guards, Trooping the Colour in celebration of the Queen’s Birthday. An honour for all Guardsmen on parade.

As I look out of my window … #1

As I look out of my window, what can I see? Famous words but now more poignant than ever. This morning I’m sitting in my dining room – a room normally only used on high days and holidays – but now setup for WFH!.

Like many thousands of others, I am now consigned to days at home as the Covid 19 virus attacks our country. But I can’t place all the blame on Covid 19, I would have been here anyway as I have decided to change direction once again in my working life and sitting in the window is part of what I now do in my working day.

The importance of digital inclusion for rural communities

Image result for digital inclusion farmingBack in the 1990s I was running the business team at a company called CableTel South Wales, later to become NTL and now, Virgin Media.

We were building the first fibre networks to deliver TV and Telephone services and of course this new “big thing” called “The Internet”.

Even then we were concerned that this new connection to a “digital superhighway” could widen the gap between developed and developing regions in Wales. Has that changed? Or do we still live in a multi-speed country in terms of access to and performance of our digital lives? I think we do. Continue reading

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