You (we!) must be the change you (we!) want to see in the NHS*

This is my pledge for NHS Change Day. You can read more about it here.

In April I will launch the electronic version of Whose Shoes? – Making It Real ®  in
partnership with Think Local, Act Personal (TLAP). I will continue my ‘in my shoes’ blog series. Both of these approaches will help professionals engage with the voice of real people and work together for positive change. This Thurday (21 March) I am giving a talk to the Eastern Region Personalisation Network of health and social care professionals. I will take every opportunity, such as this, to encourage people to see things from different perspectives but, most importantly, to ‘walk in the shoes’ of the patients themselves.

View from Tower bridgeWednesday 13 March 2013 dawned fresh and bright – a very auspicious start to NHS Change Day!
I was excited as I walked across Tower Bridge heading for the GovToday Social Care 2013 “Creating a person-centred system” conference. As I looked around, I reflected on the stark juxtaposition of old and new, traditional and very modern. Change is all around us. And it was a BIG day for change in social care and health. There was a real buzz on Twitter with loads of hashtags and various colleagues heading in different directions.

#NHSExpo2013 was going on nearby, teeming with innovation and innovators. There were tweets about dementia dogs, singing and arts and all the things that help people with health problems be just that: people with real lives who happen to have a health condition or support need. Not medicalised or ‘cared for’ individuals, defined by their ‘condition’.

I was looking forward to meeting up with Debbie Sorkin, CEO of National Skills Academy who spoke eloquently at the conference about the central role of leadership (we are all leaders!) in cultural change – and to show her the final version of Whose Shoes? – Making It Real ®.  We really must get Debbie on Twitter as she is another CEO who lives by the values she advocates and is prepared to put her head above the parapet, pushing for change that benefits people who need support.

Anyway, back to NHS Change Day…

I have been watching with huge interest as the NHS Change Day initiative has come to fruition. There have been lively Twitter chats crowd-sourcing fantastic, but often very simple, ideas. Currently the number of pledges to ‘make a difference’ stands at over 182,000 – smashing the 65,000 target!

Although it has been a great example of co-production, special mention must go to Helen Bevan, Chief of Service Transformation at NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, who has championed the initiative. I feel a rather oddly placed sense of pride that Helen is local to me in Coventry and my daughter works as a dedicated Clinical Trials
Co-ordinator at Warwick University. The West Midlands feels like an exciting place to be for innovation and creative peeps. 🙂

It was bold to admit so unambiguously that the NHS needs to change and create such a positive response to the Francis report. In particular, it was clever to create a way in which everyone can get involved by simply posting a pledge on the ‘pledge wall’. As human beings, we like to feel that we can make a difference, however small.

Hopefully, after such a strong start, the initiative will become like ‘Children in Need’ – something that people anticipate each year, encouraging everyone to reflect continuously on their practice and to embed patient-centred care.

I had met with Shahana Ramsden from Think Local, Act Personal the day before and was delighted to see Shahana’s ‘Making It Real’ pledge go up on the wall:

These are some of my favourite tweets.
Many of them directly mention NHS Change Day.
All of them capture the spirit of what needs to change.

Openness and safety:

The ‘6Cs’:

Staff engagement :

Joined-up thinking:

Putting the person in the centre:



Better use of technology:

Better use of design:

Linking the generations:

Having a life in the community rather than a ‘set of services’:

Being a ‘whole person’ with a history and passions:

Community engagement and fund-raising:

Celebrating and learning:

The pressure on carers…: 

…and help available for carers:

Hope! Potentially exciting breakthroughs:

Creative ideas that add to quality of life and independence:

A very wide range of issues:

Social media enables #NHSChangeDay to ‘go viral’:

Leading by example:

And this is brilliant! Doctors take their own medicine.
Making It Real indeed!:

And finally, the most important of all. **EMBED**.
“How NHS Change Day will benefit patients.”

My blog has been described as a catalyst for change.
Whose Shoes? tools are a catalyst for change.
Let’s all be a catalyst for positive change.

* “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
Mahatma Gandhi,
 Indian political and spiritual leader (1869 – 1948)

About Gill Phillips - Whose Shoes?

Passionate about personalisation in health & social care. Creator of Whose Shoes? - an imaginative approach to helping people work together to improve lives.
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7 Responses to You (we!) must be the change you (we!) want to see in the NHS*

  1. Joe McCrea (Social Media Lead for NHS Change Day) says:

    It’s not too late to make your OWN pledge on the main NHS Change Day site… The Pledge Wall is open until 31st March! (Joe McCrea – Social Media Lead for NHS Change Day)


  2. Pingback: Empathy… leads to compassion | Whose Shoes?

  3. I have just nominated you for the ‘Very Inspiring Blogger Award’ –
    I particularly love your round up of NHS Change Day!


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