I am back home after what feels like a fairy-tale week in Paris.
Over 3000 people from about 80 countries attended the IHI / BMJ ‘Quality and Safety in Health Care’ event in Paris (#Quality2014) and the opportunity for connecting with people from across the world was truly mind-blowing.
Added to this, I was presenting my Whose Shoes?® session in the Blue Amphitheatre – the second largest auditorium in the whole event – in the last session before the final plenary of the event on Day 3, so with maximum time to prepare…a.k.a fret…!
I arrived on Tuesday and felt a sense of adventure. I had no plans to meet up with anyone until the next day. I was chatting to me friend Dr Sam Majumdar in Scotland, who has been brilliant in helping me hone my presentation, and told him I was going to go out for a walk and see what story merged. To be honest, I think I was looking for ‘good omens’ – a consequence perhaps of my immersion in the Roman world as a student.
The auspices were good! I posted a blog telling the story of what happened that night in Paris.
I felt very privileged to be invited and was determined to share the experience and the learning with those who couldn’t be there.
I had also written a blog anticipating the conference and setting out what I was planning to present in Paris. So, all that was left was to actually pitch up at the event… 😉
Here I will tell you what happened – some personal highlights and reflections and, of course, how my session went.
With the wonderful Helen Bevan at the helm, guiding the #boatrockers of the world, it was inevitable and very powerful that social media was to play a huge part in the event.
It is impossible to do justice to the excitement and opportunities that social media generates.
Since jumping ship from my ‘day job,’ it suddenly struck me that I had come rather a long way!
I have spent the week in a bit of a whirl wondering how this has happened. And it seems I wasn’t the only one to feel like this.
This is Susan. One of my new friends from Canada! I love her spontaneity and freshness. Her passion for new knowledge and connections.
And another lovely Canadian lady!
I loved receiving messages of support from friends across the world, especially my special friend Kate Swaffer in Australia.
I was really looking forward to meeting the lovely Christina Krause, a long-term Twitter friend.
I met her in rather a dramatic way 😉 I rocked up at her social media masterclass and was invited to make a pledge. I made one she will hopefully remember 😉
The social media session was wonderful with some great learning, connections and pledges.
You can all see the excellent social media slides here:
And read Ros Gray’s ‘Storify’ here:
Kate Swaffer and I have the huge honour of presenting a social media session together as part of the Opening Reception of the ADI Alzheimer’s Confrerence in Puerto Rico shortly.
I was therefore looking for all the tips I could get. Helen and Christina gave me a mini masterclass on using the Pecha Kucha approach so that is now high priority to work something up in the next week or so … alongside launching our Whose Shoes? Dementia Friendly Communities project in Kent!
I was really looking forward to the Pecha Kucha session in Paris.
In the event, I missed most of it due to a wonderful meeting with Carrie Marr and another colleague from Australia. This was following up some work we have been doing as a result of my recent trip to Oz and was very exciting. Luckily, many sessions from the Paris event are live-streamed (including mine, apparently!) so I am hoping to be able to catch up with some of the excellent sessions I missed. Many delegates find that the conference is a perfect opportunity to have face-to-face meetings with colleagues from across the world. This was time very well spent – and so much more fun than Skype!
Another real highlight was that inspirational Dr Kate Granger was able to make it, after all, to Paris, and enjoy herself so much.
I had already met Kate briefly at NHS EXpo but had the privilege to hear her present her wonderful #hellomynameis campaign and to get to know her better.
One session I found excellent outlined the progress of Patient Safety in Scotland.
A combination of real substance in what they were presenting – joined up and empowering practice – coupled with engaging visual presentation made this very enjoyable.
Thursday was the middle day of the conference and there were still people I really wanted to meet but it is hard to link up with 3000 people there.
Luckily there was a ‘tweet up’ at the ‘colourful benches’ in the Learning Zone.
I bet regular ‘tweeps’ will be able to spot people they know in this photograph 🙂
Other people I know are in the photo are @drsusanshaw @tobyhillman and @drcatchatfield. We wondered where Helen Bevan had gone as she was there two minutes before the photo was taken but she had run off to get ready for her major presentation immediately after lunch.
I don’t think I have ever felt so emotional about someone else’s presentation.
As well as being a really important plenary (I find the fact that Helen’s work is ground-breaking on a global scale incredibly exciting) I had had the huge honour of taking part in a wonderful ‘Digital Stories’ weekend where Helen made the two moving films that she was going to share at the beginning and end of her talk. We will all talk about it for a very long time to come as a really special time, so the fact that I had seen the stories take shape and tiptoed round with cups of tea gave a lovely extra dimension.
Helen’s talk went REALLY well and I was delighted, along with so many other people in the huge auditorium.
Thank you Marie Batey for taking this lovely photo straight after Helen’s presentation – a very special moment.
I couldn’t help feeling proud of some of the other great initiatives coming from the UK.
I really enjoyed meeting Samantha Jones, another one whom I have admired from a distance on Twitter. It seemed the feeling was mutual and I was sorry Sam (along with so many others) was not able to stay for my session. I hope she will watch it on the ‘livestream’ as I think Sam is someone who will really ‘get’ Whose Shoes? 😉
And so it was nearly time for my session and I was overwhelmed by the number of good luck’ messages I received.
These are just a selection but I was very grateful for each and every one and felt the love coming from the folks back home and abroad 🙂
I was feeling good after a lovely evening out (but not too late!) the night before
This tweet struck a chord. Whose Shoes? is very good at triggering ‘crucial conversations’
I posted a series of tweets telling people what I planned to do in the session.
I have interspersed a few photo-tweets Helen Bevan very kindly posted which hopefully brings this alive for you.
And I am THRILLED for Ken, receiving an award for the wonderful ways in which he is spreading his powerful messages that you can live well with dementia.
I hadn’t heard this theory before. But I WAS excited giving my talk and I think it showed!
Carrie Marr had warned me that my session was going to be live-streamed – the secret ‘L’ word 😉
I hope this will give a chance for more people to see it and to understand Whose Shoes? We only had half an hour, including questions, but it was a wonderful opportunity, sparked a lot of interest and helped forge links between some very interesting people.
Our ‘Patients Stories’ session was chaired by Helen Haskell, Patient Safety Advocate with Mothers Against Medical Error, from Columbia. Mine was the second half of a one hour session, with the first speaker being Dr. Tony DiGioia, a practicing orthopaedic surgeon from the USA who gave an excellent talk about ‘Shadowing’ the patient experience as a tool for quality improvement. We had put some effort into ‘blending’ our session to make sure that it felt like a coherent whole rather than just two disparate parts and I think people appreciated this. It certainly felt that way as we managed to leave a good amount of time for questions and answers and answered them between us rather than totally separately. It feels good that these major conferences are putting more thought into important details such as this.
I would not be able to do what I do without the support of my friends and mentors who believe in the work I am doing and share our dream for better quality of life for people who need support with health and daily living.
This was a very important conference and I was extremely honoured to take part and have a chance to influence the global movement for positive change.
I am not interested in ‘measures of influence’ per se but am aware that this Forum is regarded as the largest global healthcare improvement meeting in the world. Virtually all of the global thought leaders in the world of healthcare improvement spoke at this meeting. So I am pretty chuffed at being ranked highly in the Sympur statistics This is a direct reflection of all the amazing support I receive from people who believe in me and my work and what it aims to achieve for ‘ordinary’ (there is no such thing!) people.
And all too soon it was the end of the conference
It had been an exhilarating, tiring and totally unforgettable