The UK health service is generally awash with a plethora of reports, policies and opinion pieces about the need to transform services.
The message is loud and clear: services need to change to ensure the “patient is placed at the heart of everything we do” and that care is consistently safe, effective and of high quality.
No longer can we maintain the status quo.
The need to “work differently” is essential, and the ability to think differently is fundamental.
To do this we need to be diverse and inclusive in our approach and draw on a range of leadership, skills and knowledge from people at all levels within the system regardless of position and authority.
To drive the agenda on quality and improvement, the health service needs everyone who plays a part in patients’ journeys to work together as a connected voice. We believe that to mobilise the energy of these collective voices, we need a space where people come together with equal status and in a space where we remove the staff and patient dichotomy, enabling everyone to have their say.
Why is diversity and inclusion essential?
- We don’t need heroics anymore we need distributed leadership;
- Diversity offers different ways of thinking, innovation and differing styles;
- People at all levels of the system experience frustrations from not being heard;
- Inclusive organisations have staff who feel valued and will work better for patients.
So how do we move from rhetoric to reality in a way that we are able to transform services for the better?
The NHS needs to change its thinking and harness the energies of new leaders, clinicians and staff working at all levels, from porter to patient, housekeeper to sister, medical student to consultant as well as those more established in traditional roles in the hierarchy; people who feel able to look at things with a fresh pair of eyes, challenging the status quo and disrupting tradition; who look towards the horizon and who feel brave enough to suggest an alternative route on a well-established journey.
Healthcare radicals are needed, as Helen Bevan would say “people who can rock the boat whilst staying in it”, disruptive innovation that brings likeminded people together to share a vision and drive it forward.
And so from this thinking, a new network has been born that has developed from a chance conversation and has gained momentum because of the collective energy of people, especially within the social media community who share a vision.
We set up #NewHcVoices, found at @HcVoices, to give a voice to everyone who wants to influence and shape health care. Its vision is to be a credible voice across a disconnected system, influencing a cultural shift that brings people together collectively with the aim of improving care. #NewHCVoices wants to influence National Agenda and Policy at every level and to become an integral part of the wider system.
We are holding our first event on the 21st May and welcome everybody and anybody who wants to have a voice and who wants to be part of shaping the future of #NewHcVoices .
Ticket information can be found here.
Vanessa Garrity and Kirstie Stott are co-founders of NewHCVoices.