Latest published editorial in Family Practice, including my work on primary care data

Below is a link to the latest published editorial in Family Practice, including parts of my work on primary care diversity data and its challenges. Many thanks to Carolyn Tarrant and Emma Angell.

http://fampra.oxfordjournals.org/content/30/6/613.full?keytype=ref&ijkey=u1f0fDXj3eQLLnD

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KEEPTHEBEAT – A parent’s perspective on the Safe and Sustainable NHS review

Yesterday Adam Tansey, co-founder of the children’s charity ‘KEEP THE BEAT’, described his emotional journey with his youngest son, 4-year-old Albert, who was born with half a heart. From day one Tansey’s family have relied on the expertise and the Intensive Care Unit in Glenfield Hospital which have been key to keeping Albert alive especially for his unexpected turns for the very worst . Therefore Adam’s passion to do all that he can to save Glenfield Hospital is understandable especially seen as there has been debate over the validity of the data and techniques used to come to the decision to close the four childrens’ heart surgery units, Glenfield being one of them (more details about the Safe and Sustainable Review can be found on the NHS specialist services website, including the report of the public consultation).  It showed me that, through all the political wrangling and to-ing and fro-ing within the judical process, it is ultimately the lives of Albert, Adam and his family that will be affected. For them, losing this hospital will be devestating, a feeling many in boardrooms may have failed to realise.

To support Keep the Beat, supporting families affected by congenital heart defects,  visit http://www.keepthebeat.co.uk/site/index.php

A huge thanks to Adam for a very poignant talk.

Project Management

On the 30th October, I attended the Project Management training conducted by the University of Leicester. I think it was successful in its aim of providing attendees with skills and tips to help manage their own projects, and this was down to its practical nature. I’m sometimes sceptical of theory-laden presentations on practical methods as I feel that they aren’t very good at relating well to the topic at hand; there’s only so much you can get out of reading about applied techniques, but how are you to get a feel for them without giving them a go? So I was really glad that, for this course, this wasn’t the case.

 The discussions within the teams were a good way of finding out about everyone else’s project and it was interesting to see the variations from one project to another. I put my project and all its sub-tasks through SMART and recieved constructive feedback and tips from the course leader and my team. For example, the time it would take me to carry out some parts of my current project (the extensive literature review) first seemed hard to measure as I had not previously carried out a literature search of that scale. Having a statistical method of double-checking my rough estimates through PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique) was therefore useful and will be beneficial if I am ever in a situation of producing a new project proposal in future.

The course was full of simple yet key points (or what I term ‘project gems’). A favourite of mine was the importance of acknowledging the difference between ‘Plans’ and ‘Planning’. Allowing for changes to the overarching ‘plan’ through ‘planning’ doesnt necessarily mean that the original ‘plan’ was wrong, the two are simply different in nature with one being more dynamic than the other.  

Meet Outlook, my new best friend

Summary deadlines, personal deadlines, departmental meetings,staff meetings, progress meetings, workshops, seminars research project chats, appointments -the list seems endless.  How would I juggle it all?? Strangely enough organising and forward planning is very moi but the intial juggling at work did prove to be a bit of a struggle – that was before I met Outlook at work and began using it to its full potential. A be-lated first encounter I hear you cry, but I simply cannot imagine worklife without my new companion.  So useful, so handy, so….me! So Outlook – this one’s for you. 

First week, finding my feet

I spent this week reading through research protocol and sifting through other relevant documentation to get gain an understand of project. Note-making (on paper, not a pc!) seems to work best for me as a way of engaging with text over long periods of reading. I like to use flow/diagrams that show the development of my understandings of the content, with questions and quotations on the diagram periphery. The questions are useful to feedback to my line manager.

Below is a link to one of my diagrams:

Project Diagram