The Primary Care Innovation Centre, March 2023 Edition:

“A brave March forward”

By Liz Leggott, Project manager


Yes!  The first day of March crept up behind me and went “Boo!”  Where did that come from!?

A few big decisions had to be made towards the end of February that affects the work remaining in the testing phase and as the keen readers among you will remember the end of the testing period is the 31st of March.

I had to unfortunately shelve the Virtual Nurse Placement as the product wasn’t going to ready and I didn’t want to roll with something I knew wasn’t totally finished, however the work we have done on this will certainly be used on the Primary Care Module the Hub are working with Sheffield Hallam on, so certainly not wasted time and effort.  Also, I had to unfortunately let down the team at Leeds University who were using GigXR to simulate that of a Perinatal Mental Health patient, with sophisticated AI and real time responses.  We had only 2 Primary Care Colleagues engage with it and book into one of the 24 slots available on the 22nd of February.  I think this just shows the capacity issues being experienced out there currently.  However, on the bright side, I have linked the Leeds team up with two colleagues at Sheffield Hallam to see if they can take advantage of the sessions on offer with students.  So, here’s hoping that the lucky students embrace the technology and can really see the value in it.  It’s still a win in my book!

Engagement with General Practice in South Yorkshire is something I’m keen in increase; I’m still in pursuit of how best to do that effectively and I feel it could be through the Leadership group hosted by the Hub.  I want to see if one of the cohort will take on the quest of initiating good conversations about work force planning with their peers.

We need to try and understand:

  • If is it being done?
  • How well is it being done?
  • Is it being done the same across the whole of South Yorkshire?
  • If it’s not, what are the barriers to that happening?

It certainly feels that if we as a workforce had the headspace or the mechanism to do that, then we may not have had the crisis that we do now.  We would have been able to plan for the wave of Practice Nurses who were all due to retire at once for example.   Thoughts are that this is what the Workforce & Training Hub and the Innovation Centre could do.  Having a seat at the table and understanding what is coming over the hill before it gets to Primary Care, giving us time and opportunity to put training in place to be ready to accept new services or demands on the system, enabling us to do some of that workforce planning.  This is one of the key principles for the Innovation Centre and I see it as a vital function.

The first of the Clinical Entrepreneur Programme (CEP) sessions in happening this month and looking at who is in Cohort 7 alongside me, I don’t mind telling you that the gravity of this opportunity has kicked in well and truly!!  Generally they are clinicians, medics, consultants, surgeons and have a specialty or a specialist knowledge in something medical.  A lot are already CEOs and owners of their own companies that their initiative or product is being produced by.  So, this project manager has to find the fire in her belly and the confidence in the vision enough to be heard and seen in this room full of talented beings!  Are they going to wonder who the heck let this person on?

With this at the forefront of my mind, I went to search the internet (as you do) for inspirational quotes or some breathing methods, some ways to change your mindset from anxious to positive and I found something really simple but effective for me.  It stopped my frantic search in its tracks, and I have to admit to reading this probably about 6 or 7 times now.

Ease instead of urgency. 
Presence instead of fragmentation.
Contentment instead of craving.
Courage instead of fear.
Vulnerability instead of armoured.
Authenticity instead of approval seeking.
Compassion instead of perfectionism.
Appreciation instead of grasping.

It comes from papers written about the question ‘What if you Pursued Contentment Rather than Happiness?’.  I know I suddenly can’t become a heart surgeon overnight, not in time for the first time we meet as a cohort anyway!  So, for me, finding contentment and courage is finding confidence in the fact that I know my project, I know my topic area and the parts I don’t, that’s fine too because maybe no one else does either!?

I find my contentment, courage, presence, and authenticity in the fact that:

  • My application and personal video I sent in was enough to get me on the programme.
  • My skills are enough to get the project this far.
  • My work is enough to be seen across the country and by HEE and NHSE strategic leads.

That’s enough, right?

However, this doesn’t mean we don’t strive, or reach further forward, that we don’t stretch our knowledge and learning past what we know, that we don’t go out of our comfort zone until we feel comfortable in that new place.  I think this is what the CEP represents to me.

Sooooo, that got deep for a moment didn’t it!?

Thank you for giving me your time to read this, it’s always appreciated; don’t forget you can always get in touch if you want to talk through anything you have read on any of my blogs to date.

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