Why come to Buckinghamshire and do digital stuff in an Acute hospital?

Because it will be the most challenging but most rewarding job you’ve ever had.

There, nuff said.

And btw — if you have the skills, or almost have the skills — have a look at the ad for a permanent Head of Digital Transformation and Innovation at Band 8D, which is a career level post. Closing date 12-Jul-2022. Which is why I’m writing this… ;)

But actually let me explain a bit more — first by talking about my own journey. For many years I worked at the Open University, I did digital before it was called Digital, I looked after a £200 million a year sales channel, an intranet for 11,000 staff, a Studenthome for 200,000 students.

I did user centred design, and service design (before it was called that) with brilliant people like Caroline Jarrett and Whitney Quesenbery. And I did it with brilliant colleagues.

And then after 19 years at the OU I ran out of road. I was probably complacent, I thought I knew everything I needed to know about Digital, particularly in HE, and I thought I was ready for retirement. The only problem was I had more than 20 years to go before I could access my pension!

So I made a leap to the NHS. First to NHS Digital — which was part of the NHS — but probably much more similar to places like GDS. And we did brilliant work in launching the NHS Digital Service Manual. And I started to get a feel for the NHS.

But heck, was it the real NHS? Well, that’s where things got fun…

In 2020 I leapt to join Andy Callow at Kettering General Hospital two weeks before Covid… I learnt about patient flow through the hospital, I learnt about length of stay and discharge policies, I learnt about the hungry demands of health intelligence and I learnt about the ageing infrastructure in our hospitals.

I also learnt about the superb people who wear nurses uniforms and health care assistants and allied health professionals and ward clerks and physios and consultants and Exec teams in hospitals.

I also learnt about the passion, compassion, love and tragedy that happens every day in an Acute hospital.

So what would I say…

  • Every day’s a learning day in hospitals
  • Every day may have a crisis
  • Of course there’s not enough resource, people and money — but when is there ever?
  • But every change we make makes a difference

And in terms of Bucks, it’s a lovely place, lovely people. And the CQC says we’re Good with Outstanding for care!

And of course I’m great to work with ;)

But — I want to be really honest about where BHT is at in terms of digital — if you look at the Frontline Digitisation toolkit I reckon we’re at 50% of core competency — maybe HIMSS level 1. But that means the only way is up and we can leapfrog from where we’re at to where we need to be in terms of our EPR, digital tools, and the skills in our staff.

In an ideal world I want to build an Agile delivery model, with backlogs and effective estimation and prioritisation and sprints and so on. But inevitably we have to balance that against BAU and limited resources etc

This role will be key to that journey, it will help grow our PMO, it will help manage demand but more fundamentally it will build a delivery capability that will be agile in nature. And we’ll have fun, and we’ll improve the staff experience and most importantly the patient experience.

And you’ll get to do cool things like visiting an operating theatre whilst in use, you’ll work with deeply dedicated nurses who save lives, and the most brilliant consultants and you’ll be part of the digital revolution that is sweeping through the NHS.

So it’s a challenge! But if you don’t like a challenge you shouldn’t be looking at this role, and if you want an easy life you shouldn’t join a Trust .

But if you want some of the most rewarding work you’ll ever find, see the immediate impact on patients, and staff who have been heroic through Covid come and join us.

And did I say I’m brilliant to work with 😉

See the JD at https://beta.jobs.nhs.uk/candidate/jobadvert/C9434-22-9466 and DM me in Twitter @ianroddis or email me at ian.roddis@nhs.net

ps — since 2005 I’ve worked remotely for at least 2 days a week — flexing when necessary. Through Covid we’ve learnt remote working works. And I really don’t miss dead time in the car polluting the atmosphere and getting frustrated with traffic jams or crammed tube trains. Long way of saying we’re open to very flexible working — and if we get together it’s for a real purpose — a workshop, a visit to a ward or service, or just having some fun. So if you’re sensible and want to maintain a good work life balance, please get in touch!

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ian roddis

ian roddis

by nature a product manager, working in digital and health