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What being a Buccaneer has taught me about digital health

The health and care community’s response to Covid-19 showed the importance of adaptability. We had to do things differently if we were going to be able to deliver the same standard of quality care that people had come to expect. 

Thinking and doing things differently required a diversity of mindset that was rare at the time. People with different views and experiences came together with a common aim; keeping people as safe as possible. The old barriers and siloes were broken down and we all started a new way of collaborating with common goals; the safety of every person and beating the pandemic.  

Maintaining diversity is essential

If we are to carry on applying our health and care intelligence and resources for the good of the population, maintaining such diversity is essential. 

This won’t be achieved by diversity quotas. Diversity has to be achieved by bringing together people from different backgrounds. We need alternative views of what the present and future means for digital healthcare.  

Of course, we can benefit from learning the lessons of the past from old timers in digital health such as myself. But we are not the ones who will lead us forward. Our ideas need a new application and focus from people with different outlooks and new goals. 

Why digital leaders need to challenge themselves

Leadership will come from those who seek to challenge and be challenged. We need to hear from a wide range of voices, and on the right platform. A platform where fertile discussion can lead to meaningful connections that last beyond the here and now. 

I have been honoured to share one such platform as chair of the Silver Buck advisory board. This thriving group of health and care professionals represents huge diversity from across healthcare, digital health and the wider public sector.  

From Sam Shah’s strident application of common sense, to Dom Cushnan’s calm and measured tones, the inspirational Mala Mawkin and the most connected person in digital health – Hassan Chaudhury. The whole board brings together multiple different perspectives to the issues that face health and care technology.  

The board is a forum that features a genuine desire to hear from all involved. It has a diversity of mindset that generates better discussions and can challenge the status quo. Many in health and care leadership circles could learn from its approach; I certainly have. 

The board is testimony to its founders, Silver Buck. This agency is phenomenal in bringing huge amounts of knowledge and experience to bear in helping organisations of all sizes navigate the complexity of health and care. 

Silver Buck has been the connective tissue that has enabled people from across the market to engage in a different way. From our earliest days of working together on the Axe the Fax campaign, it has created momentum that empowers people to embrace new innovations and new ways of working.   

Diversity requires regeneration

Diversity of mindset has been central to this approach. From its leaders down, the team boasts a background of knowledgeable, constructive people who come from across health and care.  

This diversity means the agency can understand how patients expect care to be delivered. The team has the skills to help ensure that clinicians of every type are informed in what their choices are around the digital solutions they can use to deliver safe, efficient, and superb patient care. 

Diversity requires regeneration. As such, the time feels right to let someone else bring their views to the advisory board. This means I’ll be stepping down as chair of the board and passing the baton to someone new. There is nothing suspicious in this; I will always be a friend of Silver Buck as I believe in everything they stand for. I look forward to the Christmas party! But it feels like the right time to let somebody else have that space and bring a different unique view to the advisory board.  

The future has to be flexible, as we can see from Covid-19 and the current care crises. It is up to all of us to ensure we have the right mindset to be able to adapt to an uncertain future. That can only be achieved by smashing down every restrictive silo and allowing the rise of the collaborative sense-maker to take hold. Thank you, Silver Buck, for three great years of experiences.