Weeknote: 20 to 24 July 2020

Bike leaning against a wooden fence, in the distance
Sunday morning bike ride around Harewood

What inspired me this week?

  • 97 people joining our Product Development show and tell on Teams. I think that’s a record! There were great presentations about the coronavirus content toolkit, and a change to the NHS App to improve the user experience when there are temporary glitches in connecting to GP systems.
  • Catching up with Katy, who leads design and research at the Home Office. She shared something she’s been working on, which looks really promising and which I might be able to mirror in my organisation.

How did I uphold the NHS Constitution?

  • I gave feedback on some great work on our service catalogue, reflecting that even if it’s an internal tool, it should use words as if patients and the public were with us in the room. That means cutting out any jargon – language is not inclusive if people have to ask what on earth we’re talking about. It also means thinking carefully about how we frame the relationship between patients and services. If we get this right, I really believe it could be a powerful force for making digital services that uphold people’s dignity and respect.

What did I do to understand the barriers to accessing our services?

  • I had a couple of meetings – both initiated by colleagues who care deeply about this stuff – one about patient and public involvement, and the other to discuss steps that we can take to make a part of our organisation more inclusive.

What do I need to take care of?

  • A decision didn’t go the way my colleagues and I had hoped, and frustratingly, we don’t yet know the reason why. I’m reserving judgement until I know more context.
  • I’m struggling to write down some stuff about how we operate. It’s clear in my own head, but that’s no use until I can get other people to the same understanding.
  • Possibly related: my working-from-home calendar has turned into an annoying Tetris with lots of little gaps, but few big blocks of time to do work that requires prolonged concentration. I’ve booked myself some of those blocks, which I will try to keep intact, even if it means moving them about to make way for meetings that need to happen at specific times.

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