Weeknote: 3 to 4 November 2022

A breakfast table with a white tablecloth in a bay window. Through the leaded lights of the window, a lake and countryside
Monday to Wednesday on leave visiting the Lake District. Luxurious view of Windermere from our Arts and Crafts accommodation

What did I enjoy?

Returning to work on Thursday to see the progress that colleagues had made while I was away. It’s a somewhat guilty pleasure because I know it was a tough five-day week for many people, so I tried not to be too smug about swanning in with only two days to go. The timelines are challenging, but coming back to work after a few days off made me optimistic about the chances of creating good conditions for digital delivery in the new NHS England.

What was hard?

I made the dfficult decision to postpone my participation in two days of training that I was due to attend next week. Difficult because learning is important, and I know I should set a good example to my colleagues about prioritising personal development. What swung it for me was thinking about the learning goal I have set for myself for this course, and realising that I would make more progress towards that goal by being in the office on what are likely to be two important days for our directorate. I sent my apologies to the course organisers, who have offered me options to defer to a later date.

What connections did I make?

On Thursday evening, we had the first meeting of the board designate for 54North Homes, a new housing association due to be created by the merger of Leeds & Yorkshire and York housing associations. Outside my NHS work, I have been a non-executive board member at Leeds & Yorkshire for a couple of years now, and I’m pleased to be able to continue to make a contribution to the new organisation, which will operate as part of the bigger Karbon Homes group. Although I had met some of the York and Karbon teams at an early stage in the merger process, this was our first proper meeting since being appointed to the new board. We talked about the importance of diversity and inclusion in the new organisation, and the pressures facing our customers in the cost of living crisis this winter. The merger sets us up well to weather the challenges that are facing all social housing providers.

What do I need to take care of?

I can’t afford to get too distracted by the goings on in the world of social media, but…

… having been a user of the open source, interoperable Mastodon service for a few years now, and pretty much cross-posted all my content from there to Twitter since 2019, I have really enjoyed seeing friends making the move across. I’ve spent a little time this weekend coaching a few people to get set up, and raised a Github issue based on a usability problem a couple of them encountered. At some point I’ll write some more about why everyone in digital health should be willing the fediverse to succeed. For now, just a nudge to say hello. I’m @mattedgar@mastodon.me.uk.

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