Reflections: 18 Months in at KGH

When I started as Chief Digital Information Officer at Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, I committed to myself to write some reflections every 6 months, influenced heavily by the reflective discipline shown by my ex-NHS Digital colleague Matt Edgar.

Although I’m pretty-reliable at producing my weeknotes, this is an opportunity to take a longer look back.

L-R, T-B: Exec Black Lives Matters Videos, Clinical Trainee and Trainer Awards Event, Bespoke Masks, Saying Goodbye to the Director of Finance, Visit to Princess Alexander Trust, KGH Thank You Award for the Digital Team, Thank you cream tea, Coding Team HSJ Award, Conversations with Leanne about Digital and nursing

I’m going to using the same structure as used for my reflections at 12 months.

Things I’ve Learnt?

  1. I’ve found my voice on the Board. It’s taken me some time to feel qualified and able to express myself fully at Board meetings in particular, but in this last six months I’ve noticed I’ve contributed more to the meetings and felt more confident to do so. I think much of that is to do having much deeper grasp of what is going on, and a greater confidence gained from delivery credibility. The challenge for future roles/situations to myself is to be able express myself earlier before those things are in place.
David Hall model for change — moving to ‘moonshot’ thinking

What has gone well?

  1. My team are flying. Every week when I write my weeknotes, I see another week where my team have done amazing things. All the posts in my leadership structure are now in place, with the final gap filled by Christian joining the team as Head of Coding. A few years ago I read something that said something along the lines of you know when you have a good team when there’s less of you asking them to do things — “the pull”, and more of them driving things forward and saying ‘let’s do this! ‘— “the push”, which I’m certainly experiencing. I’m even more proud of them to have developed this team cohesion when we haven’t spent a single moment all together physically. Furthermore, those good people have recruited more good people, and we’ve been able to roll off all of the contract help we had on the EPR programme and it was done with no drama. My hope is that staff in the digital portfolio feel more positive about what we’re doing and are more aware of where we’re going compared to 12 months ago.

What have I struggled with?

  1. Those Fires (again). At the 12 month reflection I talked about the fires that kept on burning and we’ve still had some. Our network has seen incremental improvement, but we’ve still had some wobbles. We have an intranet that is shortly going out of support. We still have a handful of machines not converted to Windows 10. We’ve made so much progress and delivered so many new things that it still hurts a lot when something fundamental goes wrong.

What have I discovered about myself?

  1. My role as an interpreter of models. I read a lot of blogs, books and consume a lot of podcasts and try to absorb a lot of information. On my holiday in July I read Matthew Syed’s Rebel Ideas and produced a summary for our exec team to discuss (I wrote about it in my weeknotes). This led to a good discussion about how to take some of the thinking forward. I realise that for a lot of my life I’ve been doing this, either by producing summaries of books or by creating sketchnotes, but I’ve not thought about it as explicit role I can take in a team before.

What are the things I have appreciated?

  1. Stuff during lockdown. During the lockdown period I kept a log of things that I was appreciating from a personal point of view. I summarised this in a blog in September.

Update on some things I committed to do at the 12-month point:

  • Getting the Digital Leadership Team Humming. I’m confident that this has been achieved. I’m so proud of them and can’t wait to see what brilliant things they’ll do next.

What will I work on over the next 6 months?

  • Contributing to the Group Digital Strategy. This will be a key piece of work as part of the overall Group strategy and there’s loads of great potential to work in this way.

Husband. Dad to 3 smashing lads. Cub Leader. MAMIL. Group CDIO for Northampton and Kettering Hospitals. Ex NHS Digital. Views own. Always learning.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store