Opinions

inDHC: co-creating the vision

Written by: Carmen Paputa Dutu, Digital Health and Care Assistant, the ALLIANCE

Creative workshop with members of the Innovation Network for Digital Health and Care (inDHC) helps set the group’s collective vision.

When we first started building a network dedicated to supporting third sector innovation in digital health and care, we knew it would challenging. However, we also believed it would be valuable to those working in this complex, ever-changing landscape. So we set off on this journey, having established a few aims to guide the network’s development:

  • Always promote co-production and person centred developments
  • Bring people and organisations together, removing siloed working and needlessly duplicated efforts
  • Create an environment that celebrates achievements big or small and values innovative approaches

Our initial stabs at making this happen were online and by making resources available, we expected people would come to us. After all, in such an extremely diverse field, it’s always useful to have someone pointing us in the right direction from time to time.

However, as it often happens, time and resource were a challenge. Driving and maintaining engagement is a time consuming task, as is incorporating new ways of collaborative working and getting used to new platforms. As time is a luxury many of us struggle with and engagement wasn’t ramping up at the pace we initially envisioned, we thought this would be a good opportunity to try something different. To quote Fiona McKenzie, who spoke at our Annual Conference last month: “failures can only be called failures if you don’t learn from them.”

So for our second attempt at kickstarting this network, we brought a number of our inDHC members together and set them with the following challenge: imagine it’s 2020 and this network has accomplished its aims; how did we get there?

I see this approach, developed with the invaluable help of Dr Tammy Watchorn (from NHS National Services Scotland), as a way of reverse-engineering success. What you see at the top of this article is our members’ vision, presented in a quick and easy to understand format. During the 2-hour workshop, participants identified several elements that will be core to the network’s success: clear aims and objectives, a flexible roadmap, strategic oversight and a communications strategy, to mention a few. Challenges, such as the brilliantly evocative “shark of doom” (lack of time) and “bridge of sighs” (link between statutory and third sectors), were also acknowledged.

So our commitment now, from the ALLIANCE DHC team, is to engage with you to clarify what the inDHC aims and objectives are and build the roadmap that will get us to this vision.

Our asks are:

  • To current inDHC members: what do you think of the above model? Are the current network objectives still relevant? Is it something entirely different that you need from us? Let us know!
  • To prospective members: why not join the conversation? Even if you’re unsure about joining the network, let us know what you think or if there’s ways we could make this more relevant to you.

Our next engagement opportunity is on the 4th of September 2018 in Edinburgh. It’s an event on Implementing the Digital Health and Care Strategy across the third sector and is being run in partnership with SCVO, CCPS and VHS. We’ll discuss the next steps for implementing the Strategy and discuss what your organisation can do to ensure successful delivery.

So save the date and join us there to shape the future of Scotland’s digital health and care.

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