If you’ve made changes to your NHS service, tell your story

Thursday, April 02, 2020 |
Introducing the newest member of the team, Nic Vovk, our Quality Manager, as she explains how NHS staff, under pressure, pull together in the patient interest...

Having worked in the NHS for many years, I always knew leaving would be such a difficult choice to make personally. I love our NHS.

I worked within the pharmacy department, most recently as an innovation lead, and have witnessed pharmacies’ growth into key clinical areas with such joy. A few years ago, the pharmacy staff wouldn’t have left a dispensary. Now they are part of the multidisciplinary team. Taking part in ward rounds, responsible for drug histories, running patient clinics and prescribing medicines to name but a few day-to-day tasks.

Being part of the wider ward team is special; they become your family, the people you turn up to support every day. I feel exceptionally proud to have been a part of the NHS for so long, from starting as a student to leading on key change projects, I loved it all.

Roll forward a matter of months, and we face COVID-19. In fact, my first official day meeting the rest of the BOB team as a colleague (I’m a remote worker based in Yorkshire) was in the midst of change and the rumblings of BOB’s efforts to support the NHS. Italy was beginning lockdown, and we knew the UK would be a matter of weeks behind.

So, what could we do? That was the question on the whole BOB team’s mind from the get-go. There was no umming and ahhing. The team knew we had to do something to help and fast. After some quick-fire planning and consultations with people in the NHS, and an overnight survey (results below), we agreed to refocus our efforts.

From that moment on, I had no doubts about the team I had just joined - we were completely aligned in our drive to find a way to help the NHS through its biggest ever challenge. We decided to refocus BOB.health into becoming the COVID-19 supportive online tool that the NHS desperately needs to help it through the coming months.

Some reading this post might think: “do NHS staff really have the time to be asked to tell stories?”  My answer is “they’ll find it, it’s just the way NHS staff are”.

The survey stats above do not surprise me. So many people working in the NHS strive for better processes even in times of crisis. It’s just how they function. I’ve been there, working extra hours to support the winter beds crisis, your specialist ward becoming medical overnight to meet capacity needs and being generally understaffed. Even then, we strived to support each other, learn more and develop our working practice.

This ethos also permeates the BOB.health way of working, and I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of my new team. The BOB squad has compressed a 12-week work programme into under three weeks.  It has been fantastic to watch communications, marketing, digital, and, project management experts, developers and designers swing into action and pull together.  At all times, they have listened to NHS staff to shape the tool and ensure it meets the needs of those at the frontline.

For BOB.health to be of use, we need NHS staff to tell their stories. We know so many of you are adapting to rapid changes at the minute. I’ve personally spoken to radiologists that are redeployed to ICU, GPs getting to grips with video appointments and exceptionally understaffed pharmacy teams having to manage logistics without their specialists to hand. Maternity, oncology and dialysis services, to name but a few have all adapted and will evolve over the weeks and months to come. Any change - whether large or small - will no doubt be impacting other organisations too. So let’s work together to share what you are experiencing. It might just help others in a similar situation to you in another part of the NHS.

BOB needs you - if you would like to get involved, either through creating a story, being a user tester, or helping us spread the word of BOB to your networks, please get in touch and visit www.bob.health.

Reach Nic Vovk, Quality Manager at BOB.health, on 07713 771 715 or nic.vovk@bob.health

Thank you once again for your dedication and the sacrifices we know you are making - you’re all our heroes 🦸‍🦸‍

1 comment

  1. Great reflections Nic. It’s great to have you on the BOB team, helping us ensure the tool meets NHS staff needs.