AHSN Symposium

23rd October 2019 - By

On Wednesday 17th October, the AHSN NENC landed at the Newcastle Falcons Rugby club for the second annual Symposium, and what a day it was!


Having only been part of the AHSN NENC team for a couple of months, this was my first symposium and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Managed by the wonderful Michelle (@MichelleWaugh11), the agenda for the day looked pretty intimidating if I’m being honest. Designed to bring together the core team, contractors, partners and supporters the day promised to provide program updates, news and a chance to network and had an agenda full of topics that I really didn’t know anything about. Despite the slight fear of being totally out of my depth, I was really looking forward to the opportunity to hear from other workstreams, understanding the work of the AHSN NENC overall.


What became very clear, very quickly (after a swift coffee and a cheeky biscuit), was the breadth of work the AHSN NENC carry out, and the real impact that this work has on a local, regional and national scale. From gaining a much better understanding of the metrics, measures and reports that we as an organisation manage (thanks Beth!), to hearing about the range of health programmes that we coordinate and operate, it offered a brief but worthwhile insight into all of the cogs that make the AHSN NENC machine work so brilliantly.


The highlight of the day had to be the Quality Improvement T-shirt Folding extravaganza, where we all had to learn a rather fantastic way of folding t-shirts (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kMzFASPAQc ) which acted as a really great vehicle to help us all understand the process, and fundamental need, to continue working on Quality Improvement as a work programme, but also as individuals and teams – we can always improve, and we should be actively seeking out ways to do this, which brings us quite nicely to the Economic Growth workshop.


As the final session of the day, Russ (@Strawbs04) brought everyone together to work on a challenge area* within the Economic Growth program. The group was reshuffled into teams that had representation from across the organisation – and everyone brought something to the table. By bringing different ideas, existing knowledge, and experiences each team explored the challenge from a different angle and as a result, the takeaways were incredibly varied, leaving lots to think about! The task made it very clear that there is a lot to be gained from cross working – we can sometimes get caught in our silo’s when your focus is one project it can be difficult to see where engaging with another project or team could add value. Much like the principles of Quality Improvement, we can learn a lot from each other – it’s not always about charging forwards, improvement, and successes, can come from looking more broadly and engaging with the other.


Finally, a huge shout out to everyone that played a part in the Symposium, it was a brilliant way to bring together all the parts of AHSN NENC and gave a lot to think about how we can best support each other to ensure we’re making the most of the fantastic network of knowledge and expertise that exists within the AHSN NENC.


If you’d like to find out how you can engage with the fab work of the AHSN NENC, or think that we may be able to offer you support, please complete the contact form here https://healthinnovationnenc.org.uk/get-in-touch/


*Top Secret Challenge, so sorry for the vague details!