A few months on from Digital Health Summer Schools, some of the NHS Digital bursary holders have reflected on their experience of the event.
NHS Digital provided bursaries to 20 women from ethnic minority groups to attend Summer Schools in York in July 2022.
The event provided aspiring leaders with the opportunity to engage in rewarding education, networking, and best practice exchange while learning from the very best digital and healthcare leaders including Tim Ferris, Simon Bolton, Sonia Patel and the Shuri team.
Presentations and interactive workshops covered the future of the digital profession, the role of the ICS and the use of data and digital tools to improve and manage the health of citizens.
Below you can hear some testimonials from Star Tshabalala, Amanda Francis, Tayo Iloh, and Rebecca Mansoor, who attended the event.
“I was filled with excitement at the prospect of attending. At the event there were many opportunities to meet with other Clinical Informaticians including several people from NHS Digital. Digital leaders were challenged to address health inequalities and variations in the digital capabilities and experiences of both staff and patients that are determined by where a person lives or works. As a Shuri Network Nurse Fellow, it was a privilege to witness the great work being done by both members and allies in giving women from ethnic minority groups an opportunity to explore the digital world.”
“It was great to meet so many new and interesting people all passionate about the future of the NHS and improving its services by digitisation. The keynote discussions were tremendously informative, and I was encouraged by the attention given to managing convergence and developing digital skills and digital capabilities while transforming the workforce. The sessions made me realise how much knowledge and learning is available via the Shuri Network. It was both uplifting and rewarding to learn that inequalities in the workforce are being addressed and schemes organised to redress the balance.”
“It was an incredible opportunity to gain top-notch knowledge and guidance from industry leaders. It was a great platform to learn about various aspects of digital health trends, challenges and new ways of working within the system, Overall, it was a wonderful experience. I had a great time, met some interesting individuals, and developed some productive relationships. Even though it was a challenging, thought-provoking conference, I would still highly recommend it to colleagues looking to attend in the future.”
“The summer school is the first in-person event I have been to in a long time because of the pandemic. I was slightly apprehensive but didn’t have to worry as the whole programme was setup to help people feel comfortable and make meaningful professional contacts. I hope to keep in touch with some of the people I met and use these contacts to further relationships between NHS Digital and the frontline NHS. There was so much passion and enthusiasm for digital initiatives within healthcare, and I am sure that networking events such as these contribute to improvements and enhancements in patient care.”
Reflecting on the event, NHS Digital’s interim chief medical officer and chair of the Shuri Network, Shera Chok, said: “This was the most diverse audience in the Summer School history. There was a real buzz and energy from having aspiring digital leaders from different backgrounds at the conference as they are the future of digital health in the NHS and care. It was a great success and we hope to repeat the bursary programme next year.”