This is my last blog before the Christmas and New Year break. I will be having a few days off. Monday began at the West End Donor Centre with a number of 1:1s and a conversation with our internal auditor about risk management. On Monday we also kicked off a partnership with Tinder, the dating app (so I am told!). It is too soon to tell how effective this has been but the idea is that if you swipe on the photos of some famous celebrities you are presented with a prompt about organ donation. It certainly created a lot of positive media attention.
Tuesday was again at the West End with a meeting on performance Management. Wednesday was in Watford and I spent the day with each of the Directors and their teams discussing performance on a team by team basis. We also had our monthly review of the progress of the Transformation Programme. Headline was that a great deal of progress has been made and much credit to Denise Dourado and her team who work with people across the organisation to ensure that our projects deliver.
Thursday and Friday have been days off.
One of the things I have also been talking about with colleagues this last couple of weeks is how we get more widespread interest in the shortage of Black and Asian donors. We have made a couple of You Tube films recently which may be worth a watch. This is me and Orin Lewis from the Afro Caribbean Leukaemia Trust here and this is George the Poet, telling the inspiring Human Story .
I tweeted the film of me and Orin donating and got no retweets. I tweeted a few things on the Tinder story and got many re-tweets. Either I am profoundly un-photogenic (which I accept may be true!) or, more seriously there is an unwillingness to tell and share stories about Black and Asian issues.
Bottom line is that Black and Asian people are not getting the health outcomes they deserve. The answer lies in more donors from those communities. Next year this is something I want to do more work on. Serious question – if you have thoughts on what you can do to help solve this problem then let me know.
We go into next year in a good position as a team. Blood and tissue stocks are stronger than last year and organ donation is picking up over the last few months, albeit still much work to do there. Our IT projects are doing well and our planned data room moves and desktop pilots are on track. Digital services within the health sector more widely are also on the march. I don’t doubt that the wider NHS has a challenging year ahead but we are well placed to support hospitals and patients.
Thank you for everything you have done this year, have a great Christmas and Happy New Year. I’ll see you next year.