Tag Archives: Community

Teresa Chin – The isolated nurse who created a community of 60,000

Teresa felt isolated in her nursing career so took to Twitter to find nurses who felt the same. She is now the driving force behind @WeNurses, a modern day online nursing revolution with over 60,000 active followers sharing information, ideas, knowledge and support in order to improve patient care.

In healthcare circles Teresa Chin is a social media guru, a skilled communicator, connector of people and a conversation starter, that is as long as those conversations are 140 characters or less.

Back in the 1990s Teresa worked as a nurse in a variety of different roles before becoming an agency nurse and working predominantly in elderly care. She said, “Being an agency nurse allowed me to balance my work and life commitments very well. The downside is that you don’t belong to any single team and have to seek out your own on going training. I felt quite isolated, and after a rant at my husband Nick, he suggested connecting with other nurses via Twitter.” Teresa had not yet embraced social media and at first dismissed the idea feeling reluctant to communicate with people she had never met. However after continual encouragement from her husband she decided to set up an account.

She started out anonymously as @AgencyNurse in 2010 and began tweeting about articles she’d read or new things at work. This sparked conversations quite quickly which both surprised and encouraged Teresa. She then created the @WeNurses Twitter handle to organise Twitter discussions every other Thursday. Teresa soon realised that there were lots of nurses who really wanted to discuss various topics from employment rights to new policies in healthcare. It was clear to her that social media could be a great way to engage nurses, to start discussions and help the large nursing community. She then decided to create a website for WeNurses to become an online community that could share the Twitter discussions. This started in 2012. “From early on Nick helped me out with the technical side, setting up the social accounts, building websites, integrating Twitter into the sites and making sure all the conversations were captured.”

WeNurses quickly grew, attracting healthcare professionals from all over the world with the current count on Twitter being nearly 60,000 active followers. As a result of this success lots of people started contacting Teresa asking if she could initiate discussions on specific subjects and in 2014 Teresa decided to set up WeCommunities which is a virtual space that could connect, drive and support specific tweeting communities within the medical world. WeCommunities hold discussions on chosen subjects, then all of the information from the chats are logged and stored on the site. This bank of resources is constantly growing and amassing ground breaking information, links to sites, journal articles, infographics and other important information that otherwise would be hard to get hold of. There is also a ‘Twitterversity’ which is a step-by-step guide to using Twitter on a professional level. Teresa said, “One of the most interesting discussions we had was when Plymouth University contacted me and wanted to run a discussion around sustainability in the NHS, but they wanted to include their colleagues in Spain. So initially we had half the people tweeting in English and half tweeting in Spanish. Within about 15 minutes people we knew who were English started using Google Translate to tweet in Spanish and vice versa. It was great fun as well as a great discussion.” Ideas and opinions can now be shared outside the confines of a specific hospital and experts worldwide can feed into these global conversations, improving knowledge and shaping day-to-day practice.

WeNurses are coming up to their fifth birthday and although Teresa has had lots of amazing feedback, it has been a tough journey. What drives her she said, was that feeling of being disconnected from other nurses, which she didn’t want anybody else to feel. She was also determined to succeed after various bosses told her it couldn’t be done. As well as online support, Teresa has also had recognition from ‘very high up’. She came home one day to see a letter on the floor that had ‘On Her Majesty’s Service’ stamped at the top.  She thought it was a parking ticket. It wasn’t. It was an MBE nomination for her services to nursing. “This was such a honour and as soon as the community found out I was receiving an MBE, Twitter went mad.”

Around 50% of the population use social media, and Teresa’s goal is to get at least 50% of nurses using social media as a professional platform. Teresa may have started out trying to stay ahead of the ever evolving policies and training within the NHS, but she has inadvertently ended up amassing an army of professionals who are now fully embracing the power of social media and are redefining the way information is shared within the healthcare industry.

www.wecommunities.org

Neesha Gobin & Catsou Roberts – The artists injecting life, colour and meaning into sterile wards

This week’s #HealthcareHeroes are Neesha Gobin & Catsou Roberts. They are the inspired people behind Vital Arts. An organisation that is transforming our hospitals by delivering arts projects for the well-being of patients, staff and the wider hospital community. The team work in partnership with medical staff, artists and cultural organisations to devise and deliver therapeutic creative programmes – workshops, artist-in-residencies, exhibitions, installations and public art commissions – that support medical goals; enhance patient well-being; provide continual professional development opportunities for staff; and create stimulating and uplifting spaces for patients, staff and the wider hospital community.

A sterile labyrinth of corridors and clinical rooms void of personality make hospitals scary places to visit for the majority of people. Vital Arts are looking to change that experience by transforming spaces, engage patients and make hospitals a better environment for all.

Vital Arts deliver arts projects for the well-being of patients, families and staff. We meet Catsou Roberts, Director and Neesha Gobin, Arts Manager in a hospital that has three towers, the highest of which has 14 floors, with 675 beds, 110 wards and 26 operating theatres. This is a lot of space to fill with work by professional artists, and it is just one of the five hospitals that Vital Arts deal with.

Walking through the revolving doors at the entrance we are hit with a flood of colour in geometric shapes reaching up the walls on tiles designed by renowned artist Morag Myerscough. The space immediately feels brighter, more welcoming and a whole lot more interesting than any hospital we’ve ever been in. Neesha greets us at the entrance and explains, “Because this is the Women and Children’s entrance we wanted to create a space that is bright and welcoming and Morag’s work does just that.” Vital Arts, established 20 years ago, is charitably funded and raises money for all its projects. They set out to commission site-specific, permanent artwork that has a real engagement with the architectural space, creating something unique for each designated area.

We meet Catsou, who is waiting for us in the Children’s Imaging Department eager to show us the latest installation by Tatty Devine. “Tatty Devine make jewellery that blurs the boundaries between art and fashion so commissioning them to make their first work for an architectural context was exciting.” The installation includes thousands of individual acrylic pieces carefully arranged to create kaleidoscopic compositions that catch the light like only jewellery can. The installation includes thousands of individual acrylic pieces carefully arranged to create kaleidoscopic compositions that catch the light like only jewellery can. The numerous artworks commissioned by Vital Arts can be seen in the corridors, reception areas and importantly the treatment rooms breathing colour and life into an area that could otherwise be intimidating for children. Neesha says, “As soon as we put up the artwork, the staff were delighted and told me it was lovely to see how the space was transformed. They responded to the vibrancy of it, as did the patients and their families who enjoy its playfulness.”

Vital Arts are the link between the artist and everyone in the hospital. They work closely with clinicians, staff and patients to ensure the best outcomes. Catsou said, “It’s their space and they need to feel an affinity with the art, just as we aim to reach patients using the services who might not otherwise have access to contemporary art.”

The selected artists come and spend time in the hospitals giving them a greater understanding of how the patients and staff use the space. For example, Jacques Nimki, an artist commissioned by Vital Arts, went to the children’s A&E several times in the middle of the night to understand the energy of the environment before beginning his work. Neesha said, “We are always thinking about the demographics of who will be viewing the artwork, how and when they will be seeing it. We consider whether they will be walking through a corridor, sitting in a waiting room, lying down and looking at the ceiling, and so provide artwork to be seen in various ways.” We catch a lift up to another children’s area, where the space is vibrant, playful and brilliantly tailored for the audience. In the radiography rooms there is art set into the ceiling so patients receiving treatment have something to focus on when they have to lie still. On this site alone Vital Arts have nearly every floor covered, which is astonishing. One of the great things about the artwork is that you forget you’re in a hospital; the cold, sterile, empty corridors and rooms you associate with them are gone. Catsou explained, “Unlike museums that have opening times, this building is never emptied of possible viewers. The art is beaming from the hospital walls 24/7. I love the fact that at any time of the day someone is likely to be looking at a great work of art, and quite possibly, enjoying an eye-catching and mind-opening experience.”

As well as the art installations they also run a Patient Participation Programme which provides year-round opportunities for patients to engage with music, dance, poetry, and other arts. One particular programme with the London Symphony Orchestra enabled singers and musicians to perform to patients. In the neonatal ward for example, the musicians would sing lullabies to babies in incubators. Neesha said, “The nurses noticed the babies’ heart rates dropping, their oxygen rates rising and the parents feeling more relaxed. For just a moment or two, a little calm is brought into their lives, and it makes a noticeable difference.” This participation programme is partly funded by the sale of limited edition works which Vital Arts produces with some of the artists—often as a result of an artist-in-residency—allowing the team to continue delivering new ways of patient interaction. Another successful project involved Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Contemporary Dance, who encourage movement in patients. Neesha said, “One visiting daughter had not seen her mother engage in any form of activity since her admission into hospital. Yet on this occasion, her mother was singing and clapping along to the music played by the dance artists and both mother and daughter were visibly uplifted.”

Catsou added, “Our priority is to assist clinical aims and enhance the hospital environment, and this is an effective way to do that—as attested by our physio colleagues, and supported in many recent studies on arts in healthcare.” It’s clear to see the team are passionate about what they do. Catsou says, “I want to raise the standard of what art can be in hospitals.” They also want to act as a beacon encouraging other hospitals to be courageous, ambitious and discover new artists—not to just reach for off-the-shelf solutions by recycling artists who have already made work in hospitals. They are focused on delivering innovative projects, constantly pushing themselves and the artists to create work that is fresh, interesting and meaningful.

There are hospitals around the world with empty walls, harshly lit clinical wards and intimidating operating theatres. They are places of work for professionals worldwide and are visited by millions of patients each year. What Vital Arts have done is special, it’s visionary, it opens artwork to a new audience that cleverly responds to the space it occupies and improves the patient experience within. Vital Arts have shown how some imagination can transform hospitals, making them less frightening and more uplifting. The team aren’t motivated by money, rather, they are interested in how they can offer life-changing encounters with significant contemporary art. What they do is create unique spaces which have a positive impact on everyone who spends time there.

www.vitalarts.org.uk

Learn more about the #HealthcareHeroes at: www.healthcare-heroes.com

Born to Thrive

Good Business, by David Hunt

Twelve months ago I was asked if instead of a festive greetings card, could we try and raise enough money to send 10 children to school in Africa. Of course, I was delighted to do something more meaningful than cards. This time of year can inspire the the very best from our society, and perhaps now we need it more than ever. 

Havas Lynx and Born To Thrive

Once again the team exceed my expectations, combining their passion & expertise to fund the education of 42 children, in just 2 weeks. They have since brought the total to 67 children. #High5ives

It should have come as no surprise to me, that repeating last year’s feat was not enough. Why fund individuals’ education, when you can build a school? This year, in support of Born To Thrive, we will build classrooms. How many? The target is one, but I certainly won’t be betting against a few more. #LYNXLife

I’m often asked about how hard it is to be CEO of Havas Lynx? Managing 200+ diverse experts? Preserving 30 years values & culture? And the answer is simple – it isn’t, at all. I have the best job in the world. I work alongside the most amazing people, doing amazing things. I don’t inspire them, they inspire me.

It is at this time of year that we receive gifts from our generous suppliers and contractors, instead this year please donate to https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/havaslynx2 #BornToThrive

#ChangeForGood

Almost three years ago I attended my first Havas Health Global Leadership Meeting. The theme was, “Change Faster”. It was a brilliant meeting, incredibly inspiring and a fantastic first taste of the network. It entirely validated our decision to join, and had me ready to change the world.

Except, on returning to Havas Lynx, whilst I was now beset on change, I had no idea where to start. On the 6th of October, I’ll be hosting the Havas Health Global Leadership Meeting in Miami, with Cris Morton. So that delegates can avoid similar confusion, the theme this year is very clear: #ChangeForGood.

Since that first meeting in January 2013, Havas Lynx has gone from strength-to-strength; building capabilities, winning awards, hitting targets and producing work that makes a real difference. At the heart of this success is an agile agency culture. We’re responding to the needs of the market, the needs of patients and healthcare professionals and the needs of our team.

I’m sure that managing an agency has never been easy. Certainly Mad Men provides an indication of the trials and tribulations of a previous – and less moral – era. But today, agencies must blend extreme diversity, from traditional creatives to engineers and mathematicians. Moreover, they then need experienced heads alongside digital natives who are ready to turn the working world upside down. And all this against increasing austerity, fiscal pressure and ambitions established in a golden age.

Changes to the market have been as profound as those within our agencies. We’ve moved from manufacturing brands to earning them, as we’ve witnessed the profound impact of our behaviour. We’ve moved from engaging consumers to prosumers, as we start to understand social dynamics. We’ve started to use creativity to maximise outcomes, and not points of sale.

Healthcare professionals and patients have also changed significantly, in both their behaviours and their expectations. Agencies are challenged to build relationships through new means, and in new ways. The format of the idea can now be as important as the idea itself.

We’re incredibly lucky. The world is amazing. Fuelled by technology, it changes every day; it’s fascinating, interesting and challenging, in equal measure. Our success is born from changing faster
GLM Sporty Blog Image (2)

Millennials, who’d have them?

Building an agency, by David Hunt

Born in 1980, I’m a borderline Millennial depending on your preferred interpretation. Regardless, I can still feel like an old man when it comes to Millennial engagement in the work place, which is why I’m so proud of our retention rate. Many agencies struggle to retain bright, ambitious talent, whereas at Havas Lynx, we prosper.

We believe Millennials want to make a difference and at Havas Lynx, we are committed to doing just that. We focus on improving patient outcomes; to drive commercial success for our partners. But our efforts don’t end with the client budget, we go much further. In 2015, we’ve already funded the education of 42 children in Africa.

We believe that Millennials want to exist within a vibrant community. #LYNXLife was launched to preserve and enhance our culture. It includes a tea lady, breakfast club and Summer Fun day offline, and Facebook and Instagram, online. To get involved, join us by following #LYNXLife.

Each year we conduct an internal survey.  Of 200+ participants 30 %  said professional development was their key priority. Many people challenge our investment in #LXAcademy accusing it of being excessive but I’d challenge us to spend more.

We try our best to shun excessive structure and hierarchy. Yes, the ultimate decision resides with the senior team but you won’t find us hiding in an office. To my knowledge, no-one at either Havas Lynx, or formerly Creative Lynx, has had their own office, and it’s my intention to maintain this record.

It’s up for debate how many of these principles are specific to Millennials and to me, it simply sounds like good business. But then again, maybe that’s just the Millennial in me.

Campervan

Every week should be Carers Week

Following on from Carers Week 2015, we reflect on the need to do more to support caregivers and introduce our study into the holistic needs of those who care for people with long-term conditions.

‘Being a carer in 2015 can be incredibly tough, taking a huge toll on health and mental wellbeing, finances and relationships. More and more people are taking on a caring role – 10.6 million over the course of this Parliament. So getting it right for carers has never been more imperative. Carers can’t carry on doing this alone.’

– Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK.

Last week was Carers Week in the UK, an annual campaign that raises awareness of caring, highlights the challenges that carers face, and recognises the contribution that carers make to families and communities throughout the UK.

All week, at events and via the internet and broadcast media, stories of the commitment and devotion of carers have been shared. As was the case at Local Solutionsannual information event at St. George’s Hall in Liverpool on Friday, which brought together charities and organisations to showcase the services available to carers. It was wonderful to see so many people coming together in support of the caring community, and it raised reflection on whether pharma does enough to support carers.

There are nearly seven million people in the UK who are carers, a figure that is on the rise; last week it was reported that three in five of us will be carers at some point in our lives. This isn’t a UK-specific problem: the World Health Organisation estimates a soaring demand for carers the world over, with needs rising by as much as 400% over coming decades in some developing countries.

The importance of the efforts of carers cannot be underestimated. To many patients, they are a lifeline; without carers, many simply couldn’t manage. To the British economy, they’re indispensible, saving the public an estimated 119 billion pounds a year.

Whilst the pharma industry is not immune to the importance of carers, it’s rare to find pharma-initiated interventions that target carers.

Why should pharma help?

Often the question is raised of which professionals are the gatekeepers to patient care, but arguably no one professional could be more important to the success of patient outcomes than the person caring for them every single day. Ensuring their health and wellbeing can drive greater treatment success. It’s also worth noting that carers are often ‘patients’ themselves; in a 2012 survey of 3,500 carers, 53% said they have suffered a long-term condition or illness, whilst 39% had put off medical treatment due to caring responsibilities.

Additionally, this is a group of people whose need for support is greater than ever. In spite of the indisputable fiscal and social value, cuts to financial support in recent years (such as the ‘spare room tax’ and the introduction of personal independence payment) have put carers under increasing pressure. Reports on carer wellbeing indicate that this is a strain they could well do without. Carers UK has recently published research showing that 82% of carers feel that looking after a disabled or older relative or friend has had a negative impact on their health.

The statistics are both alarming and compelling, but to uncover the full story and better understand what can be done to help we need to speak to people. It’s with this in mind that, over the coming months, we’ll be talking to carers about their needs and what impact caring for a person with a long-term condition has on their lives. These interviews will form part of a quantitative study to be included in our autumn white paper later in the year.

Pillars

What makes Havas Lynx special?

The #LXAcademy, by David Hunt

“What is your point of difference?”, “Why should I work with you?”, or my personal favourite, “What makes Havas Lynx so special?” The answer is always the same – the people. But “people” does not just happen by chance. It takes investment, it takes values & it takes culture.

On the 30th of April we launched #LXAcademy 2015 at Manchester Town Hall. It was an awesome event, which reflected our commitment to, and investment in, skills development. Lucy May was inspiring as she discussed the opportunities for progressive change in healthcare with a commitment to a more holistic patient journey, fuelled by creativity. Dave Birss then followed with some phenomenal case studies that were deconstructed to their core, as we explored the discipline behind creativity. Dave beautifully illustrated the power of ideas to drive change across society. However, the greatest point of inspiration was the collective passion & expertise of the Havas Lynx community, with over two-hundred experts committed to Helpful Change in healthcare.

Over the next six months there will be over one-hundred sessions, covering Agency Fundamentals, through to Core Expertise and Thought Leadership. Not everyone in an agency has an eye for design, not everyone can use PowerPoint, and not everyone has a quality first approach – they should. The curriculum for Agency Fundamentals seeks to change this. Numerous articles and research papers discuss the most likely reason an agency would be sacked, and it’s almost always a lack of quality, attention to detail, or put another way – the fundamentals. The details count, and they are a priority for Havas Lynx.

I’d like to be a better CEO, and I’m sure that I am not alone in wanting to be better at the day job. We’ll be tackling payors and market access, content designed for a more social world, and the account teams will spend time with a restaurant manager to discuss silver service. It’s amazing the amount agencies spend on recruitment and salaries, and then neglect training and development.

The Thought Leadership programme will include discussing teamwork and marginal gains in a Formula One pit-lane, how an NHS Trust uses twitter to manage patient well-being and how the police negotiate with terrorists. All of the sessions are made available on YouTube, with last year’s #LXAcademy attracting 100,000 views, to further validate the quality.

Like all things the success of the #LXAcademy 2015 will be based on the people, the more they put in the more they will get out. As always, I’m happy backing the Havas Lynx community.