Blog 1: Kayleigh Barnett – TEDxNHS

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Nov 05 2019 Blogs

On the Friday, 4 October I was fortunate enough to attend TEDxNHS at Indigo at the O2. I was expecting a thought provoking and boundary challenging day and boy did it deliver!

East London Foundation Trust choir opened the day by performing a rap, with beat boxing and choral backing, about person centred care and shared decision making (subjects close to our hearts here at AQuA). This set the tone for the rest of the day perfectly- a different way of looking at things with plenty of positive challenge.

Tweet Credit: @paulhcomms

The first speaker was Yusuf Yousuf with his talk entitled ‘inspiration is everywhere in the NHS- You just need to know where to find it’. This was the first real signal that the day was going to be different to anything I had experienced at an NHS conference before. This was an ex porter and current health care assistant sharing his story. This isn’t the kind of speaker we get to hear from. Normally we hear from senior staff members only, but Yusuf’s story was so powerful and further cemented my belief that we should be hearing stories from ALL of our colleagues to inspire us, not just the ones who have reached a certain level of seniority. First full session of the day and the room was in tears already as Yusuf detailed his colleague’s experience of carrying a deceased child in his arms to the mortuary, as the parents had begged that their child not be put in the mortuary trolley.

Photo credit: @engagevisually


Yusuf then talked about how we should be working across job roles and titles to improve our services, and finished by telling us that inspiration was very likely to come from the people around us rather than above us, and we should seek it out, rather than waiting for senior leaders to tell us about it.

Next up was Dr Sammy Batt-Rawden who shared the story of her son Joshua aka ‘the boy who lived’ and how the care her family received from the NHS helped to re-ignite her empathy. Sammy talked about the three pillars of burnout, one of these being the loss of empathy. She also talked about moral injury, which can be likened to ‘death by a thousand cuts’.

Tweet credit: @sbattrawden

Sammy talked the room through a method for really checking people are ok, called the ‘double tap’. First tap is asking if someone is ok. Second tap is saying “are you sure?” “Would you tell me if you weren’t? Because you just don’t seem like yourself lately…“.
Then, ask again in a few days. I shall be trying this out next time I feel like someone needs a bit of extra support.

Sammy was followed by Jen Gilroy-Cheetham who talked about her patient experience on two separate wards and how the difference between them affected how safe she felt. Jen compared healthcare workers to actors on a stage- when we have the right staffing and support, everyone knows their roles and are able to complete them then the ‘play’ goes smoothly and the audience (our patients) feel safe. However when this is not the case it is like “being on stage, with no script, no rehearsal and several actors down“. Jen really made the room think about how our everyday reality impacts on patients feeling of safety.


Tweet Credit: @rachelA00LandD

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