#pddigital16 & a free prize draw

There is a special event happening today and tomorrow in Leeds and through the power of Twitter you can join in too. People Drive Digital #ppdigital16 is a festival of makers, doers, leaders and citizens in digital health and care organised by a great team including Victoria Betton, Anne Cooper and Roz Davies. The festival is a fabulous example of bringing people together to collaborate, innovate and share learning. Along with the organisers I believe that diverse connections and getting citizens, practitioners, developers, designers, academics and others together can be a powerful way of making good things happen.

#pddigital16 starts at 6.00 with a debate exploring “So what is frugal innovation and how is it relevant to people driving digital innovation in health and care?” with @JaideepPrabhu and @mentalsnapp You can follow the live stream here

@Anniecoops has posted thoughts ahead of the debate “What does ‘frugal’ mean to you?”

Have a look at the full programme here

One of the delightful elements of #pddigital16 is the invitation for everyone to bring a gift to share. Whilst I cannot be at the event in person I did want to share a gift and we are offering five copies of the Click Guide to Dementia eBook in a free prize draw. Open to everyone attending in person or participating online just tweet to me @shirleyayres “#pddigital16 Click Guide to Dementia prize draw”. Five winners will be selected at random on Wednesday 30th November 2016. I will contact the winners to confirm email addresses by the 2nd December.

Whilst there are many fantastic digital resources available across the whole spectrum of health and social care they are often unknown to those who need them most. The Click Guide to Dementia brings together more than a hundred of the most useful digital resources, with an overview and explanations as well as hyperlinks to websites, blogs, facebook pages and twitter feeds. Topics covered in the Guide range from information, advocacy and carer support through to specialist dementia shops and services.

The guide is a unique and independent one stop directory for people using care services, living with dementia, their families, carers and professionals. You can find out more about the Click Guide to Dementia here

We have received great feedback about the Guide:

Last year at #pddigital15 we asked people what health and wellbeing apps they used and would recommend. You may be surprised at some of the responses here!

I hope everyone enjoys the experience as much as I did last year. I strongly recommend following the hashtag #pddigital16 and joining in the conversations.

 

The Value of Critical Friends

 

photo-for-blog-posts

(Picture Credit: Bill Ferriter)

One of the most challenging and enjoyable elements of my work is being commissioned to provide Critical Friend reviews. In the increasingly crowded social space it is even more important that organisations have a digital strategy which connects, speaks and listens to often diverse audiences. Every organisation needs to show how their engagement strategies are generating tangible results and impact through digital leadership and culture. Over the last few years we have been carrying out an increasing number of critical friend reviews for public, private and not for profit organisations.

A critical friend review is an external and uniquely independent opinion of an organisation’s positioning, strategy or initiatives. It comes from a perspective that is sympathetic to what the organisation is trying to achieve and reflects the context whilst identifying opportunities, likely challenges and pitfalls.

A Critical Friend review addresses these fundamental questions:

  • How is your organisation positioned now?
  • Where do you want to be?
  • How are you going to get there?
  • How are you showing that your work makes a difference and has an impact?

In answering these questions, the emphasis is on being honest and ‘telling it how it is’. We recognise that this can be difficult but to be effective a critical friend review must be unafraid to comment on where the chosen approach is unlikely to deliver the desired results and to suggest different approaches.

Why is this valuable now?

The simple reason is that we are in a challenging economic and political climate with rapidly changing expectations of how services will be delivered. Consequently, organisations must develop new and unprecedented ways of working. As senior managers frequently tell me “Our approach to digital transformation needs to be different from anything we have done before”. With fewer resources available, and with more riding on outcomes than ever before, organisations cannot afford to make mistakes in the way they respond to these challenges.  A critical friend review helps organisation prepare for navigating uncharted territory through market intelligence which has been gained over many years of working across the social sector.

I believe it is crucial for proposed approaches to be subjected to independent scrutiny. The feedback will not inevitably be negative: it will identify what is being done well and can highlight strengths and opportunities that may have been missed. A great deal of our work consists in recommending organisations, initiatives and resources which our clients may be unaware of – but which could greatly assist in the achievement of their objectives.

Successive governments have recognised the importance of critical friending for the public sector.  We draw on the ‘Critical Friend Framework’ published in 2004 which identifies three dimensions of critical friending: ‘inputs’ (looking at the skills and experience involved in a project), process and structure (considering the way in which projects are organised) and outcomes (evaluating what the organisation is aiming to achieve and prospects of success).

In acting as a critical friend, we are able to draw upon many years of working with adult and children’s services, health, housing, social enterprises, entrepreneurs, academics and charities. Our knowledge and expertise encompasses policy, research, marketing, communications and digital technology. This ‘width and depth’ – together with an ability to look at a situation from a range of different perspectives – is really an essential requirement of a critical friend. There is little value in being told what you already know!

What this means in practice is illustrated by a comment from one of our clients Barnwood Trust,

 “Embarking on a new website and a whole new approach to the way we were working, and on top of that a new brand for it all, was a big and sometimes daunting job. We spent a long time researching, planning and testing each of our ideas and concepts, making sure that we were developing something that people wanted and felt would be useful to them. It was during this process that we came across Shirley and her work as a critical friend.

“Shirley took on the role of critical friend for our new brand and website, You’re Welcome  and provided us with a completely different and invaluable perspective. Not only did Shirley provide a thought provoking report from which we have been able to develop and also strengthen our ideas but she also provided support throughout the review on the phone. It was extremely useful to talk our work through with someone with as much knowledge and experience as Shirley. To have a report at the end of it really helped with the work and how we developed it. Shirley was an absolute pleasure to work with and we will definitely be looking to draw from her skills and experience again in the future.”

Transformational change across the health, care and housing and social sectors now requires digital leadership, market intelligence and approaches which acknowledge the value of radical thinking. 

Expectations of more openness, transparency and accountability in publicly funded services along with the immediacy of social media in highlighting disconnects between the rhetoric and reality of how organisations present themselves makes the role of  a independent critical friend even more important.

I am often asked to comment on projects, websites, digital products and services but the response often needs more than a tweet (or two!). I am happy to discuss how a critical friend review could help your organisation. Please feel free to contact me. Shirley.Ayres@btinternet.com  @shirleyayres

Shirley is co-founder of the Connected Care Network which supports digital transformation and engagement using technology & social media for social good.

 

 

 

Update: Click Guide to #Dementia

Apologies if you have not been able to download the eBook in the past few days. We have had a few technical glitches with the site which are now resolved. This reminds me of both the joys and challenges of being a small start up in the digital space!

I  have been touched and excited by the interest and support for the Guide. since we launched (read the original post here) and we are now working on the next two Guides which we hope to launch soon.

You can buy the Guide here and I appreciate it can be a tough choice between the eBook at £4-99 which has clickable links and the Paperback at £8-99 (plus p&p) a valuable reference book. Or why not buy both!

A big thank you to everyone sharing and liking information about the Guide.

The Click Guide is self funded and has been produced by a very small group of professionals who believe passionately that technology can benefit all of our lives but only if information is accessible to enable people to make informed choices about how digital resources can enhance care and support.

An important reminder that the Terms and Conditions for using the Click Guide to Dementia eBook state that the Guide is for personal use and can only be downloaded on one device (laptop, iPad, Tablet or smartphone).

If you are an organisation who would like to support staff, service users and volunteers to benefit from online access to the Guide or a membership subscription service who wish to add our digital resources to your database please contact us to buy a licence which is available for a reasonable fee  dependent on the numbers who will be accessing the resources in the Guide.

For more information about buying a licence or for a digital copy of the Terms and Conditions of Use please contact Shirley@clickguide.co.uk 

 

 

Introducing the new Click Guide to Dementia: sharing resources from the digital world

It is my birthday today and what better way to celebrate than by launching our new Click Guide to Dementia. Whether you work in the public, private or not-for-profit sectors technology is transforming the way that people connect and services are delivered. Digital technology and social networks provide some of the most powerful tools available today for building a sense of belonging, support and sharing among groups of people with similar interests and concerns.

Digital technology is driving a revolution in care and the growing use of mobile devices, apps and social networks is becoming significant in enabling people to live more independent lives, irrespective of their health and care needs. Care in the digital age provides opportunities to reach out and support people in more exciting and radical ways. “In the digital age how can we easily keep track of the many resources available? The Click Guides are filling an information gap” Paul Taylor Innovation Coach Bromford Lab

A diagnosis of dementia can be scary for the individual, their family and friends. It helps that there are an increasing number of online resources which can make a difference by providing information, advice, support and specialist products and services. From blogs and tweetchats to personal support networks and life changing products the Click Guide to Dementia provides a unique perspective on the influencers, disruptors and innovators in the sector.

I feel privileged that Dr Shibley Rahman a dementia researcher and author I respect enormously has described The Click Guide to Dementia  which brings together more than a hundred of the most useful resources with hyperlinks to websites, blogs, facebook pages and twitter feeds as “a brilliant initiative”

The Click Guide to Dementia is available to buy as an eBook for £4.99 and a Paperback for £8.99 (plus p&p)

The Click Guide to Dementia is the first in a series of directories being developed to help people access and  enjoy the opportunities and benefits offered by the internet. To reflect the rapid growth of digital technology solutions intended to enhance care and support we are planning to update this Guide in April 2017.

If your organisation would like to be included in the next edition of the Click Guide to Dementia please provide evidence of your impact. We will be highlighting those organisations who have shown how they are making a difference to people’s lives and the lessons learned and shared from both success and failure.

Social media provides real time feedback and you could show evidence of impact in many ways including: hits on your website, testimonials, number of report downloads, likes and comments on your Facebook page, engagement on Twitter and in discussion forums. Please email your details to Shirley@clickguide.co.uk  with a link to the website and 100 word summary explaining why it should be included by 31st March 2017.

To keep informed about future publications, updated versions of the guides and other resources, why not sign up for our e-newsletter? Click Guides to Ageing Well, Digital Technology for Adult Social Care, Mental Health and Community Connections will be published over the next six months.

Find out how your organisation can subscribe to give staff, service users and volunteers online access to the Guide through the Click Guide to Dementia Update

 

 

 

 

 

Who is this mysterious tribe named “the elderly”?

I continue to puzzle at why “the elderly” is used with such abandon especially on social media and notably amongst health professionals and people working in the  technology industry. Our ageing population represent a victory for better nutrition, better housing, and the welfare state. People in later life offer wisdom, experience, perspective and a wide range of skill sets and capacities.

Why are we not embracing and utilising the wealth of knowledge and experience of older people to develop, deliver and support digital services rather than making assumptions?

So I thought I would ask Twitter about the mysterious “the elderly” tribe!

As I frequently comment “age is a statistical category not an identity. Strangely people aged sixty plus are not one homogeneous group, we are as varied as individuals in any other sector of the population and our different life experiences inform our perspectives as consumers. Older people may have similar needs physically but these do not erase life experiences, preferences and orientations.

A gentle reminder that baby boomers (generally considered to have been born between 1946 and 1964) have expectations and aspirations shaped by:

1953 Francis Crick and James Watson discovering the structure of DNA.

1963 Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his historic “I Have a Dream” speech

1993 work on the Human Genome Project started

1969 Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to set foot on the moon

1971 Launch of the Open University

1973 Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon is released

1998 Google founded

1998 Launch of Apple iMac

2001  Launch of Wikipedia and the first Apple iPod..

2004 Facebook is founded

2006 Twitter was created

Do feel free to vote in the Twitter poll and I will update this post when the results are ready In the meantime the search for “the elderly” tribe continues!

And just in case you have missed this!

 

 

 

 

 

How can digital technology help a person living with multiple sclerosis?

Such a simple, obvious and wise statement – it would be so exciting if every individual offered a personal health or care budget was able to access a digital care navigator. Sadly the social sector (including health, care and charities) have not yet managed to bridge the gap between the rhetoric of digital transformation and the everyday experiences and reality for citizens..

I was recently asked for advice about how digital technology could help  a person with late onset multiple sclerosis deteriorating rapidly. She loved crafts, needlework painting etc but is losing use of her hands.  She has a laptop but using the mouse is getting tricky.

It emphasised for me how important it is for people to be aware of, and able to access, online resources to support independent living and #ageingbetter so I thought it would be helpful to share resources.

It is definitely worth contacting AbilityNet a small and impressive UK charity helping disabled adults and children use computers and the internet by adapting and adjusting their technology. They provide a range of factsheets and advice and information services.

@AbilityNet run the inspiring @Tech4GoodAwards which celebrate the people and technology making the world a better place. 2016 finalists will be announced on the 8th June!

AbilityNet have been shortlisted as Digital Charity of the Year 2016 by Digital Leaders 100. The winners will be chosen by a public vote and you can vote for them now on the Digital Leaders website and help spread the message about the amazing way that technology can transform the lives of disabled and older people.

[Declaration of interest: I have a real fondness for small charities with a big vision who know how to be creative and deliver results with limited funds!]

A helpful post on using a computer if you have tremors

UCanDoIT is a charity that teaches IT skills to people with disabilities on a one to one basis in their own homes. @ucdit

Another site with useful information about technology and disability

(and I am sure there are many more to be added!)

Tips and tricks for folks with Multiple Sclerosis (Microsoft 365)

From gaming system to medical breakthrough: How Microsoft and Novartis created Assess MS

Touchscreens such as iPads are tactile, versatile and very simple to use and the apps make it easy to play accessible games, which help memory, agility and interaction. iPads can be used for all manner of activities such as games, apps, accessing websites and playing music and video.

However before buying any apps it is always worth reading the reviews, checking compatibility requirements with laptop/tablet being used  and whether the app is really free or being offered as a subscription model!

Some fun interactive apps

Pigment (free to download but with a Premium Access paid subscription) allows you to colour as you would on paper with actual colored pencils. Choose from 350+ hand curated, professionally drawn illustrations, 8 different kinds of pencils, markers and brushes, and an unlimited number of colors to choose from. Completed artwork can be friends and family.

Painterly £1.49) allows you to create beautiful evocative pictures even if you do not have advanced drawing skills or formal art training Allows for painting with more than 60 virtual brushes, as well as importing photos and then painting them

List of googled needlework apps for iPad (not my specialist area does anyone have any recommendations?)

Games

Imutt (free but charity will invite a donation) This game from the Dogs Trust allows users to look after an impossibly cute virtual rescue dog for five days. Perfect and no need to walk in bad weather!

FlowerGarden (free with further in-app purchases) allows you to pick virtual seeds, plant them, water them and watch them grow. This is especially significant for participants who used to enjoy growing plants and are missing their former gardens.

An honourable mention for the informative @AXSChat which runs the informative weekly #AXSchat discussing accessibility & inclusion in business on the web & beyond.

I have reached out to the Multiple Sclerosis charities for advice and will update this post  when I receive responses.

I met Paul Smyth Head of IT Accessibility at Barclays Bank recently and was very impressed by his thoughtful and measured approach to accessibility and inclusive technology. I recommend listening to his interview.

It is so obvious really that digital technology can make all the difference to the quality of life for people living with disabilities and why I believe it is so important to make #connectedcare a reality.

Obviously this post is only a snapshot of available resources (I am not a assitive technology specialist but I work with companies excited to use technology to improve their services).

And I am always very aware that what digital technology offers are endless possibilities to make person-focused care a reality. 

I welcome your thoughts about resources you have found helpful. please add to the comments section below or share with me via Twitter @shirleyayres

 

How social media can support #ConnectedCare

In these challenging times I believe we have a responsibility to show how the digital revolution which is impacting on all of our lives can bring people together to build and support more connected communities.

Care and support in the 21st century requires much more connected thinking across social services, health, housing, education, employment and the wider social sector. Technology and social media can facilitate this process. I am often puzzled when I see different sectors running events with similar themes on the same day and not making the connections which could avoid duplicating resources or reinventing wheels. It can so often seem that sectors are just talking to themselves rather than reaching out and creating new networks and collaborations.

Admittedly we have been slow creating a mindshift away from technology as a means to an end and thinking about how digital technology can help address the wicked challenges of our age. How does technology have a role in addressing social isolation, loneliness, supporting people living with dementia and their carers, developing the skills and talent of young people and creating communities we all want to live in? Is the missing link the absence of digital leadership in the social sector?

To promote new ways of thinking I have used and continue to use social media to highlight resources which I believe could benefit from a wider audience than the “usual suspects” In this spirit and because there are so many events taking place I am sharing my selection of  interesting and innovative events which you can follow on Twitter. The obvious (to me anyway) connection between all of these events is that we all live in communities which include children, young people, families, people living alone and carers. We all have something to share and we can learn from each other. 

Today MOMO are hosting  a national conference exploring digital social work challenges and good practice. @MindOfMyOwnApp have developed an app that gives children and young people the confidence & ability to express their needs. It is so important that looked after children have a voice and I am impressed by the impact of this app. Follow via

 

The inestimable @johnpopham is live streaming this event.

http://www.mindofmyown.org.uk

This week is #dyingmattersweek. Every year @DyingMatters host an Awareness Week, which gives us an unparalleled opportunity to place the importance of talking about dying, death and bereavement firmly on the national agenda. This year the theme is ‘The Big Conversation’ and you can share your thoughts via #BigConversation.

 http://www.dyingmatters.org

Neighbourhoods of the Future is being held on the 11th and 12th May.  This event will take a fresh look at age friendly homes and communities as a means of tackling the challenges of ageing better. Topics being explored include the emerging possibilities of smart homes and age friendly cities. With hundreds of organisations now involved in the #AgeingBetter industry it will be fascinating to see how many will be sharing their thoughts via #agileageingroadshow http://www.lansons.com/looking-forward-growing-older

The Festival of Behaviour Change starts today in Bangor 9th – 20th May 2016. Behaviour Change Science is a combination of psychology, social sciences, design thinking and practical application that could revolutionise the design and delivery of public services. It can help individuals to make better decisions by altering the way in which choices are presented to them. This is an important exploration because there are rightly ethical concerns about who determines what is the “right” behaviour.  I am particularly interested in the sessions on Behaviour Change and Service Delivery ModelsBehaviour Change in Health and the Future of Health Care and The use of Technology in the Pursuit of Behaviour Change. Follow the discussions via . I understand some of the sessions will be live streamed via Periscope.

http://www.goodpractice.wales/bangor

Advance notice of Dementia Awareness Week taking place from the 15th – 21st May 2016. This is an important opportunity to increase understanding of dementia and find out what support is available for people living with dementia and their carers. There are a wide range of special events taking place across the country.

Follow #DAW2016 to contribute to the debates and share your thoughts about what works and what needs to change.

If there are other events which I think are interesting, informative and innovative I will add them to the list during the week!

On Being Social To help make your event more social I am sharing some top tips produced by @PaulBromford and I. (We are planning to update this in 2016!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practical Strategies for Learning from Failure is coming to Leeds! #LFFdigital

Following a successful workshop in Cardiff we are offering a second Practical Strategies for Learning from Failure in Leeds on Thursday 8th October 2015.

If you are interested in attending here’s the link to register your interest.

To find out more about what happened in Cardiff have a look at the Storify prepared by @GoodPracticeWAO

and the following posts:

Exploring the Benefits of Learning from Failure at #LFFdigital

@whatsthepont The James Reason Swiss Cheese Failure Model in 300 Seconds

@dosticen How can we build time for reflection into our digital lifestyles?

Failing to learn from failure and Learning from failure in complex environment – what does this mean for audit?

What attendees thought of the Cardiff workshop – feedback compiled by @commutiny

There are limited places available for this free workshop and early booking is advised. If you are allocated a place and unable to attend please let us know as soon as possible so that we can give your place to someone on the waiting list.

The #LFFdigital team look forward to meeting you in Leeds.

Shirley Ayres @shirleyayres Connected Care Network, Chris Bolton @whatsthepont Wales Audit Office, Roxanne Persaud @commutiny Doctoral Researcher, University of Southampton and Paul Taylor @PaulBromford Innovation Coach, Bromford Lab

Exploring the Benefits of Learning from Failure at #LFFdigital

I have always been inspired by JK Rowling’s powerful Harvard commencement speech in which she discussed the fringe benefits of failure. As JK  said,”It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not lived at all in which case, you fail by default.”

We live in an age that relentlessly promotes innovation. However across the public sector our willingness to talk about risk and learn from failure has not kept pace. Whilst there seems to be consensus about the need to share learning many organisations are working in a  competitive funding environment which does not encourage this to happen. How can we create a space which encourages organisations to share the learning about projects which have not achieved their anticipated and desired outcomes and impact?

Our Practical Strategies for Learning from Failure workshop on the 5th August in Cardiff offers the opportunity for strategic thinkers who recognise that we need to learn how to deal with disappointments, mistakes and failures of all kinds.  It responds to the #PdDigital15 challenge “how can we unleash people-led digital innovation in health and wellbeing?” by helping to de-stigmatise failure and ‘what doesn’t work’ so we can adapt and move on more quickly.

The event is being facilitated by a unique team bringing perspectives from practice, research and different sectors.

We will be working with you to consider the following questions.

  • What are the costs of failure and how can we do things differently?
  • Why do we continue to reward the “wrong” activities?
  • What are the guiding principles to prepare for a new landscape with citizens at the centre?

There is no charge for the event, thanks to the people at #PdDigital15 and the Wales Audit Office so we expect everyone to make commitments to preparatory thinking, collaborative working, and follow-up.  We are doing this because we believe it is important to keep up critical momentum on the conversation.

You can register here

Once registered on this workshop you will need to complete a short questionnaire. It will take about 10 minutes and give you a flavour of the kinds of conversations we will have and provide valuable insights to inform the workshop.

The main outcome from the workshop is to begin a cross sector conversation about how to share the learning from failure across health , housing , care and the wider social sector.

If you are not able to attend the workshop but  would like to join in the conversation  on Twitter and share resources you have found useful we are using the hashtag #LFFdigital

(We are not officially announcing it yet but if you cannot come to Cardiff in August  we will be running another #LFFdigital workshop in Leeds on the 8th October)