‘I am very excited to welcome the first intake of the Digital Innovation Ambassadors. We’ve been developing the idea of this programme for 18 months and we’re extremely excited to be able to work with such a diverse group of inspiring individuals who are so enthusiastic about innovation. … TheHill has always been about community, about grassroots innovation and about making the most of the amazing human capital of the NHS, empowering remarkable people with digital technology that improves care of patients and working environments for staff.’ Megan Morys-Carter, Director, TheHill
The purpose of the Digital Innovation Ambassadors Programme is to facilitate the further adoption of digital innovation into the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH NHS FT). Aware that new technologies and solutions are only as successful as the extent of their uptake, TheHill is committed to ensuring innovations are championed from within the organisation. Early engagement with clinicians and healthcare professionals is key in matching needs to available innovations and increasing a culture of innovation.
We had a total of 64 applications, indicating that we’re not alone in recognising the importance of this vision, and following a vigorous selection process the 26 successful applicants were welcomed to the programme at a virtual event on 7 July. As each ambassador introduced themselves their enthusiasm was evident, each of them expressing their commitment to the digital transformation journey of NHS and the part that digital innovation will play in their teams, services and everyday activities, many expressed that they see themselves as representative of the people in their teams, all of whom want to see change and new innovation uptake.
Mindful of the diversity of the OUH NHS FT, and the need for champions across all departments and divisions within the organisation, we are delighted that this intake of Digital Innovation Ambassadors represents a broad range of disciplines and roles within the OUH. They embody many cultures, disciplines and interests, languages and even hobbies, but are all drawn together by a passion for digital innovation.
Digital Innovation Ambassadors will benefit from the opportunity to build their profiles, knowledge and network with like-minded professionals. This connecting of ideas, people and companies enables the matching of needs to the appropriate digital innovation solution. They will be supported within the wider remit of TheHill and other relevant OUH services and be included in a programme of workshops, learning sessions and events. We hope to engage our ambassadors in speaking opportunities and podcasts, as well as the chance to support new digital innovation pilots within the trust.
When established, it was envisaged that TheHill would provide a setting that replicated the collegiate environment available in the colleges of Oxford, one which academics and researchers ‘up the hill’ in the hospitals, NHS trusts, and medical institutions are less able to access. It is one of our aims to provide Oxford’s health ecosystem with the space and opportunity for interaction, support, focus and debate, encouraging commercial and impactful digital innovations, and solutions to needs within health and care settings. The Digital Innovation Ambassadors’ Programme embodies this vision and will continue to develop with new Ambassadors being supported by colleagues and having the opportunity to benefit from the programme.