A rather NICE reflection

Aurora’s Rachel Terry and Neil Crump spent a couple of days in Liverpool last week at the NICE annual NICE annual conferenceconference.  Here are their reflections and shares…


From Rachel:

As stakeholders in the system, what NICE is doing is prioritisation (rather than simple rationing) and the people involved clearly demonstrated their willingness to listen, especially during the session ‘NICE guidance for GPs and CCGs: are we getting it right?’ Take home messages included very practical suggestions, such as the need for NICE to be more cognizant of the work needed locally to implement its guidance. Being coordinated so that several pieces of guidance with a high impact on CCGs are not all published at the same time; highlighting clearly what has changed from previous guidance; stating what to stop as well as what to start; and ensuring that guidance and supporting materials promote shared decision making between patients and clinicians were among a wealth of ideas and recommendations made to NICE Chair Professor David Haslam and Chief Executive Sir Andrew Dillon.


From Neil:

It is easy to be cynical about whether the healthcare system is geared or even wants to change. In the examples of work presented at the conference you can see that success is possible. If you are willing to work really hard, be focused and rigorous, change can be achieved.

Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust’s work on improving the management of urinary incontinence (UI) in women is an outstanding example of what can be achieved with a diligent and focused approach. A news release on their Shared Learning Award (which got both of our ‘live’ votes) can be read here: http://www.nice.org.uk/news/article/nice-approach-to-managing-urinary-incontinence-in-women-wins-2015-shared-learning-award.


Love for Dr Phil – we felt it

We believe it was Dr Philip Hammond’s eighth time hosting the conference – he did another brilliantly smart and entertaining job. Who else, three minutes into a ‘serious’ conference, could get people hugging the person sitting next to them? It was a Liverpudlian huggathon :+). Sir David Haslam called Dr Hammond out for his great leadership and work supporting NHS whistleblowers through his Private Eye column.

We could not agree more with Dr Hammond, whose ‘swanee whistled’ guidance about a CLANGERS approach for a more fulfilling life rings true:

Connect with other people

Learn new things all the time

Active, keep yourself moving

Notice what is going on around you

Giveback to society and people around you

Eat well

Relax and kick back

Sleep enough

The Wikipedia ‘Clangers’ explanation for the younger reader is here. Michael Palin is narrating the 2015 version which really small people and their mammas and pappas will be enjoying). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clangers

He shamelessly plugged his book (link below) which we applaud and covers his perspective on CLANGERS.


The congress in tweets:

NICE produced edited ‘Storify’ for each day, an easy way to whizz through what the tweeters thought was useful. A few @aurorahealthpr tweets made the edit:

Tuesday https://storify.com/NICEcomms/nice-conference-2015-day-1

Wednesday https://storify.com/NICEcomms/nice-conference-day-2


Books flagged as good reads (and the Amazon links):

Dr Philip Hammond, Staying Alive: How to Get the Best from the NHS

Dr Kevin Fong, inspired us all at the end of day one about the acceleration of innovation over the last century of human endeavor. The UCLH anaesthetist (and self-deprecating astrophysicist!) blew us all away with the rapid evolution of healthcare knowledge in just 100 years.  His book: Extremes: How Far Can You Go to Save a Life?

Aurora has these books in our ‘library’ so if you fancy borrowing a copy give us a shout.


Leadership and equality

An impressive female trio (Professor Wendy Reid, Director of Education & Quality for Health, Health Education England, Vijya Nath, Director, Leadership Development, The King’s Fund, and Professor Gillian Leng, Deputy Chief Executive, NICE) reflected on the subject of leadership.

Aurora’s Access all Areas campaign has a clear position on leadership by example: http://www.auroracomms.com/access-all-areas/leadership-by-example

In the Q&A session, a delegate flagged that the conference speakers had been very “pale and male”.  NICE’s Gillian flagged the organisational commitment with a number of tangible activities on recruitment to both full-time paid for and committee member initiatives. As a gay man, Neil’s comment is that a number of the “pale and male” speakers are openly gay men, so another ‘below the plumb line’ diversity box was thankfully being ticked.


Digital equality and exclusion

Another diversity box was also acknowledged, in a final session of the conference on digital influences on the delivery of healthcare. It was flagged that nine million people in the UK have no physical or skill-based access to digital information.  This is not a reason to stop online engagement – rather a reminder, based on a disease or condition demographic to broaden the communications channels.

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