Robert Cutforth, Lucy Brown, Dione Rogers, Jane Dwelly at Rewired Digital Health Conference

Wow, what an extraordinary day. This year’s Digital Health Rewired conference in London’s stunning Business Design Centre delivered – and then some. The two-day event was many things: a mind-expanding look at the digital excellence happening in the nursing and midwifery world, a thrilling insight into the future possibilities ahead, and a wonderful space to connect with innovators.

We were so proud to see Florence Nightingale Foundation’s Academy Deputy Director and Director of Nursing Lucy Brown and Senior Learning Technologist Robert Cutforth present their outstanding workshop to a packed room of healthcare professionals. The New World of Digital Nursing and Midwifery Leadership shared FNF’s vision of the digital health landscape.

Lucy shared some of the waves FNF is already making: “We are developing digital nursing and midwifery leaders who can drive the information and technology transformation of the NHS and across the health and social care sector.”

“Nurses and midwives need to demonstrate strong leadership to overcome the challenges”

There was also a reflection on the issues still to be tackled, namely self-belief. “Nurses and midwives can lack confidence in expressing their ideas,” Lucy shared with the attendees. “The FNF digital scholarships empower nurses and midwives to lead and embed change. Nurses and midwives need to demonstrate strong leadership to overcome the challenges, lead the digital health agenda and inspire and influence the next generation of digital nursing and midwifery leaders.”

International Vice President of Chime Jane Dwelly took to the podium next, sharing words and a video on the huge potential of digital in care. Chime understands that tech needs to work for nurses and midwives to enable it to work for the patient. It’s they who benefit from these learning opportunities and this is why Chime’s Digital Health Leadership Academy works – it offers a space where participants can decide what they want to achieve. They leave inspired, energised and confident to be nurse leaders, immediately putting into practice what they’ve learnt and expanding their influence.

“You owe it to people to give it back”

Lucy returned to conduct a Q&A with the brilliant CNIO Dione Rogers who shared her journey of being a FNF scholar, and what impact digital has made on her work. Open, honest and engaging, Dione talked about her impressive Quality Improvement Project which tackled the ineffective ‘paper in pockets’ notes transforming into digital handover notes. She also shared the difference the scholarship has made for her personally. “Be open to being vulnerable – don’t be afraid to address fears,” she advised the room. “My dyslexia has now been diagnosed and I’m doing a masters and getting distinctions. Thanks to my mentor CNIO Natasha Phillips for spotting that and encouraging me to tackle it.” Offering further thoughts on the scholarship, Dione added, “I decided this was my time – you owe it to people to give it back. It’s a life-changing experience.”

Next, FNF’s Robert Cutforth took on the subject of distance learning, weighing up its pros and cons. “A blended approach is best; live sessions with human faces offer a much richer experience,” he explained.

“Our new Learning Management System has forums to allow scholars to communicate with each other”

Robert shared his insights into FNF’s new Learning Management System, a platform he described “as good, if not better, than what’s in a lot of higher education places. We have forums to allow scholars to communicate with each other – they can go to each other with issues.” He went on to talk about our sophisticated e-learning tools which are putting FNF ahead of the curve with learning.

To round proceedings off, it was over to our nurses and midwives, with each table tasked with coming up with a quick win and a long-term idea on how FNF can further support the digital agenda. And they blew our minds with their ideas: a digital health dictionary, more inclusivity, reverse mentoring, entrepreneurial endeavours outside the health sector, applying good quality data and AI learning… so many brilliant ideas flowed out of our creative attendees.

This collaborative and inspiring finale was the perfect way to end FNF’s workshop. Huge thanks to everyone who joined us and who contributed. The next step for us is to keep pushing forward digital transformations for our nurses and midwives, and to action their amazing ideas.


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