International Men’s Day 2021: Working in digital healthcare and health innovation

International Men’s Day celebrates worldwide the positive value men bring to the world, their families, and communities. Highlighting positive role models and raising awareness of men’s well-being are key themes to this year’s celebration.

As part of these celebrations, Health Innovation Manchester has spoken with several men from across the organisation, to learn about why these colleagues have chosen to focus on a career in healthcare, and help impact positive change to Greater Manchester’s health and social care system.

In this blog, we hear from men across the organisation, including our Chief Executive, Professor Ben Bridgewater, and others who summarise what working as part of Health Innovation Manchester means to them.

Prof. Ben Bridgewater, Chief Executive at Health Innovation Manchester, has guided the organisation through one of the health and social care system’s most challenging periods in recent history.

Putting digital at the forefront of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic has seen Health Innovation Manchester become an international leader in health innovation and digital healthcare, transforming the health & wellbeing of citizens across Greater Manchester. He explains:

“The health and care sector at all levels has faced one of its biggest ever challenges in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, spanning from research and science, to care and treatment. It meant a need to adapt, innovate and work together in new ways. In Greater Manchester we have risen to this challenge and there has been an extraordinary effort across direct care, research, digital innovation and industry partnerships.

“At Health Innovation Manchester we have worked hard to stand up and play a part in this as an integrated academic health science and innovation system, working on behalf of the Greater Manchester city region. Partnership working, setting clear goals and aligning work to the priorities of the system are not new ideas, but the value they provide within innovation has never been felt more acutely as it has during the last 18-months.”

Richard Deed, Associate Commercial Director – Industry at Health Innovation Manchester, explains that he was drawn to a career in healthcare from an early age and believes that the Greater Manchester health and social care system is a place of genuine opportunity. He said:

“Working in Greater Manchester and Health Innovation Manchester is exciting and satisfying, as there are so many opportunities to make a difference. There is a culture of working together in Manchester that doesn’t seem to exist elsewhere, and although there are local rivalries, when it matters people come together to deliver. The fact that Manchester had its health budget devolved some time ago provided the opportunity to think about doing things differently and that will continue with the formation of the one Integrated Care System (ICS) for Greater Manchester that is taking place now.”

Dr Dai Roberts, Senior Programme Development Lead at Health Innovation Manchester, realised after the completion of his PhD in Molecular Biology, that working directly in healthcare research and service improvement was a way to benefit people’s lives through science, and improve their health and wellbeing. He shares his thoughts on working as part of the Greater Manchester health and social care system:

“It’s a definite privilege to be part of a healthcare system that is constantly striving to improve through innovation. You get a real sense in working across Greater Manchester that there is an increasing connectivity across organisations and settings, and a shared motivation to do the best for the citizens of Greater Manchester.

“Working for Health Innovation Manchester, you feel at the heart of helping to drive innovation and improvement at system level. Making the most of opportunities to not just ‘do things differently’ but to design and deliver innovative and sustainable solutions to patient and service needs across localities and organisations, together as a one team.”

Craig Dobson, Project Officer at Health Innovation Manchester, comes from a background in computer science and has quickly turned his focus towards innovation, research and development. He believes that a complete joined-up approach to long term improvement is the best way to achieve great things in our health and care system:

“After supporting across front line and locality levels it’s been a great opportunity to come into Health Innovation Manchester and work towards improving healthcare across the whole Greater Manchester area, whilst also networking with different areas of the country to share learning and experiences.

“One of the main parts of this work I find pride in is the huge focus on reducing the gaps of inequality between deprived areas across Greater Manchester. The constant consideration of factors such as digital literacy, lack of infrastructure and accessibility keeps my day to day work hugely motivational and takes me back to the nursing teams across the North West prisons. Systems are only truly improved if everyone is brought along, starting from the bottom up.”

Arjun Sikand, Associate Director Commercial Partnerships at Health Innovation Manchester, believes that our organisation is perfectly placed to achieve positive change in a unique local health and care system:

“Being part of an organisation such as Health innovation Manchester in a system such as Greater Manchester is unique, not only do they tolerate my innate abilities, they encourage them. Health Innovation Manchester is an organisation at the forefront of change, at the intersection between healthcare and digital innovation pushing boundaries on what we can do and how we can do them. Yes, we get knocked back and have ambitions curtailed, but that’s all part of the fun.”

This blog has been produced as part of our dedicated approach to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

Health Innovation Manchester believes that successful implementation of equality, diversity, and inclusion in all aspects of work ensures that colleagues are valued, motivated and treated fairly. To find out more about this work, please click here.

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