In my head, 8 weeks doesn’t seem like a very long time for a placement. To meet new colleagues and external contacts, to understand the past, current position and plans of the organisation, to get to grips with subject matter and to actually make some meaningful contributions. But that’s exactly what I’ve been expected to do (and hope I have been doing) during my flexi-placement with the Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network (YHAHSN).
YHAHSN have a complicated, wide ranging remit and work closely with several partner organisations. In a sentence, the YHAHSN is a link between healthcare providers and technology; with a key aims to spread adoption of proven, innovative healthcare technologies, products and services in the Yorkshire and Humber region. To ensure my understanding went deeper than just one sentence I made sure to sit down with as many colleagues as possible early on in my placement. Asking questions about the organisations, the landscape it operates in and what they contribute as part of their role as well as taking some time to introduce myself.
I was fortunate to attend the NHS Health and Care Innovation Expo during my first week on placement. Many of the partners and products the YHAHSN work with had stalls or presented at the conference. I ran around attending presentations, asking people about their products and work and introducing myself and the projects I’m working on. I was exhausted at the end of the two days but managed to grow my network and add to my knowledge base.
My focus whilst on placement is to compile a report evaluating the support which AHSNs have provided to Fellows on the NHS Innovation Accelerator. The groundwork I put into understanding the organisation and networking has proved to be useful. My knowledge of the organisation has helped me to understand the important areas to evaluate and the questions I need to ask to draw this feedback from the Fellows and my networking has meant I have already begun to build relationships with some of the Fellows and other key partners in this work.
Even though I’ve still plenty to do before I finish my report I’m confident that I’ll deliver this piece of work as well as contributing to a couple of other projects. And hopefully this means that I’ll finish my placement with YHAHSN having left a valuable positive impact.
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