Weeknote 31st March 2023

Rochelle Gold
3 min readApr 4, 2023

What did I do to make a difference this week

We have been wrapping up this current phase of our inclusive design work and had the final show and tell this week. We have co-designed our definition of inclusive design and a framework for what it looks like in practice. Sam and Ellen will be writing and talking more about this work publicly as my role was to ensure there was money, people and space for it. They have been far more involved in delivering it.

What I will say is that the work on inclusive design in our organisation started from a collaborative of colleagues that wanted to make our work and our organisation more inclusive. Its foundations and its continued development is testimony to the many colleagues that have collaborated and co-designed it at every stage. It is no single person or job role’s responsibility. It is all our responsibilities, whatever our role or grade. In fact, for NHS colleagues, inclusion is written into our constitution. We are all responsible for making sure our work, workplace, products, services and community are inclusive and we should all hold ourselves and others accountable. The framework developed through this work are good guardrails for how we do that in practice.

I looked at my calendar at the start of this week and thought I had lots of thinking and doing time gaps in my calendar. In reality they got filled by ad hoc conversations and new urgent work related to the merger consultation and restructure. Although I spent a day in our Leeds hub it was a day with lots of online meetings so I wasn’t quite able to gain as much benefit of being in the office. It was good to see those that I did see there and I again had a couple more useful corridor conversations.

This week I also took part in a sketching workshop with policy colleagues, heard Alison present her work at our user research community of practice and started to think about the content of some talks I have been approached to give later in the year. Our time hosting Amanda Pritchard and Tim Ferris and telling them all about our UCD work also got shout outs from a couple of all hands meetings, including one from Tim himself.

The week also marked the first anniversary of my cancer diagnosis which made me thankful for being well and cancer free but also reflective on that year. There has been a huge amount of organisational change but no change in me and who I am as a person. I still have the same values and beliefs but even more of a drive to adhere to them and to do work that matters, irrespective of the barriers we may come up against. A difference to people’s lives is the legacy I want to leave from my own.

What I need to do to make more of a difference

There are some things I have been thinking about in relation to the consultation that I need to run by colleagues in other parts of the organisation ahead of the submission deadline. I think we could do more collective thinking about how things could work well or at least collective thinking with people we might have not done it with before.

Our new organisation is huge and one of the positives about the org restructure consultation is that you get to see the structures of parts that you might not have worked with before. You can explore the wider landscape of the new context you are working within. Whilst it is huge and complex, it is also an opportunity to think about where you could develop new collaborations to enhance you own work or even just learn about different parts of the organisation. This is something that I plan to do more of to see how I can make a collective difference with new colleagues.

Next week

I have some time off over the Easter holidays so it will be a very short week. I do however plan to have the conversations I need to with colleagues across the wider business about the consultation and wrap up some of the profession work I have been doing. I will also be meeting with my digital health inequalities steering group colleagues.

I will be taking a break from weeknotes next week as I will only be at work for 2 days. Normal service will be resumed after Easter.

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Rochelle Gold

Head of User Research and User Centred Design @NHS England (formerly NHS Digital). Views my own.