Change Agent: Zoe Picton-Howell

Author: Zoe Picton-Howell
Commentator: Zoe PictonHowell

Posted in: Change Agent
From: Issue 14

Brief profile (Who are you? What do you do?)
• Most importantly: Adam Bojelian, @AdsthePoet’s Mum;
• Legal academic with a particular interest child health law & ethics;
• PhD Researcher Edinburgh Law School, researching how paediatric consultants make difficult decisions for disabled children and their attitudes to and knowledge of the relevant law, rights and ethics;
• Tutor on NHS Leadership Academy Mary Seacole Programme;
• Tutor on Edinburgh University’s MBCHB Health, Ethics & Society;
• Author of blog:- Triangulation of Thought;
• Author of “Learn with Dr.Dog”;
• Lay Member NICE End of Life Care (Children) Guidelines Writing Committee;
• Module Author for Disability Matters;
• Course Author for Law, Rights and Ethics for Paediatrics (On-line course provided by Edinburgh
University Law School);
• Previously served on numerous committees concerned with child health and child rights;

What has been your most notable radical accomplishment or experience?
• Working in genuine partnerships with positive NHS and wider health and social care staff towards better healthcare for children and young people with disabilities within the NHS.

When did you first realise that you are a health & care radical?
Not sure I have yet!

What advice do you wish someone had given you earlier in your career?

Seek out like minded positive people to work with and don’t let the negative people get you down.

What is your favourite radical characteristic?

I think it is how many people described Adam being able to challenge when challenge is needed, but in a positive and at times even in a humorous way.

What is your favourite question?

Have you asked the patient?

What one clue tells you you’re affecting positive change?
Positive feedback I receive from people within the NHS and them asking me to be involved in their projects, conferences etc.
Also the huge number of people at all levels of the NHS and politicians of all shades who have told me of the hugely positive influence Adam had on them and the NHS.

What do you think it’s most important for people to understand about radicals?
That they love the NHS and value NHS staff. Sometimes raising concerns about poor care is viewed as “attacking” the NHS. I don’t think that is true. I think it is honouring the NHS and all it stands for. The NHS is a huge organisation, one of the biggest on the global. There will inevitably be huge variation from absolutely outstanding to some small pockets of truly appalling. It is likely that the most complex patients like Adam both because of the amount of contact he had with the NHS and because of the different parts of it he accessed, will see this variation more than most. Also because he experienced the very best, he would be more likely to notice the bad than a patient who only had a single experience of the NHS. Radicals, in my view want everyone to have the very best care and most seem passionate that most “vulnerable” patients should not be most at risk of receiving the poor care when it does sadly arise. Being a radical is often about “daring to be a Daniel”.

What’s your one word piece of advice for radicals?
Join the network of wonderful and supportive radicals already working away, you will find many if not most of them on twitter. Before you know it you will be collaborating with them on projects; blogs; conferences; they will be become wonderful supportive friends who share your vision and passion. They will also be your most loyal friends and supporters when things are tough.

“Together we can achieve great things.”

What’s your one-word piece of advice for non-radicals?
Please don’t pre-judge, listen.
“The NHS aspires to put the patient at the centre of everything it does”.

Where do you think radicals are most needed today?
In health and social care working as or with people of all ages with learning disabilities and as or with those assumed to have learning disabilities (people with severe physical impairment often mistakenly assumed by medics to have learning disabilities).

…also in health and social care working as or with people with dementia.

Who is your favourite radical from the past 100 years?
No surprises really: Adam Alexander Bojelian (20/01/2000 – 24/03/2015) aka @AdsthePoet

What’s the one thing you should never say to a radical?
“The high standards you expect of the NHS are unrealistic.”

How do you rate yourself as a radical:
Learning.

Links:-
Adam’s blog : http://intheblinkofaneyepoemsbyadambojelian.blogspot.co.uk
My blog: http://thetriangulationofthought.blogspot.co.uk

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