Unlocking the power of fellowships

Maximising the impact and benefits of research and knowledge mobilisation fellowships for health and care”

A fellowship in health and care is an opportunity to expand your practice.  It’s a gift that needs to be reviewed constantly to ensure it brings challenge, hope and development.  My Transformation fellowship at Horizons, NHS England started in November 2014 and I have been involved in amazing projects so far The Edge, TransformathonCare Design 2016NHS Change day and lots of hackathons.  These projects have enabled me to work in partnership with a wonderful team, patients, clinicians, innovators and change agents throughout the world. During my fellowship, I have gained experience in a range of quality improvement methodologies, facilitated hackathons and undertaken research through a crowdsourcing platform.   As editor of The Edge, I have supported others to share their stories of change and developed a community profile for my writing.  The Edge – A free social platform for transformational change has gone from initial start up to 44,000 users in 140 countries in the first year. All fellowships are different and that’s what makes them so special.  They challenge you to step out of your comfort zone with supportive leadership and mentoring.

A fellowship can be a lonely and unique experience, according to the conversations I have had with other fellows.  I was lucky as Horizons supported several fellowships bringing individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds to work on transformational change projects and share their experiences.  At Horizons led by Helen Bevan, we are passionate about co-production and leading the way in all our work, with fellowships no different.  I have been in the health service for a long time but gained a different perspective working in close partnership with Alison Cameron – a Transformation fellow and patient leader on The Edge.  Fellowships give you a chance to develop and explore what makes you tick.          

One of the things I tried to do when I started my fellowship was to link with others fellows that I came across on twitter.   Little did I know that connection of fellows was already happening with Cathy Howe acting as lead fellow to pull us all together and set up #FellowsConnect.  The third FellowsConnect event took place on the 26th February in London and there was a real passion to connect, contribute and share learning from the fellows attending.  In the spirit of transparency and connection with others, Dave Hearn will be running twitter chats @fellows_connect  and the steering group will share reports from all events.  We want to reach out to other past and present fellows in health and care to offer support, connection and fast paced knowledge mobilisation.

If you want to be involved, have a look at the event report and contact Cathy on Twitter: @cathgreenhalgh or Email: c.howe@imperial.ac.uk

Event Report FellowsConnect Feb 2016 v2.1