Week Notes #1

I’ve read a lot this week, so writing is a much-welcomed break.

Each week I plan to write a ‘Week Notes’, a chance for anyone who’s interested in reading, to learn what I’ve been up to, and how that has made me think, feel and more importantly what it will lead me to do next.

It’s been an incredible first week at Public Health Wales and I’ve taken in a lot of information but received an equal measure of inspiration in return.

It’s always daunting heading into a new role, let alone one than spans an entire continent with multiple high-profile stakeholders whose expertise and capacity to retain/realise so many intellectual thoughts and ideas I cannot even comprehend achieving.No pressure!

But what is apparent very early on is the importance of the SHARP join action , something that is so poignantly punctuated by the current novel coronavirus outbreak.

In particular, it’s the focus on collaboration that makes it a crucial step forward in strengthening our preparedness to tackle cross border threats to health; and identify key gaps in our health systems that make us vulnerable or less able to coordinate our actions. I also feel that, in a post Brexit world, it’s important that we show a willingness to collaborate with our European partners and signal that although on paper we are no longer a part of the union, our hearts and our sense of belonging still lie in a Europe that is  united against some of the greatest threats we face in the modern world.

Already I’ve had the opportunity to communicate with our partners in Finland and Sweden; and I look forward to speaking to many more people of varying nationalities and backgrounds… it’s so strange to be feeling the most European I’ve ever felt at this point in time!

As a communicator, I’ve always seen my role as one of facilitation, creating the opportunity for conversation and by extension- collaboration. What I’m looking forward to most about this role is how I will eventually achieve this for both an immediate and future audience by developing conversation making tools that will not only cater for the current needs of the project and the people involved, but for future audiences who will need to replicate the work in a new, unknown setting. 

Away from the SHARP joint action, it’s also been incredible to see the conscious effort put into creating the right culture at PHW. The ways in which we work really do determine the scale of the outcomes that are achievable; and after just 4 days, I already feel as thought that potential is limitless. This is something I hope to reflect on as I learn more about the organisation and the various teams, people and partners I’ll be working with.

While this, my very first Week Notes, seems relatively short on accounts of it being my very first week in a new role, I certainly have the feeling that there are much bigger things to come; and I look forward to this becoming a space to talk about them. I hope you decide to join me on that journey.

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