Week Notes #4

Well it’s been an inspiring week.

Tiring, intense and extremely busy…. but inspiring!

The week started productively with 2 drafted comms plans for individual work packages within the SHARP joint action. There are still many more to go but it’s great to feel like some early progress is being made and I look forward to seeing what the complete collection of plans can achieve over the next two years, and letting you know all about them of course!

Great to see the mornings getting brighter…….even if it is still freezing!

It was also a privilege to visit the Breast Test Wales clinic in Cardiff to film with the incredible Dr Ardiana Gjini. This was the last in a series of recordings around our various screening programmes and it was interesting to find out more about the service and see more of the machines up close.

Breast screening helps identify even the smallest of changes in breast tissue that would otherwise be undetected. It’s important to not only attend your screenings but become familiar with you breasts so that you can notice any changes in the shape or size of the breast, any puckering or dimpling of the skin, any change in the position of the nipple – pulled in or pointing differently; or any lumps, thickening or bumpy areas in one breast or the armpit. More information can be found on the Breast Test Wales website.

But the biggest take-away from this week has been my experience getting involved in the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) response.

I have to start by saying a massive thank you to the incredible colleagues I have seen working non-stop, 24/7 to ensure we are the most prepared and pro-active we can be. From HR to communications, admin support staff, epidemiologists, analysts, public health consultants and practitioners, finance staff, facilities and a whole number of people whose roles I cannot even remember; the efforts of staff across the entire organisation has just been so inspiring to see, especially to someone who has been there all of 4 weeks. It’s been so exciting to see the sheer resilience they have shown working all hours of the day to get the job done; the dedication they have shown in their commitment to hitting every single milestone while several more a placed before them and last but certainly by no means least, possibly the greatest display of teamwork I’ve ever seen!

Over 3 days I met so many incredible, passionate people; worked with so many different parts of the organisation and got the chance to feel like part of a well-oiled machine that put out every fire that came its way.

To see just how much work is going into responding to COVID19 (and that’s only on the PHW side of things, let’s not forget all of the health boards, frontline staff, health care practitioners and researchers doing all they can across the country) it makes it all the more disheartening to see the misinformation and conspiracy theories that get thrown around or shared ‘just a laughs’.

I’m going to take an uncharacteristically stern moment here just to say that misinformation can kill.

People who share incorrect information about serious health threats can cause a lot of damage; and while their intentions may not be malicious, the results can be fatal. We all have a duty to share accurate and reliable information we know to have come from a trusted source, so I urge you to spread the word and encourage others to #KnowTheFacts when they share online.

Filming the brilliant Dan Vo talking about the importance of making museums ‘queerly visible’.

Serious bit over….it was also a privilege to help out with the Pride Cymru LGBT+ History month event at the Senedd this weekend. I always come away from the annual event with so much gratitude for the LGBT+ figures who have come before us. We have such an equally colourful and dark history, it’s so important that we remember how things were, how far we’ve come, the people that have got us here and to think about how we carry on their legacy of change.

I’m adding a new feature this week!

Yes I’ve decided to add in my favourite reads of the week- and this week I have read an awful lot!

First I’d like to highlight the wonderfully put together ‘manifesto’ from Tenovus cancer Care. The beautifully titled ‘More than Medicine’ presents a brilliantly holistic, and collaborative approach to wellness as a means of prevention.  Not only are there a great selection of ideas and policies but it’s also a great example of what a modern-day manifesto ought to be.

Secondly… a bit of self-promotion for the Heads Up blog. The brilliant Ryan Crowley from the Future Leaders Network in Wales has written a guest blog ‘Young Leaders- Not waiting for tomorrow’, all in the nick of time for our Discovering Leadership event on the 4th March. Special thanks to the event sponsors Loosemores Solicitors.

Lastly the Marmot Review came out this week, it’s been that hectic I’ve not had time to read it but I’m sure I will find/make time to write something up about my big take-aways from it…. when I eventually get around to reading it!

Oh and happy one month-iversary to us! I can’t believe how quickly this time has gone by, but I’m absolutely loving every second of it and I hope you’re enjoying reading about it.

Told you it was a busy week!

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