It has been an exciting time. Out of the blue, I was named as a #WildCard as part of the #HSJ100 2021 👀, alongside some big names like Marcus Rashford, Gareth Southgate, Greta Thunberg and one or two friends, in particular fab Clenton Farquharson MBE.

I am a bit ambivalent about all the different awards, but the idea of being a *wild card* appeals to me! 😀
I had seen that the HSJ had put a call out on Twitter to ask people to name some ‘not usual suspects’ whom the new NHS CEO should listen to. 👂🏼 

One or two fantastic people recommended me. 

Anyway, I think that was the catalyst to be named in #HSJ100, 20 Wild Cards, so thank you very much.

More importantly, I started to think about how to make the maximum impact from this opportunity.

As the creator of ‘Whose Shoes’, I see myself very much a catalyst for change, bringing in lots of different voices.
So I started to put out a challenge on social media, asking other people what they would like to tell the new CEO of the NHS when he/she is appointed.

I was thrilled when my #MatExp partner-in-crime, Florence Wilcock immediately took up the challenge and produced a special ‘Wild Card’ episode in her engaging the Obs Pod podcast series.

Flo speaks from the heart, as a highly experienced and caring obstetrician, and it is very powerful.
You can listen to her thoughts here:

There were also some interesting conversations and ideas on Twitter and LinkedIn. So many people have wonderful contributions to make, but don’t always have a voice.

I had a ‘lemon lightbulb’ idea …

Perhaps I should start a podcast series myself, just chatting to different people.

Just as Flo’s podcast has developed into a fantastic bank of material for anyone interested in maternity care, I thought perhaps I could aim to do something similar by crowdsourcing ideas about buillding the future by chatting to lots of interesting people … and enjoy myself in the process!

 I have a fantastic network of passionate people in so many different areas of health and social care and indeed the community – all of us. I started to make a list of possible contributors and I was not short of ideas! And there will be many more people out there who will emerge during the series itself – this is the organic nature of listening and networking.

Thank you Florence for your #JFDI response to my initial call out. I love the way you just dived in and did this and I’m hoping you will be an early guest on my ‘Whose Shoes #Wildcard’ podcast series!

I am thrilled that my friend Dr Farzana Hussain has agreed to be the first contributor.

This is very exciting. Farzana was named herself in the inaugural list of HSJ wild cards in 2020, as well as being named as ‘GP of the year’,  She has been a fantastic role model, so it feels a bit like passing on the baton.

Farzana is the real deal. I can’t think of anyone you would rather have as your GP.  She listens and she cares deeply. Common sense, finding imaginative ways to step into the shoes of others, speaking truth to power and truly seeking to understand what makes people tick. I have been in awe of Farzana’s innovative work during the Covid pandemic – immediately coming up with virtual consultations, drive-through clinics, proactive calls to understand why her patients might not initially be taking the Covid vaccine… and so much more!

We included some of the early examples in our ‘Learning from Covid19′ best practice #VirtualWhoseShoes series in the early months of the pandemic and Farzana also told some of these stories briefly on a video she kindly made for our advent series, dressed as a very glamorous Father / Mother Christmas!

I can’t wait to speak to Farzana!

So, I’d love to hear your thoughts and encouragement – and hopefully start to build an audience to do justice to the wonderful speakers I am hoping to attract …!!

Your help, suggestions and feedback will be very gratefully received. 

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