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So...what's this for again?

I'm not one for blogging, in fact this will be my first ever 'blog post.' Hence why I seem to have delayed this for as long as possible and instead focused my efforts on making the website look as presentable as possible in spite of the lack of content (!)

So why is it that I'm blogging and why is it that we have a website, again a first for me.

Little over six months ago I began a Darzi Fellowship.

A what? I hear you ask.

Darzi, so named after Lord Ara Darzi, an eminent surgeon now labour peer, whose white paper in 2008 led to the creation of these so called 'Fellows.'

Here is how our course organisers describe it,

"The programme takes Fellows on a journey learning the foundations of change, developing an understanding of methodologies for change as well as personal strategies and skills for leadership including working with peers and with diversity. A major strand throughout the programme is developing the ability to work effectively and productively with peers from diverse backgrounds including service users." - London South Bank University.

Bit of a mouthful, isn't it? I think this year means different things for different people. For me it was a much needed break from the rigmarole of specialist training (mid way through as a respiratory registrar) but also a year for me to explore and develop other skills, particularly ones that would complement those needed in my life as a hospital consultant. Stepping out of the system for a year and working alongside an incredible bunch of people has allowed me to see it in a whole new light. All of which hopefully brings me closer to seeing how I fit into the system.

Running alongside the taught course element of the Darzi fellowship is the experiential learning component, hence the website. As fellows, we are matched to host organisations, mine happens to be the University of Brighton. Our organisations were carefully selected (as part of a bidding process) on the basis of having a viable project idea that fulfilled the course requirements.

I don't think I can do a better job than the website can in informing you on what the project entails, but in a nutshell: we want to explore and evaluate different methods of self-management of health and care within the community. We are primarily focusing on a retirement housing complex in Brighton and the use of digital technologies to achieve self-management.

I suppose that's a good enough introduction and I should wrap up here. Our plan is for the website to keep people abreast of how we're getting on and to serve as a means of getting in touch, for citizens, health care providers or industry.