Graduating from University College Dublin in 1996, I started my career as a rotational physiotherapist in the UK and soon specialised in musculoskeletal health, writes digital leader Linda Vernon.
'Moving around the country - in various roles while undertaking lots of clinical CPD, then gaining an MSc neuro-musculoskeletal health from Keele University - I became an extended scope practitioner in 2004 and took on responsibilities in both the ESP interest group and NW branch of the CSP. I presented at many conferences and events in a clinical capacity, while gaining people and service leadership skills on the job and via training and mentorship.
My real interest in digital started while on maternity leave with my eldest child in 2010, though I’d been passionate about the power of data as a complement to storytelling in demonstrating the impact we have as clinicians, and had even been known as the ‘Excel queen’ for a number of years by my peers! I started using Twitter to connect with leaders in the digital health and care space, and I contemplated why we had such a powerful tool in our pockets and our personal lives but were technologically so far behind in the workplace.
I was then fortunate enough to receive a funded place on a PgCert Digital Health at Cumbria University, which also afforded me the chance to conduct a place-based work project, implementing an app to support patients to engage with their exercise programme.
I soon took a position as a digital leader in Lancashire & South Cumbria Integrated Care System (ICS), leading work in digital personalised care, particularly digital social prescribing, supported self-management and digital inclusion.
I am now interim digital culture and transformation clinical lead for the ICS and have been fortunate enough to be asked to present nationally at many events on my areas of expertise.
I firmly believe that digital is merely an enabler to empower people, whether that’s the public and patients we serve or our frontline workforce. People and co-production are therefore at the heart of my values, and my most used skills are not technical, but facilitative - winning the hearts and minds of people, joining dots and seizing opportunities for collaboration.'
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