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Guest speaker


Health Tech at Dorset NHS Clinical Commissioning Group

Q: What is your job and what does your typical day involve?

A: My job is Innovation Lead for NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, and a typical day for me can involve having a meeting about family health and child obesity, to writing a piece on our innovation ambitions for our Digital Roadmap, to testing new Virtual Reality equipment for mental health treatments. I like to push the boundaries of what the role can be so that it can bring the most value to NHS Dorset.

Q: How did you decide that you wanted to be a part of your industry?

A: I've always been fascinated by technology and the ever narrowing gap between how it is used in business/industry, and how we apply it in our everyday lives. A big driver in my work has always been to do something that benefits others, so health and wellbeing has always been a focus of mine. Seeing the opportunities presented by working across health and digital inspires me daily to try and change the game.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your industry?

A: Whilst not directly part of the creative and digital industry, there are many ways in which healthcare and medtech can benefit from working in collaboration with this sector. The NHS is built on a tried and tested, risk averse approach, which can create environments and working practices that stifle innovation. Working in collaboration with the creative and digital sector creates an opportunity for the NHS to work in a more flexible and agile way, exploring solutions and tackling challenges with an approach that encourages and promotes innovation.

Q: Since starting your job, what's your greatest achievement?

A: Since I came into post, the achievement i'm most proud of has been an event I held at Lighthouse Poole, called The Game Changer. This was an event designed to demonstrate examples of innovation from organisations such as LV=, RNLI and Guide Dogs, and to collide health and digital, to promote cross sector collaboration to disrupt health and wellbeing services in Dorset. A huge success, several projects are now underway such as exploring VR in mental health and gamification of the prevention agenda.

Q: Where were you born, and what made you come to Bournemouth?

A: I was actually born in Scotland, but my family moved to the South Coast when I was 2 years old, and Bournemouth has become my physical and spiritual home ever since. Now I live here raising my own family, and couldn't think of many better places in the country to live and work.

Q: What do you remember about your first day at your job?

A: What I recall most about the first day at this job, was the feeling of the almost limitless potential of what could be achieved, and what a fantastic opportunity this was to do things differently in an area that impacts upon us all.

Q: When you were a child, what did you want to be?

A: Han Solo or Indiana Jones. When I found out archeology didn't involve a bullwhip and a fedora and was mainly digging up old bits of wall, well it was Han Solo - he had a cool belt.

Q: When was the last time you learnt something new?

A: Every day! The more I explore, the more I learn. Medtech is advancing at at astonishing rate, and is changing modern healthcare. The more I explore how this can be applied locally, the more I learn about how our entire perspective on health and wellbeing is going to change.

Q: What was your first job?

A: My first job was unspectacular - working as an administrator for a galvanizing firm. Taught me a lot about what I did/didn't want to do - I left knowing that I wanted to do something that involved dealing with people and solving problems, and that I didn't want anything to do with galvanizing!

Q: How are your company's Christmas parties?

A: I only started in this post just after Christmas so i've yet to experience this, but based on the people I work with and nights out we've had so far, I imagine they'll be very funny!

Q: What was the best advice somebody gave you?

A: I've had plenty of advice given to me over the years, not all of it good, but the one thing that stands out and rings true regardless of the fact it wasn't given to me directly, comes from Brian Blessed: "There's no-one like YOU, we've all got something that nobody else has got, follow your dream and don't let the b**tards grind you down!"

Q: What would you name the autobiography of your life?

A: Let the Wookie Win (or Star Wars as a Handbook for Life)

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Richard Dolan
Richard Dolan interview