I run a not-for-profit social enterprise called Care Charts UK which I founded in the light of my husband’s experience with dementia. We turn ideas into products and services to improve the quality of life of health and care staff and those they care for.
What has been your most notable radical accomplishment or experience?
It barely seemed radical at the time, sticking a chart on the wall. However, in encouraging care homes and hospitals to ensure someone’s likes and dislikes are available to all staff members, I am encouraging them to treat the whole person, not just focus on a list of tasks or healthcare needs. Mine is just one voice amongst many calling for this new approach, and my communication and relationship-building tools help the process.
When did you first realise that you are a health & care radical?
When Nesta / The Observer declared me to be one! Actually, I suppose I realised before that, when I challenged a community to change their behaviour on the strength of what I had learned from personal experience.
What advice do you wish someone had given you earlier in your career?
Follow your dream whilst keeping an eye on the bigger picture.
What is your favourite radical characteristic?
Persistence in the face of an army of resistance.
What is your favourite question?
What one clue tells you you’re affecting positive change?
Feedback from people who ‘get it’.
What do you think it’s most important for people to understand about radicals?
Radicals are not out to destruct but to rebuild. Radicals need to rock the boat to shake things up, get people thinking outside the box, but capsizing the boat is not the agenda.
What’s your one word piece of advice for radicals?
Where do you think radicals are most needed today?
In every walk of society, sweeping away complacency, rattling on the bars of traditional organisations where thinking outside the box is discouraged. In schools to encourage children to think and challenge the text books. Just because it’s in print, doesn’t mean it’s right. And especially in health and social care, where the old ways of doing things are still ingrained in many organisations.
Who is your favourite radical from the past 100 years?
What’s the one thing you should never say to a radical?
“That’s how we’ve always done it.”
How do you rate yourself as a radical:
Just getting going.