Hi to all the DAFNE educators, doctors and administrators out there, we thought you might be interested in what we get up to here at the DAFNE mothership (AKA the central DAFNE office) so to kick off here is a snapshot of who’s in the central DAFNE crew and what it’s like to be the national DAFNE lead trainer and assessor. I used to be a live-aboard boater (Blue Waters was her name) so excuse the nautical analogy!
I am privileged to work with a fantastic team. Although we are a small crew (just eight permanent crew in total) we get a lot done, so here’s a name check:
- Gill Thompson is our director, the skipper who plots the course.
- Becky Hedgcock is our programme manager, first mate, manning the helm and keeping us on course.
- Alexa, Sam, Paula and Carolyn are our excellent office team and your DAFNE buddies, our competent crew.
- Liesl Richardson is my DAFNE co-pilot, working with me on development and implementation of training, we pilot the mothership, navigating the trickier waters of structured education.
- Dr Helen Hopkinson and Sue Clark are our HCP training buddies stepping in when we hit heavy seas.
- Dr Jackie Elliott is the chair of our Executive Board and co-trainer on the DAFNE doctor programme, coopted specialist crew.
I also work with the DAFNE Executive Board; DAFNE graduates, doctors and educators, and representatives of Northumbria Healthcare Trust, our host organisation (yes we are a part of the NHS and no we are not a profit making organisation!).
My role is interesting and varied but there is no doubt that it has changed since I first stepped into the role in 2014 (that seems a long time ago now), especially in the last 18 months.
The main focus of my job is to develop, update and implement the DAFNE portfolio of training programmes, and act as a link between the Executive board, the central DAFNE team and educators across the UK and RoI.
I work with other agencies as well, dafneonline and The Open University team in particular. They are our technical crew who come onboard when the mothership needs an overhaul or an update.
Sometimes it’s a bit tricky because I’m not familiar with the language. I’m new to web design, working with camera men, sound technicians, actors and runners. Liesl and I are getting our heads around building doodle quizzes, online activities, audio visual assets and script writing, but we get through somehow with enthusiasm, kindness and patience!
It’s all a bit different from face to face clinical work (which I missed a lot in the beginning) and even from face to face training, change happens for us all and life and the world move on.
We are all getting used to using video conferencing tools for recording and presenting, I’ve never looked at or listened to myself so much in my whole life! Hopefully you are finding the webinars we are delivering a useful way of accessing information to support your teams and your DAFNE participants.
Liesl and I are looking forward to the network meetings this autumn, even though they aren’t going to be face to face it will be a lovely opportunity to catch up with our amazing educators and find out what’s happening in different localities across the UK and RoI.
Local knowledge is vital so keep talking to us, we need your help so we don’t founder on this leg of the journey!
So, to sum up, like most jobs this one has its challenges, which is good. My skill set is broader than I ever imagined it would be when I joined the NHS, which is good. I work with wonderful people who make a difference, which is good. I love this job!