My journey as a social care Topol Digital Fellow
Published on 30 May 2023, by Hossein Sharifi
Hear from Hossein Sharifi, a Healthcare Entrepreneur working in social care, about the start of his journey as a Topol Digital Fellow.
Embarking on my journey as a Topol Digital Fellow has been a great experience for me. This excellent opportunity, known for its focus on digital healthcare and leadership development, opened its doors to people from social care for the first time this year. Social care is often overshadowed compared to the attention given to healthcare. So, when it was announced that people from social care can apply for the Fellowship, I decided to apply. The process was straightforward and non-bureaucratic, something that can easily put people off! The interview process was also friendly, including a lay community member in the panel was an excellent idea. I felt they showed a great understanding of social care. Afterall, access to social care is an issue that we all will need to deal with sometime in our life.
The launch day in Birmingham was full of unforgettable moments where I had the opportunity to meet other Topol Digital Fellows who share the same passion for driving positive change in their field. I was expecting a perhaps slightly uninspiring welcome speech from James Freed, Chief Digital and Information Officer and Senior Responsible Owner of the Digital Academy, but to my surprise it was inspiring and interesting (though he did speak for a while purely on healthcare). I was preparing to ask him where he thought social care stood when he suddenly asked if there is anyone from social care in the audience. I found it positive that he gave the last 5 minutes of his speech to social care.
I believe it is a momentous stride to open Topol Digital Fellowship’s doors to professionals from social care. This decision indicates the importance of integrating social care into the broader healthcare system, recognising its crucial role in delivering holistic and person-centred care.
The anticipation and excitement was palpable as the day continued with some excellent workshops and a chance to speak with other Fellows. The venue buzzed with energy as a diverse group of aspiring Fellows, each with unique experiences and backgrounds, eagerly shared their ideas and explored the ideas from our peers. Meeting other Fellows was one of the highlights of the launch day. As we introduced ourselves and shared our stories, it became apparent how each of us brought a different perspective to the table. The diversity of our cohort, comprising professionals from various disciplines within healthcare and social care, created an environment of rich learning and collaboration.
Although each person came from a different part of the health and social care sectors, it soon became evident that we all shared a common vision: to drive positive change in the health and care sector through digital transformation. The collective passion and dedication was inspiring, igniting a sense of purpose within each one of us.
Throughout the launch day, Fellows engaged in empowering discussions and sessions. Speakers shared their knowledge and insights on how to approach problems in health and care, talking about various methodologies to explore problems facing us and what to expect over the next 12 months .
Beyond the invaluable knowledge gained during the launch day, the connections forged with other Topol Digital Fellows was equally significant. The Fellowship provides a unique platform for building a network of like-minded individuals who share a common purpose.
I am feeling optimistic and determined as I think back on the application process, interview, and launch day as I look forward to the exciting adventure ahead. I believe the Fellowship has given me the chance to help build a more just health and care system. Even while technology is already a part of almost every aspect of life, many people who need care would struggle to completely benefit from it. As a result, as part of the Topol project, I'm creating a mobile application interface that makes use of speech recognition technology, such that found in devices like the Amazon Echo, to enable elderly and disabled people who need care to play an active role in planning and delivery of their care. I'm eager to update my peers and other health and social care professionals on my progress and, eventually, the results.
Page last reviewed: 26 May 2023
Next review due: 29 May 2024