It was the 9th October 2015 when an email landed in my inbox inviting me to an initial teleconference with the NIHR Coordinating Centre. It was to discuss a proposed integration between EDGE and CPMS. My usual positive attitude kicked in and I thought ‘Hmmmm, that’ll be a nice project for a year or so, how complicated could it be’. Underestimation is a dangerous thing however, which I have learnt many times, usually when starting DIY projects in my house and telling my wife things like ‘the shower will be fixed in an hour or so’, only for it to still be in pieces on the floor a few days later. So as you can imagine, both to my surprise, and not to my surprise at the same time, 3 and a half years later this interface project is still in progress.
In my rather varied career history, I used to run critical incidents in the Kent Police Control Room, such as firearms incidents and large scale public order events which were constantly evolving and each had many moving parts to take into account. I’m therefore used to pressure and stress, aware of the need to dynamically risk assess the situation constantly, keep in mind the bigger picture whilst also trying to complete the task in hand. This has perhaps stood me in good stead for this integration project.
Despite this being the most complicated project that I have ever worked on, I believe it has actually delivered benefits beyond its original design. It has brought our team, the Clinical Research Networks and the Coordinating Centre around the table on an almost weekly basis, in turning building a very close working relationship with everyone involved and developing a much deeper understanding around how we each function. Although we haven’t been able to engage with every Trust in the integration work, we have always involved as many as possible in the conversations to ensure that everyone has a voice in the changes being made.
As Newton said, every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and this cannot be denied. The concentration of our workforce on delivering the CPMS integration has meant that other aspects of our teams work has had to play second fiddle, often meaning that engagement through platforms like ideascale has reduced, or the ability for our team to set up user groups around areas of special interest.
So on a positive note, we are currently in the throes of recruitment, meaning that soon we will be able to re-continue all of the engagement work that enables us to work alongside you all in understanding your business, your processes, your problems and your aspirations in order to deliver the best solutions possible in EDGE.
Blog post written by Dave Osler
Head of EDGE Knowledge, CIRU
University of Southampton