Quarterly Update from the PSI Chair - Q1 2021

Mar 23, 2021, 11:18 AM
Welcome to the first Chairs update of 2021. I hope you, your family, friends and loved ones are all well. As I write this today we’re remembering 1 year to the day that the first lock-down occurred in the UK and whilst there are many things to feel sad and frustrated about, I took time this morning to reflect on all the opportunities that have arisen that may not have been the case without this year of isolation. A couple of those are my need for my husband Simon’s homemade bread every weekend, getting to spend lots of weekend time with my 10month old son August who is already running around the house, zooming with my MSc friends every month who are around the world, my increased book consumption (both for escapism and self development). I hope you can also take some time after reading this to also reflect on some of the happier moments the last year has brought about :)    

On to PSI and our sprint start into 2021! The first week back I announced the restructuring of the PSI Board, which you can read all about here if you’ve missed it. After only a few months I can already see the impact of the new Events and Careers roles and how they are going to help grow our impact and deliver a more holistic overview of what we have to offer in these two areas. For example we already know of 48 events planned for 2021 and I’m excited for the team to start sharing the calendar of events with you.  

We also completed a 2021 strategic review of PSI in January. Assessing how we are tracking against the PSI Business plan and where our focus areas need to be in 2021. It’s no surprise after a tricky financial year in 2020, that finances will be high on our list, but this can not be taken in isolation. In April we will be spending our Board meeting discussing the current and future business model for PSI. Are there new opportunities or areas we should experiment with under a new business model? I look forward to sharing an update with you later this year. 

Below are a couple of examples from this quarter on how we are working towards our strategic objectives.    

Empower members in their profession by strengthening and broadening their technical and influencing skills 
Kim Hacquoil & Naomi Givens on behalf of the Careers committee shared the proposal for the PSI Leadership course, which we are currently seeking feedback on from a number of companies to ensure we put together a program that will be unique and add value to the PSI community. More will be coming around this as well as other activities this group is working on shortly. 

Nurture and expand a collaborative and engaged community 
Priya Gokani has taken on the role as Community Lead for PSI. This was a role we decided on 18 months ago when the Membership committee was expanded to Membership & Community. This role is there to help build the PSI community and grow the engagement of our members. Good Luck Priya!

Promote the value of career opportunities related to the use of statistics in healthcare 
Jim Saul and Lyn Taylor shared the progress the Medical Statistics Apprenticeship is making. This has been a long hard process with a number of people alongside them working hard to meet all the UK Governments requirements to get this type of apprenticeship off the ground. They are so close we just need to get a couple more Universities to provide quotes. Fingers crossed.

Advance healthcare by being a leading partner in the application of statistics
I had an interesting discussion early this year with PhUSE Chair Steve Bamford about how they are adapting to the changing environments around us and how their new sponsorship versus membership model is working, what they’ve learnt from their online conference and how they are tackling areas such as diversity and inclusion and how we can work together to leverage our communities to make a difference.

Book Recommendation

'Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World' by Cal Newport (Buddy is having a month of respite with my sister while he gets used to his new wheelchair without being attacked by a small person. He will be back next quarter for the book review)
The last year I’ve certainly spent more time scrolling through my Facebook account, ending up on a music rabbithole on YouTube and binge watching TV series. This book kindly recommended by Alun Bedding helped force me to look at what I was spending time on and ways to reduce how digitally connected I was to give me more time to spend on areas that have more added value to me. My husband is also happy as we spend significantly more time playing card/board games he loves & I never realised I was a fan of. For the last few months I’ve not been on Facebook (I don’t even miss it -- I didn’t think that would be possible!) and I’m trying to only watch TV a couple of nights a week. I feel mentally better and I’m spending time doing things I get much more enjoyment from. Though I do miss the odd crazy dog video!

You can’t always choose what happens to you, but you can always choose how you feel about it - Quote by Danielle Laporte

I can’t believe personally that I only have another quarter left in my role as PSI Chair before I pass the reins to Chrissie Fletcher. 

Stay safe, look after each other and keep smiling ☺



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