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Q Lab workshop – live blog

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Welcome! The Lab team will be live blogging here on Thursday (16 March) from our first workshop. Around 25 people from a variety of backgrounds will be exploring the theme ’empowering people to manage their own health and care needs’ (chosen by Q members).

Take a look at the agenda here.

We’ll also be tweeting from @theQCommunity (#QLab). Get involved by either tweeting or posting a comment below. We will be feeding any questions and/or thoughts into the workshop.

4:30pm: The workshop comes to a close.

Thank you so much to all those who attended, tweeted and read the blog. Also to those organisations that featured on our Insight Wall, and Health Foundation colleagues who helped us pull this together.

And it’s just the beginning. We’ll be spending the coming days summarising and collating all of the feedback and insights from today, then mapping out next steps.

Want to be involved? Email and we’ll be in touch.

4:30pm: Indeed.

4:14pm: The attendees worked up the themes in to many areas of opportunity for the Lab to explore further. A couple of examples below:

  • How can we develop a culture that re-balances risk/reward ratio?
  • How can we make peer-support effective for people with long term conditions?
  • How can we collect and use asset-based data to empower people to navigate their health and wellbeing?
  • How can we support professionals to embrace, not fear, different conversations?

Lots for the Lab to think about.

4:11pm: A reminder of all the post-it notes we’ll have to sort!

4:04pm: Ruby and Katie take a break from solving wicked challenges to chat about how they found the day:

3:57pm: The spirit of collaboration has been picked up on by several people during the workshop.

3:45pm: Earlier I caught up with Ursula Clarke, Senior Programme Manager at Kent Surrey Sussex Academic Health Science Network about how she was finding the day. A lot of passion for the topic and love for the Q Lab…

3:30pm: Attendees working hard on each of the themes, and thinking about turning each of the themes in a ‘how can we….’ opportunity.

2:33pm: Amongst the hustle and bustle, I managed to chat with Levette Lamb, Q member and Regional Safety Patient Advisor from Northern Ireland on how she was finding the day so far:

2:25pm: Some really deep discussion on the themes identified. Thinking about what can be added and what is missing.

1:46pm: Taking in to account all of the personas, a first attempt at looking at common themes:

  • Understanding health, articulating your own health needs, navigating the system.
  • Preventing and responding to a crisis.
  • Holistic offer of what is required.
  • People’s ability to plan their lives and transitions.
  • The way affects relationships and the judgements they need to make.
  • when does state and family intervene, and in a way that is not dis-empowering.
  • Different conversations within health but also with family.
  • Risks and rewards.
  • Workplaces and other contexts.
  • Thinking about peer support, how we can give a boost to informal support that people get.

1:41pm: Summary of the personas that people worked on:

Derek – 82, married for 60 years, a carer (but doesn’t call himself a carer) with complicated health conditions himself

Judith – 71, not a frail old lady; a bastion of her community! But her health has been deteriorating.

Sebastian – moved with his wife to Croydon from Ecuador. Has a little boy. Exposed to chemicals at work and has started drinking heavily. Little contact with local NHS.

Nicola – 16 years old, has downs syndrome but desperate to be independent. Has some health conditions but knows she needs to manage them if she is to move away from home.

Rhys – lives in beautiful north Wales but has complicated conditions (heart disease) and lives far away from the nearest hospital. Has managed to keep working but is worried that is new manager might not be as accommodating to his health needs.

1:30pm: Post-lunch and starting to piece together some of the main themes of the morning’s activities:

12:06pm: Thinking about personas.

Our table are thinking about what might be empowering or dis-empowering for Sebastian, a 25-year old from Croydon.

11:48am: Some reflections and reactions from the Insight Wall

11:15am: The Insight Wall

The insight wall is a collection of just some of the research and knowledge already known about this topic. Attendees have an opportunity to take it all in, thinking about what’s out there and learn something new. Some great insight from a variety of sources and experiences.

10:58am: Empowerment means lots of things to lots of people:

10:51am: Is empowerment something we take for granted? Interesting discussion in the workshop and on twitter:

10:47am: For this table, exercise features in feeling empowered:

10:38am: Attendees sharing stories about what empowerment means to them:

10:28am: First questions for attendees to discuss:

  • What does empowerment mean to you?
  • When did you last feel empowered?

Feel free to comment below and we’ll feed back into the workshop.


10:15am: The Lab will have a space, will work on a topic and will have a dedicated team to work on challenges facing health and care.

10:09am: The event has started: Intro’s from Tracy Webb, Head of Q Labs and Penny Pereira, Deputy Director of Improvement at the Health Foundation

9:50am: A short video from Matt Fogarty, NHS Improvement, on why he is excited about today’s workshop:

9:32am: The first few delegates have arrived. The room is ready to go!

The day before the event: The Lab team are busy building our Insight Wall, showcasing just some of the research and knowledge on this subject:

Preparing for the workshop
Gathering the final documents
Workshop preparation looking down
Surrounded by insight


  1. Guest

    Hope today goes well! And a live blog - a first for Q! Hope you have really good discussions and looking forward to hearing from this space as the day progresses.

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