Meet the innovator: Louisa StaceySeptember 15, 2022
In this edition, we catch up with Louisa Stacey, Head of Strategy and Operations at Ufonia, an automated telephone-based system that allows routine clinical conversations to provide a standardised, high quality and efficient experience for patients.
Tell us about your innovation in a sentence: Dora is an automated telephone based system that can have routine clinical conversations with patients to provide a standardised, high quality and efficient patient experience.
What was the ‘lightbulb’ moment?
Being approached by Nick (CEO and Founder of Ufonia) to come and work for Ufonia. This gave me the confidence to believe that I could use all of the skills, abilities, and experience I had gained throughout my academic and NHS career, to make a bigger difference to more patients, clinicians, and the wider NHS.
What three bits of advice would you give budding innovators?
- Be brave and bold - believe in your vision and have the conviction to see it through; there will always be very difficult days
- Work collaboratively - there are so many talented people willing and able to assist you in achieving your vision
- Be empathetic - to develop a true and meaningful understanding of how your innovation will be used to make a difference
What’s been your toughest obstacle?
My toughest obstacle has been and still is…trying to reconcile striving to do the best with a ‘just do it’ mentality to ensure we are delivering value to patients, Trusts, and commissioners as readily as possible.
What’s been your innovator journey highlight?
The buzz I get when I work directly with clinical teams to understand their processes and constraints, followed by the collective realisation of the potential impact that Dora can bring in releasing clinicians’ valuable time to deliver services to the many thousands of patients on their waiting lists.
Best part of your job now?
Genuinely, the team I work with and the impact that this has on the pace, scale, and quality of work delivered. Everyone is phenomenally talented and driven to achieve the same goals which is fundamental in any team to support happiness, retention, and delivery. Check out the team here: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ufonia/mycompany/
If you were in charge of the NHS and care system, what’s the one thing you’d do to speed up health innovation?
Reduce the duplication of effort and variety of systems and processes in place at each individual Trust to support the adoption of technology e.g. all Trusts accepting a set of nationally recognised assurance documents supporting information governance and security measures (DPIA, DTAC) without having a Trust-specific template.
A typical day for you would include…
My day is very varied and can start with meeting busy clinicians at 8am before their clinics begin or logging on early to check emails and slack messages to understand the priorities for the day. Then I will meet the Ufonia team for our virtual daily standup at 9am and find out what work everyone has on as well as a fun fact (e.g. What are you most looking forward to about Autumn?). Whilst we are recruiting more team members into operations, a lot of my day involves meeting with NHS staff to support the implementation of Dora to their services, and with commissioners to demonstrate return on investment. I particularly enjoy helping members of the Ufonia team to find and solve problems which drive improvements in our ways of working. When I have a quiet moment, the creativity flows and I can think of bigger picture strategic work which is a huge motivator for me.