I started writing this last week, and then got completely sidetracked. This has been one of those months where so much has happened, I probably should have written week notes instead. But you’re going to get this abbreviated (but still overly long) summary instead.


The highlight of the month was heading back to Halifax in Nova Scotia again. I’ve been there 7 times now, and love every visit.

We often overfill these trips with workshops and big group sessions - leaving little time for anything else. We did that a lot last year when Anna and I were running the RMV transformation.

This time however, we gave ourselves a bit more space to breathe - which meant we got to spend more time catching up with people. There was a bit of biz dev, and talking to potential partners as well.

Alex (our new Director based in British Columbia) joined us, so we got the chance to get to know each other, and show her how we work. Face-to-face is so important for this stuff.

It was also lovely to have Giles out there to run a couple of agile comms workshops for people across NS gov.

Our team in Nova Scotia (Giles, me, Simon, Anna and Alex). Photo taken by Giles.

Entirely by accident, the visit coincided with the solar eclipse across North America. Although it wasn’t a total eclipse, we still got to sit and experience the eerie light caused by 95% of the sun being blocked.

Makeshift pin hole camera made from a notebook so we could watch the eclpise.

Away from Halifax, I’ve been continuing to support the teams working in Ontario and Kyiv, and some thinking about how we use technical partners to help us go a little deeper on some work.


A slightly quieter month in my health role. That said, there’s been a couple of the usual committee meetings, and I stood in for another Independent Member on the Audit, Risk and Assurance Committee.

I spent a little bit of time talking with the team putting together the plan for deploying electronic prescriptions and medicine management across the organisation - mostly about multidisciplinary teams, small steps, and building in time to test and learn as it happens.

I also spent half a day with all the other Digital Independent Members from other health boards hearing and talking about the challenges of digital in NHS Wales.

I have to admit to getting a little frustrated with the same issues coming up again and again, and the lack of progress to resolving them.

Digital delivery in Wales is still swamped with big business cases, massive procurements and big bang roll outs that take years to progress and frequently go wrong.

The pace of delivery of new services is glacially slow, and all the national funding is sucked up by big risky waterfall projects. Very little, if any, funding is left over for the iterative user-centred work that delivers value more quickly.

I had hoped that 6 years on from the System Reboot report we’d be in a better place. But the creation of CDPS & DHCW doesn’t seem to have changed the status quo much at all.

I’m going to keep pushing, and celebrating the small things when they happen. But, it’s disheartening to see the same things over and over again.


If you’ve been following along with Ann’s week notes you’ll know that Dilys has been really unwell this month.

When I got back from Halifax she had a flare up of IVDD which made it painful for her to walk. Several trips to the emergency vets for pain relief later, we hoped she would get better. But unfortunately she went downhill quickly and lost the ability to walk.

We managed to get an emergency appointment at Bristol Vet Specialists for an MRI, which confirmed a disc in her back had ruptured and was compressing her spinal cord. She went straight in for surgery to remove the material.

Amazingly - she was able to start walking again almost straight away. She’s now on strict rest while it all heals. But - she’s feeling much better and her ability to walk is almost fully back to normal.

Bristol Vets were absolutely fantastic - I can’t praise them enough. They listened to us, treated us like adults. We’re dismissive at all. And immediately did what needed to be done to protect Dilys. Huge thanks to the neurology team there.

Dilys in recovery


Things are finally moving forward with our plans for renovating the house. We’ve got a start date for the building work - just 4 weeks away. We’ve got lots of prep to do - including finding somewhere to store everything that’s currently in the studio.

We spent a few hours with our architects this week picking materials for the kitchen and bathrooms. This is the really fun part.

Thinking about

I’ve already talked about the state of digital in Wales. That’s occupied lots of my thoughts this month.

There have probably been other things, but this is already a long enough note for one month.