It’s just one more sleep until Santa and his reindeer bring you all the presents you ever wanted – and let’s face it, this year we deserve them! But before the man in the red suit sets off from the North Pole, Digital Health News asked members of our Network Advisory Panels what they hoped he would bring.

So Santa, baby, buckle up because we’ve got a long list from everyone who’s been nice and we’re really hoping yule deliver on it.

Here’s what they want under their Christmas tree:

Ayesha “Reindeer” Rahim

“Quite frankly, Santa has a lot of explaining to do given the year we’ve all had.

“However, he might be able to make it up to me by ensuring that we have a CCIO in every provider organisation, supported by a team of clinical informaticians.

“Digital transformation is core business, so it’s the least we deserve!”

James “Rudolph” Reed

“A magic calendar which allows me to finally turn the page on the 23rd March 2020 and start into April properly without all that coronavirus business to think about.

“A ‘reality distortion field’ which I can deploy to get every good idea I have immediately fully funded. And a teleportation device with built in ‘antivirus’ to get me out of the house a bit more often.

“More seriously, I would really like to be able to equip our staff with better, and more flexible, tools to help them do their job. I worry that too often we are asking people to make bricks without straw and then beat them around the head with the result.

“Our digital systems, however much we love them, are simply tools which are used to deliver the best result for the patient we can. So I suppose what I really want is the equivalent of a magic toolbox, whereby everything you reach for to do a job turns out to be designed exactly for the purpose.

“There’s nothing more satisfying than having the right tool for the job, and this is what all our systems should be.”

Shera “Candy Cane” Chok

“That digital leadership teams start to reflect the diversity of our health and care workforce.

“Panels and speakers at digital conferences similarly reflect the breadth of the people using the technology on the front line.

“The NHS gets better at attracting and retaining top talent from diverse backgrounds and creates more accessible entry points into digital careers for clinicians, informaticians and other staff groups.”

Fiona “Merry” McDonald

“Patient control over data at coded level – that is specific control over what is and isn’t shared at entry level across healthcare settings.

“The patient put first in access to results from all settings where the patient has indicated, before the GP or anyone else quite frankly.

“Shared protocols and care on a digital platform between generalist, the patient and specialists.

“And best of breed promoted rather than mega systems.”

Lisa “Elf” Emery 

“Could you please post out oversized foam hands to wear with ‘legacy hand’ on them, for people to wave on video calls?

“Or ‘you’re on mute’ t shirts!”

Let it snow… Christmas wishes for the editorial team

This year the Digital Health editorial team has made it onto Santa’s ‘nice list’ (but only just). But being so demanding they’ve asked for all the jingle bells and whistles – here’s what they’re hoping he packs in his sleigh tonight.

Jon “Ho Ho” Hoeksma

“Well first-up I’d like to be able to meet with the rest of the Digital Health team again, we quit our offices in May. Apart from socially responsible drinks with the editorial team it’s been all virtual ever since.

“I’m looking forward to a great Rewired 2021 virtual festival in March, and hope that we’ll be able to follow this with a face-to-face Summer School in July. Virtual events have great strengths and are here to stay, but its really difficult to replicate the networking.

“At the national level I hope we can hang on to and consolidate the real digital gains achieved during the crisis, what I hope we can do in 2021 is move on from remote care to virtual care and digital therapies at scale and using data to drive insights at every level. If we can achieve this, then I think the pandemic will be remembered as helping provide the springboard for making digital health a reality.”

Hannah “Cracker” Crouch

“Dear Santa, could we continue to have the acceleration of digital services across the NHS but not the Covid-19 pandemic, pretty please?

“And could I also have the government cheque-book as well? Not asking for much really.”

Andrea “Dasher” Downey

“All I want for Christmas is… a more transparent conversation around how patient data has been used during the pandemic, and a robust IT system to oversee the delivery of the Covid-19 vaccine.

“Also, Santa, if you could find some more listeners for Digital Health Unplugged that would be great (have I ever mentioned we have a podcast?).

“Oh and one last, tiny thing, for people to stop getting my name wrong in emails. I’m not Andrew.”

If all this talk of Santa and presents has got you in the Christmas spirit, why not continue it with our Digital Health Unplugged Christmas Quiz of the Year? The leaders of the Digital Health Advisory Panels put their knowledge of all things NHS IT to the test in this festive edition of the podcast. Go on, take a listen, you know you want to see if you’re smarter than them!