Yearnote: 2019

It’s been a year. Lots of things I hope I’ll not have to deal with again. And some I know I will.

It’s tempting to put 2019 straight in the bin. From a work point of view I’ve had plenty of downs this past year. And recently I had been feeling out of sorts.

But taking some advice I’ve given others plenty of times. I made a list of some stuff that was pretty cool that I did in 2019.

Some of the stuff I did:

  • Finished an alpha into how health records are used, successfully not building a service that would have increased burden on the NHS
  • Passed live service assessment for the opt-out service. First NHS service to do so!
  • Led a discovery into the uses of patient data for research. Helped the NHS pivot from building a costly service and find other ways to satisfy uncovered needs
  • Steered a discovery looking into how patients get contacted/communicated with. Ended by having my recommendations taken seriously by those at the very top of the NHS
  • Helped Sam and Rhiannon develop as people, professionals and pass their end of graduate scheme assessments
  • Designed an MVP notifications and messaging service
  • Helped reshape the short/medium term future of appointments in the NHS App
  • Presented at 2 NHS Digital code clubs. Helping loads of people get to grips with coding
  • Ran the weekly NHS Digital design meet-ups in Leeds
  • Helped lots of colleagues design better shit and create some cool prototypes to test their thinking

In 2019 I led 4 discoveries, 3 alphas, 1 beta and taking 1 service into live management.

Not bad.

Maybe 2019 doesn’t belong completely in the bin.

2019 was full of opportunities and I’m grateful for those.

Though it wasn’t calm.

Something I’m going to try be smarter with the opportunities that come my way.

Rather than saying no though. I’m going to try to pass on and share opportunities that don’t quite fit.

I did that last summer and it turned out to be a great decision. For me. And the team too because I was able to give the opportunity to one of the best designers I know.

More of that in 2020.

Stuff I wrote in 2019


I wrote 16 articles. Most based on advice I gave someone in person. Or to remind myself to do better next time.

I also wrote a pattern about asking patients for their NHS number. Which is much better now. Through feedback from the wider NHS design community. And the service manual team at NHS Digital.

Discovery notes

In April I also wrote weeknotes for each week of a discovery into the uses of data in the NHS

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