An invitation to join our team

Roz Davies

27th March 2021

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The Team:

I had my one year anniversary at mHabitat recently and I must admit to shedding a tear or two as I reflected on the last year. It has been the toughest year yet for the NHS, our country and the world, in my lifetime and according to my Grandma (who is 100 this year and lived through the second world war) the same for her.

At the time of writing this blog there were 126,515 deaths in the UK. Most of us will know someone who has died or someone who is grieving a loved one who died from Covid-19. As we emerge from what was a bleak winter, we are also starting to understand some of the aftershock effects, long Covid-19, unprecedented elective care waiting lists, mental and emotional health difficulties, not to mention the deep rooted impact of the increasing poverty and unemployment. These are challenging and uncertain times, but from adversity can come creativity and deeply embedded motivation for positive social change.   

Starting a new role in a co-design digital innovation team that did everything offline - workshops, events, collaborations - on the eve of the first lockdown was interesting. At the very beginning I wondered how we would navigate this new context, but thanks to a brilliant team and the network around mhabitat, I think we managed it!  

We went home on the 16 March 2020 not fully realising that we would not return, we re-grouped on Zoom and asked ourselves the Ikigai questions:

  • What do we love to do?
  • What are we good at?
  • What does the world need?
  • What will people pay for? 

In the centre of these questions, we found our purpose. It turned out we all fundamentally and deeply care about equality and equity, more specifically, how can we use digital innovation to tackle inequity and how can we ensure that digitally enabled healthcare does not compound pre-existing health inequalities.  We refocused mHabitat on making sure that everyone benefits from digitally enabled care and from this mission we created a new social change programme: Inclusive Digital Transformation. We have since been on an incredible journey of discovery with many different partners, some of which we have shared in previous posts. We have also committed to sharing all our insights and assets including through a new NHS Futures Workspace and a series of events in April/May. 

As a team of designers, researchers and collaborators, we have worked hard to connect, listen, facilitate and co-design a new inclusive approach to digital transformation. The challenges of working in a system which has faced extreme and continual pressure and a society which has been locked down and locked in has been hard, but it has also enabled us to grow as individuals and as a team. We shared a blog at the end of 2020 which I think gave an insight into our collective journey. 

Fast-track to March 2021, and despite everything, we have come a long way and I think we have clear sight on what we want to achieve, our values and the kind of culture we want in our team. This is a reflection on every single member of our team bringing their unique talents and characteristics to the table. As a team, we fully recognise the severity and enormity of the challenges for our society and our health and care system ahead and we are geared up and focused on playing our role in ensuring we tackle inequality and inequity and do not leave people without the services and support they need. We know that in the future we will not thrive by luck but by design. Co-design to be more precise. 

Our values are:

  • Integrity and Quality: We are honest, conscientious and ethical and seek to deliver high quality standards in everything we do.
  • Creative and Curious: We are continually learning, reflecting and evolving and we experiment and embrace new ideas
  • Inclusive and Respectful: We value diversity of people and approaches and seek to challenge and change inequalities and exclusion 

We recently checked-in with our partners and asked them to describe us in three words. I am pleased to say the responses seemed to reflect our values:

Flexible, Connected, Professional, Ethical, Inclusive, Fun, Friendly, Supportive, Dynamic, Innovative. Passionate, Agile, Forward-thinking, Collaborative, People First, Ambitious, Friendly Reliable, Knowledgeable

We are a small and mighty team with a fantastic network of partners. We are hosted by Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. People often get confused by our identity as we are unusual in that we are rooted in the NHS but external facing and we have to earn the income to pay our costs. We have the feel and culture of a ‘not for profit’ ‘think and do’ tank or a community interest company. Whilst not all the team are career NHS people, we do all deeply value the NHS as described in the NHS constitution, in particular that the NHS belongs to the people and that a comprehensive service should be available to all.  

We spend about 10-20% of our time on work in our own Trust, 40-50% of our time in our own region and 40-50% of our time on work at a national level or other areas. Some of our current collaborators are various ICS’s and AHSN’s, NHSX, NHSE, NHS Confed, Oxford University, some national and local charities, local government and some digital health industry partners. 

The Invitation: 

We are recruiting some new members of the team who will bring their own ideas and qualities and going forward we will refine our strategy and we will evolve our thinking, tools and offer but we will hold on to our values as a reference point and frame for our work. I hope this gives people who might be interested in our new roles a sense of who we are and the difference we are trying to achieve in the world. We are really curious to see who might be interested in joining us and invite people who share our values and are from a diverse range of backgrounds to apply for the roles.

Deputy Director (Business and Events), Band 8a £45,753-£51,668 

PT 22.5 hours, flexible and remote with visits to Leeds and other places as required. 

We are looking for someone to lead our new venture; the Design Exchange. You will lead our learning and events offer, design and deliver learning and events programmes and help grow our profile, income and influence. You will need to think strategically and be excellent at delivery and come with experience and knowledge of a range of methods, tools and approaches including quality improvement, adoption and spread of digital innovation, co-design and co-production. Most importantly of all we are looking for someone who shares our values, is passionate about inclusion, innovation and improvement, has an eye for detail and is a natural collaborator.

More info here

Project Manager (Learning and Events), Band 6 £31,365-£37,890 

FT, flexible and remote with visits to Leeds and other places as required

We are looking for someone to help turn our knowledge and ideas into learning programmes. We are looking for an engaging and organised completer finisher, experienced in developing and delivering online learning programmes and high profile conferences and events. You will be part of an ambitious team seeking to build the skills, capability and confidence of the health and care eco-system to use digital to improve lives. Previous programmes have included Digital Practitioner, Inclusive Digital Transformation, Adoption of Innovation, Accelerator Programmes and Leeds Digital Festival. It is important that you share our values and are passionate about inclusion, innovation and improvement in a health and care context. 

More info here

Technical and Creative Lead, Band 6 £31,365-£37,890

FT, flexible and remote with visits to Leeds and other places as required

We are looking for a  #Tech4Good developer with an eye for design and detail and a passion for co-designing digital innovations which make a positive impact on the world. You will need to be multi-talented, adaptable and creative and, as at home with your head down developing an app as you are at the front of house leading workshops. We don't expect you to build all our innovations as we do have developer partners but we need someone in the team who talks the language and can turn their hand to dev if we need it. We know we are asking for a lot but in return you get to work for the NHS in a nationally acclaimed co-design, friendly and collaborative team working on an incredible array of high profile projects including MindWell Leeds, our award winning partnership mental health platform. It is important that you share our values and are passionate about inclusion, innovation and improvement in a health and care context. 

More info here 


Co-Design and User Research Lead, Band 6 £31,365-£37,890

FT, 1 Year Fixed Term, flexible and remote with visits to Leeds and other places as required

We are looking for a creative service designer and user researcher with strong active listening and facilitation skills. You will join our design and delivery team and work across a diverse portfolio of projects locally and nationally - all with a common goal to drive inclusive innovation and improvement in health and care. We need someone who is friendly and engaging and able to communicate thoughtfully with people who need services, commissioners, clinical staff, developers and technical teams. You'll be on the look out for insights and ideas in everything you do - and have the skills to synthesise what you learn into high quality reports and product specifications. It is important that you share our values and are passionate about inclusion, innovation and improvement in a health and care context. 

More info here

Roz Davies

Managing Director

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