Meet the team – Alicia Ridout

Alicia's has Clinical Safety Officer expertise but also clinical innovation services such as early stage innovation, development of collaborations and partnerships to bid for and deliver innovation projects. Alicia leads co-design work with citizens/patients and clinical staff, and as a registered Occupational Therapist I can support a person centred, quality improvement driven approach to this digital work.

Alicia Ridout
Clinical safety is a complex area, what is the most common question you get asked? How did an Occupational Therapist end up working in digital? And also, how do you get people involved in digital developments? It’s a long story!
Considering the sudden increase in the use of digital during the pandemic, what you be your top tip to companies? My top tip is to start a conversation with health and care organisations. The system is in shock just now as it tries to adjust to

1. A significant increase, overnight, in the use of remote services deployed without much time for all but legal and regulatory compliance work

2. A workforce that is exhausted and moving straight to preparations for a winter surge.

Solve a problem they have now and be part of the solution that provides intuitive and safe systems, easy to use and reliable.

How do they do that with limited resources? Safety is always a trust issue. This has applied to all the workshops and development projects/research I have been involved in over the years. Share safety documentation to ease deployment. Respond to workflow challenges and be creative about how you can help balance face to face and digital to deliver efficiencies. Be prepared to tackle the most challenging areas of care.
What else is on the horizon you would flag to customers of ETHOS? There is an opportunity to partner up and drive UK plc with our academic colleagues. Building holistic safety systems from scratch is more effective than retro fitting. We need evidence driven by high quality research and the UK has some fantastic collaborative research centres working with industry to achieve this. Let’s max this out for the care sector and community-based services where tech innovation can add value and support a reduction in inequalities.
Is this reflected across the health and care sector here and abroad? Yes. We know the pandemic has accelerated technology use but COVID 19 has hit our most vulnerable, our carers and at-risk citizens. Safety work enables conversations that ring true to people. Let’s keep this dialogue at the forefront of developments in technology, here and abroad.
If you could give one gift to customers what would it be? Build safety by design based on the best evidence you can find, involve users from the start and collaborate with people you trust who have the same values.