More great concepts!

Just caught up with the ‘patient 0’ team. They are working on an app that will give the opportunity to practise and test assessment skills before encountering real patients (hence the patient 0 name!)


Also, just took part in a quick brainstorming session for the team who are developing an app for improving induction to a new ward.

The idea is to provide access to important information, policies and assist finding equipment for healthcare professionals going into a new work environment.

Myself and 4 healthcare professionals had 5 minutes to come up with some ideas of what we would want from the initial opening page of the app.

Some really good ideas were thrown around!20151107_154333

Meet Talk Create Discuss Learn Play: A multi-professional forum

As an educationalist and project manager working for Health Education England, I’m lucky enough to get to meet a huge range of people working in the healthcare service.  However, the opportunity for us all here to interact immediately and creatively with such a diverse range of people is a specific and innovative one.

Hack Partners have carefully structured the event to ensure that the Friday night is spent quickly orientating people, getting them to interact, getting them to have fun, to socialise and then to quickly begin to work in teams.   This happens astonishingly quickly and it’s fantastic to be able to learn so much, so quickly.

It’s been such fun already speaking to participants and mentors about why they are attending TELHack, what they want out of it, what they hope to put in and what the experience means in terms of learning for them.  It’s clear that all see this as a real opportunity – an opportunity that isn’t, or hasn’t been, readily available.  Everyone wants to create, wants to make a difference and everyone is here to learn, to create and to be inspired.   The words frequently used are ‘amazing’, ‘fantastic’ and ‘awesome’.  There are some hack veterans but there are also people here who are first-timers.

Lunch was spent chatting to Iona, a fourth-year medical student who put forward a great pitch which, unfortunately, didn’t get taken up.  But, that’s the nature of hacks and the one thing that is overwhelmingly evident is that whilst there are no shortage of challenges in healthcare education, there is, equally, no shortage of ideas in attempting to solve them.

Check out Iona’s blog at

It’s really coming along!

Waking around the venue, listening to the ideas that each team has is exciting!

This is team Nightingale – They are working on a online environment for data processing. Very enthusiastic about their project, they are all working really hard and report that all is going really well!


Ward words – This team are addressing the problem of learning ward vocabulary. They say although aimed at nurses who don’t speak English as their first language, it can be for everyone. I know I would have found it really helpful when I first became a student nurse!

They have got some really good images together already and now moving on to audio and bringing it all together.


What a great atmosphere here and so much creativity and innovative thinking!

Thoughts from a hackathon virgin

Ok, so it isn’t quite my first Hackathon (I was at AMEEHacks in Glasgow last September as an observer), but it’s the first one I’ve been involved with organising and certainly the first I’ve had any significant involvement with from a development and mentoring perspective!

What is a Hacakthon?
I’m Richard and I work with Health Education England to improve access to Technology to support education in healthcare. When describing a hackathon, I have found myself having to explain to a number of people that we’re not trying to break into government computers and steal data or try and expose flaws and weaknesses in Smartphone technology, but it’s actually a way of developing, improving and positively disrupting the delivery of healthcare education!

A Hackathon (or Hack for short) brings together the brightest, most creative minds in technology, education and healthcare to address some of the biggest challenges in healthcare. The #TELHack event is being hosted by Health Education England in conjunction with Hack Partners.

First impressions
The launch event was a whirlwind of crazy ideas with some gems rising to the surface, quickly becoming viable and genuinely exciting ideas, to positively disrupt healthcare education.

Hackathon Launch Event

It’s hard not to get swept up in the enthusiasm and excitement of the event, even if as an observer it isn’t always possible to keep up with what’s going on! What genuinely surprised me was the quality of the ideas. In less than two hours, the teams had formed, pitched viable concepts and were starting to develop and plan their ideas.

Arriving Saturday Morning
Following a good night’s sleep, the teams were up early Saturday morning, having had the evening to reflect on their ideas and had already commenced development of their ideas. For me, it was an opportunity to speak with the teams and get a feel for how they were planning to implement their ideas (in particular it was an opportunity for me to play with some of the coveted toys and gadgets which were available for testing and hacking!).

A heart burrito lunch is where I conclude this post. I will update when the teams have started to build their products from the weekend!

Impact of clinical mentors

I’ve just been talking with two of our nurse clinical mentors and asking them about working with the different teams. Given that they were keen right from the offset last night on the idea of the Ward Words team, I knew that they would have had some input into this project specifically.

Sarah (Goodden) and Anne (Kirkham) explained that the team were working on a kind of visual dictionary to help nurses on the wards with English as a second language. They have worked with the team to help them also consider how their project might address/improve social language skills as well. They were even discussing with the team how the application could help with patient language skills also.

All our clinical mentors have thrown themselves into the event and I’ve really enjoyed ear-wigging on so many of these inter-professional conversations that are shaping and refining the projects being built here.

Off to a great start…

Saturday is off to a great start! The participants are looking refreshed, have been supplied with breakfast and snacks and are beginning to develop their exciting ideas.

The venue, though hard to find, is very impressive and each team has found a space to start hacking. The teams are really enthusiastic and passionate about their ideas and with the input of clinical mentors, things are really progressing.

The gadgets are out… So we’re off for a play!!

Reflecting on the London TELHack 2015 Launch

My name is Xavier, and I am a first year student of mental health nursing with Plymouth University. I was invited to the TELHack to report on the event, and also the enrich my digital learning – I have been supported in attending by Health Education England.

The event launched yesterday, the 6th of November, at Idea London, with a presentation designed to encourage enthusiasm from the participants; it is safe to say that this was very successful, with approximately 20 participants each presenting their own idea, which lead to the creation of approximately 10 groups. Initial pitches indicate that projects stretch from codifying information for health workers to creating a virtual reality environment to teach staff the names and pronunciation of equipment they may encounter.


As I write this the second day has begun, and following breakfast the teams are now working to make their idea a reality. The atmosphere in the room is electric, and there is a sense of enthusiasm in the air; there is real reason for optimism that this could provide all concerned (which, broadly speaking, is all of the NHS users and even beyond) with a truly meaningful outcome.


More information to follow..

First thoughts!

Hello! I’m Natalie, a 3rd year nursing student at the TelHack to observe and tweet. This was a very last minute but exciting opportunity for me and after attending the launch last night.. I can’t wait for today!

Myself and another student (Xavier) arrived in London from Plymouth yesterday, and after eventually navigating the tube and finding the venue (Thanks to Xavier!) we were excited to be there.

A little unsure of what to expect, The speakers for Health Education England and RNCi explained the challenges and how finding solutions to them could have a huge impact on education in healthcare and really improve patient care. As the evening unfolded, energy in the venue was amazing as healthcare professionals, developers and coders put forward some exciting ideas and teams started to form.

I look forward to seeing how the participants get stuck into the ideas today and how they develop!

And we’re off! The TELHack Launch.

TELHack kicked off today at IDEA London in Shoreditch with Health Education England working in partnership with Hack Partners to organise and host the event.

Participants started arriving along with those invited to attend the launch. Pretty immediately there was a real buzz in the air and it was great to start meeting many of our clinical mentors for the first time as well as those actually taking part in the hackathon.

After the speakers, all emphasising this event as a real opportunity to create an innovative interface between healthcare education professionals and developers, designers, technologists and entrepreneurs with a view to improving education and training and, ultimately, patient care, it was into a crazy ice-breaker session. Random words shouted out formed the basis for ad hoc teams to pitch wacky, and not so wacky, start up ideas.

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Then with an overview of the challenges that HEE and sponsors RCNi had presented, it was down to individuals to pitch their ideas. There were over 25 and these needed to be whittled down which happened through a lively, crowd post-it session. The final 12 or 13 (I’m not actually sure how many we have now!) then re-presented their ideas and what they needed in their team to make it happen. So, here we are at the close of the first afternoon and evening with teams already having got stuck in to their ideas.

As Chris Munsch, one of our clinical mentors, a cardiac surgeon, commented this evening – ‘out of chaos, order’. From frenetic activity throughout the evening, a set of ideas, a number of teams and already a clear determination on the part of participants to see their project to fruition. It’s going to be an exciting weekend.

The TEL Blog is now live!

This blog will be used to communicate about Health Education England’s Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Programme. You can find out more about the TEL Programme from this infographic.

The first big event that the blog will discuss is the TEL Hackathon. The launch is on Friday November 6th at IDEA London and the real action kicks off on Saturday 7th November at the Interchange Triangle in Camden Market.

The TEL Programme team will be liveblogging the event here at the TEL blog, so please check back for updates on this brilliant event which hopes to transform healthcare education.