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by Roy Lilly
Published on 29 November 2017

All of us, at the Academy of Fabulous Stuff, are delighted to benefit from the support and encouragement our friends at Cerner have given us, once again, for our annual awards ceremony at London’s O2.

At the Academy, we have one purpose; to be the centre for the collection and sharing best practice across the NHS.

Facing unprecedented pressures in terms of demand and funding, still challenged by the impact of austerity in the wider economy, the NHS’s own plan for its future, up to 2020, depends heavily on new models of care and innovation.

Curiously, there was no central repository of best practice across the health service. Today the Academy fills that gap; the go-to place for sharing ideas and new ways of working.

Based on the management science of ‘positive deviance’, the Academy recognises in any community, there will be people whose uncommon, but successful behaviours or strategies, enable them to find better solutions to a problem that their peers, despite facing similar challenges and having no extra resources or knowledge.

Somehow, some people just seem to be able ‘to do it’.

The Academy provides the place where the best practice, good ideas and solutions can be shared, compared and developed.

Since the beginning the Academy has been able to encourage the work of system designers, improving flow through A&E, help solve the huge problems of safe discharge and share simple solutions like ‘twiddle-muffs’… to help calm dementia patients, without the use of drugs.

Every week scores of ideas are shared and added to the collection of thousands of solutions, all carefully tagged, indexed and accessible, free. Millions of searches on the web-site, from the NHS in England the wider UK and internationally, attest to the relevance, importance and preeminence the Academy has achieved.

Under the guidance of the Academy Director, Dr Terri Porrett, next year the Academy is to be replicated in Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

The Awards are unique in that they are voted on by the community of users. No back-offices, no winner chosen by judges, in secret. Our awards are transparent and chosen by peers. People who know what good looks like and want to share and celebrate it, vote to tell us what they think is the best of the best.

We are proud to share our pursuit of excellence with Cerner. We feel we are fellow travelers. We are grateful for your support at the awards and during the year; supporting the meetings of our 150 Academy Ambassadors, on their professional development programmes.

Unlike so many national awards, the Fab Academy’s are free for supporters to attend; we couldn’t do that with the support of Cerner.

So, a big ‘thank you’ to everyone at Cerner, a company, like the Academy, who know what being fabulous is all about.

Roy Lilley