Week 23: NHS, renewing a passport and UKCharityCamp

End of day groupshot of UKCharityCamp attendees. Credit: Ross McCullochEnd of day groupshot of UKCharityCamp attendees. Credit: Ross McCulloch

More user research

This week we conducted a few more user research interviews with people who’ve experienced issues getting the care and treatment their relatives would’ve wanted. It was hard to hear how much these people have struggled against a system that despite the best intentions seems to inflict pain and trauma on people trying to get the best care for their loved ones. I actually found it quite demoralising to hear how brutal the NHS can be sometimes. This was one of those weeks where I had the guilty thought that the NHS is fundamentally broken.

MoneySavingExpert for the NHS

Perhaps linked to this, one night whilst struggling to get to sleep I was thinking about Martin Lewis (as you do) of Money Saving Expert fame. I think we need a Martin Lewis to help people navigate the NHS.

His amazing work building Money Saving Expert (which helps people attain financial justice’) has helped his reputation as the most trusted man in Britain. I think his approach to financial journalism — with it’s focus on research, tools, tips and hacks is the sort of approach we need to help people fight for the right care and treatment in the NHS. That’s how bad I think it can be. I’ll be mulling this over and floating it to the team.

A new passport

I received my new passport through the post this week. I used the GOV.UK Renew your passport service. It’s as good as everyone says. I found it simple, easy to follow throughout and an absolute marvel in service design. When you think about what’s involved — it’s super impressive.


I attended the first UKCharityCamp yesterday up in Birmingham. Modelled on the successful UKGovCamp format this version for charities followed the same unconference format. I found it energising and thought provoking — things that for me are a sign of a good day out. I think working in digital in the charity sector we need these days every so often. To realise others are thinking through or experiencing similar problems or quandaries. Not every session I was in was immediately practical to my role — but it opened my mind to a few things I’d not considered before. Plus just being in the same room as lots of smart, motivated and kind-hearted people is just quite a nice experience. I’d forgotten how tiring a full-day conference outside your home city/town can be though. Huge thanks to the organisers and looking forward to 2024.