Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Media and Communication


Digital Humanity in Health #02 LEADERSHIP

FutureLabs, Second Floor, 1 Eastgate, Leeds, LS2 7LY

Leadership and management roles are often constructed aside from human interactions – managers are often not the people who engage with patients and leaders are often chosen representatives from a disparate group. While there may be good reasons for this, what does this do to issues of ethics, morality and humanity? Where does it retrospectively locate these issues and is this for good reason? What would a health service that embedded humanity into leadership look like? What would decisions be based on and would this better equip health and social care managers and leaders to make sense of and respond intelligently to the quickly emerging field of digital health tools and services? To what extent could issues around humanity be the parameters for the adoption of digital?


Alan Taylor, PhD, MSc, FHEA – Alan is passionate about person-centred health and social care. All of us can take a lead in our care, and too often systems of health and social care don’t support this. Alan’s aim is to help health and social care professionals overcome the barriers which prevent them really attending to people’s needs, and thus radically transform the care they deliver. All of us flourish when services are integrated, person-centred and imaginative, and leadership is the difference that makes the difference.

Alan is an experienced and enthusiastic researcher and educator committed to continual improvement in learning, and in practice. Alan espouses participatory research methods, grounded in practice, which he applies sensitively informed by a nomadic postmodern ethics. He enjoys facilitating critical thinking in students, and has a strong commitment to reflexivity and reflective practice in the workplace, whether as a manager, a consultant or as an educator.

Senior Lecturer in Leadership, Management and Service Development, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, Coventry University @alndix

Mike Chitty – Head of Applied Leadership, NHS Leadership Academy @mikechitty

The NHS Leadership Academy has worked for the last 4 years to improve the quality and impact of leadership in health and care. We develop people to provide compassionate and inclusive care in line with the values and principles of the NHS constitution. To develop the leader is to develop the human being.

Care is an expression of kindness. Of kinship. Of humanity.

How we maintain this essential quality of humanity in health and care systems that increasingly are run by algorithms asks profound questions about this essentially humanistic perspective on what it means to lead and care in the NHS. Digital services add enormous value to healthcare. Faster, more efficient processes help more service users at a time when skilled people and resources are at a premium in the NHS.

To establish effective leadership and compassionate care, we must aim to integrate the digital with the human. The National Health Cyborg?

Tickets: Free but please book.

The Digital Humanity in Health and Care seminar series is brought to you by mHabitat in partnership with the School of Media and Communication at the University of Leeds. Curated by Dr Victoria Betton and Dr Helen Thornham, the three seminars bring people accessing health and care services, practitioners, policy makers and academics together to consider contemporary dilemmas around ethics, morals and humanity which may not always get the attention they deserve in the rush to adopt digitally enabled health and social care. Our seminar series is driven by three overarching questions:

  1. What does digital humanity look like? And what does it look like in relation to health and care and in relation to the axes below of policy, leadership and citizenship?
  2. Where is digital humanity in health and care? Is it, and could it be in systems? If it is in the human, then is this enough in a changing landscape?
  3. How can we be digitally humane? What everyday, digital, connective or community actions or reflections can we make or do?

Each seminar will begin with a provocation co-presented by a practitioner and an academic expert in the field. We will then use a case study to apply these insights into an everyday scenario. Each seminar will produce a summary paper which will be published on the mHabitat website.

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