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The PSC In Conversation

The PSC In Conversation

By The PSC
Insights into leadership, partnership and success from influential voices in public services.

Hosted by The PSC (previously 2020 Delivery), a team of public service consultants based in the UK and united by the belief that better public services are the key to a stronger society.
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How can scanning improve patient safety? With Dr Kelsey Flott
Dr Kelsey Flott, Deputy Director of Patient Safety at NHSX talks to us about finding her passion for patient safety at an early age, the future of technology to drive improvements in patient safety, and how she navigates her full time work at NHSX and her academic work at Imperial.  Kelsey and our digital lead, Phil Buckley, discuss how scanning implantable medical devices can improve patient safety, save clinician time and prevent stock waste at Trusts using just very simple technology.  We've loved working with Kelsey on this scanning programme and thoroughly enjoyed hearing more about her career and research on this podcast! 
June 23, 2022
Top tips to start your SME's sustainability journey
This week, our sustainability team pairs up with our friends and long term collaborators on sustainability initiatives, JMAN Group.  The teams discuss everything you need to know about kick starting a sustainability initiative for your SME - from defining what sustainability means for your organisation to getting wider company buy in, setting targets and measuring change. They share lessons they learned along the way and top tips for others considering starting their sustainability journey.  Thanks to our fantastic guests from JMAN Group, Molly Buxton and Freddie Hampel and our wonderful The PSC hosts Eleanor Gibbon and Donato Melchiorre.  Enjoy! 
June 15, 2022
Can tech solve the biggest challenges in higher education?
This is a special episode of The PSC in Conversation featuring an inside view of our fantastic panel event last week. We discussed the big question: can technology help us tackle some of the greatest challenges in Higher Education?The chair for our event is Lord Bob Kerslake, Chair of Civic University Commission and Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, and our stellar panel of leaders in Higher Education are: Sara Custer, editor, THE Campus, Times Higher Education Rajay Naik, CEO of Skilled Education Jonathan Slater, former Permanent Secretary, UK Department for Education Susie Whigham, National Programme Director, The Brilliant Club Antonio Weiss, Senior Partner, The PSC Should we unlearn the lessons of digital learning during COVID? Does technology really increase inclusivity? Listen to find out more...If you’d like to come to future panels and events that we organise at The PSC, make sure to follow us on LinkedIn or twitter @wearethepsc and we’ll keep you up to date with what’s coming up.
May 30, 2022
What does a product manager do? With Mark Buckley
Meet The PSC digital team's newest product manager, Mark Buckley!  With nearly five years experience at the Government Digital Service, Mark has worked to develop GOV.UK PaaS (Platform as a Service), a secure cloud hosting and software development platform for all government needs. From small beginnings, it is now running more than 3,000 applications and services for the public sector and processes around 130 million requests a day. Mark speaks to Katie Burns about why he wanted to work in the public sector, how he became a product manager and they bond over the first Midlands accent only podcast on The PSC in Conversation! 
May 23, 2022
How to stop wasting millions through bad buying with Peter Smith
We're so pleased to speak with procurement expert Peter Smith. He is the author of the fabulous "Bad Buying: How organisations waste billions through failures, frauds and f*ck-ups" and "Procurement with Purpose" among other titles.  With a long career in the procurement industry working across both public and private sector - Peter shines a light on how ineptitude, mismanagement and fraud are costing companies billions. In his newest book he talks about how that mismanagement is also impacting the environment. Peter and Tony discuss why being a procurement manager is a great job, the difference between procurement in the public and private sectors, and Peter shares some tips of how to improve procurement efficiency...  It's a must listen for anyone running a business or involved in buying!  Speaking of buying... you can buy Peter's book here: and follow him on Twitter @gpetersmith. 
May 11, 2022
How inequality is driving A&E attendance - with Rhian Monteith
People that frequently use A&E services make up less than 1% of the population but account for more than 16% of A&E attendance.  This week, we discuss the role of inequality in driving A&E attendance and how High Intensity Use services can help to reduce pressures on A&E by putting people first.  Rhian Monteith spearheaded a project for The British Red Cross last year, and our podcast hosts Katie and Mikoto were thrilled to work closely with her on it. In this episode, Rhian discusses their findings, her career, and why frequent use of urgent care services is a systemic problem to solve, not an individual problem.  Rhian Monteith is National Clinical Lead for NHSEI of the High Intensity Use (HIU) Programme. Read The Red Cross report here: Follow Rhian on Twitter @MonteithRhian! 
April 26, 2022
IWD Special with Vikie Bew
Meet Vikie Bew, head of Strategic Projects at HM Treasury. She talks to us about wanting a career with social value and how to make sure that the organisations you work with are making the best use of your skill sets.  This is the final episode in our mini-series where we speak to powerhouse women in the public sector who previously worked at The PSC - they speak to us about the women who inspired them, how they managed their career and much more. 
April 19, 2022
IWD Special with Phoebe Robinson
Our second episode to celebrate last month’s International Women’s Day.Phoebe Robinson is the Director of Maternity and CYP at NHS England. She talks to us about her career path, discusses what she’s learned on the way and opens up about some of the women who have most inspired her professionally and personally.
April 06, 2022
IWD Special with Caroline Cake
Happy International Women's Day!  The PSC is celebrating this year by launching a podcast mini-series featuring our fantastic The PSC alumni who have gone on to do great things in the public sector.  These powerhouse women talk about what inspires them, their experiences both positive and negative navigating their career as a woman and their hopes for the future of public services. We begin the series on a real high by speaking to Caroline Cake who worked at The PSC for over 12 years and helped to develop it into the values based business it is today. She is currently Entrepreneur in Residence at Oxford Sciences Enterprises, applying her deep health data knowledge to the challenges of dementia. It was an absolute joy to speak to her! 
March 07, 2022
What makes a good education? With Jonathan Slater
We join the Ex-Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education (DfE) - Jonathan Slater - in this year's first The PSC in Conversation podcast. Jonathan helped steer The DfE through enormous change both before and during the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, overseeing the closing of schools to providing laptops and online materials to support online learning from scratch. He speaks to Antonio about admiring his parents who were teachers, what a good education looks like and what technology's role could look like in the future of education. Jonathan has joined The PSC as our latest Senior Advisor to help grow our support for education clients.
January 27, 2022
A Holiday Special With The PSC
The PSC digital team reviews some of the digi highs and lows across the public sector over the past year and what they're most looking forward to in 2022. From working with the Red Cross to shine a light on inequalities as a driver for A&E attendance, to working with the UKSA to reduce debris collisions in space – the team share their personal highlights at The PSC too.
December 17, 2021
Living with Legacy, Part 8: Is Legacy Tech Always Bad?
Over the last two months, our digital team has spoken to rocket engineers, Gov Tech experts, academics, authors and technical architects to try to understand the true role of legacy tech in our lives and whether we should be worried about it. In this podcast, the team shares what they learned…
October 25, 2021
Living with Legacy, Part 7: Derek Alton
How can we make everyone feel like an insider in government? Our final Living with Legacy guest is self-proclaimed Digital Gov Geek, Derek Alton, who is on a mission to figure out how to open-source government. Join our podcast host, Antonio Weiss, and Derek as they discuss how technology can help make more people feel like insiders in government, examples of where tech has helped to precipitate social change, and whether legacy systems prevent transparency… Go and follow Derek on Twitter at @DerekAlton.
October 11, 2021
Living with Legacy, Part 6: Dr Adam Baker
Our final Living with Legacy guest is no other than a rocket engineer! Our host Fiona Jamieson speaks to Dr Adam Baker, an entrepreneur who designs more affordable space launch services and is committed to sustainability in space. We speak to him about the shelf life of space technology, managing the economics versus sustainability of repairing satellites and why it’s so hard to hack a satellite. If you want to understand more about the future of sustainability in space, this is the podcast for you!
October 04, 2021
Living with Legacy, Part 5: Emily Mills, UKSA
Our Living with Legacy series hurtles into space this week as our host Phil Buckley speaks to The UK Space Agency’s Emily Mills. When it comes to space, what goes up doesn’t come down. So, our near space is starting to fill up fast with space debris that sadly poses an active threat to our live satellites that we rely on down here on earth.   Emily tells us about the UKSA’s very exciting programme to manage space debris in orbit, and how it could also help us service active satellites in space to prolong their life. When it comes to legacy tech, the space sector seems ahead of its curve in managing it, and what we discuss reveals the exciting future of sustainable use of space.
September 08, 2021
Improving Mental Health Services with Dr Fredrik Johansson
Does the road to truly outstanding personalised care lie in standardisation? On this week’s episode, we’re talking about NHS mental health services. There’s been a huge push to improve access to these services in recent years, but how can we make sure they’re best designed for both patient experience and the quality of care they provide? We meet Dr Fredrik Johansson, Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Lead for Quality Improvement at Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust. He provides leadership to the Islington Crisis Team – one of the first in the UK – to develop community services to support people in mental health crisis. We talk about approaches to reduce admissions and readmissions in mental health services, and what has and hasn’t worked in his experience as a Quality Improvement lead… If you’d like to hear more from Dr Fredrik, go and follow him on Twitter @doctorfreddie
September 01, 2021
Living with Legacy, Part 4: Archana Beeram
Where would you find the most legacy tech – in the US or UK healthcare systems? There aren’t that many people with direct experience working in healthcare settings on both sides of the pond who also have an interest in legacy tech - but we’ve found one and she’s our latest Living with Legacy guest, Archana Beeram! Archana works with us at The PSC helping NHS Trusts solve complex operational challenges such as tracking implantable medical devices, but she also spent time at the start of her career working at different hospitals in New Jersey. Archana discusses the nuances of the two systems and how even though they are very different beasts, the challenges they face in standardising tech isn’t all that different…
August 23, 2021
Living with Legacy, Part 3: Dr Tanya Filer
Throwing back the veil on the complicated, at times murky, and often wonderful world of GovTech this week – we welcome Dr Tanya Filer, our latest Living with Legacy guest.  With over a decade’s experience researching how governments across the world use and procure technology, it was fascinating to hear her say that ‘being interested in GovTech is also being interested in the limits of GovTech.’ We discussed misinformation in elections, how GovTech can impact the character of a state, and the importance of avoiding solutionism when it comes to technology… We’d highly recommend you follow her on Twitter @TanyaFiler and through her digital innovation advisory firm @StateUpHQ . You can also delve into her research at The Bennett Institute for Public Policy.
August 01, 2021
Living with Legacy, Part 2: Robert Hettrick
We continue our Living with Legacy series this week by welcoming technical architect to the stars – Robert Hettrick. And by stars, perhaps we’ve spent too long working in the public sector digital world, but we mean The Department for Education and the Government Digital Service, among others… Robert tells Tony why being a technical architect is a bit like being an elevator architect, how ‘groupthink’ led to the Post Office Scandal and how the future of technology and managing legacy systems will hinge on ethical application and taking a more holistic view.
July 26, 2021
Living with Legacy, Part 1: Marianne Bellotti
The digital team kicks of our Living with Legacy mini-series with a bang this week. We speak to Marianne Bellotti – US software engineer and author of Kill it with Fire, THE book on managing legacy systems which Katie (our host) has been loving. Renowned for restoring some of the world’s oldest, messiest computer networks, Marianne makes us feel hopeful about the outlook for legacy systems and shares some very useful tips and tricks she’s learned along the way… Marianne’s book is available to purchase online and she’s a great one to follow on Twitter @bellmar.  If you’d like to hear more great interviews with specialists about managing legacy systems – subscribe to stay up to date as we have plenty more coming your way!
July 19, 2021
What Went Wrong At The Post Office?
This week we speak about the UK’s most widespread miscarriage of justice - The Post Office Scandal.  This is the tragic story of a failed IT system that led to innocent post office workers going to prison following convictions for false accounting and theft. We drill down into the digital side of what really went wrong and what it can tell us about how to manage legacy systems across the public sector.
June 07, 2021
Delivery Units: Do They Work?
Boris Johnson followed in the footsteps of many prime ministers before him by announcing the launch of a new delivery unit last week. But why do we keep coming back to delivery units and are they the best way to ramp up policy implementation? Who better to share what works and what doesn’t than The PSC Founder, and former member of Tony Blair’s Delivery Unit, Russell Cake. He’s joined by our regular podcaster Antonio Weiss who just happened to do his PHD on this topic.
May 05, 2021
COVID’s Unsung Heroes of Tech
Do you think TikTok or the NHS Test and Trace app has been downloaded more in the UK during the pandemic? If you’re not sure, then this episode is for you. Our digital team share the stories of the unsung heroes of tech that haven’t quite had their fair share of the limelight. We also discuss what people buying tech for the public sector can learn from this period.
April 09, 2021
Unbiased Recruitment: Is It Possible?
Unconscious bias has hit the headlines since the UK Chair of a major management consultancy reportedly told colleagues that it doesn’t exist. We’ve been working to reduce unconscious bias in our recruitment process for the past few years with our partners Be Applied, so we wanted to have a frank conversation about our experiences. Tune in to hear how and why we’ve changed our approach to recruitment, and most importantly – is it working?
March 04, 2021
Skin Deep: Diversity In Medical Images
This week we’re thrilled to have Dr Kaylita Chantiluke on our podcast. She's a paediatric registrar and also the organisations lead of Skin Deep - an initiative aimed to provide a free, open-access bank of photographs of medical conditions in the paediatric population in a range of skin tones. You can check out her blog called 'Musings of a Black Medic' where she writes on topics intersecting blackness, feminism and medicine.  On this podcast, we talk about her experiences in medicine, how the Skin Deep project is being received by the medical community and her impressive aims for the future.
February 11, 2021
The Race To 15 Million
What would it take for the UK to hit 15m COVID vaccines by 15th February? In the midst of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people’s hopes for a return to normality are resting on the successful and speedy roll out of the COVID vaccine. In this episode, our host Antonio speaks to Chris Bradley from The PSC’s mass vaccination support team, and Jyotika Singh, a pharmacist and associate with The PSC who has worked on the annual flu jab programme. With their help, we unravel some of the trickiest logistical challenges of the vaccine roll out from keeping the public engaged to ensuring the programme is inclusive.
January 15, 2021
How Can Universities Choose Students, If No-one Trusts Exams?
The controversy over A-Level results this year has led to massive over-subscription at many universities. GCSE results faced a huge backlash too. So, next year, how long your school stayed open during the pandemic may matter more in determining grades than pupil knowledge or aptitude. How should universities respond? In this recap of The PSC x Tortoise Media Live Event on 11th November, we hear from students, teachers, policy makers and leaders in Higher Education on this pressing question.
November 23, 2020
Are Algorithms Really Worth It?
With so much controversy about algorithm use in the public sector, Rose and Antonio from The PSC join us this week to discuss some of the thorny questions emerging. In conversation with our host, Katie, they break down: what we mean when we talk about algorithms in public services, how effective they are and whether we can make them better.
October 23, 2020
Roundtable - Collaboration & Partnerships
In Episode 2 we share our findings from our recent roundtable with special guest Peter Lees. Last week, as part of our partnerships event series at The PSC, we hosted a roundtable of executives from across the NHS to hear first-hand how COVID changed their ways of working. We wanted to know three things. Can better collaboration between trusts help us tackle the huge backlog of elective activity post-COVID? Did COVID change ways of working and communicating across hospital trusts, and might that be for the better in the long term? We were thrilled that the roundtable was hosted by Peter Lees, Chief Executive of the intercollegiate UK Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management, an organisation with over 2,200 members. He also serves on the Clinical Governing Body of West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group, the General Advisory Council of the King’s Fund and the NHS Leadership Academy Steering Group. Katie caught up with Peter after the event, where he shared his thoughts on what had been discussed at the roundtable.
August 17, 2020
Leadership In Crises
Katie and Antonio from The PSC focus on Leadership in Crises, and specifically the impact of Coronavirus in the UK. Our guests are Chair of The PSC, Sir Ian Carruthers, and Dr Stefano Palazzo, a PSC consultant who has returned to the front line during COVID-19.
July 27, 2020
Introducing our new podcast...
Katie and Antonio introduce the new podcast from The PSC, a specialist consultancy dedicated to improving UK public services. Featuring challenging and insightful interviews with influential voices in public services, the team at The PSC will be uncovering insights into health, education, digital transformation and data science. Subscribe wherever you listen.
July 25, 2020