Need a stiff drink


Yes, I admit it, I’ve been unfaithful.

Shamefully, I have had a brief encounter behind the back of my loyal mistress.

Penderyn has been by my side… thick and thin.  Through good times and bad and when St Francis de Sales has deserted me, Mistress Penderyn has coaxed me back to the keyboard.

However, in a moment of spring madness I have turned from my auburn companion, to a blonde.  I am a faithless wretch.  I have bought a bottle of Havana Club.

If I told you it was in the interest of science and learning, would you believe me?  No, I thought not.  But it is the truth.

Havana Club have a very clever marketing team.  Why does the Devil have all the best people?

Right now, the long slim body of the Havana Club bottle, with its enticing curves, is packaged in a tall brown box.  Here’s the really smart bit; inside the box, there is a smaller box.

Follow the instructions; use your smart phone to download the Havana Club App, slip the phone into the slots in the smaller box.  Pop-in the two plastic lenses (supplied) crank-up the App and view the virtual reality of Cuba, the bars, the beaches and yes, the booze.

Wow!  It’s absolutely dazzlingly, fabulously, optically brilliant.  There is sound, colour and reality.  A cardboard box, two plastic lenses, a bit of tech and a bucket load of innovation.

… and cheap.  Filming in VR is easy; a good camera under £500.  Apps are simple and a cardboard box is… well, a cardboard box.

So what?  I’ll tell you, what.  How about VR physio.  Do your exercises in a chair with virtual others.

How about VR

familiarisation with wards, induction and health and safety training.  

How about VR

for imaging and tests for anxious patients.  

How about VR

experiences to help drug compliance.  

How about VR

exercising for weight loss.  

How about VR

for antenatal classes and post natal care.  

How about VR

for nutrition training. 

How about VR

for a library of self care.  

How about VR

for relaxation, part of substance misuse treatments.

How about VR for…. I dunno.  You will know.  You will see and think about how VR can be used.  If we can use it to sell bottles of booze, can we use it to encourage self-care, post-op’ recovery, pre-op preparation, compliance and depression?

We need a company bold enough to make the boxes and yes, let them plaster their names all over them.  You need a 17 year old to make the VR films and a 12 year old to make the Apps.

… or, an innovative Trusts.  #MagicMorecambBay are doing it and I’ve seen it.

Called ‘The 5th Therapist’, it’s a new way of delivering community services.  Within the package; PRinVR – pulmonary rehab in virtual reality.  Also a ‘Frailty fall Prevention in VR’.  Plus, VR to deliver therapeutic analgesia for acute and chronic conditions, moving away from opioid prescriptions.

Have a look at this ‘share’ on the Academy of Fabulous Stuff!

If you want to know more  @MFAminGP is yer man.

We need a bit of think about technology.  Whilst NHSDigital worry about plugging in their Betamax recorder, China is investing in Artificial Intelligence for healthcare.  Australia has digital health records.

Technology is getting cheaper.  Why?  I dunno.  Maybe economies of scale, improvements in productivity, supply & demand, increased competition, Moore’s Law, reduction in material costs… anyway it is.  And, you can make it out of Havana Club boxes…

As tech gets cheaper and more accessible the NHS seems to make it more complicated and forks-out more cash.  Why?  I dunno…

Confusion?  What exactly are we trying to achieve.  What do we want tech to do?  

Save money, save time, save effort, save lives… 

… I have no idea what the nation digital strategy is.  We need to figure out what’s important and what will deliver the most bangs for our bucks… and JGDI. 

Talk about innovation… you’ll need a stiff drink!


 Contact Roy – please use this e-address 

Know something I don’t – email me in confidence.

Leaving the NHS, changing jobs – you don’t have to say goodbye to us! You can update your Email Address from the link you’ll find right at the bottom of the page, and we’ll keep mailing.


Reproduced at by kind permission of Roy Lilley.