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Olly Watson on the impact of our intern Megan Davies's work

18 May 2018

Olly Watson, Senior Project Manager at Bristol Health Partners, on the impact of Megan Davies's work with us. Megan has been working with Bristol Health Partners on an internship for the past three months.

It’s great to see Megan’s reflections on her time with us.

I’ve been working with Megan over the last three months and I want to share some of the impact she has had, alongside some thoughts about what interns can bring to organisations and teams.

Translating the lofty aims of bringing together services, education and research can be hard for Health Integration Teams (HITs). Megan has shown, in practical ways, how you can do this.

In just three months, she has:

  • Provided accessible and well researched literature reviews on priority topics such as alcohol detox in community settings
  • Drafted evaluation plans for local training schemes
  • Got stuck in to helping administer our HIT public contributor collaboration event
  • Given advice on the poster session for our HIT conference, to help encourage cross-HIT information sharing and collaboration

In particular, her work with the Drug and Alcohol HIT has made a path for achievements further down the line. She has produced and presented her work in a way that meets the needs of people in really demanding roles.

We were all grateful that the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded Megan’s internship. It’s crucial that internships are properly remunerated and recognised. Locally, there are great schemes like Skills Bridge that can help organisations get fully or part funded support from students. Small organisations like Bristol Health Partners can really benefit from this support. Interns themselves can benefit from the connections and experience they gain. It’s wonderful to hear that Megan has got experience that she thinks will help her in applying for relevant posts.

In her final weeks, Megan presented to the team about what she had achieved, and her reflections on the experience. I was struck by how colleagues were all smiling along! The feedback Megan gave about Bristol Health Partners, and her support for the work we are all contributing to, gave a healthy injection of optimism to the team.

That fresh perspective can provide challenge as well as affirmation. Explaining the work you are doing to someone new helps you question ‘the way things are done around here’. Personally, it’s made me think about how we can make some of our HIT meetings more accessible, and make fewer assumptions about the knowledge of initiatives and phrases that become common currency among colleagues working in the same field.

In our complex work to help improve health outcomes, the new ideas, enthusiasm and challenge that interns can bring to organisations can surely benefit us all.

In the words of one of the Drug and Alcohol HIT Directors: “We need more Megans!”

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