I must be getting old…. I can remember when Birmingham’s famous Bullring Shopping Centre was first built. No, I’m not talking about the Middle Ages when it was a market…
I’m talking in the ’60’s. Built on a steep sandstone ridge, by John Laing; demolishing the old fish market. The construction was a brutal concrete thing. We gasped at post war modernity. Linking train stations and a car parks; subways and walkways.
The bomb-site scars from the air-raids of the Second World War were finally gone.
After a battle; delays caused by a recession and funding, eventually the old Bullring has given way to a new. The twentieth century version. On the opening day over a quarter of a million people visited. They gasped at the SkyPlane. Seven thousand square feet of glass roof with no visible means of support.
Now a brand new railway station adding to the wow factor.
Modern materials and imagination. I wonder if I shall live long enough to see version three?
I always enjoy a visit to Birmingham. Memories of the good old days when the IHM conferences attracted managers in their hundreds. The first of the Federation of NHS Trusts conference and many more visits.
Today, I’m looking forward to it especially. Just 28 people who have made a real effort to be there. Fifty could have been but childcare, shifts and the exigencies of daily life meant, for some, it will have to be next time.
I’m off to meet the wonderful people who have volunteered to become Ambassadors for the Academy of Fabulous Stuff.
Just over a year in, nearly 150,000 page visits a month and well over a thousand shares of good ideas, innovation and good stuff to die for on the Academy website.
Our next step… Ambassadors. Enthusiastic people who want to share good ideas, show us what good looks like. People like you, who like doing the good stuff. People like you, aware, interested and believe that the NHS is as good as it is, because of the people working in it.
An Ambassador in every NHS workplace. That’s the goal. Someone who can help share best practice and the small changes that, taken in aggregate can make a huge difference. And, the strategists who can show us how to change direction.
As I’ve seen the Bullring change and adapt to the forces of time, it is still essentially a place that people go shopping; so I’ve seen the NHS change…. but it is simply, still a place where people go for support, help, safety and care.
As the Bullring adapted to changing times, modern faster, better equipped, giving a better experience, so must the NHS. 
The Academy of Fabulous Stuff can’t change the NHS, the Ambassadors aren’t revolutionaries but if we can make a difference and use our collective weight to get behind the good stuff and push…. this will make the road to Brum historic.
Want to know more about Ambassadors? Click here http://fabnhsstuff.net/fabambassadors/