Earlier this month (5th and 6th October 2023) Melinda and I were at the HPN South event in London. It was a busy couple of days spent meeting a diverse range of NHS and healthcare leaders, talking about Psyomics and our journey to get Censeo where it is today, and our future direction of travel. There was of course a lot of learning about other innovative initiatives helping to transform healthcare, as well as getting to know our potential customers, their challenges and how they see the future.
Following Melinda’s excellent elevator pitch (60 seconds, and I’m relieved I didn’t do it!) I was delighted to have so many people attend my presentation on Censeo. It was great to see so much interest in the product, and whilst I didn’t entirely stick to my own script, one thing I noticed was how much more engaged people were when I started talking about my own mental health struggles over the years. I almost didn’t say anything, but I’m pleased I did. There really is a sea-change in being able to talk more openly about lived experience of mental health, and whilst stigma is certainly still there, I have decided to do my part to address it head on whenever I can.
That said, mental health is so often forgotten when looking at the wider healthcare landscape, and this was no more apparent to me than hearing some of the big tech companies talk about how their solutions work in acute hospitals, with no mention of mental health anywhere. It was really encouraging to chat to so many people with a genuine interest in what we are doing.
Among the many conversations Melinda and myself had, a few key things stood out:
The crisis in mental health care is real, and is being acutely felt at every level within the NHS, from clinical staff to provider executives to commissioners.
Our customers and potential customers are rightly demanding a children’s product for mental health, and we want to build it!
There is frustration at the lack of action from the government, and the absence of any clear policy direction on mental health from the opposition.
There is genuine interest in Censeo and an appetite to roll it out further within the NHS and beyond
NHS providers and commissioners are open to using technology to help alleviate some of the pressure on mental health services, and Censeo could represent this solution. However, the pace of digital adoption is not keeping pace with the population needs, and if this continues I fear that some providers will be left behind. I ultimately worry they won’t be able to meet the needs of their population and what that means for their futures as publicly funded entities.
It was back to business as usual last week, with lots of follow up conversations from HPN South, and I’m looking forward to reconnecting with many of the individuals I met at the event. Of course, we are also continuing to work with our existing customers, and those we are getting closer to signing contracts with.
If you were there and didn’t get chance to speak to us, or you weren’t able to make it, please do get in touch. We are also looking forward to attending the North event in April 2024 in Manchester.