Looking Back: is next year, your year?



We look back at this year with fondness and frustration. Awards and contracts won, internationalisation ticked off and our recent sustainability impact assessments confirming our first full year results. Automedi continues to be a phenomenal success at reducing carbon footprints where it's deployed. This is something that, without the support of the visionary pioneers within international health services and some of the UK's frankly outstanding contracted providers, could have made 2021 a tumultuous year for us, given the unique weaknesses of UK public procurement, UKRI and NIHR health assessments. To those folk, we are eternally grateful.


Equally, we are excited to note Automedi is finding an audience in our "twin catchment" strategy too. It's been a great Christmas present (indeed, all our Christmases have come at once from the EU and USA) and we're excited to share that with you in the new year, Suffice to say our dual-region strategy to offset the Great British risks, has already paid off. The product is much better known, with a much wider international footprint than we ever expected and indeed, dared dream of even 2 months ago. Thanks to conversations had out of earshot. We're now being approached by people we've never met, to present technology they'd never seen, in contexts we could never imagine! All now keen to deploy Automedi for the manufacturing revolution it was made for, in larger markets well beyond England's relative insularity. After all, the climate needs us to and it isn't going to wait for UK health research to figure it out and strictly, neither should we. The expansion has to happen for the good of the cause.


The Nihilism

It wouldn't be a blog if I wasn't critical of something. News of supply shortages of masks (yet again) reminds us to remain vigilant of the threats the domestic healthcare space causes itself, through politics and toxic, covert, gaslighting culture. Where both public procurement and public policy meld a perfect storm to unfairly disadvantage the systemic solutions it badly needs, from the organisations and people inside and outside of health. In turn, damages its own ability to deliver services and causes harm to patients more widely. The groupthink inside some AHSN's blinkers them to that. Propagating the bad behaviours exposes as fatal to both the planet and human life.


For us, it was important to realise one or more parallel international operations to combat that risk and that has proven to be necessary to deploy. And goodness how it has it deployed! More on this in the new year.


In many ways, the next year promises much of the same, but also incredible excitement. We expect the UK will experience much the same challenges in next 12 months as it did in the last and the cultural toxicities will remain. Yet. we may find the Omicron variant becomes an unlikely sidekick in our fight against the pandemic. Wiping Delta out and if we execute well, saving the NHS from utter collapse and its staff from complete burnout. There isn't any more fight left in many of the heroes we've clapped for and their strategic leads continue to let them down. We have had two years for our public health response to get this right and it hasn't to date. Politicians have resorted to wearing suits to save people from COVID-19, at parties apparently, as the ultimate demonstration of how much of a laughing stock UK public health has become.


This is why our focus fundamentally changes. Expanding way beyond England's borders and delivering solutions to some of the climate’s most pressing concerns. Plugging the holes left by COP26 as the leaders promise to talk shop again next year. While contributing some 12 years of pre-industrial harm in the meantime.


Will it be enough? Only time will tell and we certainly can't claim that we'll be able to do it on our own. It's clear that in amongst the unjustified hype, incapability, analysis paralysis, greenwashing, ecocide, cover-ups and plain malice, are pockets of quiet, honest, genuine revolutionaries from all walks of life. Campaigning, challenging, coaching and learning. Ethical change-makers supported by communities across the economy. Cross-pollinating ideas from disparate sectors who otherwise would never come together, or be invited into, the same rooms. To those daredevils, go the credits and criticality, but importantly the support to drive the goals by leading from the trenches. Climate action wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for teams like Pharmacy Declares who have tirelessly campaigned for sustainability in pharmacy practise and beyond. A salute to them wouldn’t go amiss, especially while battling the demands of COVID on another flank.


As we sign off for this year, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and/or happy holidays. All things considered I hope it goes as well as it can. For those who might find it hard, I’d like to hope we keep you in our thoughts.


Wishing you a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.



- Ethar and the team at Automedi