Vicky Gardner summarises the discussions at the recent Health & Care board meeting on 1 July.
It was our last meeting before the summer break and we took some time to look back over the past year and reflect on how we have operated as a Board over this unprecedented time and what we may want to do differently in the future.
No-one has escaped the challenges of the pandemic but it has also provided us with opportunities. Our move to fully online meetings over the last year has worked well and whilst it’s a shame to miss out on the face-to-face interactions, it has also meant we can be more efficient with our time, and be more inclusive to our volunteers who aren’t London-based. The pandemic has also given us the opportunity to change the way we communicate with IFoA members. Our events have all moved online for the time being and this has meant we have been able to produce a greater amount of content, which is more accessible to all our members globally. We’re looking forward to being able to return to some in-person events but it’s clear that virtual content is here to stay.
The increasing use of virtual content has enabled us to engage more with IFoA members but it is an ongoing desire of the Board to improve this further. We heard from John Ng, chair of the IFoA Data Science Research Section and a moderator of the Data Science Community platform. The Data Science Community is piloting a new platform to help engage with interested members by sharing articles and events, and generating discussion around various topics. It was great to see some ideas that we can use in the Health & Care practice area. Whilst we can’t currently make use of the same platform, we are hoping to rejuvenate our LinkedIn area over the next couple of months, so please do join us there and we’ll be posting much more regular content and looking there for volunteers to help us with our research topics.
We had our usual updates from the Research and Lifelong Learning Sub-Committees. The working parties have been busy and we have seen a lot of activity with them presenting their work
- the AI/Automation working party presented at the EAA conference in June
- the Climate Change working party is taking part in an IFoA webinar on 7 July Climate change and sustainability – the health & care discussion | Institute and Faculty of Actuaries
- the Mental Illness working party will be giving an update on their work in the August edition of The Actuary
- the Diabetes working party is presenting at conferences in July and September
- the Electronic Health Records working party will be presenting an IFoA webinar in August/September
We have had two working parties complete their work and close recently so are exploring ideas for new working parties. We’re also trying to run Health & Care webinars every month. Some of the webinar slots are used by our working parties but for others, we look for other speakers to present on interesting topics. We’d love to hear from members with ideas on topics to present or who want to get involved in a working party.
We had some discussion on what topics we would like to do more with within the Health & Care community and there was a general agreement on the desire to do more in the public interest. We see 3 big topics for our next session:
- Social Care
- Sustainability, and
- Data Science for Health & Care
If you think we’re missing anything then please reach out and let us know via the Communities Engagement team.
With this in mind, we’re already re-establishing our dormant social care working party. It was set up some time ago to respond to the upcoming government green paper on social care, but with delays in the publication, the working party has not progressed. With the re-established working party, we’re hoping to be more proactive in looking at possible social care funding options, whilst being ready to respond to the green paper if/when it emerges.
We are also turning our attention to sustainability topics and this is being led for Health & Care by Anna Spender, who will be explaining our engagement plan on this topic in the September edition of The Actuary.
Finally, we also said goodbye and thank you to two of our members who are stepping down from the Board, Emily Demetriades and Graham Lee. We will be welcoming Zoe Woodroffe (who replaces Graham as Chair of the Lifelong Learning committee) and Colin Redman when we reconvene in September.