Managing Director of Innovation at Alder Hey
Alder Hey is one of Europe’s biggest and busiest children’s hospitals treating everything from common illnesses to highly complex and specialist conditions. Committed to delivering excellent care to younger generations, Alder Hey opened a brand new research, innovation and education centre in 2015 to push the boundaries of what is possible with technology and children's healthcare.
Claire Liddy, Managing Director of Innovation at Alder Hey, who started her career as an orthoptist for the NHS and then an accountant explains her career as being innovative in itself: “Working with external industry partners and thinking a little bit more entrepreneurial was something that I really liked [in my role as an accountant for the NHS]. I was really lucky that there was a new role available here at Alder Hey. I had already been at Alder Hey as the Deputy Director of Finance for five years and I applied for the Managing Director of Innovation. I've now moved out of finance and into innovation, which has been fantastic for me. It's a really fascinating area to work in, really inspiring and something that I really enjoy.”
Despite this being a career change for the better for Liddy, she did stress that it isn’t without its challenges: “Having grown up in the finance part of the NHS, as accountants with taught set and kind of skills. To do a good job as an accountant you need to be prudent, you need to be thorough and you have to mitigate and de-risk situations. So I've spent 20 years in that type of space and then moving over to innovation, it's almost like the oil to the water.”
“Innovation's all about being curious, being more experimental and it's sometimes taking a few managed risks. So for me, having that challenge around how I flip my mindset from one which was about accounting to one which was about unleashing innovation was probably the big challenge of my career. I've actually liked being able to unleash my own kind of creativity in this new role,” she adds.
With a passion for advancing global children’s health by creating a better and healthier future, Liddy is dedicated to the work she and her team do at Alder Hey. She says: “I've worked in the NHS for 20 years and being a mum myself, one thing that I've been really struck by in the last two or three years is the issues around inequalities that face children. For children that grow up in different environments, whether it be the richest versus the poorest, there are big challenges around life expectancy. I think it's about 20 years in the UK, from the richest children to the poorest children. And for me, that's just something that really grounds me in why I'm here, why I do my job and why it's important.”
Liddy concludes: “I truly believe we're entering a brand new era where technology is gonna bring brand new opportunities on how we can provide more equitable care for children and young people. I'm really excited about how technologies such as artificial intelligence, immersive technologies and different digital platforms are going to change the way we deliver care. Care is becoming much more around wellness and staying well through prevention rather than about sickness and about curing. So I'm really excited about how that's all going to play out.”
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Having worked with others on similar journeys, both across Canada and around the world, we know how increasingly important data – and making insights consumable to clinicians – has become to improving overall outcomes in healthcare.