An Interview with Tamara Everington, Haematology Consultant and Chief Clinical Information Officer, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Posted by Intelligent Health on Mar 9, 2023 4:25:40 PM
Intelligent Health
Ahead of Intelligent Health UK (24-25 May 2023, ExCeL London), we asked Tamara Everington, Haematology Consultant and Chief Clinical Information Officer at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, her thoughts on the future of AI in healthcare.
If you could solve any global problem in the world with AI, what would it be and why?
The single most glaring and unaddressed health and social issue in our society is our growing problem with obesity.
This is a human tragedy of terrible proportions as individual people become trapped in a cycle of poor physical and emotional health leading to reduced quality of life with economic consequences for them and their family.
The global trajectory we are currently on is to try and fix this problem with new weight loss drugs which will be expensive but justified by broader costs around obesity. This is all the more difficult to stomach (excuse the pun) when we know the environmental costs around food produced which is wasted, whilst millions live in food poverty.
Could AI help inform people in real-time in an open and, ideally entertaining way, around their daily choices and empower them with suggested alternative targeted approaches that may be acceptable to them and help others?
Tamara Everington
What changes would you like to see in healthcare?
When I was a child my mother said to me ‘all I want for you is good health’.
I thought that was a bit boring, what about fun, fame and fortune?! I know that she was absolutely right; with good health, many things are possible, but with poor health, our options become greatly limited.
Our society in general has completely lost sight of the importance of personal investment in good health (rather than sickness management) and we are now paying the consequences of that.
Personally, I adore concepts like ‘old people’s nursery for 4 year olds’ where the young and old are brought together for mutual benefit and employer schemes which reward good health habits.
Nowadays I’d much rather talk about those untapped opportunities than how we manage some particular health number with a new drug. I heard it said that ‘the greatest underutilised resource in healthcare is the patient’ – all too true sadly.
What was your best comeback to a challenge you faced in your career?
I was a single mum and a junior doctor doing research. I can’t go into details but suffice to say, the system was not supportive of that combination and I was firmly pushed into a corner. I knew this was not right and I fought back holding up a mirror to what was going on.
I then went on to work with the BMA in trying to open up some of the challenges of combining a medical career with caring for your family. These were difficult times but I am proud that I stood up for my beliefs in the face of potentially career limiting obstructions.
With encouragement from a range of fabulous women around me, I now seek opportunities every day to call out prejudicial approaches in every sphere.
This isn’t just altruism; we can only hope to address the problems we face today by effectively understanding and utilising the perspective of people from all backgrounds. It makes no sense at all to only work with some of our people.
What one piece of advice would you give to young women looking for a career in healthcare?
Ask yourself what fascinates you in your daily life. If the answer lies in understanding the complex practical and emotional issues that people of all backgrounds face in their daily lives, then you may well be on the right track.
Healthcare is a very ‘broad church’ in the sense of career opportunities ranging from bench science through interventions to preserve life, to innovative community enterprises, but at the end of the day, it’s all about people.
As a result, healthcare can at times feel messy, frustrating and chaotic and you have to have, and sustain, the personal resilience to cope with your daily working life through this.
The reward is the personal satisfaction of knowing you have helped others cope through times of immense stress, and made it better for them.
I’ve never had a single boring day at work as a doctor, not many of my women friends in other sectors can say the same.

We cannot wait to see Tamara at Intelligent Health UK on 24th-25th May in London!.

The Intelligent Health team



Global AI and health events calendar 2023

Intelligent Health UK
24-25 May 2023
Platinum Suite, ExCeL London, UK 


Intelligent Health 
13-14 September 2023

Basel, Switzerland

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Topics: AI, Digital Health, Interview