Lilley Bridges

Senior Communications Officer - Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

What is your proudest professional achievement?

In December last year, I led on a high-profile stakeholder event to mark 35 years of HIV care at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Foundation Trust. This included facilitating service user DJ Fat Tony to play and speak, as well coordinating AV, exhibition style artwork, pulling together a guest list of key and influential figures in HIV care across London, and the overall running of the event. This culminated in an extensive column on the Trust's work from DJ Fat Tony in the Evening Standard. Leading on this event was a standout in my career; it taught me invaluable lessons on how to organise a large-scale event and to see such a positive and emotional reception to something I put my hand to makes it my proudest moment so far.

How are you using AI in your role at present?

In recent months, I have found myself using AI more and more. In my communications role within the NHS, AI enables me to condense and summarise vast quantities of data from healthcare reports and projects very quickly. Unsurprisingly, AI processes data a lot quicker than I can, allowing me to extract concise, top line points from complex reports that would otherwise take me a long time, especially coming from a non-clinical background. Also, we hosted a London-wide event for NHS communications professional where AI was one of the key themes with industry leaders, with a particular focus on how AI support the wider NHS going forward. I can see the benefits and opportunities that AI can bring to patient information and communication, we are already seeing AI enabling clinicians being able to spend more time with their patients which has to be a positive.

Which social media platform do you use more than others, and why?

I predominantly use TikTok as my social media platform of choice. Google searches and Instagram scrolling have been rapidly replaced by scrolls on my 'FYP' for updates on the latest fashion trends, viral London bakery and even the news. I prefer TikTok's short-form video content and evolving trends that allows me to consume vast amounts of content and information quickly. I also find it a more positive online space than the likes of Facebook and X.

If you could change any one thing about the comms industry, what would it be?

Whilst the communications industry is dynamic and evolving, it would be great to see a more diverse and inclusive communications workforce that is representative of the communities and people we serve. This is particularly true in the healthcare communications industry; I would love to see more trans and non-binary people given the space and voice to lead on impactful communications projects. It would also be great to continue to witness the industry adopt inclusive language and continue to reduce barriers to inclusion and participation.

What is the motto you live by?

I often remind myself that whilst comfort zones are cosy, nothing ever grows there.