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03.06.19

Confed19 Preview: The challenge we face

Source: NHE May/June 2019

Niall Dickson, chief executive of NHS Confederation, shares a preview of what to expect at this year’s Confed19 conference, which will be taking place in Manchester on 19-20 June.

The NHS is always at a cross roads, is it not? There is always something major and significant about to affect its future. But this is different. In England, we are embarking on one of the most ambitious and bold experiments in healthcare delivery that has been attempted anywhere is the world. The NHS Long-Term Plan is an attempt to create a sustainable healthcare system, free at the point of use, in the face of unprecedented rising demand, a workforce crisis of monumental proportions, and some – but actually quite limited – extra funding.

How will it be done? And let’s be honest, can it be done? Those are the fundamental, not to say existential questions that we should attempt to answer when the whole NHS family gathers in Manchester this summer. Confed19 comes at a critical moment as local leaders grapple with the implementation challenge against what can only be described as political chaos.

We know NHS leaders are incredibly stretched, but we hope this conference will be one of precious few occasions where they can come together, take a step back and reflect. This year we would also like to see many more clinical leaders and non-executives, as well as all the partner organisations from the public and private sectors, that will be essential to make the plan work.

Never before has the NHS faced a challenge which is so dependent on relationships and a shared understanding of what is needed. This is not just about delivering organisational change (at best an enabler) but about introducing new types of service, embracing new priorities, and achieving new levels of integration.

Public expectations will be high because the health service is seen to have done well, whatever the tough reality on the ground, which makes the challenge all the greater. Our aim should be to bring together all the players to consider the reality of the current position, identify the opportunities and seek common solutions. We also need to drive innovation faster and more effectively and find ways to save money by doing things better and doing better things.

For years there has been talk of investing properly in community based services – now there is a real chance to convert rhetoric into reality and to do so in such a way that acute care does not suffer. We are entering the first phase of delivery – an incredibly testing moment.

We are confident we have brought together a great programme to explore these crucial issues, but success will be dependent on the participants and the determination of all of us to make this bold experiment work. I do hope you can join us.

Confed19 Preview

Taking place once again in Manchester this summer, Confed19 promises to be one of our largest and liveliest conferences yet and the most significant gathering of health and social care leaders of the year.

There will be big-hitting keynote speakers on the main stage, as well as the chance to ask questions and pick up tips, innovations and insight to improve patient care and get to grips with integration.

Showcasing the best in healthcare

Developed through extensive research and in collaboration with senior leaders, the programme will showcase the best in healthcare innovations and solutions. The exhibition will again host a range of zones, bringing the latest innovations under one roof and giving delegates the opportunity to network with more than 100 carefully selected healthcare suppliers.

The ‘in conversation with’ zone – hosted by Channel 4 News health correspondent Victoria Macdonald – will return, featuring powerful interviews tackling the big issues in health, all taking place during breaks in the main stage programme.

The improved Mental Health Zone will host a number of seminars that will deep-dive into areas of focus for the mental health sector, such as supported housing, children and young people’s mental health, and veteran mental health.

As the NHS Long-Term Plan looks to break down the divide between primary, community and acute health services, our new Primary Care Zone is an excellent opportunity to discuss future working together across the sectors and learn from colleagues who’ve successfully embedded integrated care.

Delivered by the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) and supported by Centene UK and Capsticks, the zone will deliver sessions throughout the two days of the conference and will:

  • Explore how to build collaboration with a focus on improving population health;
  • Discuss and provide practical examples on partnerships and integration;
  • Examine how our workforce should be built around the healthcare services needed for the local population, including a greater emphasis on team-based care.

Our new social calendar gives even more opportunities to make new connections and develop existing relationships. This calendar will include drink receptions, private meetings, and the popular Confed19 gala dinner.

High-profile leaders from the UK and beyond

Our main stage line-up will feature some of the biggest names in health and care, including:

  • Rt. Hon. Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
  • Simon Stevens, head of NHS England and NHS Improvement
  • Baroness Dido Harding, Chair, NHS Improvement
  • Professor David Williams, Professor of Public Health, Harvard University
  • Ryoji Noritake, Chief Executive, Health and Global Policy Institute, Tokyo
  • Ruth Sutherland, Chief Executive, Samaritans
  • Anita Charlesworth, Director of Research and Economics, The Health Foundation

Nearly 100% of Confed18 delegates said that some or all of their objectives for attending the event had been met.

Debating and embracing the future

Confed19 brings together the whole NHS at a pivotal moment as we digest the Long-Term Plan and start to take forward a radical integration agenda. It will be a chance to consider what is practical and have an honest debate about the opportunities and the challenges ahead throughout the system.

This year our conference will focus on the future, and this theme will be supported by our new conference strands:

  • Digital, technology and innovation; finance
  • Productivity and efficiency
  • Integrating care
  • People-centred health and care
  • Workforce
  • All together, all different

Each strand will contain a mix of plenary sessions, panel discussions, debates, seminars and workshops to provide insights and learning in the areas of most interest and importance to you.

Will you be there?

Confed19, taking place on 19-20 June 2019 at Manchester Central, is a chance to connect with over 1,650 healthcare leaders. It is an unrivalled opportunity to explore innovative ways to realise efficiencies, build long-term relationships, boost productivity, and also improve patient care.

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