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Highlights from NHS ConfedExpo

Highlights from NHS ConfedExpo cover

Phil Richardson (Chief Innovation Officer & Chair, Mtech Access), Jennie Smith (Director – NHS Insight & Interaction, Mtech Access) and Karen Cooper (Senior Consultant – NHS Insight & Interaction, Mtech Access) really enjoyed attending NHS ConfedExpo on 15th and 16th June. Here, Phil shares some of the key themes from the sessions and the varied discussions they had with both industry and NHS leaders…

This was the best NHSConfedExpo I have been to. Six months after leaving my substantive role in NHS Dorset, I am having a richer set of conversations about economic and social development, innovation, and improving patient choice and outcomes.

I was pleased to share the experience with my new colleagues, Jennie and Karen, who both have an NHS background. There was a very clear theme of innovation running throughout the event, from the keynote to the specialist tracked sessions. Tony Young was fabulous, predicting workforce as the biggest innovation shift for the next 75 years.

I made several meaningful new connections with Pharmaceutical and Medtech organisations and had some great conversations above brand and about the role that industry can play in helping support the NHS deliver against key challenges, such as health inequity, sustainability, service transformation, and reducing the burden on clinical staff and front-line workers.

It was great to hear from Richard Stubbs about the changing role for the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs). I received a copy of the last AHSN Impact Report, which is bursting with innovation success and the real-world impact on patients and services. I am humbled to have been part of the AHSN journey working in Wessex, and was pleased to meet up with Bill Gillespie who continues to set the scale and pace for collaboration. The report is the last of its kind, and a meaningful starting point for the Health Innovation Networks to champion.

I was also delighted to catch up with George MacGinnis from Innovate UK, whom I'd met when he visited Dorset to hear our plans for a Living Laboratory, which has since been picked up by Dorset's expanding Innovation Hub under the thoughtful leadership of Sarah Chessell. I later saw George trying out a technology-enabled white cane for people with visual impairment; great to see leadership taking a hands-on approach.

The real pressures faced by systems were highlighted by the significant turnout of junior doctors and supporters keen to drive home the importance of getting it right for the workforce – timed to fit with Steve Barclay’s keynote address.

The event gave us an opportunity to test out our thinking on new concepts and services to help bring together innovation between the NHS, academia and industry.

We had positive feedback on our new Shadow Board concept – using a tailored NHS board to provide a critical friend in systems. We also had good responses to our work on developing an above brand ambassador academy for industry leaders, as well as our ‘Game of Thrones’ demonstrator for using AI in systematic reviews and evidence gathering.

That left me with a buzz that kept me going during the delayed 8-hour train journey back to Poole.

For resources specially curated for the NHS ConfedExpo audience, visit our virtual booth.