Annual Health Conference: Seizing the opportunity: building on reform success

Reform partnered up with BD, Baxter and Alliance Medical on 7 July 2016 to organise a health conference that explored reform successes so far and asked how the NHS can build on these to deliver the vision of the Five Year Forward View.

Kate Laycock, Researcher, Reform

Summer Health Conference_7-7-16 (20)


Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Health, delivered the keynote address. He confirmed that the Government commitment to NHS reform is unchanged.  His vision is that in order to achieve equity and excellence within the NHS three steps are crucial.  The first is transparency.  The second is to make the NHS the biggest learning organisation in the world.  The Department of Health is bringing forward legislation to create a safe space for doctors and nurses to speak openly about errors and adverse incidents.  The final step is to ensure that the culture in the NHS is one where patients are in the driving seat.  Patients should be empowered to make decisions about their care.  This started with access to GP records and control over personal care plans but needs to be rolled out further.

Summer Health Conference_7-7-16 (24)

Panel 1: Innovation in healthcare

  • Noel Gordon, Chair, Health and Social Care Information Centre
  • Sir Sam Everington OBE, Chair, NHS Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Nicky Sturt, Director, Market Access UK and Ireland, Baxter
  • George Freeman MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Life Sciences, Department of Health and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

“Innovation is not the same as technology” – a sentiment echoed by all the speakers.  They agreed that innovation is about changing the way things are done.  In many cases this is using the technology and resources already available to make services more effective.  Noel Gordon emphasised the value of data in getting to grips with what works.  He cited a recent study where different kinds of social media platforms were used to communicate with 18-24 year olds.  Perhaps surprisingly text messages were the most effective.

Sir Sam Everington gave insight into the way innovation is helping to bridge the gap between primary and secondary care in Tower Hamlets.  Specific examples included more people with life-limiting conditions dying at home and excellent blood pressure and cholesterol control amongst diabetics.  He also spoke of GPs having direct phone access to consultant diabetologists and advocated abolishing the choose-and-book system so that GPs can once again refer to a named consultant who can then triage the referral.  Nicky Sturt spoke of recognising innovation as an asset rather than a cost and George Freeman went further to say that the NHS must move away from being a purchaser of innovation to being a partner.

Summer Health Conference_7-7-16 (78)

Panel 2: Operational productivity in hospitals

  • Dame Jacqueline Docherty, Chairman and Chief Executive, London North West Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Chris Hopson, Chief Executive, NHS Providers
  • Mike Fairbourn, Vice President and General Manager, UK and Ireland, BD
  • Lord Warner, member, NHS Sustainability Committee, and former Minister of State, Department of Health

Lord Carter’s report highlighted the importance of greater efficiency and resource management in enabling trusts to deliver quality care in an increasingly challenging environment.  The message was consistent amongst the panel: the benefits of Lord Carter’s review will not come quickly enough to close the financial gap.  Mike Fairbourn was clear that there is valuable guidance in the Carter review. Chris Hopson said that the NHS is in denial about the true financial situation.  The increase in funding set out by this government will be frontloaded meaning there will be minimal additional spending after 2017.  Dame Jacqueline Docherty made the point that the tenure of chief executives is short and they need greater freedoms and support to make meaningful change.  Lord Warner went further to say that the rigid structure of primary and secondary care needs reform with more care in the community and reconsideration of national pay bargaining structures.

Panel- Lord Warner

Panel 3: Delivering the Five Year Forward View: public-private partnerships

  • Guy Blomfield, Group Chief Executive Officer, Alliance Medical
  • Professor Paul Corrigan CBE, Adjunct Professor of Health Policy, Imperial College London and former Senior Health Policy Adviser to Tony Blair
  • Valerie Bartlett, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Strategy and Transformation, Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Michael Macdonnell, Director of Strategy, NHS England

Public-private sector partnerships offer an opportunity to deliver quality and cost effective healthcare.  Guy Blomfield feels that partnership with the independent sector is a means to an end; the goal is better patient care.  He cited the relationship between Alliance Medical and the NHS which is giving patients better access to PET-CT.  Professor Paul Corrigan highlighted the positive outcomes from large federations of GP practices delivering real transformation without the need for national policy making.  Valerie Bartlett has been using partnerships to improve staff morale and Michael Macdonnell spoke of the novel idea of having strategic partners from the private sector joining up with STPs to help with estates and new models of care.

guy blomfield


More photos

Summer Health Conference_7-7-16 (105)Summer Health Conference_7-7-16 (102)Summer Health Conference_7-7-16 (23)Summer Health Conference_7-7-16 (30)Summer Health Conference_7-7-16 (99)Summer Health Conference_7-7-16 (82)Summer Health Conference_7-7-16 (27)


Twitter reaction


020 7799 6699

7 July 2016
08.30 - 14.30