NHS Confederation 2019 – Our highlights

We had a busy time in Manchester last month, at NHS Confederation 2019, with a perfectly positioned stand in a busy location and opposite NHS Confederation which was fantastic.

The Attain team were armed with a variety of case studies that were aligned to some of the central themes to this year’s conference, including mental health, digital and integrated care.

We also had some giveaways that proved popular with our stand visitors, including  stressballs, hand sanitisers and insulated mugs (for the much needed coffee over a busy two days).

This year, we hosted networking drinks at our stand on the evening of day one and were pleased to see so many of our clients and new friends and colleagues enjoying a drink or two! It was great to catch up and we look forward to hosting you again.

Here are some of the highlights from the conference in case you missed them…

Attain at Confed

Confed 19 Day 1: Highlights

  • Confed CEO, Niall Dickson: 3 key challenges of leadership, workforce and transformation
  • Tokyo-based Health & Global Policy Institute’s Ryoji Nortiake: Parallels between health systems in the UK and Japan, and how Japan is managing a ‘tsunami’ of ageing
  • Health Foundation’s Anita Charlesworth: stark warnings about the need for further investment in the NHS, calling for more funding through taxes
  • NHSE’s Stevens: Implementation framework for NHS Long Term Plan & asking organisations to plan their own implementation of it
  • Performance psychologist Michael Caulfield: achieving a winning mindset and modern leadership

Summaries and videos can be found here courtesy of NHS Confederation: Day one video highlights

Confed 19 Day 2: Highlights

  • Harvard University’s Professor David Williams: how addressing health inequalities can drive better care and a more engaged workforce
  • Channel 4’s Victoria Macdonald: 6 hard-hitting interviews with key figures including Baroness Dido Harding, chief people officer Prerana Issar and national medical director Steve Powis.   The first began with “Is the NHS going to hell in a handcart?” Dido Harding responded with a vehement “No,” but said around engagement, recruitment and retention there is “a chronic problem but if we just listen to our people we can be massively better.”
  • David Pearson, Independent Chair of Nottinghamshire ICS: ‘we’re on the edge of a revolution in this country [in health and social care] if we grasp the opportunity’
  • Hancock: We should take pride in the NHS Long Term Plan and investment, the first-ever People Plan, the first Chief People Officer, an agreement with junior doctors and a breakthrough on pensions
  • Joe Rafferty of Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and Living Experience consultant Steve Gilbert OBE on Mental Health and suicide prevention in particular

Summaries and videos can be found here courtesy of NHS Confederation: Day two video highlights

Simon Stevens: Acute bed base must grow and ‘some areas have no answers’ 

After confirming that he intends to remain in post for at least another year, NHS England chief Simon Stevens made a prediction which marks the clearest change yet from a long-standing policy.  In a wide-ranging speech to delegates at the NHS Confederation conference in Manchester, Mr Stevens said he expected the NHS would need to increase its acute bed base over the next five years.

The NHS long-term plan hinted at this but was less explicit. Mr Stevens went on to say hospitals’ bed stock is “overly pressurised” and that “increased capacity” is likely to be needed.

In his sixth appearance at the Confed conference, he highlighted the successes of the past 12 months and where progress still needs to be made. While the NHS has seen 780,000 more A&E patients within four hours, better alignment between community health services and social care, improved cancer outcomes and the improvements in the availability of mental health services for common mental health disorders, there is a lot of work still to be done.

Announcing the publication next week of the implementation framework for the NHS Long Term Plan, he said NHS organisations need to chart their own course for implementing the key improvements using the national support that the framework will set out. But he said it will also be upfront about areas where there are currently no answers.

There will be a more transparent financial regime for trusts, more realistic control totals with rules-based, predictable regime so that all financial routes will be visible across organisations, he said.

Taking better care of staff, being more flexible employers and ensuring HR is seen as a key discipline for the NHS were all key points throughout the plenary, as well as a recognition that the NHS needs to play a wider role in the community in areas such as reducing air pollution and knife crime. On that note, he announced the appointment of the NHS’s first clinical director of violence reduction, consultant trauma surgeon Martin Griffiths.

Simon Stevens at Confed 19

Niall Dickson and Confed-Expo merger

Right at the end of his section, Stevens playfully hijacked session chair Niall Dickson’s autocue by reading out the Confed CEO’s own specially prepared announcement (the merger of the Confed and Expo conferences). We’ll watch this space for 2020 plans.

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