We recently exhibited at this year’s Health and Innovation Expo in Manchester. Our Marketing Manager, Ben Murphy, gives us a round up of the two day event.
That’s a wrap for another year! Expo 2019 has been and gone but the learning and sharing doesn’t stop. As we head into autumn and winter, it’s important to take all that we learnt into our thinking and decision making for the rest of the year and beyond.
This year’s focus was on bringing the Long Term Plan to life, with more than 200 hours of discussions, presentations and workshops. A key takeaway was the ongoing emphasis on the digital transformation of the NHS, which hopes to progress and accelerate the Long Term Plan over the next 10 years.
Digital transformation of the NHS
We’re playing our part in this digital transformation, with our RAIDR and Capacity Tracker tools showcased alongside the latest apps, tools and more at Expo 2019. We also held a pop up Capacity Tracker university session with Deputy Chief Nursing Officer, Hilary Garrett, and the Local Government Association. The session shared the benefits and opportunities of implementing the online tool, which brings health and social care teams closer together. The Capacity Tracker helps find patients and families the right care home, ensuring they don’t stay in hospital any longer than is necessary, when discharge to their own home is not possible.
The subject of digital transformation was also covered in various keynotes and panel sessions, with NHS England’s National Medical Director, Steve Powis, underlining the importance of embracing digital innovations to improve the way we deliver care.
As well as that, the latest Empower the Person roadmap was unveiled, setting out what’s available now, what’s in progress and what’s coming up in the future of digital apps and tools. It’s always exciting to see where other areas of the NHS are pushing the boundaries, especially when it leaves you feeling inspired and empowered to improve your offering.
Continuing on a similar theme, and the search is on for nurses and health professionals to become the face of the NHS App! The new app is set to transform people’s experience of services and the way they access care, with information and advice conveniently available at the touch of a button. Chief Nursing Officer, Ruth May, launched the drive to find 10 passionate NHS ambassadors to promote the new app. Staff can apply here.
But although the internet and latest platforms can be a force for good, Claire Murdoch, National Director for Mental Health, warned of the impact the online world is having on our mental wellbeing. Alongside experts from the advertising and marketing industries, she called on social media companies to take action to protect young people and promote positive mental health messages. With our always on and ever-connected world, it’s important to remember to take a step back once in a while by putting our phones down and taking a break from staring at our screens.
Supporting self care
Away from digital innovations and the online world, GP Dr Mohan Chandan, spoke about the direct benefits to patients as well as GPs, when they’re supported to better manage their conditions and lifestyle. This is something we’re familiar with through our My Medicines My Health campaign, which aims to reduce unnecessary pressures on the NHS while improving our region’s health through self-care, advice and more.
A recent study in Birmingham found a 17% reduction in demand for prescriptions, as well as better health outcomes, including over a dozen diabetic patients who improved their condition enough to reverse it to non-diabetic levels and no-longer require medicine.
Making our NHS the best place to work
This year also saw added emphasis on improving retention rates and the working culture throughout the NHS, as outlined in the Long Term Plan and interim People Plan.
Prerana Issar, Chief People Officer for NHS England, announced a move to support flexible working, with news that staff will be able to move seamlessly between sites — making it easier to take on new roles, plug gaps and improve patient care. Following successful pilot projects, this will also cut the need for two-day inductions and other admin when staff move between organisations. Hospitals are being urged to sign-up to passporting agreements today.
A similar message around development was also heard at The People Zone, where focus was placed on how things can be done differently to make the NHS the best place to work. Through the #HelloMyNameIs play, the importance of person-centred and compassionate care was highlighted with the story of Dr Kate Granger and her husband Chris Pointon before, during and beyond Kate’s cancer diagnosis.
Updates from elsewhere
Elsewhere, Chief Executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens, announced that a revolutionary new gene therapy, which restores sight, will be provided by the NHS for the first time. Until now no treatment was available for babies born with inherited retinal dystrophies disorder, which results in quickly deteriorating sight and ultimately complete loss of vision. The life-changing treatment for children and adults is the first in a new generation of gene therapies that can be directly administered to patients; in this case through an injection.
Simon Stevens was then joined by Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, to discuss one of the biggest challenges facing us all — climate change. The NHS chief and Mayor announced plans for NHS England, NHS Improvement and Greater Manchester to work together to reduce the NHS’ Carbon Footprint. A joint expert partnership board is set to inform policy and coordinate the implementation of interventions, all as part of the Long Term Plan.
Here’s to 2020!
It’s fair to say Expo 2019 was the biggest and best conference to date. It was a pleasure to meet everyone and showcase our range of tools and services to colleagues across the country. The overview above really was just a snapshot of the insight, learning and knowledge sharing on show.
Let’s take inspiration from these sessions and experiences to make improvements for patients and service users, while continuing the Long Term Plan and evolving our NHS into a health service that’s fit for 2020 and beyond!
I’ll leave the last word to Simon Stevens: “Let’s celebrate what’s great about the NHS and keep challenging ourselves to make it even better.”