Health+Care 2019 will take place between 26-27 June and will be one of the largest and most important events in the UK health sector calendar. But why exactly is this conference an essential event for health sector professionals? Lisa Thomlinson, Programme Editor for the conference, write for Hospital Times to explain.

As candidates jostle to become the next prime minister, and as Brexit continues to cause chaos, the NHS – our greatest institution – remarkably appears to be in control. It has a strategy – the NHS Long Term Plan – to transform from an outdated, fragmented service into a modern, sustainable, technology and data-driven one for the 21st century. Health+Care 2019 is here to help you get a grip of what needs to be done to put that plan into action on the NHS frontline.

There is a high risk of turbulence as staff shortages still pose a problem, and the technology is still being worked on – but Britain’s budget healthcare system is preparing for take-off on its flight to a better future, fuelled by a recent cash injection of £20.5 billion.

The Health+Care Show is the greatest opportunity of the year for the entire health and care system to come together to network and tackle shared challenges. Senior clinicians and managers from NHS trusts, primary, community and social care, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) and integrated care systems (ICSs) gather to spread ideas and innovations to put a halt to the endless reinvention of the wheel.

Taking place in the last week of June, Health+Care 2019 comes at a critical time in NHS history. On 1 July, Primary Care Networks – the cornerstone of ICSs – will go live and NHSX, the new joint Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), NHS England and Improvement Digital Transformation unit will launch. Delegates at Health+Care will be among the first to hear from NHSX CEO, Matthew Gould, about his ambitions in his new role.

Meanwhile, key players in health and care systems across the country are co-producing local plans to deliver the NHS Long Term Plan. STPs – many built on fragile partnerships – are striving to become ICSs by the deadline in April 2021. NHS trusts are working to eliminate their collective deficit by 2023/4 and CCGs must save 20 per cent on running costs by 2020/21. This is a furiously busy time on the NHS frontline.

Big problems stand in the way of progress. The crisis in adult social care, workforce pressures, with more than 100,000 full-time equivalent vacancies in NHS trusts, and the yet unknown NHS capital budget are just a few of the obstacles to overcome. Delays to the three-year Spending Review, Social Care Green Paper and the Workforce Implementation Plan are keeping the sector waiting for vital solutions.

The Health+Care 2019 agenda is tailored to the specific challenges facing the different sectors within the NHS; it also aims to encourage the system to pull together as a whole.  Whether it is recruitment and retention, reducing costs in hospital outpatients, controlling staffing overspend, adopting new technologies, meeting efficiency targets or launching primary care networks, we have it covered. The exhibition floor will also be buzzing with ideas and solutions from 200+ stakeholders in the healthcare, finance and technology sectors.

Health+Care launched as the Commissioning Show in 2011 as the Lansley Act was making its bumpy passage through Parliament. It has since rapidly evolved into the UK’s largest event for the entire health and care system and now incorporates four distinct conferences: The Healthcare Show, focusing on whole-system integration and transformation; The Digital Healthcare Show, bringing together CIOs, CCIOs, senior IT leaders and clinicians from the NHS, Local Government, CCGs and Primary Care to focus on digital transformation; Infection Prevention and Control and Patient Safety, and the Residential and Homecare Show. The four events are open to all with no borders or backstops, and delegates can move freely between them.

The overarching theme of the Healthcare Show is how to make a success of the NHS Long Term Plan within England’s many geographically and socio-economically diverse health and care systems. There are five main conference streams: workforce transformation, the future of primary care, NHS estates optimisation and transformation, mental health and prevention, and healthier communities.

The Healthcare Show comprises six conference theatres:

Keynote Theatre: Discussions in the keynote theatre will centre on different themes, each of which being important factors in the success of the Long Term Plan. Main themes include Brexit, the workforce, tackling inequalities, the crisis in adult social care, NHS estates’ transformation, population health, digital technology, leadership and collaboration, legislative change, and engaging with the public. Speakers include Matthew Gould, CEO of NHSX; Caroline Dinenage, Health Minister; Stephen Dorrell, Chair of the NHS Confederation; Mark Britnell, KPMG and Manuel Bosch from Ribera Salud Group.

The ICS Hub delves into the challenges and enablers of delivering fully mature integrated care systems. Attendees will have the chance to hear from leaders of trailblazing systems. Discussion and case studies will cover key topics including governance, finance, adopting new technologies and innovations, workforce development, public engagement and transforming primary care. Take away concrete advice on how your STP can meet the deadline of becoming an ICS by April 2021.

New for 2019 – The Finance, Efficiency and Procurement Theatre offers practical support for NHS commissioners and providers struggling with operational costs, efficiency targets and control totals. Whether you are a CCG under pressure to reduce running costs by 20 per cent by 2020/21, or an NHS trust grappling with deficits or a healthcare system striving to achieve financial balance, there will be solutions and expert advice to guide you.

The Transformation in Action Theatre is where you will learn from the ”doers” of the NHS who are putting policy into practice and delivering changes large and small to support delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan. Case studies will focus on the five main conference streams listed above.

The Improving Care Pathways Theatre and Workshop Theatre include practical examples of how typically high-cost clinical pathways are being transformed to improve efficiency and outcomes and reduce unwarranted variation. Sessions will focus on respiratory, child health, CVD and diabetes, mental health, oncology, MSK and specialised services.

Complimentary passes are still available to public sector professionals. Please click here to register.