Westminster Health Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7538736244 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7951044809.
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Diabetes prevention and improving patient outcomes in England - policy coordination, research and innovation, and the impact of EU transition and COVID-19

Morning, Monday, 26th April 2021

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference focuses on diabetes prevention and patient outcomes, and the policy, organisational and clinical priorities for improvement - including discussion around the progress of the NHS Long Term Plan, and what has been learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The agenda:

  • Progress in improving outcomes for diabetes patients and moving forward following challenges presented by COVID-19
  • Latest understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on patients with diabetes
  • Reducing variation in the utilisation of technology within diabetes care
  • Moving forward safe and effective diabetes care - maintaining the momentum of innovation, supporting remote self-management, and delivering digital-enabled benefits to patients
  • The future for diabetes research - translating research into adoption and the post-EU transition landscape
  • Next steps for diabetes prevention, tackling inequalities and learning from the experience of providing support through the pandemic
  • Developments and opportunities for improving diabetes care and service delivery - integrating care, expanding multidisciplinary teams, effective care pathways, sharing best practice, and reducing inequality in access to care

Key areas for discussion:

  • key policy developments - assessing progress, effectiveness and coordination:
    • the NHS Long Term Plan - progress in meeting the ambitions it outlines for diabetes as well as how COVID-19 has advanced more remote support and management of diabetes
    • the Tackling Obesity strategy:
      • assessing the proposed restrictions of promotions on high fat and high sugar foods on tackling obesity
      • how its implementation can best coordinate with ongoing policy on diabetes prevention and treatment
      • priorities for supporting people to make healthy choices and improving access to weight management services
    • Advancing our health - and prevention of type 2 diabetes
  • COVID-19 and diabetes - what has been learned to inform prevention and treatment going forward:
    • impact - on diabetes prevention, with potentially more risk-awareness but disrupted access to healthy lifestyle choices, diagnosis, advice and care, and prescriptions
    • long COVID:
      • understanding the impact of diabetes on the risk of suffering more protracted effects of coronavirus
      • identifying priorities for research into its effects and management strategies for diabetes sufferers
    • public engagement - health messaging and intervention, with the pandemic having brought improving public health higher up on the agenda
    • health inequalities - supporting disproportionately affected socio-economic and ethnic groups, both in prevention of diabetes and in accessing care and support
    • innovation - remote self-monitoring and its implementation, as well as the way forward for levelling up support for digitally-disadvantaged people 
  • research - priorities for prevention, diagnosis, cure, treatment and care:
    • funding and collaboration - including strategies for mitigating the impact of the transition from the EU on diabetes research in the UK, and for rebuilding and widening joint working
    • pandemic disruption and recovery - progress, and priorities for restarting halted projects and getting back on track
    • adoption and patient access:
      • learning from processes involved in expediting research into adoption and improvement in patient outcomes
      • advances in remote support - such as the GP ‘smart’ tool piloted in Swansea, which allows diabetes patients to share their data with their healthcare professionals
    • transition from the EU - the conference is timed to assess early indications of the impact on research collaboration, staffing, access to medicines and equipment, and medicine regulation
  • service delivery - opportunities for improving care for patients with diabetes, and next steps for:
    • reducing variation - improving quality of diabetes care and the utilisation of technology across the country, and how this can be built upon going forward
    • improving access to diabetes professionals - including development of multidisciplinary foot care and diabetes inpatient specialist nursing teams, as well as workforce training and funding
    • personalised care - involving the patient in their care, enabling the effective management of the condition within their lifestyle and the provision of mental health support
    • integrating care for diabetes patients:
      • local systems - latest developments in coordinated support and how improved outcomes can be achieved
      • care across the whole pathway - supporting primary care as diabetes care becomes closer to home
      • supporting areas with poor outcomes - ways of sharing best practice and the role of clinical networks in local areas in improving inequalities, access and providing strategic leadership

The policy context:

  • COVID-19: review of disparities in risks and outcomes - with diabetes being identified as a key risk factor in experiencing more severe health effects 
  • COVID-19 vaccine approval - the JCVI advising that those with an underlying health condition including diabetes should receive the vaccine after the priority age groups 
  • The prevalence of long COVID symptoms and COVID-19 complications - ONS statistics showing correlation between having diabetes and suffering more seriously from COVID-19
  • the Tackling Obesity strategy:
    • including interventions to support people to make healthy choices and improve access to weight management support
    • aiming to make people less at risk of conditions linked to the more severe effects of COVID-19
  • the Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s green paper - with improvements to the Diabetes Prevention Programme, and expansion locally, including:
    • increasing digital access to diabetes prevention and weight management support
    • improving access to digital methods of managing diabetes
  • Fast online access to world leading NHS weight loss advice - expansion of the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, with almost 300,000 people having checked their risk of diabetes
  • NHS launches new online support for people with diabetes - increased online support made available for people with diabetes during the pandemic
  • Thousands to benefit from soups and shakes diet on the NHS - as part of a one year plan including access to total dietary replacement products and support on exercise

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. A place has been reserved by officials from the Department of Health and Social Care. Also due to attend are representatives from the Boehringer Ingelheim and My Sugar Watch.

Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government officials involved in this area of public policy, together with together with representatives from the NHS, executive agencies including clinical staff, CCGs, public health professionals, regulators, local authorities, the independent and third sectors, the weight management industry, patient groups, pharmaceutical and medical device companies, research and development, law firms, consultancies, and others affected by the issues discussed as well as academics and think tanks, and reporters from the national and specialist media.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

Professor Jonathan Valabhji

National Clinical Director for Diabetes and Obesity, NHS England and NHS Improvement

Keynote Speakers

Professor Jonathan Valabhji

National Clinical Director for Diabetes and Obesity, NHS England and NHS Improvement

Professor Francesco Rubino

Chair of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, Kings College London


Dr Raj T Than

Diabetes Lead, Leicester City CCG and East Midlands Diabetes Clinical Network; and Clinical Champion, Diabetes UK

Dr Gerry Rayman

Consultant Physician, The Diabetes Centre and Diabetes Research Unit, East Suffolk and North East NHS Foundation Trust

Mark Cook

Director of Government Affairs, Medtronic

Dr Neel Basudev

Diabetes Lead, Lambeth CCG

Dr Chirag Bakhai

GP Lead, East of England Diabetes Clinical Network and Clinical Advisor, NHS Diabetes Programme

Sonia Wijesundare

Chair, Diabetes Forum, Royal College of Nursing