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)7951044809 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.
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Technology in the NHS - innovation, uptake and regulation

Morning, Thursday, 12th November 2020

Online Conference


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

This conference will provide a timely opportunity to examine the next steps for technology in the NHS.

Areas for discussion include:

  • the way forward for technology implementation in the context of ambitions in the NHS Long Term Plan
  • what has been learned from the role of healthcare technologies in the response to COVID-19 - including in:
    • the development of contact tracing, testing and tracking
    • supporting research to produce a vaccine
    • innovation and organisational transformation by the sector for the rapid development and production of new clinical equipment
  • priorities for regulation and the next steps for technology adoption

The seminar takes place in the context of the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care’s Better tech: not a ‘nice to have’ but vital to have for the NHS speech at the start of the year, which:

  • set out the future for technology in the NHS
  • cited better technology as a necessity for the long term sustainability of the NHS
  • highlighted the need to address scalability of technologies and getting more passed pilot stage

The discussion in detail:


  • how health technologies have risen to the challenge and what can be learned going forward, looking at:
    • the impact on NHS systems and records, helping frontline clinicians, digital appointments, remote working, and development of a vaccine, as well as contact tracing, testing and tracking
    • what enabled innovative technologies to be adopted during the pandemic and how it was achieved
    • how the pandemic has accelerated areas identified in the Long Term Plan such as service digitalisation and adoption of innovation - and how the momentum could be maintained
  • the requirement for personalised public health at scale highlighted by the pandemic, and development of technologies to deliver advice, information and interventions - looking at:
    • what can be learned from the public response and sector engagement
    • ways that these can inform personalised public health into the future

Scaling up - use of technology in the NHS;

  • how to best integrate technology within existing services and what more should be done to increase workforce engagement, improve digital literacy, and promote appropriate data use
  • experience, case studies, latest thinking and approaches from COVID-19 on scaling up successful technologies in the NHS across public health, primary care, in the community, and in diagnostics

The NHS Long Term Plan - issues for delivery of ambitions to upgrade technology and digitally-enabled care across the NHS:

  • what more needs to be done to ensure these technologies are clinically effective and offer value for money in improving patient care and experience
  • priorities for engagement with staff, and patients and their families, on the use and benefits of technology, particularly in providing support for mental health and wellbeing
  • the potential of technology in supporting integration and collaboration between health and social care
  • ways in which COVID-19 has advanced technologies in public health and diagnostics as part of the response to the pandemic, and learning from how these were developed and delivered

The Industrial Strategy’s Grand Challenges

  • progress towards the aims to use data, artificial intelligence, and wider innovation to transform the prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment of chronic diseases by 2030
  • how lessons and opportunities from the use of data and intelligence as part of the prevention response to COVID-19 can be applied in other areas such as chronic diseases

Supporting innovation

  • further options for policy following initiatives already planned or in progress - and how support should be directed and managed to help improve diagnosis and recovery rates
  • next steps following the MedTech Funding Mandate consultation, proposing that providers and commissioners be required to comply with NICE guidance on effective and affordable innovation
  • what support can be provided to innovators to scale up, including:
    • accelerating the regulatory process
    • clarifying the evidence required on effectiveness
    • measures to increase the uptake and utilisation of innovations in the NHS
  • Public Health England’s Predictive Prevention Programme, and how to support the best use of digital technology - alongside data and scientific evidence - to improve public health
  • the review of the NHS Health Check service - which will explore options for personalised interventions to prevent disease, and is due before this conference - with discussion expected on:
    • predictive and proactive approaches to disease prevention, including the use of data to target interventions
    • introducing genomic testing
    • offering digital checks to increase uptake


  • strategies for the creation of a governance framework - following the publication of Artificial Intelligence: How to get it right by NHSX
  • priorities for regulation to support safe, data-driven innovation in health and care
  • whether more needs to be done to promote the collaboration and communication to ensure regulation does not hinder innovation

Developments that are relevant to the discussion:

  • NHS Digital reporting an increase in the use of their technology as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
    • 38% of people have increased their use of NHS technology since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak, which includes the NHS App, website and NHS Pathways
    • more than 85% of primary care prescriptions in England are now processed electronically
  • Questions over the development and role of the contact tracing app in conjunction with NHSX, and its trialling on the Isle of Wight
  • NAO recommendations for managing digital transformation of the NHS, with the importance of digital delivery of remote services in the NHS highlighted by COVID-19, including:
    • collecting more data to understand the full cost
    • simplifying the governance of health technology
    • ensuring successful implementations of technology can be scaled up across the NHS
  • An agreement between NHSX, NHS Digital and Microsoft aimed at producing significant savings for the NHS including through improved productivity, collaboration, and cyber security
  • The release of a National Audit Office report on the current state of the digital services of the NHS and its readiness for digital transformation and managing the challenges for future adoption of technology, which has been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Launch of the Care Workforce app dedicated to the adult social care workforce in England to support staff through the COVID-19 pandemic and provide access to guidance, learning resources and support for mental health and wellbeing
  • Launch of the NHS Digital Health Technology Standard consultation, which aims to streamline the review and commissioning of health technologies
  • Government plans for investment into health technology and healthcare innovation, including the Accelerating Disease programme
  • The creation of a National Artificial Intelligence Lab to improve cancer, dementia, and heart disease diagnostics and screening
  • The NHS Funding Act, which included £450m for new scanners and the latest in AI technology to transform prevention, detection, and treatment for patients
  • Public Health England’s Strategy 2020-2025 in which technology is central to developing targeted advice and interventions, and support personalised public health and care at scale
  • The expanded Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC)
  • NICE’s review into the health technology assessment programme process, expected to be published in summer 2020

The agenda:

  • Delivering the ambitions in the NHS Long Term Plan: technology, infrastructure, and supporting delivery
  • Rising to the challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, adopting new technology and what has been learned going forward
  • Developing and scaling up successful technologies in the NHS:
    • Supporting the workforce to implement health technologies in primary care
    • Utilising data and AI in service integration
    • Public-private partnerships and the use of technology in diagnostics
    • The use of technology in monitoring and improving population health
  • Priorities for the NHS Innovation Accelerator
  • Approaches to utilising data for cross-sector collaboration
  • Encouraging innovation - funding, utilising data and AI, supporting uptake on delivery platforms and lessons from the COVID-19 response
  • Next steps for technology adoption - regulation, overcoming barriers and measuring impact

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.

This one looks no different. Places have been reserved by officials from the Department for Health and Social Care; the MHRA; the Department for International Trade; and the Welsh Government.

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

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording 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 Speakers

Dr Amanda Begley

Co-Founder and National Director, NHS Innovation Accelerator and Director of Innovation and Implementation at UCLPartners

Professor Ben Bridgewater

Chief Executive, Health Innovation Manchester

Keynote Speakers

Tom Russell

Programme Manager - Health and Social Care, techUK

Tim Horton

Assistant Director, Insight and Analysis, The Health Foundation

Dr Amanda Begley

Co-Founder and National Director, NHS Innovation Accelerator and Director of Innovation and Implementation at UCLPartners

Professor Ben Bridgewater

Chief Executive, Health Innovation Manchester


Paul Bristow MP

Member of the Health and Social Care Committee

James Murray MP


Alan Davies

Innovative Programmes & Partnerships Director, Health Education England

Dr Ruth Chambers

Clinical Lead for Technology Enabled Care Services, Staffordshire STP

Andrew Davies

Digital Health Lead, Association of British HealthTech Industries

David Atkins

Chief Executive Officer, Congenica