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 and social care - innovation, uptake, regulation, and the response to COVID-19

Morning, Thursday, 12th November 2020


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

This conference will examine the next steps for technology in the NHS and social care - including learning from innovation in the response to COVID-19.

The discussion at a glance:

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

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 and social care:
    • Supporting and encouraging the workforce to implement health technologies in primary care
    • Utilising technology and AI for integration across health and social care services
    • Public-private partnerships and the use of technology in diagnostics
    • The use of technology in monitoring and improving population health
  • The NHS Innovation Accelerator, the response to COVID-19, and future priorities for health technology innovation
  • Approaches to utilising patient data for cross-sector collaboration in health improvement and protection
  • Encouraging innovation - funding, utilising data and AI, supporting the workforce and uptake on delivery platforms, and lessons from the COVID-19 response
  • The way forward for technology adoption across the NHS and social care - future regulation, measuring impact, and maintaining the momentum of innovation from the pandemic

A scan of relevant developments:


  • Health Secretary policy statements - speeches on Better tech: not a ‘nice to have’ but vital to have for the NHS at the Healthcare Alliance and The future of healthcare at the RCP
  • Digital transformation in the NHS - NAO access recommendations for managing the process with the importance of digital delivery of remote services in the NHS highlighted by COVID-19
  • Walk-through cancer diagnosis and robotic muscles among ground-breaking new projects - announced by the EPSRC as winners of funding from their programme supporting development of innovative approaches to healthcare technology, with the second call for funding opened in September 2020  
  • Microsoft 365 digital tools - agreement between NHSX, NHS Digital and the software developer aimed at NHS cost savings and improved productivity, collaboration, and cyber security
  • the Care Workforce app - launched in England to provide access to guidance, learning resources and support for mental health and wellbeing
  • the NHS Digital Health Technology Standard consultation - on aims to streamline review and commissioning of health technologies, with the draft Standard expected this Autumn
  • the NHS Funding Act - which included £450m for new scanners and the latest in AI technology to transform prevention, detection, and treatment for patients
  • PHE Strategy 2020 to 2025 - with technology cited as central to developing targeted advice and interventions, and supporting personalised public health and care at scale
  • Recent investment in health technology and AI - to speed up the diagnosis of diseases with a £50m extra investment in diagnostic centres of excellence and to scale up existing developments in digital pathology and imaging services

The pandemic

  • Surge in the number of people using NHS tech during Coronavirus outbreak - reported by NHS Digital
  • NHS COVID-19 app launches across England and Wales - with reported bans in some workplaces, implementation and effectiveness issues, and privacy, data protection and accessibility concerns
  • TechForce19 - launched to support digital innovation for elderly, vulnerable and self-isolating people during COVID-19, in remote social care, staff planning, and mental health

The discussion in detail:

  • COVID -19 - assessing how health technologies have risen to the challenge, and what can be learned going forward:
    • 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
    • accelerated adoption - what enabled innovative technologies to be fast-tracked onstream during the pandemic
    • scaling up - what can learned from the rolling out of successful technologies in the NHS across public health, primary care, in the community, and in diagnostics
    • support for personalisation - development of technologies to deliver advice, information and interventions, and what can be learned from the way the public and sector because engaged
  • NHS Long Term Plan - and issues for delivery of ambitions to upgrade technology and digitally-enabled care across the NHS:
    • effectiveness and value - what more needs to be done to ensure these technologies are clinically effective and offer value for money in improving patient care and experience
    • engagement - priorities for working with staff, and patients and their families, on the use and benefits of technology, particularly in providing support for mental health and wellbeing
    • integration - the potential of technology in supporting and collaboration between health and social care
    • COVID-19 - how the pandemic has highlighted Long Term Plan priorities in areas such as service digitalisation and adoption of innovation - and how the momentum could be maintained
  • the Industrial Strategy’s Grand Challenge missions:
    • 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
    • COVID-19 - how lessons and opportunities from the use of data and intelligence as part of the prevention response to the pandemic can be applied in other areas, such as chronic diseases
  • supporting innovation:
    • further options for policy - and how support should be directed and managed to help improve diagnosis and recovery rates
    • scaling up - options for accelerating the regulatory process, clarifying the evidence required on effectiveness, and increasing the uptake and utilisation of innovations in the NHS
    • the review of the NHS Health Check service - is due before this conference: with discussion expected on predictive and proactive approaches to disease prevention, including the use of targeting data to target interventions, introducing genomic testing, increasing uptake by offering digital checks
  • integrating technology within existing services - what more should be done to increase workforce engagement, improve digital literacy, and promote appropriate data use
  • regulation:
    • a governance framework - options with discussion expected to draw on the Artificial Intelligence: How to get it right. Putting policy into practice for safe data-driven innovation in health and care report from NHSX
    • communication - the way forward for collaboration and communication with innovators to ensure regulation does not hinder advances

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by officials from the Department for Health and Social Care; the MHRA; the Department for International Trade; The Scottish Government; and the Welsh Government, as well as representatives from Abbott Medical; Addleshaw Goddard; Amicus Theraputics; Archus; B. Braun Medical; B Braun Medical; BD; Belong; Bevan Brittan; BMS; Boehringer Ingelheim; Cornwall Foundation Trust; Deloitte; DHU Health Care; EUPATI trainee UK; Eye Heroes; Glasgow Caledonian University; Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust; Health Education England; Health Tech Alliance; Heart Valve Voice; Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust; King's College London; Latham & Watkins (London); London School of Economics and Political Science; Marie Curie; Medacs Global Group; Medequip Assistive Technology; Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit; NHS SC; Oxford Academic Health Science Network; S12 Solutions; The Health Foundation; The Society and College of Radiographers; Tunstall Healthcare; Ulster University; University Hospital Southampton; University of Westminster; Ward Hadaway and YHEC.

Press passes have been reserved by representatives from the Digital Health Intelligence; Health Service Journal; MGP; RCNi and 2020Dentistry.

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

Abigail Harrison

Chief of Digital and Innovation and Chief Information Officer, North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Uday Bose

Country Managing Director, Boehringer Ingelheim