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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Examining data use in healthcare and life sciences - collection and trust, innovation and improving patient care, and the contribution to fighting COVID-19

Morning, Tuesday, 20th October 2020

Online Conference

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

This conference will examine the key issues for the use of data in healthcare and life sciences.

We expect discussion on how data is being used in the UKs response to COVID-19 and what can be learned going forward from developments in areas such as:

  • the support given to research
  • the NHS test and trace service, and issues with the development, trialling and rolling out of the NHS COVID-19 App
  • how data is being used in identifying those at risk, and the storing of patient data both during and after the health emergency
  • improving access to data to inform local approaches, including data being used to determine where boundaries for the lockdown is drawn
  • enabling the effective planning of NHS services

Further areas for discussion include:

  • improving the access of researchers and institutions to datasets and enhancing the UK’s science offer for research, data, and data-driven technology
  • scaling up the UK’s genomic database and utilising data to modernise diagnostics and deliver precision treatment
  • addressing safety and security concerns, and the priorities for improving public trust, engagement and allaying concerns over data collection and use
  • training the workforce to ensure staff are equipped with the skills needed to utilise data effectively
  • priorities for the use of data in improving patient care and health outcomes, reducing health inequalities, and supporting community care through the greater use of online and remote services
  • expectations for the National Centre of Expertise, due to be set up within NHSX shortly

Developments that are relevant to the discussion:

  • Development of the NHS Test and Trace service, with:
    • local lockdowns being announced and information being shared with local councils and public health officials
    • recruitment of 21,000 contact tracers across England with training designed by Public Health England, alongside testing capacity and technology
    • data on the spread of COVID-19 to be shared with local authorities to identify and contain potential outbreaks in workplaces, care homes and schools, through the Joint Biosecurity Centre
    • £300m of additional funding for local authorities to support the new test and trace service
  • Goals set out in the NHS Long Term Plan to improve access to and the use of data
  • The Health Secretary reiterating the importance of data in improving care services - and the ambition that by the end of the decade doctors will have:
    • all relevant patient data readily available to them
    • the tools needed to process that data
    • the training to understand it
  • The National Data Strategy which sets out goals to be met by 2030, the final publication of which is expected later this year
  • Public Health England’s plan to utilise data to support more informed decision-making and produce better outcomes for the public
  • Challenges identified in The Topol Review, and progress made towards goals set in the interim NHS people plan
  • The publication of Public Health England’s review of disparities in risks and outcomes for COVID-19, and how data can be used to support targeted interventions to protect those most at risk

The discussion in detail:

Maximising the impact of life sciences research

  • the use of data to support research and the response to the pandemic
  • access, data sharing and investment in data-driven technology
  • implementation of the digital innovation hub and NHS DigiTrials, and their impact on improving patient care
  • improving access for researchers to multiple datasets
  • next steps for utilising data produced through AI and other advances to modernise diagnostic services, and support research to improve diagnosis and deliver precision treatments

Trust, regulation, standards and workforce training

  • addressing concerns over safety, security and the potential for harm related to data as:
    • the NHS test and trace service ramps up
    • the Government changes direction in the development and potential use of the COVID-19 app
  • how to build trust in the use of data online, and ensure effective collaboration between regulators, government, and technology and service providers
  • secure management and sharing of genome data collected as part of the Accelerating Detection of Disease programme, with researchers from academia and industry
  • expectations for the National Centre of Expertise, being set up within NHSX to provide advice to NHS organisations on data agreements and contracts
  • data handling and how best to implement the updated NHS digital, data and technology standards framework, manage adherence, improve transparency and raise standards
  • workforce education and training priorities to ensure staff are equipped with the analytical and technical skills needed to utilise data effectively
  • the use of data in studies on the treatment for COVID-19 patients, and maintaining peer-review standards, accountability and trust in times of urgent need

Data use and meeting long-term goals:

  • track and trace data security - with plans for information collected to be destroyed or returned to the NHS in order to enable learning to improve the collection, aggregation and analysis of data
  • the role of data more widely in supporting future remote clinical services and community care
  • next steps are for meeting the goals set out in the NHS Long Term Plan to improve access to and the use of data
  • how data can be used to improve overall health outcomes for patients, and ensure a sustainable future for the NHS in light of the DHSC guidance on creating the right framework to realise the benefits for patients and the NHS where data underpins innovation
  • joined up approaches to data collection across health and social care systems and what has been learned from the COVID-19 pandemic

The agenda:

  • The role of Life Sciences and data in improving patient care and outcomes - progress made since the industrial strategy and maximising impact into the future
  • Improving the collection and utilisation of data in healthcare - supporting rapid response, track, trace and test services, trust, access, training and regulation:
    • Increasing availability and access to data as a resource in healthcare and how data is shaping services during the pandemic
    • Developing a system for data use that is trusted, and improving engagement from patients across the UK
    • Preparing the workforce with the specialised skills and techniques needed for utilising data
    • Key legal and regulatory considerations for utilising data in healthcare - and implications for the COVID response
  • The potential for innovation and genomics to improve diagnosis and treatment
  • The role of data in in the COVID-19 Pandemic - contact tracing, resource management and improving patient care
  • Opportunities for improving patient care using data - health outcomes, identifying vulnerable and at risk groups, and supporting online and remote services:
    • Using data to innovate and improve the patient experience
    • Case study: The health data research hub for respiratory health
    • Data and medicine development - supporting personalised effective treatment
    • Using data to enable integrated care and better connect health and social care, and support the development of remote services
  • Next steps for policy and meeting long term goals

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 of Health and Social Care; the MHRA; the Office for Life Sciences; the Cabinet Office; the Department for International Trade; the National Audit Office; The Scottish Government 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 Speaker

Dr Nicole Mather

Partner, Life Sciences Lead, IBM; Non-Executive Director, Health Research Authority and former Director, Office for Life Sciences

Keynote Speakers

Dr Nicole Mather

Partner, Life Sciences Lead, IBM; Non-Executive Director, Health Research Authority and former Director, Office for Life Sciences

Tim Hubbard

Professor of Bioinformatics Kings College London; Associate Director Health Data Research UK London Site; Head of Genome Analysis, Genomics England

Andrew Davies

Digital Health Lead, Association of British HealthTech Industries

Ming Tang

National Director, Data and Analytics, NHS England and NHS Improvement


Baroness Nicholson


Hamish Young

Head of Provider Analytics Primary Medical Services, Care Quality Commission

Dr Harpreet Sood

Co-Founder and Strategic Advisor, NHS Digital Academy and former Associate Chief Clinical Information Officer, NHS England

Dr Camila Caiado

Associate Professor of Statistics, Durham University

Natalie Banner

Understanding Patient Data Lead, Wellcome Trust

Chris Alderson

Partner, Hempsons

Eleonora Harwich

Director of Research and Head of Digital and Tech Innovation, Reform

Aziz Sheikh

Professor of Primary Care Research and Development and Director of the Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh and Co-Director, NHS Digital Academy

Gabriela Lavezzari

Head of Global R&D Policy, GSK