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.
For delegates already booked on, we will send you the online joining instructions (including links, event numbers and passwords) five working days before your conference. If you cannot find these in your inbox please email delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk

Next steps for diagnostics and pathology - innovation, collaboration, standards, and the response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Morning, Wednesday, 16th September 2020

Online Conference


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

This conference will examine the key issues facing diagnostics and pathology as the sector responds to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The agenda:

  • Rolling out imaging and pathology networks - and lessons from COVID-19 response:
    • Integration, utilising shared resources and the role of technology
    • Responding to COVID-19, consolidating pathology services, and supporting staff recruitment, development and retention
  • Diagnostics and COVID-19 - the sector response and key learnings for the future
  • Improving diagnostic times for cancer and learning from Rapid Diagnostic Centres
  • Accelerating the diagnostic process - responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact on wider diagnostics, standards and upgrading infrastructure
  • The role of standards in pathology in supporting and enabling innovative solutions
  • Innovation in diagnostics and pathology - utilising data and artificial intelligence to respond to urgent need, encouraging uptake, and developing personalised treatments
  • Evaluating diagnostic technologies and assessing barriers to adoption - regulation, uptake and innovation

The discussion in detail:

  • What can be learned from how the sector and NHS services have responded to challenges posed by COVID-19 - including:
    • how capacity has been maintained and how the NHS has responded to the increase in demand for screenings and tests
    • innovation in testing
    • the impact on diagnostic waiting times - particularly for cancer, and the way forward for improvement with a new faster diagnostic standard to be introduced this year
  • The Medicines and Medical Devices Bill currently before parliament, which aims to develop advanced therapies and rapid diagnostics in the UK through:
    • streamlining regulation
    • support for research and the life sciences sector
    • making it easier for hospitals to trial new personalised medicines
  • Progress and next steps for meeting the commitment in the NHS Long Term Plan to implement pathology networks across England by 2021, and diagnostic imaging networks by 2023
  • The role of genomics in diagnosis, in light of the ambition to sequence 5m genomes by 2023-24

Why this is relevant now - the context:

It takes place with:

Policy officials attending:

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

This conference is no different. Places have been reserved by officials from the DHSC; the MHRA; the Office for Life Sciences; the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control; and the Department for International Trade.

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

Professor Jo Martin

President, Royal College of Pathologists; Professor of Pathology, Queen Mary University of London and Director, Academic Health Sciences, Barts Health NHS Trust

Keynote Speakers

Professor Jo Martin

President, Royal College of Pathologists; Professor of Pathology, Queen Mary University of London and Director, Academic Health Sciences, Barts Health NHS Trust

Dr Laszlo Igali

Interim Chair, Pathology Standards Governance Board

Dr Saoirse Dolly

Consultant, Rapid Access Diagnostic Clinic, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

Doris-Ann Williams

Chief Executive, BIVDA

Professor Sir Mark Caulfield

Chief Scientist, Genomics England

Rebecca Albrow

Associate Director, Diagnostics Assessment Programme, NICE


Peter Dowd MP


Nishan Sunthares

Chief Operating Officer, Association of British HealthTech Industries

Professor Richard Body

Professor of Emergency Medicine, University of Manchester and Director, Diagnostics and Technology Accelerator, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

Professor Tim Spector

Professor of Genetic Epidemiology, King’s College London and Lead Researcher, COVID-19 Symptom Study App

Dr Michael Messenger

Head of Personalised Medicine and Health, University of Leeds and Deputy Director, NIHR Leeds MedTech and In-Vitro Diagnostic Co-Operative (MIC)

Professor Mark Callaway

Medical Director, Professional Practice, Clinical Radiology, Royal College of Radiologists

Professor Dion Morton

Professor, Surgery and Head, Academic Department of Surgery, University of Birmingham and Clinical Director, West Midlands Genomic Medicine Centre

Emma Cox

Chief Executive Officer, Endometriosis UK

Dr Darren Treanor

Consultant Pathologist, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust; Director, Northern Pathology Imaging Co-operative and Digital Pathology Lead, Royal College of Pathologists

Dr Steven Powell

Chief Diagnostic Officer, Rutherford Diagnostics