High quality, high performing providers – Shelford and Reform Conference
Last week saw the Shelford Group’s first conference, held in partnership with the independent non-party think tank Reform. The conference provided a unique experience to hear from the Shelford Group’s CEOs, sharing a platform with key policy-makers and influencers. From feedback we have heard to date, the conference proved not only well received but also spurred the policy debate ahead of the 2015 General Election. It gave us the opportunity as a Group to put forward our honest vision for change in the NHS, sharing our expertise and experiences within our own communities, and how national policy can empower both patients and NHS leaders alike to take the health service into the 21st century. Furthermore, we had the opportunity to discuss our ideas with esteemed guest panellists and an engaged audience.
The afternoon was framed by keynote speeches from the Heath Minister Dr Dan Poulter MP and Shadow Health Secretary Rt Hon Andy Burnham MP, with both setting out the challenges that will dominate the coming years and how they should be addressed. Dr Poulter provided a Government perspective of what has been achieved to date, most notably through the integration fund, and also what the future holds, including focussing on the drive for efficiencies in procurement through greater transparency. In contrast, Andy Burnham spoke of Labour’s vision for Whole-Person Care and how the twin pillars of acute trusts and local councils for all communities can work together to unite physical, mental health and social care.
Through the three panel sessions, Shelford Group members joined NHS and health heavyweights from both national and local arenas to discuss the delivery of world-class care, integration, and life sciences and innovation in the NHS. Key issues discussed ranged from data sharing and care.data; to mergers, acquisitions and primary care. Without a doubt, reflecting a national focus, integration proved to be the buzzword of the day, with popular topics including greater responsibility of acute hospitals to share clinical research and the pooling of health and social care budgets. The removal of barriers to enable local health organisations to establish the best ways to work together in the interest of patients was another issue raised, and will continue to be a key focus for all those involved in healthcare delivery. The integration agenda is certainly one which the Shelford Group firmly support and indeed which we are delivering at the frontline.
For us as the Shelford Group, it was an invigorating chance to share ideas and visions, as well as a platform with some of the NHS’ leading thinkers. Despite the challenges facing the NHS, we remain positive that by working collaboratively, coupled with inspired thinking and promoting best practice we can secure a safe, and sustainable future for the NHS and a create a landscape where innovation flourishes for the benefit of empowered and engaged patients.