More than 400 people came together on 15 October to hear about collaboration to improve health and care in the West. The audience included health and care leaders, other health and care professionals, people from technology and other companies, and patients and members of the public, from across Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, North Somerset, Bath and Bristol. The conference was jointly organised by the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care West (CLAHRC West), the NIHR Clinical Research Network: West of England (CRN: West of England) and the West of England Academic Health Science Network (WEAHSN).
Speakers, who included Dame Janet Trotter, Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire and Chair of the Gloucestershire Hospitals Trust; Nigel Acheson, Regional Medical Director of NHS England; and Martin Marshall, Professor of Healthcare Improvement at University College London, conveyed a number of common messages including the importance of evidence informed healthcare, increasingly involving patients and the public in shaping future care, constantly innovating new approaches and technologies, and connecting up the health system so that it can work effectively together.
Both Martin Marshall and Nigel Acheson commented on the size and breadth of the audience, showing that the region has an impressive commitment to collaborative health improvement.
Delegates heard about some exciting developments in the region designed to prevent strokes, enhance patient safety through better prescribing of medications and drive efficiencies in commissioning.
A key talking point was also the need to look beyond the healthcare system to enable people to lead healthier lives.
Nigel Acheson said: “We tend to look through a health lens when looking to improve health outcomes. But it isn’t just health solutions that are required but a need to build more resilient communities.”
Steve West, Vice Chancellor of the University of the West of England and Chairman of the West of England Academic Health Science Network, added that “there was a need to go beyond the healthcare system to improve health of local people including developing adequate housing and creating jobs.”
There was also consensus that there was a need to proactively drive innovation forward rather than wait for Government to give the green light. Nick Leggett, a member of the public from Bristol, who gets involved in providing insights for the region’s health services, said: “There is an inbred culture of waiting for the Government to tell us what to do. We shouldn’t be waiting but initiating things and patients have a key role to play in this area.”
The Enabling Collaborative Innovation conference was organised by the West of England Academic Health Science Network, National Institute for Health Research, Clinical Research Network West of England and Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care West.
See the presentations from the Enabling Collaborative Innovation conference:
Dame Janet Trotter, Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire and Chair of the Gloucestershire Hospitals Trust
Jenny Donovan, Director, NIHR CLAHRC West
Mary Perkins, Chief Operating Officer, NIHR CRN
Deborah Evans, Managing Director, West of England AHSN
Martin Marshall, Professor of Healthcare Improvement UCL & Lead for Improvement Science London
Nigel Acheson, Regional Medical Director (South), NHS England