Sector focus: healthcare

Digging deep into the UK Healthcare market, it’s clear that the NHS has somewhat of a monopoly on the event sector. The NHS Confederation, the part of the NHS that is partly responsible for organising exhibitions, has chosen to ignore the benefits of working with an experienced event organiser and go it alone. Their first move was not renewing their agreement with Dods Group, who ran the NHS Innovation Show for them for the past five years, despite the event going from 3-7,000 visitors. The NHS Confederation has also decided to merge their own event, NHS Confed, held in June, with NHS Innovation Expo (September) to create NHS Confed Expo 20, held on 10-11 June at Manchester Central. 

Dods Group MD Stuart King remains surprisingly diplomatic despite losing an important and credible event in their healthcare portfolio. This is probably because they continue to produce events for NHS England, and he has a trick up his sleeve planned to fill the hole left by the NHS in September. He said: “Now that contract has come to an end we are energetically and enthusiastically engaged in launching a new and exciting event, the Festival of Health which will take place in Manchester in September 2020. We are in advanced conversations with a number of potential supporters and partners and are encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive response our plans have received.” 

The Festival of Health tackles the healthcare problem from a different angle, bringing together traditional NHS, clinical and social care practitioners with professionals from housing, transport, employment, education and skills. It’s a smart move, considering social, work and environmental factors in the prevention of illness.

Whilst UK healthcare has shown consistent growth over recent years, it faces some unique challenges. When it comes to digital health, although there is a clear need to push the digital agenda, progress is being hindered by political uncertainty, lack of funding and clear direction, and a technologically unprepared workforce.

Healthcare has struggled to embrace the technological and digital revolution at the same pace as other sectors, but the benefits of doing so are clear as technology continues to develop rapidly, and the use of Big Data and the Internet of Things promises to play a significant role in digital health and care in the future. Digital Transformation was a key pillar of the NHS Long Term Plan (announced at the start of the year), and with the introduction of NHSX this summer we will hopefully see clearer direction and faster progress in implementing digital transformation in the NHS.

NHSX recently published the results of a consultation with tech suppliers and innovators on what their priorities should be to drive a user-centred approach to digital transformation across the health and care system, and five key themes came out: transparency in standards and interoperability, addressing barriers to procurement, improving engagement to the market, increasing the digital capability of NHS staff, and support for the scaling of products.

Healthcare Excellence Through Technology (HETT) tackles the need for the NHS to evolve digitally. HETT has been designed by the healthcare sector, for the healthcare sector; their steering committee, made up of digital leaders and champions representing all parts of the sector, along with their supporters, has helped them to create an event which brings together stakeholders involved throughout healthcare provision. These stakeholders help drive the real conversation around digital transformation in healthcare.

HETT portfolio director Corby Ganesh said: “The feedback we’ve had from attendees, speakers and exhibitors alike has been overwhelmingly positive, supported by Explori visitor and exhibitor satisfaction scores of 4.09 and 4.08 respectively, well above the industry benchmarks. HETT 2019 was a huge success and what struck me most was just how engaged and engrossed everybody was across the two days. The next stage of HETT’s evolution is to build on the communities we created this year, continue to deliver a focus on real issues and the solutions to them, as well as a forum for honest discussion and debate around digital transformation.”

CloserStill Media has two strong events in the healthcare market, and a third launching. Health Plus Care and the Digital Healthcare Show, 24-25 June at ExCeL London (in conjunction with The Residential & Home Care Show and The IPC & Patient Safety Show), aimed at healthcare professionals tasked with healthcare delivery in the UK. This ranges from CIOs to CEOs with the focus on collaboration between healthcare organisations tasked with delivering sustainable change across the UK health and care systems.

Event director Lee Davies said: “Health Plus Care and the Digital Healthcare Show is a unique platform where stakeholders across health and social care get the chance to come together to find those how-to solutions which can really make an impact to patient outcome.” CloserStill will also be launching Future Surgey in 2020 at ExCel London, an event aimed at those in the surgical sector.

On a final note, there is a feeling that the NHS could have bitten off more than it can chew by putting on a large-scale event like NHS Confed Expo 20. Now is the time to work closer with event organisers and explore and support new ideas that will help shape the NHS of tomorrow and help dig it out of a very large hole.

Key events and organisers

1. Healthcare Excellence Through Technology (HETT):

HETT is organised by GovNet, an events organiser that will be running 13 other healthcare events throughout 2020, including the National Nursing Conference, the Healthcare and Housing Conference, and the Urgent and Emergency Conference.

The event is designed by the healthcare sector, for the healthcare sector, to drive the conversation around digital transformation in healthcare. At 2019’s event, more than 3,900 attended over the two days.

As HETT continues, the event’s main goal is to build on the communities created in 2019, as well as to continue to spotlight issues and the solutions to them, as well as to facilitate discussion and debate around digital transformation.

2. ConfedExpo20:

ConfedExpo20 was created via merging two already established NHS events, Confed Conference and Health and Care Innovation Expo, to create a single point of focus for health and care leaders in England.

ConfedExpo20 aims to unite leaders through the challenge of delivering sector-wide change to make real improvements for patients and service users. One of the ways this is facilitated is through reducing the number of days and resources NHS directors and CEOs spend, by having only one event.

The joint event will focus on communicating NHS strategies including the delivery of the Long-Term Plan, digital innovation and system change. It aims to encourage innovation, inspire participants, foster networking and spread learning throughout all attendees.

The 2020 conference and exhibition anticipate over 5,000 delegates. 

3. Health Plus Care:

Health Plus Care is organised by Closerstill Media and is run in conjunction with the Digital Healthcare Show, the Residential & Home Care Show and the IPC & Patient Safety Show. The event is aimed at all UK healthcare professionals who work within healthcare delivery, focusing on collaboration between healthcare organisations that work to deliver sustainable change across the UK health and care systems.

The event attracts over 6,000 delegates each year.

The next edition of the events will focus on primary care networks and integrated care systems and to help them deliver a more connected, integrated healthcare system.

4. Digital Health Rewired:

Digital Health Rewired is hosted by Digital Health and aims to connect current and future health IT leaders and teams with experts in disruptive technology and innovation.  

Overall, Digital Health Rewired focuses on delivering compelling speakers and original programmes to try and ensure that the event is a must-attend for those within the healthcare industry.

The event features the Rewired Leadership Summit and the Rewired Conference and Exhibition. The summit is aimed at NHS CCIOs and CIOs, and the conference and exhibition is aimed at anyone within the healthcare sector who is interest in the digital future of health and care. This year’s event was attended by over 1,600 people.

5. The Festival of Health

Festival of Health is new population health event, launching by Dods in 2020.

The event aims to bring together professionals from transport, education, housing, skills and employment with NHS clinical and social care practitioners.

As there is no existing national event serving this agenda, the event predicts they will receive up to 5000 attendees from across the UK to in inaugural event. 

The Festival of Health aims to showcase existing good practice in the population health sector, and bring people and places together to debate the challenges they face.

Other UK events

A selection of other events (of which there are many) within the healthcare events industry

Care Roadshow London – Organised by Broadway Events, the Care Roadshow is a series of regional care events across the UK. The events aim to inspire and enlighten those within the healthcare sector, especially carehome owners and care managers. 

Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo – Organised by Prysm Group, The Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo is the UK’s only free event dedicated to the social care industry, and is attended by 5,500 care home, nursing home and domiciliary care business owners.  

Med-Tech Innovation Expo – The Med-Tech Innovation Expo is organised by Rapid News Group. It focuses on medical device design and manufacture, and is aimed at engineers, designers, innovators and manufacturers of medical devices from across the medical and healthcare sectors.

Naidex – Naidex is dedicated to the independent living and healthcare industries. The event, organised by Pyrsm Group, showcases the latest innovations in accessible design, care, mobility, moving and handling, assistive technology, inclusive sports, travel and more.

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