• Communications

    Posted in category News by Communications on 30/04/2013

    ABPI Annual Conference gives delegates whole view of health sector changes

Over 300 delegates assembled on Thursday 25 April for the ABPI's Annual Conference, entitled '360° of health', which brought together senior presenters, panellists and key stakeholders from the new NHS architecture.

ABPI Chief Executive Stephen Whitehead addresses delegates at the ABPI's Annual conference

The conference opened with host Justin Webb outlining the journey industry is on to combat the cynicism and scepticism around it. The conference then heard from Stephen Whitehead, ABPI Chief Executive, who set out the huge changes in the NHS and the way in which industry will work with it.

Session one consisted of a keynote speech delivered by Sir Andrew Dillon, NICE Chief Executive, outlining the challenges faced by the NHS in defining the value of treatments and services. The panel discussion that followed heard from Sir Ron Kerr, Chief Executive at Guy’s and St Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust; Richard Stubbs, Head of Commercial and International Innovation at NHS England; Richard Gleave, Chief Operation Officer at Public Health England; and Carol Blount, the ABPI's NHS Partnership Director.

The panel focused on the new relationship industry will have to develop with NHS England and how the new Academic Health Science Networks can act as the bridge to new innovative treatments, highlighting regional partnerships as a crucial player in the new structures.

Session two’s panel session discussed the need to continue increasing quality and standards throughout the NHS while going through structural change. The panel consisted of Val Moore, Programme Director for Implementation NICE; Adrian Towse, Director at the Office of Health Economics; Anna Bradley, Chair at Healthwatch England; and Harriet Lewis, the ABPI's Regional Partnership Manager for the North. The influence of the recent Francis report acted as the catalyst for the discussion, with goals of continuing care while dealing with the NHS efficiency drive. Industry’s role was outlined as helping to deliver clear guidance, treatment data and specialist knowledge in disease areas.

Session three featured a case study of local healthcare integration from North East Lincolnshire. The panel featured Tony Hunter, Chief Executive, North East Lincolnshire Council; Dr Cate Carmichael, Joint Director of Public Health at North East Lincolnshire Council; Lance Gardner, Chief Executive Officer at Care Plus Group; and Paul Catchpole, the ABPI's Value and Access Director. Integrated care in Lincolnshire Council has seen three areas brought together: public health, child health and adult social care. A crucial point was the movement away from 'siloed' services without any connectivity between them.

The final session of the conference ‘Innovation for health and wealth – do devolved nations have the edge?’ heard from panellists: Professor Ian Young, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Centre for Public Health Queen’s University Belfast; Professor Jonathan Bisson, Clinical Director, National Institute of Social Care and Health Research (NISCHR) Academic Health Science Collaboration (AHSC); Jill Vickerman, Policy Director at the Quality Unit in the Scottish Government; and Colette Goldrick, the ABPI's Northern Ireland Director. Each devolved nation outlined their strengths for clinical research, which included:

  • The integration of health and social care in Northern Ireland and the specialisation and streamlined research in: respiratory diseases, cancer, nutrition and metabolism and public health.

  • The Welsh Government’s commitment to life sciences as one of the three 'grand challenges' in its science policy, underlined by the establishment of the Life Sciences Investment Fund, the Life Sciences Hub, Health Research Wales and Sêr Cymru (Stars Wales) to support this work.

  • The 2020 vision for health and social care in Scotland which includes the three quality ambitions: mutually beneficial partnerships with industry, the provision of safer treatments and getting the most effective treatments, the most appropriate services and support for patients.

The conference closed with a keynote speech by Chris Ham, Chief Executive of the King’s Fund, who outlined the three burning platforms facing the NHS. The first is the growing financial pressure as the efficiency drives reach their hardest point since coming into force in 2011. The second pressure is the re-organisation of the NHS with the passing of the Health and Social Care Act 2012. The final pressure is the ageing population of the UK and the challenges this brings. 

The ABPI then hosted over 500 delegates for the conference dinner which featured keynote speeches from Stephen Whitehead who spoke about the pressures industry faces with the changing NHS. Deepak Khanna, ABPI President, thanked the assembled delegates and discussed the ABPI’s achievements in 2012.

Earl Howe, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Quality, discussed the pressures being put on the health sector in the UK and the ways in which industry can help. The evening’s final speaker, Professor Brian Cox, gave an inspirational talk about the secrets of the universe.  

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