Photo shows a montage of speakers and delegates involved in the Integrating Innovation conference

On Thursday 9 March, health and care leaders and innovators from across the West of England and beyond came together at Aerospace Bristol for our one-day Integrating Innovation conference, hosted in partnership with our three local integrated care systems.

The focus of the day was on exploring how new technologies and innovative approaches can help us achieve our shared ambitions for more integrated, equitable and patient-centred services.

The conference provided a fantastic opportunity for connecting with like-minded colleagues to share ideas, compare approaches, and explore opportunities to collaborate across system and organisational boundaries.

The Innovation Zone

Photo shows exhibitors in the Innovation Zone

Delegates had the chance to explore our ‘Innovation Zone’, showcasing some of the latest innovations being developed and piloted in health and care settings. Read more about the Innovation Zone here.

Learning from history with David Olusoga

We were privileged to have Black historian and broadcaster David Olusoga join us to give a talk on how we can (and must) learn from history to reshape our approach to tackling inequalities in health and care.

Photo shows David Olusoga speaking at the Integrating Innovation conference

“Healthcare is one of the many arenas in our society that faces a profound challenge when it comes to looking at the history behind those disparities,” David explained. “However part of that challenge I would argue is that there is a need to confront the past and the power of the past because the ideas we’re up against are ideas that I think we have systemically and culturally underestimated.

“Because alongside many other institutions and sectors, the medical profession and the healthcare sector have historically been part of the system that created modern disparities and indeed helped generate the racial thinking that underpins it.”

Watch David Olusoga’s talk here.

Creating a culture of innovation

Photo shows Penny Pereira and Tarnia Mason of the Health Foundation speaking at the Integrating Innovation conference

Penny Pereira and Tarnia Mason from the Health Foundation’s Q community ran an interactive session on how we can create a culture of innovation and make change stick.

They explored some of the simple rules that might guide our innovation work, and some of the complex challenges that those rules will help us to address. They also helped delegates to synthesise the evidence around this and how make that practical, drawing on both existing evidence examples and the experience in the room.

Watch Penny Pereira and Tarnia Mason’s session here.

Celebrating ten years of collaboration

The West of England AHSN’s Chair, Steve West, and Chief Executive, Natasha Swinscoe, looked back at our impacts and achievements over the last ten years since we were first established by NHS England in 2013 to support the adoption and spread of healthcare innovation. They also looked ahead to new developments in the pipeline.

Watch Steve West and Natasha Swinscoe’s presentation here.

Breakout sessions

During the afternoon, delegates had a choice of breakout sessions to attend. Read reports on each of these below:

Tackling health inequalities: a community involvement approach

Panellists explored how we can change our approaches to providing access to services and treatment from a more equitable and person-centred perspective. Read more about the health inequalities session here.

Delivering a net zero NHS

This session considered how we can work together to achieve a net zero NHS from the perspectives of innovators, researchers, and NHS partners. Read more about the net zero session here.

Co-creating a vibrant innovation ecosystem

What are the barriers to a vibrant ecosystem and how are we going to overcome them? What is the West of England AHSN Innovation Pipeline and how does it play a key role in the wider innovation ecosystem? How can academic researchers be supported and also support a vibrant innovation ecosystem? These questions and more were tackled in this breakout session.

How is innovation supporting our integrated care system’s strategic priorities?

Photo shows Steve West, Sue Harriman, Mary Hutton and Shane Devlin taking part in a panel session at the Integrating Innovation conference

In the final session of the conference, the chief executives of our three integrated care boards (Sue Harriman, Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire; Shane Devlin, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire; and Mary Hutton, Gloucestershire) took part in a discussion exploring their local strategic priorities and the role of research and innovation in helping to tackle these.

Watch the integrated care system panel session here.

A huge thank you to all our speakers, panellists, exhibitors and delegates, and a special thank you to our Events Manager Natasha Sandiford and all our AHSN colleagues helping out on the day.

Feedback from delegates has shown the conference was a resounding success with most people telling us they’d be keen to attend similar events in the future. Delegates say they came away with a better understanding of how innovation can help tackle health and care challenges and found it a good opportunity to connect with others and learn from the work they are involved in.

Ideas suggested for improvement at future events included more input from innovators, more interactive networking sessions, and a venue with better public transport links, which have all been taken on board!

Posted on April 3, 2023

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