I remember walking into Expo 2014 and sensing ‘this feels different’.
There was an open space with people flowing, eddying, slowing for conversations and a buzz in the air. Although the chalk and talk we are used to at such an event was also present it didn’t seem, to me, to dominate in the usual way.
It would be good to experience that again.
I think Expo 2014 was different because there was a sincere attempt to involve people who have experience of using the NHS – to listen to and capture their views.
The NHS belongs to the people. It exists because of and for the people. So having conferences about the NHS without the people is an era we might look back on with a raised eyebrow or just plain perplexity?
It would be good if Expo 2015 built on the success of Expo 2014 and modelled the future we are looking for in the Five Year Forward View.
That would mean we, NHS England, listen to and work with the people we serve to help us design and deliver the conference. We all celebrate and appreciate the progress and hard work staff and services have made and delivered against a backdrop of constrained funding. We constructively and ambitiously challenge how we are going to build on the values and purpose of the NHS to make it sustainable. We argue and debate how to mobilise the potential of patients, carers, the voluntary sector and communities, alongside professionals: clinicians and managers. How we can integrate care, align with social care, education, the police and fire services. We dare to imagine new models of care that embrace the digital era. We build on the foundations of world class research and innovation the NHS has created in partnership with academics and universities and industry.
If that is possible and we aim to make Expo 2015 better than Expo 2014 then it is going to require the energy and commitment of colleagues inside NHS England, our partners and, most of all, the people we serve, because, if we don’t listen to them – what is the point?
Dr Martin McShane is NHS England’s Director for Patients with Long Term Conditions.
- The Health and Care Innovation Expo returns to Manchester, 2-3 September 2015. Visit england.nhs.uk/expo to keep up to date with latest 2015 programme developments and activities, speaker announcements and social and networking opportunities. Our event partners are Dods, for all commercial enquires please email email@example.com
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