NHS changes discussed at Plymouth Chamber of Commerce-run conference
BUSINESSES were briefed on important changes to the health landscape at a major conference.
The New Face of the NHS: Challenges and Opportunities symposium, at the Tamar Science Park, was organised by Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, on behalf of the city's Growth Board, to highlight changes to public health services set to be introduced next month.
The idea was to explore how best to position Plymouth for these wide-ranging changes.
And the event attracted more than 80 delegates from the medical and healthcare sector, education, manufacturing, business services and not-for-profit organisations.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
The event was sponsored by Plymouth Community Healthcare, an independent social enterprise which provides community, physical and mental healthcare for 270,000 people.
As of next month GPs will take responsibility for commissioning of healthcare services and the public health function will transfer from the NHS to Plymouth City Council.
Service priorities and resource distribution will be controlled locally and there will be a renewed focus on prevention as opposed to cure.
Speakers addressed different aspects of the new healthcare landscape, looking at how changes might affect employers and providers and how the public could benefit from new services.
Speakers included Ann James, chief executive of Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust; Angela Pedder, chief executive of Royal Devon and Exeter Foundation Trust; Jerry Clough, of the Western Locality Clinical Commissioning Group, and Plymouth City Councillor Susan McDonald.
Ms Pedder introduced the new South West Peninsula Academic and Health Science Network (AHSN), which will facilitate partnerships and establish more effective working relationships between NHS and academic organisations.
The network aims to strengthen public health service links with industry to accelerate the adoption of new technologies and ideas, increase the volume and efficiency of research and encourage change and the spread of best practice across NHS organisations.
Ms Pedder, chair of the steering group for the South West Peninsula AHSN said: "We were encouraged by the high turnout at the event and by the support from chamber members of our intention to strengthen links between the NHS and industry."
Delegates were divided into three discussion groups to tackle core issues around the forthcoming changes to public health service. These were documented and the themes and actions are being shared with attendees.
Ben Jane, a senior lecturer in sport and health science, representing the University of St Mark and St John, said: "Now is the time for business to be engaging in discussions about how changes to public health services will affect them.
"It was a fantastic opportunity for businesses from all sectors and of all sizes to support each other and share information.
"By meeting key people, we have identified potential opportunities through which our university can support and engage with the medical and healthcare sector."
John Baker, group chairman for Plymouth-based medical equipment firm BaKare, said: "The outlined changes being made by the NHS meant to me that, hopefully, more products and services can be met locally."
Steve Waite, chief executive of Plymouth Community Healthcare, said: "It was refreshing to see businesses, medical professionals and healthcare providers coming together to discuss implementing changes."
David Parlby, Chief Executive at Plymouth Chamber, said: "Medical and healthcare is one of Plymouth's priority sectors so it is essential the city's Chamber of Commerce actively supports the growth and development of such organisations."
Plymouth Chamber is now planning a follow-up event for the autumn.