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A round up of Commissioning LIVE London

A round up of Commissioning LIVE London

Question and answer sessions were never dull at this year’s Commissioning LIVE London.

Question and answer sessions were never dull at this year’s Commissioning LIVE London. With the Five Year Forward View still on everyone’s minds and the general election round the corner, the conference was the perfect opportunity for delegates to put questions to leading speakers.

Given that the event offered advice from some of the most forward thinking commissioners and commissioning support organisations in the country it’s no surprise that sessions were used as a springboard for people to voice their concerns.       

Kicking off with the opening panel, Dr Amanda Doyle, DR Nadim Fazlani and Dr Mike Bewick, highlighted the positive movements that are taking place in the NHS. The diversity of the NHS Five Year Forward View was pointed out and was described by the panel as there being, “something for everyone in it”.

Hard-hitting questions were still on delegates’ minds despite this upbeat outline, with one being: “Have you considered the real scenario after the umpteenth reorganisation of the NHS.” But Doyle’s eloquent reply seemed to resonate with the delegates. She said: “This is to important to be part of ‘political football’. We in the health service know what we need to do. We need to go ahead and make the change.”

Dr Robert Varnam’s lecture echoed the panel’s thoughts. He said: ‘The future of primary care has never looked better, if we can rise to some of the challenges. It’s not impossible to get change ­– but it’s hard.”

But some changes have already been implemented. Ronke Akerele, director of programmes, change and performance management, Imperial College Health Partners (ICHP) and AHSN, discussed how ICHP had looked at models across the country to improve patient safety in general practice. Using these findings it worked with its CCGs in north west London to create and implement principles for patient safety.

Patients were at the heart of the conference. Every point made whether it was on finance, working hours, contract – all fell back on to the patient priority.

Ivan Benett’s lecture focused on improving patient access without compromising on care. As clinical director of NHS Centre Manchester CCG, Benett was aware of the spotlight on Greater Manchester after the announcement that it will take control of the £6bn health budget.

He explained to the audience how they expanded the capacity of general practice and wanted to give patients the opportunity to receive appointments from 8am to 8pm. Starting with patient surveys and working closely with practices the changes could then be implemented that showed patient satisfaction had increased.

Christine Vigars, chair of Healthwatch Central, west London, also described the importance of putting patients at the heart of service transformation, and believed in “engaging patients throughout the commissioning cycle”. Talking to patients enabled Healthwatch to give clear findings to CCGs.

The day covered an array of topics that speakers could offer valuable advice on. With opportunities for delegates and speakers to interact, strong opinions were at the forefront of the day. But this only added to an already interesting lecture programme.


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