Health professionals from around the country to meet in Manchester next week
21st June 2012
On Thursday 28 June, Manchester will play host to the fourth annual LinkGov Health & Care Conference. This will see a whole host of Health and Care Senior Leaders, Board Directors, and many more healthcare professionals and volunteers from all across the country, meeting to discuss how best to move forward and constantly improve healthcare for patients, against regulations and strict financial restraints laid out by a coalition government who are seemingly always looking to cut expenditure on things such as health and education in an attempt to reduce the countries massive debt. The conference will begin at 10am, finishing with a 4pm discussion from keynote speaker Jim Easton, the Director of Improvement and Transformation, who’s topics of debate will include ‘Strengthening links between better use of information and greater efficiency and improvements in care’ and also ‘Supporting patient choice and helping people make decisions about their care’. Easton’s speech will probably touch upon the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS), and how better to efficiently manage this. This service enables prescribers to electronically send a patients prescription to a nominated pharmacy of the patients choice. There are obviously major benefits to this revolutionary and efficient process, such as the patient not having to worry about misplacing the paper prescription, pharmacies such as Medical Specialists Pharmacy can take care of your repeat prescriptions and monitor when they are due – saving you the trip to your GP practice each time you need to collect your repeat prescription. As of 18 June, there are 181 general practices and 4,928 pharmacy sites are now ready to start using EPS Release 2, including Medical Specialists Pharmacy, who are listed on the NHS choices page, so clearly the service has become huge and in the future it will probably be responsible for how the majority of medications are dispensed to patients. As we reported last month, the  government are currently planning some of the most radical health reforms ever seen and everybody will soon be able to even browse around online to compare doctors and the success rates of particular operations in their local hospitals. The 2012 LinkGov Health & Care Conference will aim to study how these changes effect patients, what kind of financial restrictions will be present, and how future strategies and technologies can provide more safer, cost-effective and efficient service for patient’s needs. A main part of the afternoon in Manchester will be the meetings will be focused on ‘The QIPP Challenge’ (Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention), and the awards given out for them.  The QIPP is a national Department of Health strategy that involves all NHS staff, patients, clinicians and the voluntary sector. The strategies main aim is to make a £20bn efficiency saving by 2014/15 which will all be reinvested back into the NHS. The awards aim to recognise the efforts of health and social care staff and those who have helped to innovate or improve working practices, reduce costs, improve patient care, and many other things. Some of the recipients of a QIPP Challenge Award include the NHS North of England North West for their ‘Energise for Excellence in Care Program’ and the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust’s ‘Commissioning Leader’ scheme.