Blake Morgan brought together experts across health and social care for a series of insightful discussions and debates on the sector at its Future Health Conference last month.
Lawyers from the firm were joined by sector experts, including speakers from the Confederation of British Industry, Welsh NHS Confederation, Bevan Commission, Wessex Academic Health Science Network, Hywel Dda University Health Board, BKR Care Consultancy and Lifelight.
The event focused on the challenges facing the sector following a turbulent few years, the opportunities that lie ahead, and how the industry can work together collaboratively to navigate this new landscape.
One of the key topics discussed was ways of working, in particular the move towards collaboration and integrated approaches to improve efficiency, better utilise resources and deliver enhanced customer experiences. Lawyers within the firm’s healthcare team, including Head of Health and Care Bruce Potter, advised on how the set up of Integrated Care Systems across the country can help to achieve this.
Life sciences, and the government’s increased investment in research and development for the sector, was seen as an opportunity by panellists, with Jordan Cummins, health director at the CBI, commenting that this was an area offering huge potential.
Building on progress over the last few years towards digitisation of the healthcare sector, the subject of innovation was discussed, with a particular focus on med-tech and how this can be incorporated across the board. Laurence Pearce, chief executive of Lifelight, commented that a centralised digital model is needed to ensure the health sector adopts technology across the board.
Of particular relevance at the moment, discussions also focused on the workforce, the increased pressure felt by staff within the NHS and care organisations over the last few years, and how wellbeing of the workforce can be improved. Sector experts were joined by the firm’s employment lawyers, including Debra Gers, who offered advice on dealing with workforce fatigue, including improving middle management, offering mental health support to workers, and implementing better practices to manage workload.
Helen Howson, director at the Bevan Commission, commented that the workforce are central to the future of the healthcare sector, and to creating the changes that are needed.
The firm’s team based in Wales also discussed how the Welsh health and care system can innovate to meet the needs of today’s population, while other panel discussions focused on the green agenda and how the healthcare sector can decarbonise, better practice within care homes, and procurement.
Blake Morgan’s team – including its Head of Health and Care, Bruce Potter, partners Eve Piffaretti, Paula Kathrens and Claire Rawle, and lawyers Tomos Lewis, Sarah Whittle and Debra Gers – were joined by Jordan Cummins, healthcare programme director at the CBI, Darren Hughes, director of the Welsh NHS Confederation, Helen Howson, director at the Bevan Commission, Frank Ratcliff, director of industry and innovation at Wessex Academic Health Science Network, Bhavna Keane-Rao Managing Director at BKR Care Consultancy Laurence Pearce, founder and CEO at Lifelight and Lisa Gostling, director of workforce and organisational development at Hywel Dda University Health Board.
Eve Piffaretti, partner and Head of Office (Wales) at Blake Morgan, says:
It was fantastic to bring together so many experts across the health and social care for productive discussions on the issues and opportunities facing the sector in the years ahead. During these turbulent times, it’s more important than ever to collaborate on new ways of working, creative new initiatives and new technologies, and learn from the lessons of the last few years to ensure a better future.
Blake Morgan’s health and care team works closely with clients across the public and private health and care space, including the NHS, local government and registered care providers advising on issues of spanning regulatory compliance, structural change and mergers and acquisitions.