5 Key Takeaways from NHS EXPO 2018
Today’s blog is written by Co-founder and Co CEO of Elemental Software Jennifer Neff, who gives her key takeaways from NHS Expo at the Manchester Convention Centre last week.
I never seem to choose the right shoes for NHS Expo. One week later and I am still bearing the hallmarks of 2 full days on my feet. You would think you couldn’t go wrong in flats!
This was our third time exhibiting at NHS Expo – it has always been a BIG date in the diary for Elemental and one which we spend all summer preparing for.
NHS Expo will always be close to our hearts as it’s the place that we chose to first unveil our social prescribing platform two years ago. It reminds me of the old Delmonte ad – ‘those designing and delivering social prescribing – they say yes!’.
So how did NHS Expo 2018 compare to other years?
Once again we were the only exhibitor dedicated to social prescribing – showing our commitment and dedication to championing and mainstreaming social prescribing and facilitating the conversation around the future of personalised care.
We have always been about people first, technology second so we decided to focus on some of those benefiting from digital social prescribing and to celebrate them as champions. We met champions from all over, including Health and Social Care professionals, Link Workers, patients, VCSE organisations and Commissioners.
Sensing a shift
Early on in day 1 we knew that this was the NHS Expo that social prescribing had ‘come of age’. It featured heavily throughout conversations we were having around self care and personalised care.
We all acknowledged that the conversation has shifted this year from ‘what is social prescribing?’ To ‘how can digital be used to scale and better measure the impact of social prescribing’ – there were less puzzled looking men with rucksacks on their back this year scratching their heads at the concept.
We were delighted to see the Expo programme feature sessions like Realising personalised care through digital transformation where social prescribing was the key component and also sessions like Transforming care for people with complex needs which shone a bright light on one of our customers Tameside and Glossop Integrated NHS Foundation Trust.
This year’s Top 5 Highlights for me were:
- Hearing from the team behind We Can Talk – Co-produced children and young people’s mental health training for hospital staff. Their energy and passion was inspiring!
- Listening to the personal stories of Debbie Taylor and Jennifer Layton, on how social prescribing has empowered them and helped them find their passion and overcome challenges they were facing in their lives.
- Meeting old and new friends and beating James Watson, NHS England, at table tennis at the very first Elemental Social Club. I must point out I was beaten by Giles Willmore, Associate Lead for People & Communities, Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership.
- Discussing the hopes and aspirations around a variety of different social prescribing programmes being designed and delivered across the UK and beyond and awarding social prescribing champions with Elemental Chocolate Medals.
- Listening to Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s speech about his ambitions to bring the NHS into the 21st century and receiving the news that he wanted to meet us after his closing speech. ‘It doesn’t get more exciting than Interoperability and Social Prescribing and you are doing both’.
We're on a mission
Continuing our mission to recognise, celebrate and reward worthy delegates, we got the fantastic opportunity to crown Matt Hancock as the highest profile social prescribing champion of the moment and we were reminded of how far social prescribing, Elemental and our customers have come in embedding community wellbeing models in health and social care.
Our vision is connecting people, building communities and improving lives and judging by the hundreds of people who visited our stand, we think that in the words of Seamus Heaney ‘that further shore is reachable from here’.
Where are we next?
JENNIFER NEFF, CO FOUNDER OF ELEMENTAL SOFTWARE
Jennifer has more than 16 years’ experience in managing public/ private and voluntary, community and social enterprise sector partnerships. She led the delivery of community programmes across employability, digital skills and Active City, Age Friendly and Early Intervention.