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UKSS Conference 2018

We had a very enjoyable and rewarding Conference on 25 June. Speakers’ slides can be seen at www.ukss.org.uk.

Speakers were Alex Whitfield, CEO of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust:

‘System Thinking in the NHS’.

Healthcare consists of systems within systems, some are there because of the nature of medicine and care, and others are artificial creations we have imposed as a way of managing a “free at the point of use” service for our diverse population.  Alex will explore some of the current practical realities of the existing system and some of the changes which are starting to happen to allow our wonderful national health service to flourish.’

and Heather Caudle, Director of Nursing, Improvement NHS England:

‘Co-ordinating Health and Social Care: Digital Occupancy Trackers for care home beds’

In December 2017, NHS England launched a new winter framework that was designed to help health and social care staff to ensure patients do not spend any time longer than they need to in hospital. The framework had a particular emphasis on maximising the use of care homes across sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs), including making best use of available beds in care homes so that patients who require formal care in supporting settings, do not stay in hospital longer than they need to.

Digital occupancy trackers in care homes are playing an important part in connecting health and social care providers and there is a national endeavour to ensure all NHS England regions deploy this way of working. Hospitals and local authorities having the ability to digitally monitor and better utilise access to bed occupancy in the care home sector is exciting and will be the focus of the presentation.  Utilising the experience of the NHS England London Region as a case study of how this was delivered, the presentation will demonstrate one way in which technology is helping to better integrate the health and care sectors to make it easier for patients to be transferred to, and cared for in, an environment other than their homes after a stay hospital.’

We were also joined by Igor Perko, Director-General of the World Organization for Systems & Cybernetics, and Prof. Edward Borodzicz, Professor of Risk & Crisis Management at the University of the West of England.

In addition, we had a full programme of workshops and papers around the theme of Systems Thinking in Health Provision. Proceedings will be published shortly and selected papers will appear in the International Journal of Systems & Society.