Reporting back from Future of Healthcare conference

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This week Brain Tumour Research attended the New Statesman’s Future of Healthcare conference. 

The conference focused on life sciences, social care and health inequalities. Other themes discussed included leveraging Research and Development (R&D) to improve patient outcomes and using data, technology and virtual services to improve healthcare provision. 

Steve Brine MP, Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee, talked about the need to “frame the narrative of what the health service is for.” He also spoke about a recent Select Committee trip to Singapore, to learn from other health systems. For Mr Brine, the key learning from Singapore is long-term planning. He stated: “The reason why we sometimes experience problems in the NHS is because we don’t have consistency of thought or long-term thinking.” 

Representing the pharmaceutical industry, Simon Newton, UK and Ireland General Manager at Jazz Pharmaceuticals, said although the UK has a diverse population, a vibrant life sciences sector and excellent academics, it is sometimes perceived as “slow, difficult to work with and expensive.” This clearly puts UK patients at a disadvantage. Lord O’Shaughnessy’s Review sets out some clear focus areas to make the system work better, faster and smarter, increase patient awareness of clinical trials and to ensure that research is embedded within the NHS. 

Both Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs talked about changing the approach to healthcare. Shadow Health Minister, Karin Smyth MP, said: “Rather than building a system around certain conditions, we need to build a system around people.”  

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson on Health & Social Care and All-Party Parliamentary Group on Brain Tumours Officer, Daisy Cooper MP (pictured), spoke about the need for a health creation unit within the Cabinet Office, so that “all policies are created with health in mind – to prevent ill health and tackle health inequalities.

Our Policy and Public Affairs Manager Thomas Brayford said: “Over the next months, we’ll continue to engage with politicians and look to influence policy in the lead up to the General Election – with the best interests of the brain tumour community in mind.” 

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