Conference Themes

The conference themes focus thinking and debate to improve health and financial sustainability by revolutionising health and social care delivery, targeting intervention to those that will most likely benefit, accelerating discovery into practice, empowering individuals to take more responsibility for their health and ultimately enhancing societal well-being. The interplay between developments is critical to the future of health system sustainability and a large proportion of the conference will focus on the interplay between thematic areas. 

Innovative health & social care ecosystems

Global health systems are facing a series of equivalent challenges as we seek to contain the growth in costs, tackle health inequalities and better manage the burden of disease, be alert to innovation in new treatments and technologies and help people to take more control over their own health. 

 Answering that question demands that we explore who contributes to health benefit and how can they be connected. This has implications beyond the integration of health and social care as it must also rebalance social and medical provision to tackle the wider determinants of health. It must also connect the health system with industry and academia to find quicker means of moving from discovery to mainstream application. Finally it must understand human behaviour as we create the demand for better health and partner with society to deliver it.  

Accelerating discovery into practice – the future of personalised healthcare

The convergence of systems medicine, digital technology and consumer engagement in healthcare will enable stratified or personalised medicine to transform the practice of medicine and the design of healthcare systems in the near future.

Managing patients according to individualised treatment pathways is far more than optimising the chances of them being prescribed the right drug first time. It is a holistic, game changing scenario which will embrace what is known as “P4 Medicine” – Prevention, Prediction, Personalised and Participatory.

By intervening early in disease management one can both prevent disease progression and the development of associated comorbidities. This rapid access approach necessitates investment in healthcare which in turn will reduce social care costs because of enhanced productivity and reduced absenteeism due to reduction in disease severity and reduction in long-term care of comorbidities.

The arts, health and social change

The possibilities of the arts in all their forms impacting on health and social change, is of growing interest to communities and policy makers alike. In the UK the All Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health & Wellbeing published the groundbreaking report, Creative Health illuminating new possibilities in how we understand and address contemporary health challenges.

This conference theme will focus down on the possibilities of culture, heritage and the arts in the context of issues ranging from how we might address the social determinants of health – to research and practice around the life course, our mental health and how we age well.

In Manchester a city that is central to the birth of the arts and health movement, this theme gives delegates the opportunity to experience and interrogate the ways in which we understand the lived experience of communities and the factors that influence public health, address inequalities and influence health outcomes. We propose that participation in culture and the arts has the potential to radically shape the future of the health and social care landscape and give voice to the most marginalised members of our society.

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