Programme, activities and speaker line-up

Confed Main Hall

Book now

Celebrating our successes and facing our challenges will be at the core of Confed18.  Through extensive research and collaboration with our partners, we are developing a conference programme that showcases the best in healthcare innovations and solutions, as well as acknowledging what we have achieved in 70 years.

As a delegate you will leave our conference with a host of practical ideas and solutions that will help you save money and improve patient care.

New to Confed18

Based on feedback from last year's conference, we have ensured our programme gives you plenty of time to reflect between plenary and break out sessions. We have also introduced a second plenary stage that will focus on digital and technology on day one and procurement, estates and legal on day two. This additional stage will run alongside the main stage and provides an excellent opportunity for you to learn more about how these areas work in the NHS. In addition, we have added five new engaging zones to the exhibition floor which will provide even more valuable content and will run for a maximum of 20 minutes during each exhibition break.

The zones for Confed18 are:

  • 'In conversation with'
  • Mental health
  • Innovation
  • Public health
  • NHS 70th birthday

Interested in sharing your innovative work?

This year we are launching the Innovation Zone, an interactive area as part of our exhibition, which will give you the opportunity to showcase the innovative work your organisation is doing to improving cost, quality, or both. Find out more about this excellent opportunity to highlight your good practice on our Innovation Zone web page.

The programme

Workforce, reform and the 70th birthday of the NHS will be the key themes running throughout the two days in Manchester.

This year the programme features protected time for networking and reflection, a strong mental health presence, greater inclusivity and diversity, increased patient voice representatives and more sessions with practical solutions to take back to your organisation.

The key conference themes will be supported by six conference strands, each containing a mix of plenary sessions, panel discussions, debates, seminars and workshops to enable you to gain insights and learning in the areas of most interest and importance to you.

The six programme strands for Confed18 are:           

Workforce - Supported by NHS Professionals

Do we really understand how to make the most out of those who deliver frontline care? This strand gets to the heart of what is arguably the greatest challenge currently facing healthcare leaders, and examines what must be done to recruit, train, motivate, support and retain staff.
 NHSP logo
Integration - Supported by Optum

We are at the beginning of a revolution in how we deliver care. This strand looks at the growing evidence that breaking down the barriers between primary, community and acute services will enable us to manage demand and make sure patients receive the right care in the right place at the right time.
 Optum Logo
Digital - Supported by NHS Digital

The UK healthcare system has a chequered history when it comes to information technology, being slow to adopt its transformational power. With enormous potential to unlock inefficiencies and increase productivity, this theme discusses how the NHS can embrace the digital revolution, and the leadership and vision this requires.  
 NHS Digital
Transformation - Supported by Newton Europe

There is an understanding everywhere that services need to be transformed. Most leaders have a high-level vision of what is required, but implementation is proving difficult in many places, not least in areas where resources are scarce and deficits are large. This theme discusses moving from plans to practical actions that can bring about the change that is so badly needed.
Productivity and efficiency

We all know the organisations for which we are responsible could be more effective and efficient. Activities in this strand will examine and identify areas where we can free-up resources to develop new ways of working and deliver the value we have a duty to provide. 

Infor logo

It’s difficult to imagine a time when strong leaders have been more important than they are now. This strand examines the current context, and how leadership needs to expand to include clinicians, patients and those looking beyond individual organisations to command relationships across the whole system. 
Allocate logo

Speaker line-up

A taster of our confirmed speakers:

  • Rt. Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
  • Baroness Harding of Winscombe, Chair, NHS Improvement
  • John Humphrys, Broadcaster
  • Rt. Hon Stephen Dorrell, Chair, NHS Confederation
  • Marie Gabriel, Chair, Workforce Race Equality Standard Strategic Advisory Group; Member of the NHS Equality & Diversity Council Workforce Race Equality Standard
  • Rt. Hon Jon Ashworth MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and Deputy Chair of the Labour Party
  • Niall Dickson CBE, Chief Executive, NHS Confederation
  • Simon Stevens, Chief Executive, NHS England
  • Victoria MacDonald, Health and Social Care Correspondent, Channel 4 News
  • Paul Farmer CBE, Chief Executive, Mind
  • Owen Williams, Chief Executive, Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust
  • Ian Dalton CBE, Chief Executive, NHS Improvement

To find out who else is confirmed to speak, please download a copy of our day one and day two programme.

Please note our programme and activities are subject to change. Keep an eye on this page and follow @Confed2018 on Twitter for all the latest programme updates and information. If you have any questions about Confed18, please contact our events team on 0844 800 5987 or email

Latest Tweets

Latest Blog Post

Why the CQC was warmly received by independent hospitals, despite the public glare of scrutiny | Dr Howard Freeman

18 / 4 / 2018 8.36am

Dr Howard Freeman considers the main takeaways from the quality regulator’s latest assessment of independent sector hospitals.

Why Register?

Great reasons to register with NHS Confederation

  • Access exclusive resources 
    Access member-only resources and tailor member benefits and services
  • Personalise your website
    Select topics of interest for recommended content
  • Comment and recommend
    Rate and share content with colleagues
  • Never miss a thing
    Register now to keep your finger on the pulse of the NHS Confederation

Log In

To book events and access member only content you need to register with us.  This only takes a moment via our registration page. If you have already registered login using your email address and password below.