Programme, activities and speaker line-up

Confed Main Hall

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.

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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?

The Innovation zone is an excellent opportunity for you to be a part of the programme and to showcase your good work on improving cost, quality or both. If you are interested in applying, simply fill in our online form and submit your application before Friday 27 April 2018.

The programme

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

These key 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. 


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. 

Speaker line-up

Confirmed speakers so far at Confed18:

  • Isabel Oakeshott, Political Journalist and a panellist on BBC1’s Sunday Politics show
  • Nick McDermott, Health Editor, The Sun
  • Kevin Maguire, Political Journalist and Associate Editor for the Daily Mirror
  • Rt. Hon Stephen Dorrell, Chair, NHS Confederation
  • Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South
  • Niall Dickson CBE, Chief Executive, NHS Confederation
  • Victoria MacDonald, Health and Social Care Correspondent, Channel 4 News
  • Isabel Hardman, Assistant Editor, The Spectator
  • Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, Chairman and Founder of Narayana Health and cardiac surgeon
  • Janet Davies, Chief Executive and General Secretary, Royal College of Nursing
  • Donald Moulds, Executive Vice President for Programs, The Commonwealth Fund
  • Professor Ian Cumming, Chief Executive, Health Education England
  • Rt. Hon Lord Philip Hunt PC OBE, Member of The House of Lords.
  • Ian Dalton CBE, Chief Executive, NHS Improvement
  • Professor Sir Michael Marmot, Director, Institute of Health Equity, UCL Department of Epidemiology and Public Health

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

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