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Research and policy update

Building trust in people and places: annual academic conference

Academic conference

Building trust in people and places was the theme running through this year’s academic conference. Approximately 100 people came together at Cumberland Lodge to focus on factors that contribute to building (or losing) trust between patients and professionals, regulators and those they regulate, academics and policy makers and between organisations. We held the event in collaboration with Rosalind Searle, Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Psychology at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University. Delegates represented academic centres/universities, regulators, research organisations, consultants, government officials, practising clinicians and a law firm.

We were delighted to be joined by colleagues from Australia, the US, Canada, Belgium and Ireland and devoted half a day to an international seminar on Regulation and registration, trust and the workforce of the future chaired by the Authority’s Chief Executive, Harry Cayton. Discussions focused on learning across international boundaries, looking at how regulators in different countries influence the scope of practice of clinicians. We particularly valued the opportunity to compare the way regulation works in different parts of the world, as there is much to be learned from comparing the range of structures, laws, and underlying processes that are followed in pursuit of the common goal of improving patient safety.

The conference in stats:Video visual

  • 2 days (9-10 March)
  • 100 delegates
  • 25 presentations
  • 17 academic centres represented
  • 16 regulators
  • colleagues from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ireland and the USA as well as the UK.

You can find out more about the conference – the programme, presentations and a short video are available on our website.

Annual symposium discusses Brexit’s impact on the NHS and how professional regulation can help the NHS cope with the current workforce crisis 

These were just some of the topics debated at the Authority’s annual symposium held on 9 February 2017. Other topics discussed included devolution and changing workforce roles. Discussions were not limited to professional regulation but touched on other issues, including how the UK no longer being an EU member could affect access to clinical trials. Recent headlines around clinical trials as well potential delays UK patients could face in getting new drugs if the UK withdraws from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) meant that talk around this topic was timely.

A presentation looking at how exit from the EU will affect the NHS mentioned the uncertainty around whether the EMA will continue to be based in London. It also touched on how Brexit could affect the NHS workforce. Currently about 5 per cent of the NHS workforce is made up of other EU nationals.

The UK’s four nations were well-represented with both delegates and speakers from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales including a thought-provoking presentation on Devolution and challenges for healthcare in Scotland.

The symposium is an annual event which brings together representatives from the health and care regulators, policy-makers, national governments, universities, patient organisations and the Authority. The main subjects for discussion at this year’s symposium were based around Regulating in an age of uncertainty: managing risk and changing environments. The ‘Chatham House’ rule applies to enable a free and frank discussion and other topics debated during the day included:

  • Cross-border working
  • Changing environments and workforces
  • Maintaining standards in times of needs
  • How can regulation be rethought in an age of uncertainty?

There are no easy answers to some of the issues that came to light during the discussions. However, the symposium ended on a positive note as, though the UK may no longer be part of the European Union in the future, there will always be ways to encourage collaboration and coordination both within and without Britain’s borders.Video visual