Annual Conference and Exhibition 2021

16 – 17 November, ACC Liverpool

Why attend annual conference?

Our flagship annual conference and exhibition is a unique event with unrivalled health content and networking, giving you the insights you need to perform your role more effectively.

This year's event will be a chance for everyone to come together to share, debate and discover how to shape the sector. Engage with like-mind people and organisations and future proof your board and your business. 

Join us at the ACC in Liverpool as we explore the health landscape with top speakers from inside and outside the sector.

about the event

NHS Providers' Annual Conference and Exhibition will be the most important event in health this year as we come together as one. We will bring you the very latest insight, debate, support and information you need. 

This year’s theme is together. As we come together for the first time since the pandemic, we will be focusing on the work trusts are doing to deliver integration. We’ll explore how we embrace new opportunities across the health and social care system as a whole and create a sustainable NHS fit for the 21st century. We will also look at how we can respond collaboratively to address health inequalities in the sector.

Join us for roundtables, expert case studies, interactive debate and the chance to connect with colleagues as we look at how we can respond collaboratively to address health inequalities in the sector.

Book your place today

Stay tuned for more announcements on this year's event by following us on Twitter @NHSProviders #NHSP21


We have created a dynamic programme which will explore the keys issues that matter to you - giving you the opportunity to debate, discuss and share ideas with expert speakers from within the healthcare sector and beyond. We'll update further details of the programme here and follow @NHSProviders to be the first to hear when sessions are announced.


Registration and exhibition


Welcome and introduction

Welcome and introduction

Samira Ahmed, journalist and broadcaster will open the conference. 





Plenary 1

Opening session

NHS Providers Chief Executive Chris Hopson opens the conference. 



Plenary 2

Transform to sustain: investing to create the NHS of the future

As one of the largest employers, NHS organisations have a significant impact on the environment. As we look to rebuild after the pandemic, the NHS can play an essential role in the recovery and be at the forefront of driving a green recovery. Together with local health partners, the NHS as anchor institutions in their local communities can have an impact on driving sustainability, through their wider impact as employers, purchasers and holders of physical assets. 

This panel will look at innovations that were developed during the pandemic and how these can be developed and rolled out across the sector to ensure the NHS comes back in a sustainable way.


Tim Ferris, Director of Transformation, NHS England and Improvement 

Prerana Issar, Chief People Officer, NHS England and Improvement

Rachel Stancliffe, Founder and Director of the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare



Exhibition, refreshments, and networking


Delivering with Partners

Globis - Inclusive leadership

More than ever, leaders need to consider the boundaries, geographies and cultures we work across to make sure people are provided with an inclusive and respectful environment. It's far more than just implementing policies and procedures. It's about representation, tolerance and mutual support. In a world where many different genders, races, identities and sexual orientations are present, adopting an ethos of inclusive leadership has never been so important.


Capsticks - Managing clinical services in crisis

We examine key considerations including dealing with media enquiries, lookback exercises, dysfunctional teams (informal/formal interventions), stakeholder engagement and external reviews, hearing from those with direct experience of such issues. We will help you to be best placed to react quickly to crises and manage them effectively, taking a proactive approach.


Locums Nest - The shift from competition to collaboration: How North Central London Sustainability and Transformation Partnership is forming the capital’s largest collaborative staff bank.

Whilst the concept of merging staff banks has historically been seen as a risk, the pandemic shed a new light on the benefits of a collaborative workforce. The North Central London STP immediately recognised the need for change and have instilled a collaborative workforce vision to not only increase staff capacity but to reduce admin time, tackle the waiting list, enhance staff wellbeing and ultimately improve patient care. Now set to become the most advanced ICS with its unified workforce response, speakers will share the benefits of 10 London NHS Trusts collectively sharing their expertise to cover a much bigger catchment area.



Breakout sessions

A changing workforce: innovating for the future of health and care staff

The current climate feels like something of a crossroads for the health and care workforce. Increasingly, people want to work differently. In parallel, service providers are being asked to operate differently as we move towards system working. How can these two evolving areas be drawn together to enable effective service delivery, and ensure staff wellbeing? 

This session will focus on innovative and future-facing workforce planning, management, and deployment. Our panel of speakers will explore these vital tools for the future of health and care delivery. In a Q&A, attendees will have the opportunity to discuss the importance of adaptable approaches to planning and management as we anticipate future service delivery requirements in the context of persistent workforce gaps and increasing demand. 

This conversation will be set in the context of an incredibly challenging 18 months for health and care staff, who need support to decompress from the effects of the pandemic and to now work in a far more sustainable way. This is particularly important given further challenges ahead, as we look to address the care backlog, and implement evolving NHS workforce policy with the imminent final iteration of the People Plan and new accountabilities for national workforce planning in the Health and Care Bill. 

The strategic challenges that we are currently facing also present strategic opportunities. Join us to discuss how these can be utilised to best benefit staff and patients.


Alastair McLellan, Editor, HSJ 


Professor Em Wilkinson-Brice, Deputy Chief People Officer, NHS England and NHS Improvement 

Nadra Ahmed, Chair, the National Care Association 

Charlie Massey, Chief Executive, GMC 

Helga Pile, Deputy Head of Health, Unison 


Learning to live with COVID-19: the great unknown?

We know that COVID-19 is here to stay, and we can expect to see a stage where infections become relatively constant and a significant enough number of people have acquired some form of immunity. We also know the challenge COVID-19 presents to the health and care system will not simply disappear when its status as a pandemic does. In this session, we will discuss how we, as a society and in the health and care system, can adapt to live with COVID-19. Our panel of speakers, from within and beyond the NHS, will examine what it means to live with COVID-19, share key learnings from home and abroad, and discuss how we can manage the legacy of the first pandemic waves as well as risk and uncertainty as COVID-19 becomes endemic. 


Sally Warren, Director of Policy, The King's Fund 


Siobhan Melia, Chief Executive, Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust 


Sponsor session

Further information to be announced soon. 



Exhibition viewing, lunch and networking


Delivering with Partners 2

Delivering with Partners

Find out how working with partners can help trusts deliver even more for patients and service users. More information to follow soon. 


Delivering with Partners

Find out how working with partners can help trusts deliver even more for patients and service users. More information to follow soon. 


NHSSC - Delivering Health Sustainably: How NHS Supply Chain can support the NHS to achieve a greener, net zero future.

Delivering a greener future for the NHS is a challenge, however NHS Supply Chain is committed to leveraging the strength of its people and operations to deliver health sustainably through greener procurement solutions; to drive better health outcomes and create economic, social and environmental value for our stakeholders.



Second breakout sessions

2a: How can system-wide regulation and oversight help ICSs achieve their objectives?

With plans in the Health and Care Bill to put integrated care systems (ICSs) on a statutory footing from April 2022, and local systems increasingly leading system-wide planning and funding allocations, national regulators are responding to the need for regulatory frameworks to take into account the impact of system working on assessing performance and quality.  

CQC's new strategy sets out a commitment to review how system partners are working together, and NHS England and Improvement's system oversight framework for 2021/22 sets out how ICSs and trusts will be assessed against a number of metrics, with a leading role for the most mature ICSs in oversight of trusts. However, a number of important questions remain: how will the role of wider system partners be taken into account, how can the risk of confused and conflicting accountabilities be managed, and how will the different contributions of providers, provider collaboratives, place partnerships and systems be measured without duplication?  This session will enable delegates to hear from national policy makers and from system leaders as they make sense of a fast changing landscape. 


Prem Singh, Chair, Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent ICS 


Fiona Edwards, ICS Lead, Frimley Health and Care ICS 

Glen Burley, Chief Executive, George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust and Wye Valley NHS Trust 

Dr Rosie Benneyworth, Chief Inspector of Primary Medical Services and Integrated Care, Care Quality Commission 

Iain Eaves, Director of Oversight and Assessment, NHS England and Improvement 


2b. Achieving operational targets while delivering financial balance

The operational demands faced by the NHS are growing. COVID-19 has led to care backlogs across hospital, mental health and community services, as well as unprecedented pressure on ambulance services. Before the pandemic, trusts were already grappling with a lack of hospital beds, over 100,000 workforce vacancies and an overall financial deficit that had persisted since 2013/14, making it impossible to consistently deliver key performance standards. As we learn to live with COVID-19, this session will explore how national leaders, systems and individual trusts can work together to achieve operational targets, while also delivering financial balance in the context of a renewed emphasis on financial discipline. 


Mark Orchard, Chief Financial Officer, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust 


Siva Anandaciva, Chief Analyst, The King’s Fund 

Mark Cubbon, COO, NHS England and NHS Improvement 

Tim Jaggard, Acting Chief Executive, UCLH  

Michelle Veitch, Chief Operating Officer, Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust 


2c. Sponsor session

Further information to be announced soon. 



Exhibition, afternoon refreshments, and networking


Delivering with Partners 3

Blue Prism - Driving value for patients and teams with intelligent automation

Digital technologies are often positioned as the new frontier of healthcare service provision, and over the last 20 months have proved themselves to be a core pillar of NHS operating models. In provisioning remote healthcare options for patients and enabling operations to keep moving despite remote working and constantly changing hospital environments, many have cited that the NHS has undergone '5 years of digitisation in 5 months'.

But how can providers continue to leverage these strides forward as we head into yet another "new normal"?

For many, automation holds the key to continuing to drive value for patients, staff, and the organisation, throughout the many unknowns.

Join this session to understand how NHS Trusts:

  • have used automation to uphold the quality of patient care throughout the pandemic
  • continue to automate key processes and functions to provide much needed relief for their teams and systems
  • are reimagining their operating models with automation.

Roche - Developing a Primary Care Flu Test and Treat Pathway

  • Why could rapid diagnosis and treatment improve outcomes for patients and the health system?
  • Developing a pathway for Primary care
  • Why is pathology involvement important?
  • Next steps and lessons so far

Virginia Mason Institute - Developing modern leaders for a new era in healthcare: The mindset, skills and capabilities necessary for tomorrow’s leadership

Today's healthcare leaders face immense challenges that require a modern mindset, skills and capabilities to address growing backlogs, financial pressures, workforce disengagement and turnover. It's time we shift our paradigm on leadership into a new perspective focused on purpose and capability, including improvement skills, effective dyad leadership and behaviours that promote meaningful team engagement.



Plenary 3

Our NHS workforce – the reason to invest

The past 20 months have been the most challenging in the history of the NHS workforce and staff have been working flat out in response to the pandemic. It has highlighted the need for a more flexible approach to the NHS workforce, ensuring staff are supported and able to adapt to changing needs. This panel will discuss innovative changes which trusts have put in place during the pandemic and, alongside long-term investment, the things that can be done now to retain staff. 


Samira Ahmed, Broadcaster and Journalist  


Navina Evans, Chief Executive, Health Education England  

Saffron Cordery, Deputy Chief Executive, NHS Providers 

Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive, NHS Confederation 



Plenary 4

In conversation with NHS England Chief Executive

NHS England Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard sets out her priorities.



Closing remarks


Drinks reception

Drinks reception

Drinks reception sponsored by Newton.



Conference dinner

Conference dinner

Conference dinner sponsored by Hempsons



After dinner speaker

After dinner speaker

Sophie Williams, author, racial equity consultant and activist will be our after dinner speaker. 

Sophie is a leading anti-racism advocate, activist and the author of Millennial Black and Anti-Racist Ally.

She has written for publications such as The Guardian and Marie-Claire as well as delivering training sessions on anti-racism for big organisations such as Apple and Cambridge University. Prior to her writing career Sophie had a career in advertising and is currently a manager of production planning at Netflix.



Filter by strand



Registration and exhibition viewing


Breakfast sessions


Welcome to day 2


Plenary 5

Levelling up through partnership and collaboration

Inequalities lie at the heart of demand for healthcare.  Income, employment, housing and education drive the needs of those living in our communities.  Health organisations can play a pivotal role in changing life courses and altering the communities in which they are anchored.  This session will explore existing approaches including Anchor status, emphasis on place-based working, and the oversight role of Integrated Care Systems.  But it will also ask questions about how the NHS works both at scale and with local relevance.  It will explore the economic role of the sector and consider how strategies for investment, procurement and education can contribute to a more sustainable future.  Taking place after anticipated policy announcements regarding Levelling Up, the session's contributors can also offer a perspective in how we focus greater attention to traditionally excluded communities and geographies.


Samira Ahmed, Broadcaster and Journalist 


Professor Donna Hall CBE, Chair, Bolton Foundation Trust and Chair, New Local 

Dr Owen Williams, Group Chief Executive, Northern Care Alliance  



Plenary 6

Keynote speech from Professor Megan Reitz, Professor of Leadership and Dialogue at Ashridge Executive Education – part of Hult International Business School: Speaking truth to power: how leaders can better hear what they need to hear

Across all industries, employees’ silence costs relationships, creativity, engagement and performance; yet often our colleagues can stay silent despite knowing of a problem or opportunity and even how to address it. And we know from experience that in healthcare, silence can also costs lives. This session explores the reasons for silence and what the perceptions of speaking and listening up are in the NHS, asking what are the inevitable blind spots in us as leaders and what can be done?


Exhibition viewing, refreshments and networking


Delivering with partners 4

Delivering with Partners

Find out how working with partners can help trusts deliver even more for patients and service users. More information to follow soon. 



Breakout sessions

Developing a diverse workforce: what works and what’s allowed?

As part of its focus on staff belonging in the NHS, the 2020/21 people plan called on trusts and other employers to "overhaul recruitment and promotion practices" to ensure staffing reflects the diversity of local communities and wider labour markets. As organisations around the country seek to improve representation of ethnic minority staff at all levels, this session will provide case examples of interventions that are working and have worked, from both within and outside of the NHS. Our breakout discussion will also look at how trust leaders can take bold, positive action with a discussion on some common myths around barriers and limitations set by the law. The session will take place shortly after the publication of an Equality and Human Rights Commission inquiry into racial inequality for low paid workers in health and care, and will explore the implications of this report and wider evidence for the career development of ethnic minority staff in the NHS.


Saffron Cordery, Deputy Chief Executive, NHS Providers 


Ingrid Barker, Chair, Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust 


Realising the benefits of digital transformation

Digital transformation is central to recovering services, supporting staff and establishing a sustainable health and care system that delivers high quality services. NHS trusts have made vast progress on the digital agenda over the course of the pandemic through developments such as virtual consultations and remote working, and trust leaders are now looking to build on this momentum and advance to the next stage of digital maturity. This will require fundamental changes to trusts' operating models and new ways of working across the organisation. These changes will have a significant impact on both patients and staff. During this session leaders from one of the sector’s most digitally mature trusts will provide their reflections on delivering true digital transformations and how a range of benefits have been realised following years of hard work and investment.  


Afzal Chaudhry, Chief Clinical Information Officer (CCIO), Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 


Sponsor session

Further information to be announced soon. 



Exhibition viewing, lunch and networking


Delivering with Partners

Delivering with Partners

Find out how working with partners can help trusts deliver even more for patients and service users. More information to follow soon. 



Plenary 7

Are we equal to COVID-19? Tackling the backlog and living with COVID long term

The pandemic has taken a disproportionate toll on groups already facing the poorest health outcomes. It has also seen increases in waiting times for treatment spread across different parts of the country.

As the NHS starts to recover, it gives an opportunity to reset and improve the population’s health and tackle deeply entrenched inequalities. Sustained and coherent action is needed on the prevention and management of inequalities in health at all levels, including through local place-based partnerships spanning the NHS, local government, voluntary sector organisations and communities themselves.

How to we ensure that in tackling the care backlog we don't exacerbate these inequalities? Our panel will discuss this, and look at what is already being done and share their experiences to ensure that any recovery involves the patient.  


Samira Ahmed, Broadcaster and Journalist  


Dr Bola Owalabi, Director Health Inequalities, NHS England and Improvement 

Professor Joe Rafferty CBE, Chief Executive, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust 

Clenton Farquharson, Chair, Think Local Act Personal partnership board 

Matthew Winn, Director of Community Health, NHS England   



Plenary 8

Keynote address from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

In the first opportunity to hear from the new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid will share his priorities and ambitions for the service moving forwards.



Closing remarks

Closing remarks

Samira Ahmed, journalist and broadcaster will close the conference.



Conference closes

Networking opportunities

We know you've missed being able to network and share experiences with one another so there will be plenty of opportunities to meet with your peers and other senior health professionals in the sector at annual conference and exhibition this year. 

Conference dinner

You'll have the space you need to exchange ideas and discuss the content from the day with other delegates at the conference dinner. For dinner costs please see ticket prices below.

Stay tuned to hear who our after dinner speaker will be this year by following #NHSP21.

Networking drinks reception

Our hosted networking is specifically aimed at helping you to make the connections you need. Unwind after the first day of conference and share experiences with your peers.

Our exhibition forms the networking hub of the conference, giving you the space you need to exchange ideas and discuss the content from the day with delegates. You'll also get the chance to evaluate the latest health solutions and services and connect with new suppliers in the sector. 

You can also network with fellow delegates before and during the conference by joining in with the conversation on twitter using #NHSP21

Provider showcase

We want to hear from you about any innovations, projects or case studies that have made a real difference to your staff, patients, carers, service users or wider community over the last year.

We’re particularly interested on hearing about your experiences that reflect our wider conference theme of Together.

Do you have examples of how collaboration at your trust has made a real difference on the frontline? Has system working allowed you to work across your locality more effectively?

If that sounds like some of the work you’ve been doing and you’d like the chance to exhibit as part of Providers Deliver Live, please complete our application form and return to us by Thursday 9 September. Along with the form, please include:

  • A high-res trust logo
  • An image (or images) that support your entry
  • Any other supporting visual or interactive materials.

We'd especially like to hear from trusts that are able to provide a demonstration or interactive element as part of their stand.

Applications will be assessed by our internal panel and we’ll aim to shortlist by the end of September. We will be in touch with successful trusts in early October outlining the next steps in the process. We will also be setting up a short briefing call to run through the logistics and what to expect over the two-day conference.

Download application form

Book your place

We're committed to giving you and your organisation value for money which is why we've frozen our annual conference rates at 2019 prices - the last time we held a physical event. We've also extended our early bird discount until July so there's even more reason to attend this year's event.

Book by 5pm Friday 2 July to save £45 with our early bird tickets.

Group offer

It’s really productive to attend events with your colleagues to discuss and develop ideas that can be applied to your organisation, so we're offering discounted group bookings. Book 4 places for the price of 3.

Book your place

Development places

We’re dedicated to helping support professional development for you and your senior managers. That’s why we’re offering members half price tickets for those looking to develop their leadership careers in health.

The offer is open to anyone below board level, providing a unique opportunity for them to develop their leadership mind-set by taking time out of the office to learn and debate amongst senior health professionals.

Your future leaders will benefit from:

- the chance to raise their profile, network and learn from NHS trust leaders alongside wider healthcare stakeholders

- gaining transferable skills and learning to improve their work

- the opportunity to delve into the particular challenges they may face and work through them with others who may have overcome the same difficulty.

Book your place

Ticket prices


Member early bird (save £45)


Member standard (after 2 July)


Member day ticket


Member conference dinner


Associate/connect/panel member

Associate/connect/panel member early bird (save £45)


Associate/connect/panel member standard (after 2 July)


Associate/connect/panel member day ticket


Associate/connect/panel member dinner


Not for profit/charity

Not for profit/charity early bird (save £45)


Not for profit/charity (after 2 July)


Not for profit/charity day ticket


Not for profit/charity conference dinner



Commercial early bird (save £45)


Commercial standard (after 2 July)


Commercial day ticket


Commercial conference dinner


Conference dinner

The conference dinner will be held on Tuesday 16 November where delegates can continue to explore the conference themes with their peers and hear from an after dinner speaker.

Limited spaces are available and booking your dinner place in advance is recommended to avoid disappointment.

Member dinner rate £65
Associate/connect/panel member dinner rate £65
Not for profit/chairty dinner rate £80
Commercial £80

Terms and conditions

Discounts and payments

  • Group discount applies to conference places only and not dinner places. 
  • Only a single discount can be applied to each booking.
  • A mixture of one day and full conference bookings can be made however discounts will be applied separately to the multiples of one day and full conference tickets.
  • A mixture of delegate categories within a group (e.g. member and non member tickets) is not possible, they must be booked separately
  • Invoices can be paid via credit/debit cards or BACS by invoice (a PO number is mandatory when booking)
  • Invoices must be settled within 30 days and at least two weeks before the event or admission may be refused. If payment has not been made in advance of the event, please ensure you have a credit/debit card with you and payment can be taken at registration.

Cancellation policy

  • Any cancellations made 6 weeks prior to be conference date will incur a £100 fee per delegate. 5 October – 16 November: 100% of the value of the delegate/dinner place(s) cancelled is non - refundable. 
  • These charges cover the administration costs we incur on cancellation.
  • If a cancellation is made within a group booking the discount for the remaining members will also be re calculated. Any refunds will be paid via the original payment method.
  • Cancellations can be completed via the booking website by emailing 
  • Refunds will be processed after online booking for the event has closed.

Delegate information

  • Registration details will be sent one week before the event.
  • All changes to delegate names, job titles and organisation must be made two weeks prior to the event. Unless you specify when booking, you will be added to the delegate list that may be circulated to conference delegates and exhibitors. After this time changes will not be reflected in the delegate list. 
  • Amendments to delegate information can be made at the registration desk at the event.
  • Delegate substitutions are possible, changes can be made through the booking website or by email.
  • Programme details are correct at time of going to press. We reserve the right to make changes where necessary. 

Data protection

  • If you opt in during the booking process, we will include your personal details on the delegate list which may be given to delegates, sponsors, and exhibitors. The delegate list includes name, job title and company information but not contact details.
  • Your delegate badge will contain your personal details such as your name, job title and organisation, if you choose to be scanned by an exhibitor your information will be shared with them.
  • During the online registration process, we will also request authorisation to share delegate personal information such as name, organisation, dietary requirements with the venue and/or other suppliers at the conference.

Photography and filming

  • Please note that filming and photography may be taking place at the conference for promotional purposes. If you would prefer not to be captured please let the conference staff know on the day or contact our marketing team.


We have negotiated specially selected rates with our hotel partner. The accommodation on offer is all located close to the venue and offers a range of discounted rates.

Book your accommodation

COVID-19 Safety 

The ACC in Liverpool have introduced extra health and safety precautions as standard, to ensure that NHS Providers' Annual Conference and Exhibition can go ahead safely. 

  • Hand sanitiser stations - these will be provided throughout the venue, including units at all entrances to the venue and within all toilet facilities.
  • Shielding spray - the entire venue will be sanitised prior to the event, using a Microbe Shield which once dry, bonds with any surface for 30 days and provides ongoing protection from viral pathogens, including Coronviruses. 
  • Improved cleaning and waste management - there will be an increased cleaning regime at the venue before and during the event. 
  • Delegate registration - we will be registering delegates prior to arrival at the event, and sending registration documents ahead of the event to avoid queues and a busy registration area. 
  • Air conditioning - the venue will be operating with a fresh air only air conditioning system. 
  • Cashless retail - the venue will offer cashless transactions to reduce contact and improve visitor flow.
  • Digital signage - signage throughout the venue will advise on COVID-19 safety precautions. 

Contact us

To find out about getting involved in the programme, becoming a speaker or sponsoring or exhibiting at this year's annual conference, please contact our events team by emailing