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10 Oct 2023
by Alex Lawrence

techUK’s Inaugural Health & Care Summit

On 12 September, techUK held its inaugural Health & Care Summit – a whole-day event where we welcomed over 120 members and stakeholders from across the digital health and care sector.

We kicked off the day with a roundtable launching the Five Point Plan for CareTech, a report delving into the critical issues facing adult social care and highlighting the transformative potential of technology-based solutions.

We then heard from Dr Ricardo Baptista Leite, our first keynote of the day. Ricardo is CEO of I-DAIR and Founder and President of UNITE Parliamentarians Network for Global Health. Among other issues, Ricardo highlighted:

  • alarming demographic trends, including the rise of dementia and a shortage of healthcare workers, that present a ticking time bomb for health services;
  • the continuous rise of the cost of care delivery, without lowering the burden of disease;
  • countries such as Singapore where eventually, despite increasing investment in the health system, outcomes start to plateau;
  • the importance of using community-based outcome measures and the need for foundational information tech which underpins and enables this.

Download Ricardo’s presentation here.

We finished the day with a keynote (and fair well) speech from Dr Tim Ferris, National Director for Transformation, NHS England. Coming to the end of his tenure in NHS England, Tim highlighted:

  • The pace of change of technology can itself be a barrier to adoption. If the NHS makes a choice, often by the time it has been implemented then it can be the wrong one.
  • Current procurement processes are not designed to be agile – a key barrier to adopting innovation in a meaningful way.
  • Technology adopted by the NHS must reduce transactional friction for patients, remove steps from processes, and be cash-releasing. For technology that does achieve this, the NHS should be funding and procuring nationally. Currently, 90% of technology is procured locally.

Some key takeaways from across the other sessions of the day (listed below) include:

  • ICSs are still figuring out their roles, with which one needing a tailored approach. One ICS representative present highlighted that the life expectancy across his ICS differs by 25 years.
  • ICSs need national support on how to engage with industry, where technology fits in, and which technology to procure.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) should be viewed as a tool to carry out tasks that would be done anyway, in a more efficient way. However, the only way to build public trust around AI is to demonstrate how it will improve their health. Every decision should be made as if the patient is in the room.
  • Currently, products are often procured because one clinician likes it, without a plan for scale or implementation.
  • Evidence of value does not always drive transformation, and perception of value changes from one individual to another.
  • As a society we have not yet decided on our threshold for perfection, and often expect a higher level of performance from AI than a human.
  • Interoperability means different things to different people, but as a theme is cropped up across every session of the Summit.
  • Interoperability is critical to improving the patient journey and the clinical experience.

Sessions included:

From fragmentation to integration: ICSs, a year in

  • Andreas Haimböck-Tichy, Managing Director, Accenture (Chair of techUK Health & Social Care Council)
  • Charlotte Lewis, Principal Associate, Mills & Reeve
  • Tom Micklewright, Medical Director, ORCHA
  • Dr Tim Cooper, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board
  • Malte Gerhold, Director of Innovation and Improvement, Health Foundation       

How can we harness AI for population health management?

  • Katherine Holden, Head of AI, techUK
  • Dr Stephanie Kuku, The King's Fund (Trustee) and World Health Organisation
  • Max Jones, Managing Partner, Healthcare, Agilysis
  • Ifan Evans, Executive Director of Digital Strategy at Digital Health & Care Wales
  • Ben Court, Head of Analytics, Civica        

How is digital accelerating innovation in the life sciences industry?

  • Alex Lawrence, techUK
  • Sarah Byron, CHTE Programme Director – Devices, Diagnostics and Digital, NICE
  • Tamir Singer, Head of Tech Business Development, Innovation, Research, Life Sciences, Transformation Directorate, NHS England
  • James Alford, Senior Director Digital Health & Innovation, GSK
  • Steve Jowett, Senior Director & Head of Healthcare Consulting, IQVIA

Interoperability: the importance of data sharing and how to make it happen

  • Robert Walker, techUK
  • Lorraine Foley, Chief Executive, PRSB
  • Lee Rickles, Director & CIO, Yorkshire & Humber Care Record
  • Justin Hassall, Transformation Director, Informed Solutions
  • Mark Hutchinson, Vice President, Healthcare Strategy & Transformation, Altera Digital Health
  • Sebastian Tallents, Interoperability Policy & Assurance lead, NHS Transformation Directorate

Turning vision into action: Driving innovation in healthtech procurement

  • Sally Rennison, Chief Commercial Officer at Patients Know Best
  • Steve Dunkerley, Chief Commercial Officer, London Procurement Partnership
  • Phillipa Winter, Account Chief Technologist, Softcat plc
  • Alison MacDonald, Vice President & Lead, International Implementation, Nordic

If you’re interested in sponsoring this event next year, please reach out to the team below.

Alex Lawrence

Alex Lawrence

Head of Health and Social Care, techUK

Alex joined techUK in July 2021 as Programme Manager for Health and Social Care. Since July 2023 Alex has led the Programme. 

Alex formerly worked at Portland Communications, joining as part of their 2019 Graduate Scheme intake. In March 2020 she joined Portland’s Health team, supporting a range of clients in the life sciences industry across both public affairs and strategic communications.

Alex has a degree in History from the University of Cambridge, focussing on Early Modern Europe and material culture. Outside of work she enjoys reading, finding new places to eat, and running.

[email protected]
07963 501 791

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Robert Walker

Robert Walker

Programme Manager, Health and Social Care, techUK

Robert joined techUK in October 2022, where he is now Programme Manager for Health and Social Care.

Robert previously worked at the Pension Protection Fund, within the policy and public affairs team. Prior to this, he worked at the Scottish Parliament, advising politicians and industry stakeholders on a wide range of issues, including rural crime and health policies.

Robert has a degree in Politics and International Relations (MA Hons) from the University of Aberdeen, with a particular focus on strategic studies and energy security. Outside of work he enjoys activities such as running, rugby, boxing and cooking!

[email protected]

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Clara Hewitt

Clara Hewitt

Programme Manager, Health and Social Care, techUK

Clara joined techUK in October 2023. She brings experience across a range of domestic and global health issues, with particular focus on digital health, HIV/AIDS and climate change and health.

Clara holds an MSc in Global Health and Development (University College London) and a BSc in Psychology (University of Birmingham).

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Health and Social Care Programme

With health and care systems around the globe facing increasing pressures, the use of digital technology has never been more important. Supporting a vibrant ecosystem with the potential to become a world leader, techUK is helping its members navigate the complex space of digital health and care in the UK and ensure our NHS is prepared for the challenges of the future.

Learn more



Digital Innovation in the Life Sciences Industry

techUK has launched a Life Sciences workstream, bringing together members actively working in drug discovery, digital therapeutics, data and AI, or those interested in moving into this space. As the Life Sciences sector looks to introduce digital health technologies into its portfolio, techUK are shaping the conversation.


Interoperability Working Group

The Interoperability Working Group will work towards achieving the vision set out in NHS England’s 2022 draft standards and interoperability strategy. The group will aim to encourage the adoption of open standards and fluidity of data whilst recognising the commercial needs of members. It will also focus on demonstrating the value of interoperability to NHS senior management and improving the abilities of SMEs to implement interoperability standards.

Health and social care -Happy senior man and nurse using digital tablet iStock-532206461_resized.jpg

Social Care Innovation

Find out more about our work to shape the digital social care marketplace and how our members are innovating across the industry.

Health and Social Care updates

Sign-up to get the latest updates and opportunities from our Health and Social Care programme.





Alex Lawrence

Alex Lawrence

Programme Manager, Health and Social Care, techUK