Headlines: July 1st, 1998

A three-day conference starts today on the future of the NHS. Held as close as possible to the fiftieth anniversary of Britain’s unique health care system, the conference looks to the future of the service and how it is coping with the challenge of modernising to meet the needs of the next century.

The Prime Minister has set the NHS the challenge of being ready to meet the demands of new technology, changing populations and a growing voice from the public and staff about what they want from an effective public health service.

The conference, at Earl’s Court, will also see the culmination of a six-month project drawing on the latest public participation and analysis techniques to set scenarios for the future and an agenda for action and modernisation. Every delegate at the conference will have a chance to test the project’s findings.

Three leading organisations are joining forces to stage the conference, the NHS Confederation, which represents UK health authorities and trusts; the Institute of Health Service Management (IHSM), representing individual managers; and the International Hospital Federation, representing healthcare institutions world-wide.

Several key health bodies are expected to use this major conference to announce their thinking on future healthcare. Publicnet Briefing will keep you posted on developments.