Jonathan Lofthouse is the Director of Improvement at Liverpool University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, one of the largest NHS Trusts in the UK, caring for a residential population of 630,000 in Merseyside. PNE are delighted to welcome back Jonathan, an experienced NHS senior leader and respected speaker on transformation and innovation in health, to chair the upcoming Healthcare Partnership Network for the second time, taking place from the 5th-6th November at Norton Park in Winchester.
Ahead of the event, we spoke to Jonathan about why he values the event and what first time and prospective attendees can expect from the Healthcare Partnership Network.
This is your fourth time attending HPN and second time chairing – what keeps bringing you back?
“Being able to go to a single event to both see a range of innovation offerings and balance my own viewpoint with real case studies from similar NHS organisations is invaluable.
“We can go and see shiny new things anytime we like, but HPN and the interactions we have there bring a real richness to considerations for innovation. It is absolutely vital to the development of both individual Trusts and of the NHS service as a whole for us as senior leaders to be able to share our experiences and challenges in a meaningful way.
“Outside of this, the professionalism around the organisation of the event itself is at an incredibly high level – as NHS senior leaders, we are looked after properly. It’s a collegiate, comfortable environment where you feel you have space to think and learn.”
How does exposure to new innovations help you?
“Everybody in the NHS is working with challenges – whether that’s operational, financial, or staffing – we all have uncertainty. Clinically facing pressures and public expectation are growing exponentially all the time. We have to respond to this by reimagining ourselves and ultimately, innovating. It’s no longer about cutting costs – my success as an improvement director isn’t dictated by “what can I stop doing” but “what can I do better and how?”
“We have to reimagine alternatives to traditional approaches and ways of doing things . As I said at HPN last year, ‘It’s not just about doing things better, it’s about doing better things’.”
How do the case studies from other Trusts help you innovate?
“We all like to think that we’re special and individual, but the truth of the matter is, we’re all shooting towards the same goal – so often our processes will look largely the same.
“HPN gives us the opportunity to be in the same room with others facing the same challenges and have meaningful conversations around those challenges. We have a responsibility to share learning – and we need to learn at a wider health system level, rather than just at a localised Trust level.
Why should delegates attend HPN?
“If I could only attend a single event this year to see new innovations, speak with peers and reimagine a range of solutions – it’d be HPN. At the very first HPN event I attended, I was introduced to two companies I’d never heard of, and within eight to ten weeks of the event, did around £3 million of business with them.
“HPN exposes you to opportunities and innovations you might never have seen before, and you get the time and space to evaluate them. At any other trade show, you might speak to someone for 10 minutes in a busy and bustling hall, and you may or may not arrange a further conversation.
“At HPN, you can have a proper, private business conversation – see the product, listen to case studies,and triangulate your viewpoint with other colleagues, ultimately allowing you to move at pace to innovate within your Trust.”
Why should suppliers attend?
“You know you’re going to an event where you’re not vying for attention amongst 5+ of your direct competitors – it’s a balanced marketplace. You get clear, honest exposure of your brand and transparent amplified marketing throughout the event.
“On a fundamental level, you get a guaranteed conversation with an individual you really want to speak to – a senior decision maker in an NHS trust – who you might not get the opportunity to otherwise.
“You’re able to start a relationship on a very solid footing. After all – it’s always easier to do business face-to-face, and facetime is not something you can always get with senior leaders in the NHS.”
What are you expecting or hoping to hear about at this HPN?
“In the next few years, I want to see the industry move forward with patient self-management tools – apps, virtual assessment, wearables – and artificial intelligence. AI is the way forward, it will revolutionise the way care is delivered, and I know I and many of my colleagues will be chomping at the bit to have a conversation about AI. I’m hoping to hear from both delegates and suppliers about offerings and innovations in this space.”
Do you have any advice for first-time attendees?
“Above all else – come with open eyes and open ears. That’s how you’ll get the most out of this event.”