The Chief Scientific Officer Conference 2017 showcased how scientific advances ensure high quality care for all, and prepare the health service for future generations.
Day one kicked off with a welcome from Prof. Sue Hill OBE (Chief Scientific Officer, NHS England), followed by a session exploring recent advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment with talks from Cally Palmer CBE (NHS National Cancer Director) and Prof Charles Swanton (Translocation Cancer Therapeutics Lead, The Francis Crick Institute). After lunch there were two parallel sessions exploring how science is delivering national priorities, antimicrobial resistance and the physical health of people with mental health illness. The day concluded with a session exploring personalised medicine and keynotes from Simon Stevens (Chief Executive, NHS England) and Prof Sue Hill OBE.
The second day focused on how the scientific workforce is contributing to helping the NHS cope with a healthcare system that is becoming increasingly data intensive. Prof Andrew Morris from the Farr Institute Scotland discussed how electronic health records can be prepared for the genomics era. In the afternoon there were parallel sessions exploring leadership and quality improvement. The conference concluded with a presentation from Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder and head of applied AI at Google DeepMind. He discussed the clinician-lead DeepMind Health project, which aims to support the NHS by providing the technical expertise needed to build and scale technologies that help provide patient-centred care. The project recently announced a five year partnership with Imperial NHS Trust to develop mobile clinical applications, which represent the next logical step in moving from paper to electronic health records. Overall the conference was a great success and it was inspiring to see how healthcare scientists are working with external partners such as Google DeepMind to ensure the NHS continues to provide exceptional patient care.