Seminars and conferences form a key part of HSMC's overall activity, and play a crucial role in the dissemination of research findings, the sharing of good practice within the health service sector, and the generation of new ideas for further research and consultancy projects. Our seminars and conferences are based on our research programmes and are one of the main settings in which we debate the results of research with practitioner and academic colleagues.

All forthcoming HSMC events

Making tough decisions workshop

13 September 2017 (16:30-19:30)
Birmingham, Hagley Road, The Strathallan Hotel
Led by Dr Iestyn Williams, Director of Research at the Health Services Management Centre, this session will share findings from a major NIHR-funded study of practice and experience of decommissioning in the NHS, drawing on international examples, in order to support STPs in making tough financial decisions about health and care.

Patient safety: new issues, ideas and innovations

10 October 2017 (17:30-19:00)
Forum Lecture Theatre, Medical School, University of Birmingham
This seminar will present the latest international thinking on new ways to understand and transform safety in clinical care. This includes studying what works in healthcare and why we have success alongside failure, encoded in a multiplicity of enquiries and reviews.
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Highlighted previous HSMC events

Embedding experience co-design and co-production in primary care for mental health systems reform – the CORE study

Dr Palmer, Deputy Research Lead of the mental health program in the Department of General Practice at The University of Melbourne, visited HSMC to share insights from the CORE study. This was established in 2014 to test an experience based co-design methodology called Mental Health Experience Co-design using a stepped wedge cluster randomized controlled design.  MH ECO involves a two staged structured process to share positive experiences and identify the touch points of services that could be improved followed by facilitation of meetings with service users, carers and staff to co-design solutions.  CORE has recruited over 270 service users and 60 carers and works with 120 staff in community mental health settings delivering MH ECO across Victoria, Australia. Mental health service reforms around the world acknowledge the importance of service users, carers and staff being engaged to collaboratively plan, design, re-design and evaluate services and to develop recovery oriented systems.  While co-design and co-production approaches vary, at the heart of these concepts is the desire to provide meaningful opportunities to shape services in a way that matches service user and carers’ experiential needs.  Despite reform pushes, evidence gaps remain in terms of the methods that best facilitate engagement and if engagement improves health outcomes.  The presentation shares some of the translational lessons for embedding experience based co-design and coproduction approaches in the mental health system.

A short video of key points by Dr Palmer is available here –

For more details of the CORE study or the work of the Department of General Practice at The University of Melbourne contact Dr Palmer on

New models of out of hospital care: learning from New Zealand

HSMC and the Strategy Unit held a masterclass with Helen Parker and John Macaskill-Smith from the Midlands Health Network in New Zealand. This network covers a large swathe of the Central North Island and is embarked on a major programme of change to embed the ‘Health Care Home’ model in general practices. This seeks to meet the needs of people of all ages who live with multiple long-term conditions whilst assuring rapid access, diagnosis and treatment for those with episodic illness. As the Health Care Home approach is put into place, significant attention is paid to co-designing the model of care with patients, carers and staff.  Extensive work is undertaken in relation to roles and skill-mix, use of technology, electronic patients records, training and development, and overall change management.

In this video, John Macaskill-Smith shares their experience of using technology to support new models of primary care. 

Copies of the presentations from the day can be found here:

For more information on the Midlands Health Networks healthcare home developments see:

Scaling up general practice: are we up to the challenge? - 1 February 2016 

Rebecca RosenHSMC hosted a successful public seminar on Monday 1st February. In this seminar, Dr Rebecca Rosen, Senior Fellow at the Nuffield Trust, has set out her analysis of the development of ‘at scale’ primary care organisations in the UK and overseas, drawing on the Nuffield Trust’s current national research study into the development and activity of twelve of these ‘scaled up’ models of general practice. 

Download Rebecca’s presentation. 

Evaluating coalition reforms 2010-2015 24 April 2015

Lord Philip HuntSixty people attended a one day symposium in Park House on “Evaluating Coalition health reforms, 2010-2015.” The event was an opportunity to gather evidence on major reforms of the past five years, debate their significance, and consider the prospects future health policy in the UK.

Fifteen research papers were presented on topics including commissioning and regulation, public health, organisational change, patient and public involvement, primary care, and clinical commissioning groups. The papers drew on a range of disciplinary approaches, and combined theoretical perspectives and empirical evidence.

The keynote speaker was the Lord Philip Hunt. As well as offering a cogent analysis of the Coalition reforms and challenges for (any) incoming government, he gave a compelling account of health policy-making from his time as minister. His detailed response to questions from participants showed a deep understanding of the inter-connections across health and social care. An account of his talk is available on:

Individual Service Funds 16 March 2015

Community WorkHSMC hosted a successful national event on Monday 16 March exploring the potential of Individual Service Funds in health and social care. Held by the service provider, these personalised budgets present another opportunity for people accessing services to have greater control over the funding and the quality of life that it can contribute to.

For more details on HSMC’s work on ISFs please contact Robin Miller, Senior Fellow on or 0121 414 8018 

GPs and Social Workers: Friends or foes? 6 February 2015

Elderly woman GPs and social workers both act as the gateway to their respective system, and can often work with the same people.  Both are trying to provide person-centred care in difficult circumstances and both have an urgent need to find ways of reducing reliance on expensive institutional care.  However, both groups also have a poor track record of working together, seldom come into direct contact with each other and sometimes seem to know little about each other’s role and responsibilities.

Against this background, HSMC held a national one-day workshop for managers, practitioners and broader partners interested in promoting more effective joint working.  This was supported by The College of Social Work and the Royal College of General Practitioners (who have undertaken national work together to promote these issues), as well as the Journal of Integrated Care (who will be publishing the papers from the day as a special edition).  In addition to a series of local case studies, the audience also heard from Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice at the CQC, around the role of regulation in promoting integration.

This builds on an initial scoping review commissioning by the School for Social Care Research, on research undertaken by the University in conjunction with Impower around the national 'Home Truths' programme and on work with the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network to develop a training package for GPs and social workers seeking to working together more effectively.

Other key resources include:

Just Managing: Is the NHS in crisis again? 28 January 2015

Professor Mark ExworthyProfessor Mark Exworthy's Inaugural Lecture examined the ways in which the NHS is `managed' using three contrasting perspectives:

  • First - the need for reform. The NHS is regularly portrayed as being in a state of crisis and in frequent need of `reform'. Such reforms would suggest that the NHS is only `just managing' to meet the apparently rising demands and expectations of the public with reduced resources.
  • Second - managers and management. The NHS is subject to claims of being over-managed - too much bureaucracy, too many managers. Yet, situated between government policy and local pressures, NHS managers continue to play a critical role in marshalling limited resources to deliver a health system which was recently ranked as best in the (Western) world.  Nonetheless, NHS managers need to strike a balance between the local innovation and the equity of a national health service.
  • Third - managing doctors. Managing medical staff has often been problematic, as doctors have either not been challenged enough or efforts have been too heavy-handed. New approaches are emerging, pointing to a new bargain between doctors and managers which, in turn, can promote better care.

Examining the NHS through these perspectives offers a more nuanced assessment and indicates the ways in which the NHS might be respond to future crises over the coming years.

The presentation is available here:

HSMC launch collaboration with University of Nottingham, 23 January 2015

HSMC and the Centre for Health Innovation, Leadership and Learning (CHILL) at the University of Nottingham successfully launched a Health Policy, Organisation and Management (HPOM) network for research and practice. This first seminar, held at Park House, discussed the theme of 'quality and safety' in healthcare with a variety of research activities being presented by both centres.

The HPOM network looks to build on funding received by both centres from the Birmingham-Nottingham Strategic Collaboration Fund. Over the next 12 months a series of seminars will take place across both Universities to encourage discussion and debate regarding key issues related health policy, organisation and management.

For further details please contact Ross Millar -

What does the General Election hold for the NHS? 21 January 2015

David NicholsonHSMC were grateful to honorary member of staff Sir David Nicholson for his recent seminar for staff, students and local partners on the implications of the forthcoming general election.

Reviewing experience of the 1997 and 2010 elections, Sir David explored the way in which the civil service might respond to the outcome of the election. In 1997, New Labour won a landslide victory but arguably did not have a fully formulated health policy, and therefore lost valuable time before implementing a longer-term reform strategy. In contrast, the Coalition of 2010 had a ready-made plan, but many commentators would argue that they implemented this too quickly (rolling out at pace and repenting at leisure). Depending on the outcome in May 2015, it will be interesting to see what approach is adopted this time round, and whether any lessons have been learned from previous experience.

In practice, the main three political parties seem to have accepted the arguments of the NHS England Five Year Forward View, albeit there remain differences around the level and sources of funding promised, the emphasis of Labour on a potentially more radical integration of health and social care and the championing of mental health by the Liberal Democrats. There also seems to be a difference in tactics, with Labour keen to focus on the NHS as a key election topic and the Conservatives apparently eager to debate other issues (such as public finances, ongoing welfare reform and immigration).

Irrespective of the outcome of the election, there are likely to be a number of key priorities (all of which are also dilemmas in most other developed countries), including:

  • Finding ways to support and encourage people to take more control of their own health (particularly in an era of long-term conditions and with a series of future pressures likely to be caused by unhealthy lifestyles)
  • The need for new models of primary care, able to play an increasing role and to operate at scale
  • Overcoming traditional divisions between secondary and primary care, and between health and social care
  • Reforming urgent and emergency care
  • Learning from international good practice in terms of reducing the cost and improving the efficiency of elective care
  • Developing new models of specialist services, with potentially significant consolidation of existing centres

Against this background, an optimist would take significant comfort from recent debates about the Five Year Forward View, the extra investment that has been promised and work that is already underway around each of these future challenges. Equally, a pessimist would be concerned about our ability as a system to implement the potentially radically and politically unpopular actions that might be required. Perhaps a key role for current and future NHS leaders is therefore a more pragmatic approach which tries to do the best we can against each of these priorities and to make the former, more optimistic scenario more likely than the latter, more pessimistic assessment...

HSMC developing further links with China: 3 November 2014

Beijing visit, November 2014Over the past 6 months HSMC and the Health Science Centre at Peking University Beijing have been developing an exciting collaboration between both centres. In July, a delegation from HSMC went to Beijing where they contributed to a seminar that shared experiences about healthcare reform. The visit also included a tour of local health services (read HSMC Viewpoint for more information) and discussions about future joint projects.

In November, HSMC welcomed the visit of colleagues from Beijing. The visit included a seminar discussing healthcare reforms as well as visits to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the Integrated Care iCARES service in Sandwell.

In looking to move things forward, HSMC and the Health Science Centre have created the 'China - UK Health Policy Group'. The aim of this group is to bring together academics and practitioners with an interest in healthcare policy and practice across both regions.

For more details contact Dr Ross Millar,

HSMC Annual Health Lecture: 25 June 2014

David Behan, Lord Victor Adebowale and Jacqui Smith, panel members at the HSMC Health Policy Lecture 2014 (Michele Paduano not pictured)

HSMC held its latest Health Policy lecture on 'What does the future hold for the NHS?'This year's lecture took the form of a 'Question Time' discussion with panellists David Behan, Chief Executive of the Care Quality Commission; Lord Victor Adebowale, Chief Executive of Turning Point; Jacqui Smith, Chair of University Hospitals Birmingham, and Michele Paduano, BBC Regional Health Correspondent. Read more and listen to interviews with Jon Glasby, and the four panellists

EHMA Annual Conference: 24-26 June 2014

EHMA logoRoss Millar shares his thoughts on when HSMC hosted the European Health Management Association (EHMA) Annual Conference in June 2014.

'The Conference 'Leadership in healthcare: from bedside to board' brought together 200 researchers, policy makers and practitioners from across the globe to discuss some of the key issues related to healthcare leadership. When I reflect back on those three days I can honestly say that hosting the conference was a truly exhilerating experience. It was great to work with team HSMC - Evelina, Tracey, Bal and Sarah - to deliver what was described as the 'best ever' EHMA Conference by a number of EHMA members. You really got the sense that conference delegates enjoyed the atmosphere and overall vibe that was created by HSMC. The highlights for me were probably the opening presentations (that included our very own Jon Glasby), and welcome reception in the Great Hall, showcasing the University of Birmingham. The use of the Medical School as the location for the conference was a real pleasure, particularly in allowing us to host the conference all under one roof. The conference meal at the Botanical Gardens was also fun - with the Pimms cocktails going down very nicely!

When I listed to the various conference papers being delivered they really brought home to me the multiple layers and factors that go into our understanding of leadership in healthcare. The take home message for me was that such diversity and depth of analysis means that it is probably worth all of us taking a step back and reflecting on what leadership actually is and how healthcare systems can respond to the pressing issues that they face at present and in the future.'

Further information about the EHMA conference and the presentations.

NHS Confederation Annual Conference and Exhibition: 4-6 June 2014

NHS Confederation Annual Conference and Exhibition 2014HSMC staff had an enjoyable and fruitful time at the NHS Confederation this year, and touched base with old friends as well as making new ones! Over 600 people visited our stall and we spoke to many about our research as well as our Masters programmes in HealthCare Policy and Management. Hot topics included integration and Management, emotional labour and social care for marginalised communities. Some CCGs also helped us with our research into Decommissioning and Priority setting, by completing a questionnaire on the spot. Thanks again for this - it helped to increase our response rate which contributes to the validity of the findings. Our bags continued to attract interest, and we hope that the information we strategically placed inside each one will have helped us spread some of our work, as well as the free books which were won by some lucky entrants to our draw! Touching base with many of you really helps us test out if our academic work is relevant to practice as well as rigorous. That is our raison d'etre after all, and we look forward to seeing some of you again when we go next yea - if not before!

Care Track Australia: the levels of appropriate care in Australia and the European and UK implications: 21 May 2014

Professor Jeffrey BraithwaiteProfessor Jeffrey Braithwaite, Director of the Australian Institute of Health Innovation at the University of New South Wales, Sydney and Honorary Professor at HSMC, gave a seminar entitled, 'Care Track Australia: the levels of appropriate care in Australia and the European and UK implications', on 21 May.

In a very informative and entertaining talk, Professor Braithwaite spoke about the CareTrack Australia study - a large-scale, systems-level examination of patient care in Australia which was designed to determine the percentage of healthcare encounters at which a representative sample of adult Australians received 'appropriate care' (care in line with evidence, or consensus-based guidelines) following the RAND-UCLA study in the USA ten years earlier. Participants in the study received appropriate care in 57% of encounters compared with the US at 55%. The implications of these findings were discussed with an audience drawn from the School of Social Policy and the Medical School.

Trust, shove or nudge? Reflections on public service reforms at HSMC: 14 May 2014

Julian le GrandJulian Le Grand, the Richard Titmuss Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics and a former Senior Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister (2003-2005), gave a seminar entitled 'Trust, shove or nudge? Reflections on public service reform' at HSMC on 14 May.

Julian drew on his time in the PM's Office to reflect on different models of public service reform - trust; targets; voice and choice - outlined in his book, 'The Other Invisible Hand: Delivering Public Services through Choice and Competition' (Princeton University Press, 2007). He argued that trust-based models are too paternalistic and open to manipulation by providers; target-based models demotivate staff, stifle innovation and encourage gaming, while voice-based models rely on protest channels that are dominated by the middle classes and easy for monopoly providers to ignore. Julian argues that choice-based models are the best or 'least worst' ways to organise public services.

Commissioning for Mental Wellbeing: 19 March 2014

Commissioning Health and WellbeingHSMC held a seminar on commissioning for mental wellbeing in March which explored the current policy emphasis on prevention and improving the mental health of the whole population with input from Gregor Henderson, Director of Wellbeing and Mental Health for Public Health England. Drawing on work undertaken by Professor Chris Heginbotham and Dr Karen Newbigging, the seminar provided an opportunity for commissioners and their partners to identify what they can do to translate current aspirations of public mental health into tangible commissioning strategies.

A book launch of the new title from Sage by Prof Heginbotham and Dr Newbigging entitled 'Commissioning for Health and Wellbeing' followed the seminar.


Integrated Healthcare - Interactive academic engagement with policy stakeholders: Knowledge Exchange Trials: 25 February 2014

The Health Services Management Centre hosted a knowledge transfer event with policy makers from the Department of Health in late February. The workshop aimed to raise awareness of the policy-making process, how research can influence policies and how academics can engage and collaborate with the 'user community' in policy and programme development and implementation, for demonstrable impact.

Speakers included: Ed Moses, Deputy Director, Strategic Partnerships, Public Health England; Professor Jon Glasby, Director, HSMC; John Garrett, Deputy Chief Executive, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council; Graham Beaumont, Chief Executive, Health Exchange CIC Limited.


More HSMC previous events