Blackpool plays host to the HefmA Conference


Blackpool’s Hilton Hotel hosted the 18th Annual National Conference and Exhibition of the Healthcare Estates & Facilities Management Association, HefmA.

An inspiring and varied programme of speakers tackled the Conference theme of ‘Better, Brighter, Together’ with summing up and at times probing questions provided by conference Chair, Paul Holt, representing HefmA’s North West region and a member of the organising committee.

Throughout the two-day programme, delegates embraced social media, taking the opportunity to tweet their views on the presentations and comments made by speakers. They were also encouraged to visit as many of the suppliers taking part in the exhibition as possible.

Holt opened proceedings with an introduction to the Conference Programme. It would, he explained, start with the patient, move on to technology and how it can be used to improve services, before considering cost saving, Devolution Manchester and concluding with enhanced customer service.

Day one featured Julie Bailey CBE, Founder of Cure the NHS; Mike Wright MBA RN, Chief Nurse, Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust; Steve Batson, Director, Bowman Riley Healthcare; Karl Redmond, Director, Bowman Riley Innovate, Gary Shuckford, Consultant, Bowman Riley Innovate and Phil Church, Turnaround Director, Stockport NHS Foundation Trust.

At the end of day one the winners of the HefmA 2015 Awards were announced at the Gala Dinner:

Leader of the Year: Howard Jones, Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust

People Development Award: The Facilities Service Team, Chesterfield Royal Hospital

Personal Development Award: Christopher Dobson, Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust

Project of the Year: The Natural Health Service Project, Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust

Team of the Year: Food Services Team, Bradford District Care Trust

Outstanding Service Award: Peter Harding, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust

An Innovation Award, voted for on the evening by all delegates at the dinner, was won by Pennine Porter Request Service, the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.

The charity raffle, held in aid of the North West Air Ambulance, raised the fantastic sum of £7,000, with delegates enthusiastic in their purchase of tickets and the generosity of some sponsors boosting the total even further. 

Day two featured Steve McGuire, Director of Essentia, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital NHS Trust; Jeremy Palmer, Sales Manager, Healthcare and Education Lighting, Philips Lighting Solutions; Andy House, Retired Head of Estates, Royal United Hospital Bath; Paul Holt, Conference Chair and Divisional Director of Capital Estates and Facilities, Lancashire Teaching Hospital and Andrew McMillan, Principal, Engaging Services.

National Chairman, Paul Fenton closed the Conference with the recommendation that HefmA members should be more visible and more vocal in putting the patient first and should constantly remind themselves of this core strategy. The venue for the 19th Annual Conference in 2016 was then confirmed as Birmingham with the theme of ‘Lean on me: Compassion, Culture & Compliance’.

The Conference programme and exhibition will be reported in more detail in the July/August issue of Pulse and more details of the award winners and runners-up will also feature in issues of Pulse.

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