Marie Curie at the Commissioning Show

by Des Brown
Divisional Business & Service Development Manager, Wales and Southwest England

Des Brown, Divisional Business & Service Development Manager for Wales and South-West England, with Paul Harniess, Head of Commissioning, at the Marie Curie stand
Des Brown (left) with Paul Harniess, Head of Commissioning, at the Marie Curie stand

This year’s Commissioning Show recently took place at London’s Excel Centre, bringing together over 7,000 healthcare professionals, 200 exhibitors and 14 theatres of key speakers in the commissioning landscape. Marie Curie had an exhibition stand at the conference and, now that it’s all over, it seems a good time to reflect on what was a positive and stimulating event.

A lively debate

As one of the UK’s largest providers of end of life care, it was important for Marie Curie to have a presence at the show and to talk with and listen to commissioners and providers. The conference offers an opportunity to understand priorities for commissioners nationally and locally and share ideas on providing quality end of life care.

It is also a lively forum for new ideas and debate. One of the highlights of this year’s event was an interesting speech from, Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, heralding end of life care as one of the successes of commissioning. Another interesting talk was the keynote debate between the Bexley Clinical Commissioning Group, NHS England and other providers on the Better Care Fund and the challenges all of us, including Marie Curie, face to provide integrated health and social healthcare.

Key themes

The debate showed how commissioners are facing challenges on a number of different fronts – from implementing the Better Care Fund to managing budgets. As a provider, we need to demonstrate to commissioners how we can help them overcome these challenges. This was very much the theme of the various conversations I had with commissioners, where two main issues kept coming up: the potential for building effective partnerships with other providers and, given our expertise, how Marie Curie might provide external training in end of life care. Another recurring theme was the misconception that Marie Curie only deals with cancer, so it was good to be able to let people know that we care for people living with all terminal illnesses.

After two days talking to commissioners and providers, it is clear that Marie Curie is well placed to help them overcome the challenges they face. We will do this by offering the flexibility and expertise they need to deliver the best end of life care to those who need it.

For more information on how Marie Curie works with commissioners and providers to offer quality end of life care, visit our website and follow us on Twitter.