Registration open and programme confirmed

Registration for HC2010, Europe’s largest health informatics congress, is now open to interested delegates at a specially created website www.hcshowcase.org. The conference programme for the 3-day exhibition and conference, which includes a number of high-profile speakers, is also available on the site.
    
HC2010, taking place 27-29 April at Birmingham’s International Conference Centre (ICC), will bring together a range of events and opportunities for those working in health and social care, plus commercial organisations and other major stakeholders in the field of health informatics.

Event speakers
Speakers at HC2010 include Christine Connelly, CIO for Health, Jim Easton, National Director of Improvement and Efficiency, and Professor Heinz Wolff, Founding Director at the Brunel Institute for Bioengineering. Also speaking will be Dr Aiden Halligan, Director of Education at University College London Hospital, Professor Michael West, Executive Dean at Aston University, as well as David Behan, Director General of Social Care at the Department of Health, and Christine Goodfellow, Director of the Improving Information Sharing and Management Programme at the Department of Children, Schools and Families.
    
The annual showcase and exhibition, run by BCS Health, part of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, will concentrate on the three themes of quality, innovation and productivity, and specifically on how informatics can directly and most effectively support operational health and social care services. The conference programme comprises 12 streams focused on a wide range of issues:

  • Care across boundaries
  • Care records, privacy and confidentiality 
  • Care strategy, policy and planning 
  • Clinical showcase 
  • Informatics academia 
  • Informatics futures 
  • Informatics innovation 
  • Informatics research and development 
  • Informatics technology 
  • Professional health informatics 
  • Using information to support care 
  • Using information to support public health.

There will be a case study on the UK’s first NHS/local authority integrated ICT service (between NHS Herefordshire and Herefordshire Council), as well as interactive workshops about information and its relationship with the delivery of care, hosted by BCS Health. Speakers from Bristol Royal Hospital for Children will talk about the lessons learned in developing a knowledge sharing culture across the NHS.

Interactive discussion
Delegates will be able to contribute their views during the interactive café discussion about informatics as a profession and how it should be recognised for the critical role it plays in the delivery of a modern, safe, high quality and value-for-money health service. This session will be led by Di Millen, Head of Informatics Development Department for Health’s Informatics, Policy and Planning unit.
    
Chair of the conference organising committee, Mike Sinclair, says: “This year’s event will build significantly on the success of previous years, maintaining its presence as the most powerful and rewarding place for professionals from all walks of life to see demonstrations of best practice; review leading-edge technology; and keep up-to-date with current research. Our themes of quality, innovation and productivity will each focus on how informatics can directly and most effectively support operational health and social care services.”
    
Delegate registration will be automated this year thanks to the use of barcode and mobile technology sponsored by mobile telecoms firms O2 and Blackberry. They will be asked to register online at www.hcshowcase.org whereupon they will be given a code that can then be used at specially-provided dispensers at the registration point, to pick up their badges.
    
Delegate rates for HC2010 have also been significantly altered to reflect expected constrained budgets, and to allow BCS members to benefit from their membership. The rates are as follows, and each includes the full three days plus the cost of the event’s gala dinner, this year held on the first evening of HC2010.

  • Delegates working in the public sector who are not BCS members, will be charged £4501
  • Delegates who are BCS members will be able to attend for £275
  • The cost to ordinary delegates is £625. Non-BCS members could benefit by signing up for BCS membership for as little as £36 (see www.bcs.org/membership)
  • Student rates are £275 for two or more days, or £175 for one day.

Mike says: “Now, more than ever, it is vital for the health informatics community to network with other colleagues and make connections with suppliers. We are aiming for HC2010 to provide a unique opportunity to learn, share, debate and network, all under one roof.
 
“We are mindful that budgets are under pressure. We have developed a new pricing structure which we hope will respond to the demand that is obviously there, but at a rate that delegates and their organisations can afford. With standard one-day public sector conferences ranging between £300-500, our rates represent very good value for money.”

Showcasing innovation
This year, commercial organisations will be able to showcase their innovations as a fully integrated part of mainstream presentations. Citadel Events, which is managing the sales of exhibition space as well as the commercial and logistical aspects of HC2010 on behalf of the Institute, reports that over 80 per cent of the floor exhibition has been sold/reserved at the ICC.
    
Dennis Wheatley, sales manager for Citadel Events, says: “We are very pleased to be able to offer commercial organisations this opportunity to take part in HC2010 in a more integrated way than in previous years. We hope the effect will be a richer experience for delegates as well as creating yet another incentive for commercial organisations to attend the conference next year.
    
“The level of interest in spaces at the new venue for HC2010 is extremely encouraging, especially given the present economic climate. Prospective and existing exhibitors clearly see HC2010 as the health informatics event of the year, and are prepared to invest to be there.”
    
He adds: “Initial feedback, from new and long-standing exhibitors alike has been extremely positive. Many of our regular exhibitors tell us they are relishing the prospect of taking space at such a high-profile event and central venue.”
    
Laurence Campbell, managing director of ALERT Life Sciences Computing UK Ltd, which has exhibited at a number of past HC events, says: “We find that the people who visit our stand are often the key decision makers in the procurement of healthcare IT, and consequently generate good quality sales leads for follow-up.”
    
Also this year, The Association for Informatics Professionals in Health and Social Care (ASSIST) will run its Annual Conference and AGM alongside HC2010, on April 29. In addition to the usual representations from BCS health groups, there will be strong international contribution.
    
Matthew Swindells, the new head of the Institute’s prestigious and influential BCS Health, says: “This is a crucial time for informatics and the NHS as a whole. The challenge is for the NHS to raise the quality of its services, whilst dramatically reducing costs. I find it hard to imagine that the NHS can succeed in doing this without the support of information technology. I will be working to the build skills and confidence of the informatics community to fully contribute to this strategic challenge.”

Notes:
1. All delegate prices are subject to a VAT rate of 17.5per cent
It can take up to 10 days to process membership

For more information
To see the full conference programme, to register as a delegate or visitor, or to book stand space go to http://www.hcshowcase.org

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