Charting the future of mental health services on spotlight at ehi LIVE 2016

 Experts from government departments and healthcare providers to discuss how technology can be harnessed for better mental health services

Digital advancements are urgently needed to improve the provision of mental health services in the UK, experts are to urge at the upcoming ehi LIVE 2016 conference in Birmingham, 1st-2nd November.

Now in its 9th year, the largest gathering of eHealth professionals in the UK has dedicated an entire conference stream to look at how innovation can help address current issues outlined within the Mental Health Five Year Forward View, published last February.

The planned overhaul of mental health services in England will cost £1bn a year and will be used for expanding services, improving clinical standards, and preventing ill health.

According to the Forward View, digital technology can play a “pivotal role” in driving major changes to mental health services and addressing challenges in delivering new models of care, access to digital services, and a system-wide focus on quality improvement. This was backed last week by an NHS England £400,000 fund for innovators to speed up the adoption of their product by the NHS.

The Forward View claims that only one in four adults experiences at least one diagnosable mental health problem in any given year, whilst spend on mental health services in England totals £34bn each year.

Speaking ahead of his address at ehi LIVE at NEC Birmingham on 1st November 2016, MP and former health minister Norman Lamb said: “Holding the government to account on this is enormously important and there is no reason that one of the world’s wealthiest countries cannot afford to do so.

“This is about people’s lives first and foremost, but mental health investment has a strong economic case…It goes beyond savings in the NHS, or the benefit system. If you can rescue that person and give them the chance of a good life then you’ve got the chance of that person being employed, not claiming benefits, and paying their taxes” concluded Lamb.

Others scheduled to speak at the conference include Rebecca Cotton, director mental health policy, NHS Confederation; Dr James Reed, consultant forensic psychiatrist, chief clinical information officer, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust; Netta Hollings, information analysis lead manager, Mental Health Community Care, NHS Digital; and Dr Knut Schroeder GP, founder & director, Expert Self Care Ltd, honorary senior clinical lecturer, Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol.

ehi LIVE 2016 also features an exhibition where more than 250 companies will showcase the latest advances in healthcare IT solutions. Popularity of digital healthcare is rising and attendance is expected to be high. Early registration is encouraged and may be completed by visiting: