Sir David Nicholson and health minister Earl Howe are spearheading the Department of Health’s support for the 2011 Healthcare Innovation Expo, which takes place in London’s Docklands on 9-10 March.

It will profile every workstream of the quality, innovation, productivity and prevention programme.

Talking to HSJ about the range of exhibitors and initiatives to be profiled, Earl Howe said: “There’s no shortage of good ideas in the NHS; the challenge is to diffuse them as rapidly as possible to as many people as possible.

“These are not airy-fairy ideas for the future, they are things that can be implemented without any delay at all.”

The minister cited the example of telehealth keeping patients out of hospital.

Earl Howe acknowledged the political difficulties in treating fewer patients in hospital and said the government was prepared to take that on.

He said: “The political difficulty will be that people regard their local acute hospital in an almost totemic way. It embodies the NHS and has done for many years. So where we see numbers of beds coming down - as we will and should if we get this right - we will no doubt have a public reaction.

“But I think if we can educate people to understand that this is being done for very valid reasons [then] we should be able to manage it.”

The Healthcare Innovation Expo 2011 is in London on 9-10 March.

Innovation Expo

Hear more from Sir David Nicholson and Earl Howe at Healthcare Innovation Expo on 9-10 March at ExCel London. Expo 2011 will be the largest event of its type in Europe, with over 250 exhibitors, 100 speakers and 180 seminars, all featuring high impact changes that can deliver improvements in quality and productivity in the NHS.

Developed and supported by the Department of Health and UK Trade & Investment, the Expo will help managers, GPs, clinicians and frontline staff understand the Coalition’s reform agenda, the part they have to play in delivering change, and how they can drive adoption and diffusion of innovation.

Secure your place today to benefit from the early booking rate. Register online at