• Event was planned for June
  • Website says it would not be ”appropriate to divert staff time” when outbreak expected to peak
  • Event will not be rescheduled and fees to be refunded

One of the biggest events in the healthcare calendar has been cancelled because of concerns about covid-19.

The NHS Confederation conference — which was this year combined with the NHS England and NHS Improvement-run Expo — was due to be held on 10 and 11 June, close to the predicted peak of the covid-19 epidemic.

This afternoon, a notice was put on the NHS ConfedExpo 2020 website announcing it was cancelled.

It said: “The current national focus is on delaying the peak of the spread of coronavirus to the summer and our top priority is to help local services ensure that they can provide patients with the care they need.

“As our event was planned for June, we do not think it is appropriate to divert staff time during what we can expect to be a period of increased activity for the health and care sector.”.

The event will not be rescheduled for later in the year and delegates’ fees for the Manchester-based event will be refunded, as will sponsors’ and exhibitors’ fees. Accommodation bookings through the official partner for the event — Reservation Highway — will also be cancelled.

There are no current plans to make any of the scheduled sessions and panels available virtually.