Building a culture of learning and accountability: learning from when things go wrong (virtual conference)

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When things go wrong in health and social care, there can be significant consequences for patients, staff, and leaders. But, too often, the voices of people who use services and their families have gone unheard, while staff have feared being blamed for mistakes that result from systemic failings or human error.

So how can health and social care leaders at all levels create a just culture, where mistakes lead to learning? And how can organisations take accountability for learning and improving after something goes wrong?

The King’s Fund is co-hosting this virtual conference in partnership with the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman from 13–16 September, in the lead up to World Patient Safety Day on 17 September, to explore how culture is key to enable professionals, patients and organisations to use the learning from mistakes and serious incidents to drive improvement in the safety and quality of care.

Drawing on stories of learning and accountability told from several different perspectives, including case studies, we will examine how taking responsibility for learning offers a positive alternative to a culture of fear or blame. 

Sign up today to learn about:

  • how to embed a just culture of compassionate and inclusive leadership
  • how to empower patients and staff to speak up
  • what enables the establishing of such a culture of openness and responsibility.

Watch live on Monday 13–Thursday 16 September or catch up on demand until Sunday 3 October, when the virtual conference platform closes.

Event partner


Sponsorship and exhibition

If you’d like a conversation about your business goals, and how being involved in this event can help you, please email Chloe Smithers at or give her a call on 020 7307 2482.

Please click here for more information.




Ticket prices

Please note, there is a £20+VAT surcharge to cover the cost of processing invoices. This is an addition to the ticket price and will be added to your invoice. There is one invoice fee per order, not per ticket. There is no charge for paying by debit or credit card.

Public sector, charity or university £155 + VAT
Small-medium sized enterprise (SME) £220 + VAT  
Commercial/profit-making organisation £310 + VAT

Student tickets

If you are a student in full-time education, please email us for a promotional code, with a photograph of your valid student ID. Student tickets are £50+VAT.

Bursary tickets

We offer a number of free bursary places for patients and carers. These places are limited to maintain a balance of voices in the room between patients, service users, carers, and health and care professionals.  To apply for a bursary place please email us a short paragraph explaining why you wish to attend.


Format and time

High-quality, up-to-date content is delivered to you via an online platform that is open for four weeks. During the first week, you will have the opportunity to log in, test your connection and become familiar with the set-up. The live sessions will take place over four half-days in the second week, giving you the option to catch up on demand until the end of week four.

Virtual conferences mean you can digest content at your own pace and work around a busy schedule. You can pause and rewind presentations and put your questions to our expert speakers. There is an activity feed for public conversations and the option of one-to-one networking. Virtual exhibition stands enable you to interact with a range of organisations who will share expertise and information – all at a time that suits you.


If you choose to opt-in to networking, you will appear on the attendee list, where other delegates will be able to click on your profile and see whether you are online or offline. 

If you discover someone that you would like to talk to, you can send them a message or invite them to have a one-to-one video conversation during the week that sessions take place. If you are interacting with others like this, be assured that the messages and calls are encrypted and entirely private. If you are offline and another delegate sends you a private message, you will receive an email notification so you will never miss out. 

You are in control, so you can choose whether to accept or decline invitations and you can change your settings at any point in the four weeks, either to opt-in or opt-out of networking. On your profile, you can share as much or as little information about yourself as you’d like, including your contact details, photo and biography, social media profiles or any websites you would like others to see. If you prefer not to share this information and only list your name, that is fine. Your profile is accessible throughout the event and you can update this at any time.

During sessions, there are separate tabs on the righthand side of the video, including a place to post questions for the speakers, make notes, take part in polls and a session chat where you can interact with other delegates.

If you prefer group/public conversations and would like to interact outside the session times, there is the activity feed. Here, delegates can post images and links and reply to one another in conversation threads (like a social media wall). 

Taking notes

If you use the note-taking functionality during the sessions, you can access these later by clicking on your profile image (top righthand side of the screen) and selecting My notes. Here, you can update your notes and add images. These notes will be saved in the platform until the conference closes (at the end of week four). To email yourself a copy of your notes, just click on the small envelope icon. 


Virtual exhibition stands enable you to interact with a range of organisations who will share expertise and information – all at a time that suits you. 

Games and competitions

Throughout the first two weeks, there will be an opportunity to take part in some fun interactive challenges. Delegates who take part will boost their scores on a leaderboard and be in with the chance of winning one of three prizes.


As well as the video content, we will share pdfs of the slides and other materials in the resources section. The exhibition will also contain links, videos and documents from the various exhibitors.

  • Before the event, tell your colleagues that you are taking part and block out the time in your diary. 
  • Make sure you are using an up-to-date web browser on a laptop or desktop. We recommend Google Chrome for the best experience.
  • Make the most of the online community by taking part in the live Q&A sessions and opting in to networking
  • In week one, introduce yourself on the activity feed. This is an easy way of ‘getting your voice in the room’, starting conversations and establishing new relationships with colleagues in health and care. 
  • Avoid as many distractions as possible so you can immerse yourself in the sessions as you would at a physical conference. Treat each session as a meeting, put your phone on silent and close down your emails.
  • If you know you won’t be able to watch certain sessions live, you can submit your questions in advance and put aside time in the third or fourth week to catch up on demand.
  • Each session is approximately one hour long and there is always at least a half-an-hour break between sessions so you can take a screen break or catch up on emails.
  • Make sure you secure time in your diary at some point over the four weeks to visit the exhibition, where you will find free resources and can have conversations with experts from across the health and care system.

When the event is taking place, we will be on hand to offer technical support, but it is worth using the extra time before the first session to log in and test your connection, just in case.

Throughout the conference, we will share pdfs and links in the resources section and in the exhibition. The portal is open for four weeks, when you will have the opportunity to either watch, save or download these materials. 

Once the platform closes (on Sunday 3 October), you will no longer have access to these resources so please ensure you save everything you need beforehand. 

The King's Fund is an independent charitable organisation working to improve health and care in England. Our events are a key source of income, and this income enables us to continue with our charitable objectives. 

The cost of running a virtual conference is similar to that of a physical event. Although a virtual conference has fewer room hire and catering costs, in order to produce a high-quality event, we still need to pay the costs for the technical supplier, support and developing the platform. With some sessions taking place in our building, we do have to cover some venue costs. We also have a team of dedicated events professionals, content experts, digital, marketing and finance support that work on these events.  

Any profit that is made from these events goes directly towards achieving our strategic priorities. You can find out more about how we are funded here

We offer a number of free bursary places for patients and carers. These places are limited to maintain a balance of voices in the room between patients, service users, carers, and health and care professionals.  To apply for a bursary place please email us a short paragraph explaining why you wish to attend.

When you register for this event, we will ask you to email us at if you have any accessibility requirements. 

Contact us

Booking enquiries

If you’d like to make a booking enquiry, please email Anna Viralainen at

Programme enquiries

If you have any queries relating to this event programme please email Caroline Viac at

Sponsorship and exhibition enquiries

Please email Chloe Smithers at or give her a call on 020 7307 2482.