Integrated care systems and place-based partnerships (virtual conference)

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With April 2021 marking the deadline for all areas in England to be part of an integrated care system (ICS), this virtual conference looks at the future of place and how to enhance place-based partnerships that support the continuous development of ICSs.

A key feature of ICSs is the emergence of ‘systems within systems’ to focus on different aspects of their objectives. This includes three important levels at which decisions are made: system, place and neighbourhood.

Recent guidance published by NHS England and NHS Improvement, Integrating care: next steps to building strong and effective integrated care systems across England, sets out options for legislative change to support ICSs, and makes clear that working at ‘place’ will be central to them delivering their ambitions.

Drawing on recent research led by The King’s Fund, the conference will explore how place-based partnerships are forming and identify emerging lessons for success, including how ICSs can enable and facilitate work at place. Leaders from existing partnerships, including local government, voluntary and community sector providers, NHS commissioners; and primary care and secondary care providers, will share learning on how they are working together to achieve improved health outcomes for their local communities and reduce inequalities

    What will I learn?

    We will look at how functions are allocated between system, place, neighbourhood, and the interface between each level. Our speakers will: 

    • provide insight into what the recent guidance and legislative proposals from NHS England and NHS Improvement means in terms of the next steps towards integrated care and how to build on progress already made by the NHS and its partners in working together to integrate services in the response to Covid-19
    • share learning on creating equal multi-agency partnerships, drawing on a wide range of partners from different sectors and with different expertise and perspectives on local problems and solutions 
    • provide guidance on how systems can play an enabling and supportive role while setting objectives and standards and holding place-based partnerships to account 
    • explore how to develop in-depth understanding of local communities and neighbourhoods, bringing together data and insights from different agencies to build up a rounded picture of the needs and assets of different communities
    • share ways to better understand the strengths and assets available in the local community and harness these to improve population health 
    • discuss the emergence of anchor institutions, and how to enable local organisations to use all their resources and decisions to support health, social and economic development 
    • demonstrate examples of mobilising the local community and building community leadership capacity.

    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 Please click here for more information.



    Confirmed speakers include:


    Richard Murray

    Chief Executive, The King’s Fund


    Professor Donna Hall CBE

    Former Chief Executive, Wigan Council, Chair, New Local Government Network and Chair, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust


    Dr Vish Ratnasuriya MBE

    GP partner, Lordswood House Medical Practice and Chair, Our Health Partners


    Bill McCarthy

    North West Regional Director, NHS England and NHS Improvement


    Melanie Brooks

    Corporate Director, Adult Social Care and Health, Nottinghamshire County Council


    Councillor Les Caborn

    Chair, Coventry and Warwickshire Place Forum and Chair, Warwickshire Health and Wellbeing Board


    Michael Wood

    Head of Health Economic Partnerships, NHS Confederation

    More speakers to be announced soon

    Contact details

    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 our event programmes, please contact Caroline Viac at

    Sponsorship and exhibition enquiries

    To find out more about our sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please contact Chloe Smithers at


    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 a 'main room' 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.

    • 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 or Firefox for the best delegate experience.
    • In week one, introduce yourself in the main chat. 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 the most of the online community by taking part in the live Q&As and opting in to one-to-one networking
    • Make sure you secure time in your diary at some point over the four weeks to visit the exhibition stands, 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, there will be technical support available at all times 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 of the presentation slides in the lecture theatre, links to resources in the networking area and various materials in the exhibition

    The portal is open for four weeks from Monday 19 April- Sunday 16 May, when you will have the opportunity to either watch, save or download these resources. 

    Once the platform closes, you will no longer have access to these materials 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. 

    Testimonials from our last ICS virtual conference

    The conference was brilliant, with so many fantastic and engaging speakers. I gained a lot from the conference and excited to attend future events by The Kings Fund. 
    Jessica Gates, PhD Research Student, Northumbria University 

    Really well organised event with slick use of technology and high quality presenters and speakers 
    Vic Middlemiss, Head of Contracting and Procurement, NHS Wolverhampton CCG 

    This brought an up to date view on the progress and the immediate future issues relating to ICS/STP development and gave a sense of forward momentum 
    David Clayton-Smith, Chair, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West (BOB), Integrated Care System 

    Considering the amount of sessions, speakers, content and all split across four days - the event worked really well! It was very engaging, informative and well put together. Overall really enjoyed the virtual conference - thank you! 
    Stephanie Bloxham, Health and Social Care Business Unit Manager, Birmingham Voluntary Service Council 

    The conference was well organised and the platform was very easy to navigate and engaging. The lecture theatre was really well thought out and designed to enable delegates to watch the speakers and engage with polls and Q&As simultaneously. Very well organised conference with a great range of topics and speakers 
    Angela Sharp, Deputy Director of Strategic Partnerships, Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust 

    Very informative and thought provoking, the speakers were very interesting. 
    Beverley Young, Regional Manager, The Defence Medical Welfare Service 

    Ticket prices

    Please note, there is a £20 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 no charge for paying by debit or credit card.

    Early bird discounts

    Book before Sunday 17 January for the following early bird tickets:

    • Public sector, charity or university  £95 + VAT
      (standard ticket price £135 + VAT)
    • Small-medium sized enterprise (SME)  £135 + VAT
      (standard ticket price £190 + VAT)
    • Commercial/profit-making organisation  £190 + VAT
      (standard ticket price £270 + 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 £45+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.