Thinking differently about commissioning (virtual conference)

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Commissioning and the role that commissioners play is changing. Providers and commissioners are increasingly planning services together, and commissioners are working across health and social care. The old ‘purchaser–provider’ split is blurring and what was once a system based on competition is evolving into a system focused on collaboration. Rather than just delivering health services, innovative commissioners are starting to focus their efforts on improving population health.
In addition to this shift, important proposals for legislative changes have been announced that will change the shape and nature of commissioning, and Covid-19 has both disrupted and inspired thinking and planning around the future of commissioning. 

At this virtual conference, experts from The King’s Fund and NHS national bodies explained key developments in health and care commissioning, assessing the different ways commissioning will change in 2021 and beyond. Participants heard from innovative commissioners who are approaching their role in new ways – including new ways of paying for services and new approaches to joint working across clinical commissioning groups and local authorities


If I could only ever attend one learning/sharing updating event each year, it would always be provided by The Kings Fund. The breadth of knowledge, perspective and topic is just brilliant. Thank you all.
Emma Ridgewell-Howard, Chief Executive, Kernow LMC

This event has inspired me to look beyond the borders of my local authority for more examples of good practice in commissioning and co-production in action
Helen Amura, Commissioning Officer, Oxfordshire County Council

These conferences are of an excellent standard, with a really interesting range of speakers. Highly recommended.
Jo Sorotos, Chinese Medicine Student, University of Westminster

Best virtual conference I've attended, very professional.
Emily Gash, Bid Development Manager, South Yorkshire Housing Association Limited

The conference was incredibly helpful! The mixture of speakers was refreshing and I liked the ability to ask questions.
Freja Ludlow, AQP Manager, Hidden Hearing

Excellent presentations and balance of opportunities for Q&A. Topic very well timed
Helen Reasbeck, NHS Business Development Lead, Clinical Partners

This was my first King's Fund conference and I sincerely hope not my last. As an expert by experience, I was fortunate to get a bursary place. Cannot recommend highly enough. Have already been asked by commissioners to talk about the content! Absolutely excellent.
Marilyn Jones, Autism advocate and Expert by Experience, Shropshire Autism Hub

A well planned and informative conference, highlighting the emerging changes in commissioning and how we need to move from a transactional to relational world
Brendan Hill, Executive Chair, Blue Stone Collaborative

Excellent conference and range of speakers. Very relevant to the time.
Helen Hawkins, Senior Commissioner, NHSE and NHS Improvement

Informative event with good examples of different approaches used to support commissioning in an integrated care system
Jayne Randall, Strategic Commissioner - Drugs and Alcohol, Shropshire Council

Good set of speakers and collateral. The event looked at all the different sides of this challenge - so it was well rounded as well as thought provoking. I appreciated the lack of jargon and being able to revisit presentations.
Hilary Barrett, Trustee, St Gemma's Hospice, Leeds

Every event impresses me with something and someone that I do not know. Consistently good content to keep abreast of everything regarding  UK health and social care. 
Howard Allen, Founder, HealthBank

I found the presenters really engaging and informative, really enjoyable experience
Lisa Collard, Service Transformation Programme Associate, NHS England

I really enjoyed the event.  The content was excellent and I loved the format. Presentations were very "information heavy" (a good thing!) and the breaks allowed me to digest the info.  Excellent conference - well done!
David Lee, Non-Executive Director, The SUN Network

The diverse range of presentations was great and helped paint a broad picture of the future of commissioning.
Helen Graham, Chair, PPG, Ainsdale Medical Centre

Great speakers with very useful content
Sarah Johnson, Head of Service Adult Secure Commissioning, Devon Partnership NHS Trust

The King’s Fund publications and conferences are an invaluable expert resource for anyone working in or with the Health and Social Care Sector.
Terry O’Leary, Trustee, St Catherine’s Hospice, West Sussex and East Surrey




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 this event programme please email Eugenia at

Sponsorship and exhibition enquiries

To find out more about our sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please contact Danielle Roche 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 sharing resources 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 8 March to Sunday 4 April, 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.