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10 Reasons Why Primary Care Network Leaders Should Attend a Conference This Autumn

(Plus 6 top tips to ensure you get the most from the event)


We usually write resources for new Primary Care Network Managers and Clinical Directors; however, regardless of how long you have been in post, there will be something in here for everyone.


Within this blog, you will find;

  • 4 conference recommendations

  • 10 reasons why you should attend an industry conference even though you may feel like you do not have the time

  • 6 top tips to help you get the most from attending your conference

Let's jump in!

We play a critical role in our primary care networks to ensure we provide high-quality care to our community, regardless of where you sit in the structure.


Many of us have autonomy in our work, which has pros and cons.


The pro, of course, is that we get to lead, create, improve, and coordinate services based on the direct feedback we receive from our patients and colleagues.


However, the con to this can sometimes result in us feeling isolated, lonely, overwhelmed and out of the loop, especially if we are the only role spread across multiple practices without a clear direction or if the network is experiencing conflict or mixed messages.


One way to counter this is to remove yourself from your current environment and attend a conference with people who understand the complexity in which you work.


I know it can often feel like we are too busy to take time away from work but attending conferences and events supports both your personal and professional development and will help you to;

  1. Get a fresh perspective

  2. Receive new ideas

  3. Learn best practices

  4. Support others

  5. Meet your peers and make new friends

  6. See what resources are out there which can help us

  7. Learn about new technologies

  8. Improve your performance

  9. Build your resilience

  10. Have some fun!

In healthcare, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to the events we can attend, so I thought I would use this blog to highlight three events taking place this autumn.


1. Best Practice Birmingham


Organisation: Best Practice


Dates and location: Wednesday 12 October – Thursday 13 October in Birmingham


Each year, thousands and thousands of healthcare professionals gather at the NEC Birmingham each year to celebrate the primary care and general practice community.

This year, the event has 11 theatres and topics ranging from Nursing, GP Clinical education, health inequalities, pay terms and conditions, the Fuller Stocktake, The additional role reimbursement scheme, the changing face of the practice manager role, and so so so much more. And yours truly is hosting the PCN Transformation Theatre.


This event has a great lineup of speakers, it's free, and it's going to be great!

More details can be found here.


2. Tenth annual leadership and workforce summit: Bringing our humanity to work – implications, challenges and practice


Organisation: The Kings Fund


Date and location: Wednesday 5 October 2022 in London


The Tenth annual leadership and workforce summit provides an established forum for health and care leaders to come together to share their leadership and workforce challenges.


Workforce is a universal challenge facing our health and care system.


This event covers the role of leadership in a time of crisis, priorities for meeting the core needs of staff, ensuring equity, diversity and inclusion in the health and care workplace, Leading for integrated care, and so much more.


For those of you managing a large PCN team, I think you should take a look a this.


More details can be found here:



3. The Primary Care Network Conference


Organisation: The NHS Confederation


Date and location: 9th November 2022 in London

This face-to-face conference has a number of exciting speakers booked from primary care and beyond. There will also be a range of exhibitors demonstrating innovative solutions and networking opportunities connecting Primary Care leaders from across the country.


Premium members are eligible for 2 free tickets, with the option to buy additional tickets at a discount. These tickets are first come, first served, so don’t miss out! You can register your interest here and send your nominations for your 2 free tickets to PrimaryCare@nhsconfed.org.


4. Pulse PCN Events


Organisation: Pulse


Pulse PCN has a series of regional events to support clinical directors covering the following topics;

  • Integrated care systems (ICSs)

  • Primary Care & PCN capacity building

  • Early cancer detection

  • Care homes enhanced service management

  • Population health management

  • Recruiting new workforce through the ARRS

  • Personalised and anticipatory care

  • Role of the PCN manager

Dates and Location:

  • Pulse PCN Manchester | 16 November 2022

  • Pulse PCN London | 22 November 2022

To secure your space, just register here for your complimentary pass – which includes access to the forums, networking opportunities at the exhibition hall and a buffet lunch.


How to get the most from a conference?


Hopefully, you have signed up for one of the conferences above.

Now I would like you to consider how you are going to make the most of your time at the conference.


Here are my top tips


1. Schedule the meeting in the diary as quickly as possible and make this a non-negotiable unless you really do have a true emergency. Also, keep your commitments the day before and the day after to a minimum to reduce overwhelm in the lead-up to and after the event.


2. Consider why you chose the particular event and set some goals. Do you want to meet certain people or attend specific workshops relating to a challenge you are experiencing?


Having a clear goal in mind will help to focus attention and make the most of the time spent at the conference.


3. Share the event with your leadership team and if there is anything they would like to know more about, which you could obtain on their behalf ( if they aren't already going).


4. Come prepared to make notes. While many things will stick in your mind, a lot won't, so take notes so you can refer back to these in the notebook you usually use and not one of the conference ones, as these inevitably get mislaid unless you get a really nice one!


5. Attend with an open mind. Whilst the conference organiser will be doing everything they can to put on an excellent event, they will need your help, so attend with an open and positive mindset.


6. Be present. I would urge you not to spend the event looking at your emails. Switch off and soak up the experiences and expertise of your peers and industry experts.


7. Be brave. If you are going to the event yourself, I know this can be daunting BUT, we all have at least one thing in common, and that is we work in healthcare. Be brave, say hi and get involved.


We hope this helps!


Work with us


The Online Programme The Online Accelerator Programme is an introductory programme, delivered online for you to work through at your own pace and around your existing commitments. ​ You can start straight away. ​ The Live Programme The sessions will take place via zoom on specific dates and will include a Core Strength assessment to support you to identify your leadership and management style and tools to enhance your communication. Click here for further information and to register today.


About the Author

I'm Tara; I am the founder of THC Primary Care, an award-winning healthcare consultancy specialising in Primary Care Network Management and the host of the Business of Healthcare Podcast. I have over 20 years of project management and business development experience across the private and public sectors, and I have supported over 50 PCNs by providing interim management, training and consultancy. I have managed teams across multiple sites and countries; I have an MBA in Leadership and Management in Healthcare, I'm published in the London Journal of Primary Care, and I am the author of over 250 blogs. I have 3 children. My eldest has Asthma, my middle child has a kidney condition called Nephrotic Syndrome, and my youngest daughter has Type 1 Diabetes, so outside of work, healthcare plays a huge role in my life. Find out more about THC Primary Care and follow me on Twitter.


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