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Top picks with Sean Duggan

Sean Duggan OBE, former Chief Executive of the Mental Health Network shares highlights from the agenda.

NHS ConfedExpo is one of my favourite times of the year. It’s always a golden opportunity to meet many NHS Confederation members face-to-face and to connect them to colleagues from across the mental health sector and wider system.

By the time of the conference, I will have departed as the NHS Confederation Mental Health Network’s chief executive, so I am looking forward to ConfedExpo immensely both as a chance to say goodbye and to experience it through a member’s eyes in my new role as Chair of Sussex Partnership NHS Trust. There is no better event for bringing together healthcare leaders to be inspired, learn from each other, and bring back solutions that improve services for their populations locally.


Looking at the programme, what are you most looking forward to, and why? 

Mental health and learning disability services are well represented across the two days of the agenda again this year, and that’s absolutely critical given the challenges we face as a health service and a society.

We will be discussing in depth many of the key issues members have raised with me and my team throughout the year, including children and young people’s services, collaborating with housing and the voluntary sector, reducing inequalities for autistic people and people with a learning disability, and much more.

I will be speaking on the panel for the afternoon of day 1 session Partnerships for change: working across the boundaries of health and housing. Housing quality has a direct impact on people’s health – with damp and cold homes exacerbating all kinds of physical and mental health problems - and improvements here could prevent many people from getting ill in the first place, while saving money for the NHS in the long run. We’ll be talking to leaders from different sectors to share innovative solutions.


Are there any other sessions you would like to highlight? 

Day 1

Improving support for children and young people with complex emotional needs: there’s been a significant increase in the number of young people who have complex emotional needs in recent years. Together we’ll discuss ways to improve services for children and young people, and their families.

Day 2

ADHD: putting patients first - a system response: in this session, we’ll look at what systems are doing to improve access, experience and outcomes for people with ADHD, including a perspective from someone with lived experience.

Together, we're better: co-production and partnership working for mental health improvement: fully supporting people to manage their mental health is bigger than the health service alone. This session will explore how co-production and partnership are key to finding ways to solve complex problems.

Right care, right person: improving mental health crisis support: what can we learn from how the NHS has worked with the police to improve emergency care for people with a mental health need? We will look at improvements in the Humber area.

Addressing inpatient racial inequalities: learning from the Mental Health Act QI Programme: patients from ethnically diverse communities who are detained under the Mental Health Act face significant inequalities in their experience of inpatient care. We have been working with 15 mental health trusts on a pilot Quality Improvement programme to develop and implement co-produced change. Learn what’s working well and what still needs to be better.


I hope you enjoy your two days at ConfedExpo and I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible. Please do come and say hi.

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Sean Duggan

Sean Duggan OBE

Chair, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Former Chief Executive, Mental Health Network