The Faculty of Clinical Informatics holds its first Annual Members Conference, bringing together clinical informatics professionals from across the UK

On Monday 25th November, the Faculty of Clinical Informatics’ first Annual Members Conference took place to a packed audience at the State Rooms in the RCGP, London. The conference was the first Faculty event to take place since the Founding Fellows AGM in 2017, and was attended by around 140 Faculty members.

The day kicked off with an introduction from FCI Council member and Associate Medical Director for Primary Care at NHS Wales Informatics Service Anne-Marie Cunningham, and the day was chaired by Anne-Marie and Maggie Lay, CNIO, NHS South Central and West Commissioning Support Unit & Lead for Nursing Revalidation and Appraisal, FCI.

For the first part of the day, Maggie introduced keynote speakers including Ijeoma Azodo, a surgeon, honorary clinical tutor at the University of Edinburgh and member of the NHS Shuri Network. Ijeoma asked the audience what their hopes and fears were for digital transformation over the next 7 years, with recurring answers for hopes including ‘safety’, ‘efficacy’, ‘governance’ and (primarily) ‘interoperability’. Key words for fears came up as ‘burnout’, ‘fragmentation’, ‘silos’ and ‘loss of trust’.

Next to speak were Professor Harold Thimbleby, See Change Fellow in Digital Health and Sir Mark Caulfield, Interim Chief Executive and Chief Scientist at Genomics England. Harold gave a presentation on the safety and accreditation of medical devices and Sir Mark spoke to the audience about his landmark 100,000 Genomes project and why it is relevant to all clinical informaticians.

Chair of the Faculty John Williams rounded out the first half with a recap of the Faculty’s achievements so far and aspirations for the future, including increasing membership, encouraging diversity, building on the Core Competencies outputs and raising the Faculty profile.

After a short coffee break, the second half of the day began with some rapid-fire 15 minute presentation and Q&A sessions. There was an update on FCI Appraisals and Revalidation (and announcement of the Faculty mentorship scheme!) from Alan Hassey, Joanne Bailey and Maggie Lay; Ijeoma introduced the Shuri Network and talked about increasing diversity, inclusion and accessibility in digital health; Andy Carr and Rudi Redford-Brown from the Clinical Safety Team at NHS Digital discussed how to address patient safety issues; and there was a session on how to engage Early Career informaticians (and introduction of the FCI Early Careers Special Interest Group) from Tim Robbins and Kieran Zucker. Professor Jeremy Wyatt finished the section by discussing how to prepare health and social care professionals for the use of AI.

The day ended with a lively talk from David Stables, CEO of Endeavour Health, and a closing address from Faculty Vice Chair Jonathan Kay.

The event had a fantastic atmosphere throughout and was a great occasion to get members of Faculty together to talk about shared issues, common ground and get to know each other. Thank you to all those who attended and to all speakers, chairs and staff who made the day possible.

The next FCI event coming up is our Annual Scientific Conference in May. Registration and call for abstracts is now open.