#iLINKS18 celebrates 70 years of our NHS

The annual iLINKS Innovations conference and exhibition took place at Aintree Racecourse on Thursday 5 July 2018. Organised by NHS Informatics Merseyside and sponsored by EMIS Health, InterSystems and Samsung, the event proved to be one of the most popular yet - taking place on the 70th anniversary of our NHS and attracting visitors locally and from around the globe!

Now in its ninth year, iLINKS Innovations continues to grow in size and format, having started life as a GP system user group event and expanding into what has now become one of the largest local health and social care calendar events of the year.

Focusing on the key themes of NHS70, Share2Care and Co-designed Services, the event showcased new and emerging technologies in healthcare and the work taking place locally to join up care provision, enable information sharing and improve population health.

The day was officially opened with keynote presentations from Harry Evans, Policy Researcher at The Kings Fund and Louise Shepherd CBE, Chief Executive of Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.

First to take to the stage was Harry Evans who welcomed delegates to the event and shared information about The King Fund’s new ‘Digital change in health and social care’ report, featuring practical learning from a series of case studies where significant large-scale digital change is happening.

This was aptly followed with a presentation from Louise Shepherd CBE who had the exciting task of officially launching ‘Digit@LL’, the digital strategy for Cheshire and Merseyside and who updated delegates on the work taking place locally and the shared vision ahead.

An impressive CEO Discussion Panel represented by David Jago from Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; Aidan Kehoe from The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust; Mel Pickup from Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Joe Rafferty from Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and Louise Shepherd CBE from Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, provided delegates with the opportunity to submit questions to the panel interactively using an online tool called Slido.

New for 2018 was the #GDEHACK18 pitch showcase, where delegates could vote for their preferred solutions from the Digital Liverpool GDE Hackathon taking place the previous day in partnership with MIT Hacking Medicine. In celebration of the 70th anniversary of our NHS there was also a sing song, with all delegates joining in a chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’ led by conference chair Dr Simon Bowers, and an opportunity to explore a special exhibition celebrating our ‘NHS through the decades’.

Further information about the day, including photographs and video footage, can be found on this website or by following @iLINKSInnovator #iLINKS18 on Twitter.

A special note of thanks to all who attended and congratulations to our competition winners - Holly Tofield, Practice Manager at West Derby Medical Centre and Jean Farrell, IT Lead Pharmacy Technician at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, who were the lucky winners of our feedback form prize draw and word hunt competition. Well done both!

A date for iLINKS Innovations 2019 will be announced so please keep a look out for further updates. 


Holly Tofield, Practice Manager at West Derby Medical Centre


Jean Farrell, IT Lead Pharmacy Technician at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust