About this event

  • Date and time Tue 16 Jan 2024 from 8:30am to 7:00pm
  • Location Royal Society of Medicine

Registrations via the website are now closed. On-the-day registrations are also available.

Please find the submissions for the poster competition that was held as part of this conference, here:

Tackling Inequalities: Through innovation and entrepreneurship poster submissions 

After the success of the inaugural Tackling Inequalities conference in 2023, we are delighted to announce that the Royal Society of Medicine and NHS England hosting the second Tackling Inequalities conference on Tuesday 16 January 2024.

The theme of this year’s conference is Tackling Inequalities: Through innovation and entrepreneurship.

The conference will include a mixture of keynote speeches, panel and breakout room sessions, and guest speakers, and conclude with a networking reception. 

Participants will:

  • Learn from expert speakers on how innovation and improvement can drive progress in reducing health inequalities, and how to mitigate digital exclusion
  • Hear from clinical entrepreneurs who will share their journey from idea to implementation
  • Explore how innovation is currently embedded within NHS systems and how it can be further enhanced
  • Gain valuable insight and inspiration on how to accelerate local healthcare inequalities improvement, specifically in deprived and under-served populations

You can choose between three expert breakout sessions to join. In the booking process, select your first preference to attend and a second one in case it's fully booked. To see the speakers within each breakout room, go to the agenda below. 

Poster Competition - CLOSED

Deadline: Friday 15 December 2023 at 12:00 noon

For the first time, NHS England and the Royal Society of Medicine are hosting a poster competition to showcase work in tackling health inequalities.

Shortlisted submissions will be invited to display their posters at the Tackling Inequalities Conference on Tuesday 16 January 2024.

Join in the conversation online using #TacklingInequalities

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Key speakers

Dr Bola Owolabi

Professor Bola Owolabi

Director, National Healthcare Inequalities Team, NHS England

Speaker's biography

Professor Bola Owolabi (MRCGP, MFPH Hon, FRSPH) is Director of the National Healthcare Inequalities Improvement Programme at NHS England (NHSE).

She works as a General Practitioner in the Midlands.

Bola has particular interest in reducing healthcare inequalities through integrated care models, service transformation, and using data insights for quality improvement. She has spearheaded NHSE’s Core20PLUS5 approach to narrowing healthcare inequalities.

Internationally, Bola was a member of the Danish Ambassador’s Tour De Health – a ten nation healthcare policy leaders’ summit. Additionally, she was the UK representative on the Commonwealth Fund / Academy Health Tour 2023, exploring equity in national health policy across the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

She was previously National Speciality Advisor for Older People and Integrated Person-Centred Care at NHSE, where she led the Anticipatory Care workstream of the National Ageing Well Programme. She collaborated with teams across NHSE and the Department of Health and Social Care as part of the Covid-19 pandemic response.

Bola is an alumna of Ashridge Executive Education / Hult International Business School and holds a Masters degree with distinction in Leadership (Quality Improvement). She also received an NHS Leadership Academy Award in Executive Healthcare Leadership for Clinicians.

Bola is an Honorary Professor at the Institute of Applied Health Research, College of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Birmingham. She is also a Vice President of the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH).


Kaakpema Yelpaala

Senior Fellow and Lecturer, Yale School of Public Health

Speaker's biography

Kaakpema Yelpaala, who goes by “KP,” is a global entrepreneur and public health practitioner with a deep understanding of health systems and 20 years of experience working across the public and private sectors in the United States, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Caribbean. He is a Senior Fellow and Lecturer at the Yale School of Public Health.


Kaakpema Co-Founded InOn Health in 2018. The company improved access to care in the United States using digital communication channels and consumer insights to better connect multicultural populations to healthcare services. Prior to InOn Health, he also founded access.mobile International. access.mobile was a global digital health company that developed solutions to improve access to health information and services in African countries. The company implemented programs in 13 African countries. KP served as one of the early employees of the Clinton Health Access Initiative and worked as a management consultant for Dalberg Global Development Advisors.


Kaakpema is a member of the External Equity and Innovation Advisory Board for the American Medical Association. In early 2021, Governor Jared Polis appointed him to serve on the Colorado eHealth Commission. He is now the Chair of the Commission, which governs all health IT for the State of Colorado.


Kaakpema received a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from Brown University and a Master of Public Health from the Yale School of Public Health. He is a 2023 Rock Health Top 50 in Digital Health Luminaries honoree.

Kevin Fong

Professor Kevin Fong OBE

Consultant Anaesthetist, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Professor, Public Engagement and Innovation, Department of Science, Technology, Education and Public Policy (STEaPP), University College London (UCL)

Speaker's biography

Professor Kevin Fong OBE, MRCP, FRCA is a prominent British doctor and broadcaster known for his significant contributions to medicine and space exploration. He currently serves as a consultant anaesthetist and anaesthetic lead for major Incident Planning at UCL Hospitals (UCLH), alongside being a Professor who oversees the undergraduate course in Extreme Environment Physiology. He is most known for his television appearances as a presenter on the BBC science programme, Horizon, and gaining widespread acclaim for hosting the 2021 Channel 4 series, Extreme A&E, in which he explored trauma centres worldwide.


In 2015, he delivered the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, focusing on "How to Survive in Space", a series broadcast on BBC Four, using his learnings from his masters degree in astronautics and space engineering. Beyond his academic and television roles he is a pre-hospital doctor with Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex, specialising in Space Medicine. He is also the co-director of the Centre for Aviation Space and Extreme Environment Medicine (CASE) at UCL. 


Throughout his career, Dr. Fong has been a passionate advocate for the UK's involvement in international human space exploration programmes. He co-founded the Centre for Aviation, Space and Extreme Environment Medicine and played a key role in launching the UK's first undergraduate course in Space Medicine and Extreme Environment Physiology. In addition to his medical achievements, Dr. Fong has made significant contributions to public engagement in science. He received The Wellcome Trust's first Public Engagement Fellowship in 2011 and a senior fellowship award in Innovation and Engagement in 2016. 


View the programme

Registration, tea and coffee
Welcome and introduction

Professor Nik Patel, Consultant Cardiologist, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, and Chairman, Academic Board, Royal Society of Medicine

Morning session: What issues are we facing?

Experiencing health inequalities

Short film featuring patient and community voices

Keynote speaker

Professor Bola Owolabi, Director, National Healthcare Inequalities Team, NHS England

Innovation keynote speaker

Kaakpema Yelpaala, Senior Fellow and Lecturer, Yale School of Public Health

Question and answer session

Chair: Professor Gillian Leng CBE, Dean and President Elect, Royal Society of Medicine

Panel 1: Learning from the Core20PLUS accelerator sites


  • Dr Aoife Molloy, Infectious Diseases, Royal Free Hospital London and Senior Clinical Advisor, National Healthcare Inequalities Improvement Programme, NHS England and NHS Improvement 
  • Minara Chowdhury, Senior Director Global Delivery, Institute for Healthcare Improvement

Accelerate site representatives:

  1. Dr Eunan O’Neill, Consultant, Public Health, Konsel Kernow, Cornwall Council, Wellbeing and Public Health
  2. Rebecca Cave, Strategy Programme Manager and Trust Innovation Lead, Royal Cornwall Hospitals
  3. Bryony Smith, Health Inequalities Project Manager, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Integrated Care Board (ICB)
  4. Hazel Buchanan, Associate Director, Clinical Strategic Programmes, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Integrated Care Board (ICB)
Tea and coffee break

Mid-morning session: Can we prevent digital exclusion?

Panel 2: Innovation to improve inequalities and mitigate against digital exclusion

Chair: Bola Akinwale, Deputy Director, Policy and Sector Insights, National Healthcare Inequalities Improvement Programme, NHS England


  • Dr Adrian Hayter, National Clinical Director, Older People and Integrated Person Centred Care
  • Deborah O'Callaghan, Associate Director, National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
  • Mr Konrad Dobschuetz, National Director, NHS Innovation Accelerator, Chief Enterprise Officer, UCLPartners
  • Dr Stuart Monk, National Programme Director, Health Innovation Network

Afternoon session: How to get the best out of digital innovation?

Digital inclusion: From research to action

Dr Emma Koivunen, Research Manager, Citizens Online and Ms Ellen Martin, Research and Evaluation Officer, Citizens Online

Panel 3: Healthcare inequalities improvement through innovation and entrepreneurship

Chair: Professor Tony Young, National Clinical Director and Lead for Innovation, NHS England, and Founder, NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme


  • Dr Rachael Grimaldi, Co-Founder and CEO, CardMedic
  • Mr Ghalib Khan, Founder, Written Medicine
  • Mr Malone Mukwende, Founder, Black and Brown Skin, and Co-Author, Mind the Gap
  • Gemma Poole, Founder, The Essential Baby Company
  • Dr Tamsin Holland Brown, Founder, Hear Glue Ear
  • Talent Nyandoro, Director, Leta-Lux 
Travel to breakout sessions
Expert focus breakout sessions
Room 1: Healthcare inequalities entrepreneurs
  • Dr Rachael Grimaldi, Card Medic
  • Dr Tamsin Holland Brown, HearGlueEar
  • Dr Malone Mukwende, Mind the Gap
Room 2: Healthcare inequalities entrepreneurs
  • Talent Nyandoro, Leta-Lux Lingerie
  • Gemma Poole, The Essential Baby Company
  • Ghalib Khan, Written Medicine
Room 3: Innovation for Healthcare Inequalities Programme (InHIP)
  • Cath Barrow, Senior Programme Development Lead, Delivery and Development Team, Health Innovation Manchester
  • Victoria Spellacy, Medicines Delivery Lead, Medicines Innovation, Innovation, Research, Life Sciences and Strategy (IRLSS), NHS England
  • Marie-Joelle West, Programme Manager, Health Innovation South West
Comfort break

Travel back to the auditorium

Closing session: Creating a positive future

Motivational speaker

Professor Kevin Fong OBE, Consultant Anaesthetist, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Professor, Public Engagement and Innovation, Department of Science, Technology, Education and Public Policy (STEaPP), University College London

Closing remarks

Professor Nik Patel and Professor Bola Owalabi

  • Announcing winner of poster presentation
Drinks reception

Showcasing sketchnotes artwork

Close of event


Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole St, Marylebone, London, W1G 0AE, United Kingdom

Registration for this event will close on 15 January 2024 at 1:00am. Late registrations will not be accepted. 

The agenda is subject to change at any time.  

All views expressed at this event are of the speakers themselves and not of the Royal Society of Medicine, nor the speaker's organisations. 

We are only able to share presentations that we have received permission to share. This is at the presenter and the RSM’s discretion. 

This event will be recorded and stored by the Royal Society of Medicine and may be distributed in future on various internet channels. 

Our partners

This conference is hosted in partnership with NHS England.

If you are interested in becoming a partner for this conference or other activities which are part of our ‘Tackling Inequalities’ initiative, please contact events@rsm.ac.uk