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Tackling Inequalities

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The conference

COVID-19 has shone a harsh light on health inequalities that persist in our society. With that, addressing healthcare inequalities has moved firmly up the priority list of leaders in the NHS, the wider healthcare sector, the community and in business.

In March 2022, the Royal Society of Medicine launched a multi-year ‘Tackling Inequalities' programme. The inaugural Tackling Inequalities conference, in partnership with NHS England and NHS Improvement, will focus on Core20PLUS5, an approach designed to support Integrated Care Systems to drive targeted action in healthcare inequalities improvement.

This will be a full-day conference taking place at the Royal Society of Medicine in Central London, with a networking event in the evening.

The conference will include key speakers and panel sessions in the morning. The panels will focus on the importance of the key clinical areas outlined in the Core20PLUS5 approach and the role of national organisations in reducing healthcare inequalities. In the afternoon there will be expert sessions, focusing on the five clinical areas of health inequalities and a session on prevention. These will be delivered by senior leads from NHS England and specialist leads from the Royal Society of Medicine.

Keynote speakers

Dr Bola Owolabi - DarkerGrey

Dr Bola Owolabi

Director - Health Inequalities at NHS England and NHS Improvement

Dr Owolabi has particular interests in reducing health inequalities through Integrated Care Models, Service Transformation and using data and insights for Quality Improvement. She has held various leadership roles at local, system and national levels. Until recently, Dr Owolabi was National Specialty Advisor for Older People and Integrated Person Centred Care at NHS England and Improvement where she led the Anticipatory Care Workstream of the National Ageing Well Programme. She has worked with teams across NHS England and Improvement and the Department of Health and Social Care, as part of the COVID-19 pandemic response. 


Sir Micheal Marmott - DarkerGrey

Professor Sir Michael Marmot

Professor of Epidemiology at University College London, Director of the UCL Institute of Health Equity

Professor Marmot is the author of The Health Gap: the challenge of an unequal world and Status Syndrome: how your place on the social gradient directly affects your health. He is also the Advisor to the WHO Director-General, on social determinants of health, in the new WHO Division of Healthier Populations; Distinguished Visiting Professor at Chinese University of Hong Kong and co-Director of the of the CUHK Institute of Health Equity. 


8.30am - 9.15am
Welcome reception with coffee and tea 

9.15am - 9.30am
Introduction from the RSM by Professor Nik Patel, Senior Consultant Cardiologist, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust and RSM Council Trustee

9.30am - 9.50am 
Keynote speaker Dr Bola Owolabi, Director, National Healthcare Inequalities Improvement Team, NHS England and Improvement

9.50am - 10.10am
Keynote speaker Professor Michael Marmot, Professor of Epidemiology at University College London, Director of the UCL Institute of Health Equity

10.10am - 10.30am
Q&A with keynote speakers

10.30am - 10.50am

10.50am - 11.10am
Case study: speaker to be confirmed 

11.15am - 12.15pm
Panel discussion: The importance of the 5 key clinical areas chaired by Dr Bola Owolabi, Director, National Healthcare Inequalities Improvement Team, NHS England and Improvement

Speakers include:
Professor Peter Johnson, National Clinical Director for Cancer at NHS England and NHS Improvement, Southampton Cancer Research UK Centre

Dr Shahed Ahmad, National Clinical Director for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, NHS England and NHS Improvement

Professor Sanjay Agrawal, National Speciality Adviser for Tobacco Dependency, NHS England and NHS Improvement 

Additional speakers to be confirmed

12.15pm - 1.15pm
Panel discussion: Role of national organisations in reducing health inequalities, chaired by Dr Claire Bayntun, Clinical consultant global public health London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Dr Rosie Benneyworth, Chief Inspector of Primary Medical Services and Integrated Care, Care Quality Commission 

Additional speakers to be confirmed

1.15pm - 2.15pm

2.15pm - 3.00pm
Expert Focus Sessions:
Early Cancer Diagnosis
Hypertension Case Finding

Speakers include:
Professor Chris Nutting, President of Oncology Section, Consultant in Clinical Oncology Royal Marsden Hospital

Professor Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director and Director for Health Protection, Public Health England

Dr Shahed Ahmad, National Clinical Director for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at NHS England and NHS Improvement

Matthew Fagg, Director of Prevention Team, NHS England and NHS Improvement

3.00pm - 3.25pm

3.25pm - 4.10pm
Expert Focus Sessions: 
Severe Mental Illness
Chronic Respiratory Disease

Speakers include: 

Professor Henrietta Bowden-Jones OBE, Consultant psychiatrist, President of Royal Society of Medicine Psychiatry Section

4.15pm - 4.45pm
Leadership and Healthcare Inequalities
Speaker to be confirmed

4.45pm - 5.00pm
Closing remarks by RSM President Professor Roger Kirby

5.00pm - 7.00pm
Networking drinks

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Key information

Date: 23 June 2022

Time: 8.30am - 7.00pm. This includes a networking event at 5pm.

Location: 1 Wimpole Street, London

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Our partners

This conference is hosted in partnership with NHS England and NHS Improvement.

If you are interested in becoming a partner for this conference or other activities which are part of our ‘Tackling Inequalities’ initiative, please contact Polly Shute ( for more details. 

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