One of the country’s top health policy experts will discuss what lessons can be learned from the NHS reforms with academics and professionals at a healthcare conference at St George’s, University of London this week.

Nick Timmins, senior fellow in health policy at The King’s Fund and former public policy editor of The Financial Times, will be keynote speaker at the annual conference of the South West London Academic Health and Social Care System (SW London System). The conference will take place at St George’s – where the SW London System is based – on Thursday 20 September.

Nick, author of the book ‘Never Again? The story of the Health and Social Care Act 2012’ will discuss how the act became law, what it aims to achieve, and its implications for the future of the NHS.

The SW London System is a member organisation that brings together health and social care services with universities to improve the health and wellbeing of people in south west London. It funds collaborative research and education projects designed to meet the service needs of local people, and helps turn research into practice.

The third annual conference, called ‘A Wealth of Innovation: Improving health and social care through collaboration’, will celebrate the SW London System’s successes and look ahead to future challenges.

Also appearing as keynote speaker will be Andy McKeon, managing director at the Audit Commission. He will talk about how better integration of health and social care may improve patient outcomes and help make efficiency savings.

Andrew Plumtree, project officer at the SW London System, said: “The system has played a central role in bringing together all partners in south west London in order to improve health and social care services for the local population. Our annual conference provides a further opportunity to support the dissemination of good practice and evidence-based innovation as well as hear from our fantastic keynote speakers, Nick and Andy, at a time of substantial change for health and social care.

“The work of the system could not be more relevant, with the proposed establishment of Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs). The system has many examples of successful collaborative working and innovative projects, and these will inform plans for a South London AHSN.”

The day will also feature other speakers, workshops and an exhibition about projects that have received funding from the SW London System.

For more information about the SW London System, and to find full details of the free conference, go to