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Women's Health Innovation Conference 2024

Thursday 11 July, 8:45am - 4:30pm, Hilton Newcastle Gateshead

Note: subject to change

08.45 Registration and Femtech Zone

09.30 Welcome

09.40 Welcome Keynote
Samantha Allen, chief executive, North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB)

09.55 Keynote 
Dame Lesley Regan, women's health ambassador for England including Q & A

10.35 Women's Health Intelligence Update
Dr Rosie Baker, senior registrar in Public Health Medicine, Office for Health Improvement and Disparities

10.45 Break

11.15 North East and North Cumbria women's health priority work areas
Siobhan Brown, women's health lead, North East and North Cumbria ICB

11:35 Women's health hubs

11.50 Discussion activity

12.30 Lunch and networking

13.30 Afternoon session opener

13.45 National clinical overview of women's health
Dr Sue Mann, national clinical director in women's health

14.00 Women's health research
Professor Judith Rankin and Dr Malcolm Moffat, Newcastle University

14.15 Role of innovation for improved Women’s Health outcomes and economic growth, without widening inequalities
Dr Nicola Hutchinson, chief executive, Health Innovation NENC

14.30 Women's health innovation in practice

14.50 Launch of FemTech Accelerator
Dr Nicola Hutchinson

15.00 Break

15.20 What's important in health and care for our young women

15.35 The BIG conversation in women's health
Claire Riley, chief corporate services officer, North East and North Cumbria ICB

15.45 Panel discussion and Q & A

16.15 Next steps and close
Samantha Allen, chief executive, North East and North Cumbria ICB

Dame Lesley Regan, Women’s Health Ambassador for England

Dame Lesley is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Imperial College London and Honorary Consultant at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust at St Mary’s Hospital. Dame Lesley was the president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists from 2016-2019, the second woman to have ever held this role. 

Dame Lesley is the co-founder of Baby Bio Bank, a tissue archive supporting research and innovation in pregnancy complications using ‘whole family’ analysis.

In 2020, Dame Lesley was appointed chair of Wellbeing of Women, a charity dedicated to funding research, education and advocacy across all of women's reproductive and gynaecological health: she was appointed as the first ever Women's Health Ambassador for England by HM Government in 2022.

Dr Sue Mann, national clinical director in women's health

Dr Sue Mann is the National Clinical Director in women's health. Jointly trained in Public Health and women's Health, she is also Consultant and Lead for Women's Health in City and Hackney North East London. She is committed to the delivery of population and system level change for the delivery of better access, improved outcomes and reduced inequalities in women's health.

Samantha Allen, chief executive, North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board

Sam is an experienced NHS Chief Executive and joined the North East and North Cumbria to set up the ICB in January 2022. Sam is also Chair of the NHS Maternity and Neonatal Board.  In addition to her NHS career, which spans nearly 30 years, Sam is also the Chair of the Health and Care Women Leaders Network for the NHS Confederation, a member of The Kings Fund General Advisory Council and a Trustee of the Chartered Management Institute.

Dr Rosie Baker, senior registrar in public health medicine, Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (NE)

Dr Rosie is a senior registrar in public health medicine in the North East with an interest in reducing health inequalities in healthcare,  working toward equitable access, experience and outcomes for all. Rosie is currently based with the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (NE), supporting the ICB with the implementation of the Women's Health Strategy for England. Rosie's first career was as a general practitioner, providing frontline healthcare services to women in the region.

Dr Nicola Hutchinson, chief executive officer of Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria (HI NENC)

Dr Nicola Hutchinson is Chief Executive Officer of Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria (HI NENC), and is part of the original team that successfully secured funding and accreditation for the organisation (formerly the Academic Health Science Network North East and North Cumbria).

Since her PhD in Chemistry at Durham University, Nicola has worked in a variety of roles supporting innovation across our regional NHS and beyond, as well as supporting industry to access the NHS and co-create new products and services that can improve patient care and stimulate economic growth.

Nicola ensures the smooth running of HI NENC’s regional and national programmes, and is passionate in championing the spread and adoption of innovations across the healthcare system.
Nicola acts as an advisor for innovation to the NHS North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board, as well as the board of Newcastle Health Innovation Partners (NHIP), key partnerships for HI NENC within the region.

Nicola is also on the Board of Trustees for the Percy Hedley Foundation, a disability charity that supports people with complex learning difficulties and additional communication needs. She is committed to this role in memory of her brother Steven, who is the inspiration for everything that she does.

Professor Judith Rankin, professor of maternal and child health at Newcastle University

Judith Rankin is Professor of Maternal and Child Health at Newcastle University. Her research specialisms cover health of vulnerable maternal populations, risk factors in pregnancy, outcomes for children with complex needs (including congenital anomaly and rare diseases) and reproductive loss. Professor Rankin leads the Supporting Children and Families theme of the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) North East and North Cumbria (NENC).

Alongside this, she is Dean of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) at Newcastle University, and chair of the NIHR ARC North East and North Cumbria EDI group.

Dr Malcolm Moffat, honorary consultant in public health at Newcastle University

Dr Malcolm Moffat is an Honorary Consultant in Public Health at Newcastle University, and a NIHR Doctoral Fellow. He has previously worked in obstetrics and gynaecology in hospitals around our region. Dr Moffat is the lead researcher on the PoCo (Post Natal Contraception) study, funded by the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) North East and North Cumbria (NENC). The study gathered the experiences of more than 2,500 women in our region, to understand how they accessed contraception following birth.

Claire Riley, chief corporate services officer, North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board

Before taking up her new role at the Integrated Care Board, Claire was the executive director of communications and corporate affairs at Northumbria Healthcare where she has led a multi award-winning team for 12 years. Prior to this she was director of communications for the North East Strategic Health Authority where she joined in 2007 with over 20 years private sector experience gained within the region. Claire is the executive lead for women's health, executive lead for research and innovation and she is also the chair of Seven Stories.

Siobhan Brown, Director of Transformation System Wide, North East & North Cumbria Integrated Care Board

Siobhan has spent 30 years working as a manager in a wide variety of roles in health and care settings including the NHS, the Red Cross in South Africa and also the National Health Board in New Zealand. Having travelled full circle back to her home in the North East and North Cumbria, Siobhan is passionate about reducing inequalities and outcomes and from learning from the voices of women with lived experience about what matters most to them.

We have three panel discussions on the agenda. Meet our panellists.

Women's health hubs

  • Dr Fadi Khalil, GP and clinical lead
  • Suzanne Watson, head of primary care, South Tyneside and Sunderland, NENC ICB
  • Dr Ruth Thompson, Sunderland women's health hub clinical lead and GP with special interest in menopause

Innovation in women's health

Taking action for the 51%

  • Dame Lesley Regan, Woman's health ambassador England
  • Samantha Allen, ICB Chief executive
  • Saira Malik, GP and primary medical services, ICB Board partner member
  • Claire Riley, ICB Chief corporate services officer

DAC Beachcroft

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Leading lawyers for health and social care, charities and social enterprise.


Serving local, national and international clients from Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle.

This will be updated shortly.

Despite progress, women still face persistent barriers to accessing health and social care services, such as cost, gender biases, discrimination, stigma about women's health issues and a lack of funding. By addressing the gender bias and disparities that exist in healthcare, ‘FemTech’, or ‘Female Technologies’, can improve inclusivity by increasing awareness, accessibility and affordability of health and social care services for women, including those from marginalised communities.

FemTech innovations provide a range of solutions that address women's health conditions and needs, including fertility, mental health, gynaecological and sexual health, pregnancy, menstruation, menopause, contraception, and other general conditions. These innovations can empower women and girls to take control of their health by providing access to personalised health information, enable the tracking and identification of potential health issues, support the management of conditions and ensure women can make informed decisions about their health and care.  

In our FemTech Innovation Zone, you will find a range of products and services, including applications, medical devices, diagnostic tools etc, that deliver better health outcomes and improved quality of life for women and girls.

We are pleased to be partnering with Newcastle Food Bank and SmartWorks this year to help support women and girls.

Delegates are encouraged to support the local charities by donating what they can on the day. Please read the below for details and products that are required.

We would appreciate your support on the day by making a donation to Newcastle Food Bank. They are in desperate need of the following:

hygiene and period products

general toiletries

toilet rolls

Smart Works Newcastle supports all women into work through the power of high quality clothing and one-to-one coaching. They will be attending the event as well as having a donation point for you to donate and ensure that great quality clothing is put to the best possible use. To find out more about Smart Works please visit their website.

Smart Works are currently accepting:
Smart trousers
Plus size clothing
Flat shoes
Smart bags

To find out how to get to the conference at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead please visit their website.

Please be aware there is no free onsite parking at the hotel – please use public transport or car share if needed.

Want to learn more about pioneering women in health care in the North East and North Cumbria? Click below to find out more.

If you have any questions please email nencicb-nor.comms@nhs.net 

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