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Unlocking the Midlands’ Productivity: Aligning Mental Health, Skills and Innovation

Friday 27th April 2018 @ 9:30 am - 4:00 pm


Poor mental health and well-being is increasingly understood as a critical barrier to productivity, with business and civic leaders vocal on the cost to the local economy. While tacking issues such as this through closer health and care integration is a priority for many, the financial challenges facing the mental health community – often seen as highly innovative in how it works within and across its local populations – have never been greater. This presents both challenges and opportunities.

Building on the pioneering work of the West Midlands Mental Health Commission and the long-established and related innovation sector strengths that exist across the Midlands, the Midlands Engine is working to align regional public, private and third sector organisations with its leading research base to drive new innovations that make people both better and better off.

This event will bring together key communities from across the region to better understand how we can collectively engage in this important agenda and help realise the Engine’s ambitions to better align mental health with innovation.


The Midlands Engine strategy states that:

“The government will establish a Midlands Skills Challenge, with the objective of closing the skills gap between the Midlands and the rest of the country. The government’s first steps to support the region to meet this challenge include:

Providing £7 million to pilot innovative approaches to supporting employers to help employees with mental health issues, following the findings of the recent West Midlands Mental Health Commission. The pilots will build on the findings of the review currently being led by Paul Farmer and Lord Stevenson.”

“Thriving at Work: a review of mental health and employers” was commissioned by Prime Minister Theresa May. It was written by Lord Dennis Stevenson (mental health campaigner and former HBOS chief) and Paul Farmer (chief executive of the mental health charity Mind), and was jointly published by the Department of Health and the Department for Work and Pensions. It includes research on costs to employers and the state.

The report stated that:

“Around 15% of people in work have symptoms of a mental health condition. Around 6% of people with a long-term mental health condition lose their job each quarter – amounting to 300,000 people each year – compared with 4% of those with a physical health condition.”

The costs to employers are estimated at:

– £8 billion for absenteeism

– £17-26 billion for lost productivity from presenteeism

– £8 billion for staff turnover

The loss to the economy was estimated to be up to £99 billion a year, including lost productivity output, the cost of providing benefits and healthcare costs.”

Importantly, the Midlands Engine’s core objective is to raise the region’s productivity to that of the national average.

Who should attend?:

Mental Health providers from across Midlands (both NHS and third sector); LEPs; Universities; Medical Innovation Businesses; Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs); Communities and Local Growth team for Midlands; Employers


Midlands Innovation

NHS Confederation

Mental Health Network

Conference programme:

9.30 Registration and refreshments

10.00 Introduction to the Day – Sir John Peace, Chair, Midlands Engine

10.15 Keynote speech – Paul Farmer, CEO, Mind

10.45 The aims and objectives of the Midlands Engine – Anthony May, Chief Executive, Nottinghamshire County Council and Chair, Midlands Engine Operations Board

11.05 The innovation strengths of the Midlands region – Professor Iain Gillespie, PVC Research and Enterprise, University of Leicester

11.25 Why mental health matters to the region and early learning from the MHC’s work – Superintendant Sean Russell, West Midlands Combined Authority Mental Health Commission Implementation Director and Professor Guy Daly, Pro-Vice Chancellor (health and life sciences), University of Coventry.

11.45 Coffee

12.00 Delivering the Industrial Strategy – Liz Shutt, Director of Policy, Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partners

12.20 Panel session on need for alignment and mutual benefit for place – all above speakers

13.00 Lunch

13.45 The challenges facing mental health providers and what the future of the sector looks like – Sean Duggan, CEO, Mental Health Network

14.15 What can we do? Interactive workshops covering related local issues/plans, running in parallel

15.00 What can we do? Parallel workshops repeated as above

15.50 Commitments for future working and close. Building on the learning from the day and mapping out what future regional collaboration might look like – Dean Fathers, Chair, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

16.00 Close

To find out more about this event or register your free place, please click here.


Friday 27th April 2018
9:30 am - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Holywell Park Conference Centre
Loughborough University
Science & Enterprise Park, Loughborough LE11 3GR
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