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Building the best place to work

A joint Acas and NHS Employers conferenceNHS Employers

19 November 2019, 10:00 - 15:45, Horizon, Leeds

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Or call our events team on 0300 123 1150

Engage: #BestNHS @acasorguk  @nhsemployers

For the first time ever, workplace experts Acas are partnering with NHS Employers to present a unique, interactive conference that will explore some of the most pressing issues currently facing the health and social care sector.

This conference will provide you with the knowledge and insight to enable you to improve working life for your people, helping you retain your best employees and demonstrate to prospective staff that the health and social care sector is a great place to work.

The agenda:
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  • Keynote: Building the best place to work
  • Mental health and wellbeing: Everybody is responsible
  • Building a good working environment for all: Improving the experience for employees who identify as being from an ethnic minority background
  • Masterclasses:
    • Increasing staff resilience
    • Having difficult conversations
    • Speaking up and the use and misuse of NDAs
  • Bullying and harassment: How to change the mindset

View the full conference programme

You will:

  • Hear case studies and solutions from NHS leaders
  • Benefit from Acas expertise on best practice and the law and gain insights from their work across the sector and beyond
  • Attend one of three interactive masterclasses addressing key workplace challenges
  • Network with partners across the sector, share knowledge, ideas and experiences
  • Learn practical tools and techniques that you can take back to your workplace

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Conference speakers:

Susan Clews

Susan Clews, Chief Executive, Acas

Susan joined Acas in 1993 as a Senior Adviser and Conciliator and has undertaken a variety of roles including Regional Director for North West, Director of Strategy and Chief Operations Officer, before recently being appointed as Chief Executive.

Susan spent the earlier part of her career in a range of civil service jobs relating to the world of work: in job centres; benefit offices, running training and enterprise programmes and the very early days of Investors in People.

Danny Mortimer

Danny Mortimer, Chief Executive, NHS Employers

Danny first worked in the healthcare sector as a porter and a CSV care assistant before becoming a management trainee in Stoke-on-Trent. He worked in the NHS in Bath, Brighton, Hertfordshire and Nottingham before joining NHS Employers.

He became Chief Exec in November 2014, and serves as Deputy Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation, of which NHS Employers is part.

Joe Rafferty

Joe Rafferty, Chief Executive, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust

Prior to becoming Chief Executive of Mersey Care NHS Trust in 2012, Joe was Director of Commissioning Support at the NHS Commissioning Board. Before this, Joe was seconded as Director of Commissioning Development for NHS North West.

He has appeared on HSJ's Top 50 Provider CEO list 4 years consecutively and included on the HSJ's list of 100 most influential people in health for the last 3 years.

John Palmer

John Palmer, Senior Guidance Editor, Acas

John joined Acas in 2009 and worked on the Helpline and as a Conciliator before becoming Acas' Senior Guidance Editor. He is one of the country's leading policy experts on discrimination, and regularly appears as Acas spokesperson on the BBC, ITV and other broadcasters.

John has a Post Graduate Certificate in Employment Law and in Advanced Professional Practice (Employment Law Advice).

Joan Saddler

Joan Saddler OBE, Associate Director of Patients and Communities, NHS Confed

Joan is co-chair of the NHS Equality and Diversity Council. She was previously National Director of Patient and Public Affairs at the Department of Health.

Joan is a former Primary Care Trust Chair and Mental Health Trust Non Executive. She was awarded an OBE for services to Health and Diversity in 2007.

Carole sayer

Carole Sayer, Senior Advisor/ Collective Conciliator, Acas

Carole's specialism is mental health. In her previous role of Acas Policy Adviser she wrote guidance on TUPE, discipline, absence and investigations.

Carole is an Associate member of CIPD and a member of the Institute of Training and Occupational Learning.

Simon Nearney

Simon Nearney, Director of Workforce, Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Simon joined Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in September 2012 from his previous post as Director of Human Resources at Leicestershire County Council.

Simon has extensive experience of transforming services, leading major organisational change programmes and improving the customer experience.


Caroline Sandy

Caroline Sandy, Senior Advisor/ Collective Conciliator, Acas

Caroline specialises in mediation in both individual and group disputes and delivers Acas' accredited Certificate in Workplace Mediation training.

Caroline is a member of the Institute of Training and Occupational Learning and has a Post Graduate Certificate in Employment Dispute Resolution.

James Brown

James Brown, Senior Adviser, Acas

James has undertaken a variety of roles in Acas including Conciliator and Trainer and has extensive experience of dealing with employment related disputes across all sectors. His specialism is working with line managers/supervisors, providing them with the skills and knowledge needed to confidently carry out their managerial roles.

Abigail Hirshman

Abigail Hirshman, Head of Mental Health and Wellbeing, Acas

Abigail has significant experience in supporting positive workplace mental health. She is a trained counsellor and psychotherapist and has utilised this experience to develop the Acas framework for positive mental health at work.

Rich Jones

Rich Jones, Senior Adviser/Collective Conciliator, Acas

Rich specialises in equality, diversity and inclusion, complaints investigation and mediation. He is a Fellow of the CIPD and a visiting lecturer at Leeds University.

Before joining Acas in 2003, Rich was a full time equal opportunities complaints investigator for the Department for Work and Pensions and has over 30 years public sector experience.

Julie Dennis

Julie Dennis, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Acas

Julie leads on Diversity and Inclusion, HR Policy and Casework and Employee Health and Wellbeing at Acas. She is one of the country's most experienced professionals in this field and has previously led on diversity and inclusion at the Fire and Rescue Service and HM Land Registry.

Sara Gorton

Sara Gorton, Head of Health, Unison

Sara has worked for Unison since 2002. She is staff side Chair of the NHS Social Partnership Forum for England and the NHS Staff Council.

Prior to joining Unison, Sara worked for Connect Public Affairs and the Royal College of Nursing.


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Further details and registration

Location map and directions

2 Brewery Wharf Kendell Street, Leeds LS10 1JR