Weekly Events Blog: 26-27 February | IPT

Getting Around: Improving Rural and Metropolitan Transport

On Monday 26 February 2024 the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) hosted a dinner discussion for parliamentarians and industry representatives on ‘Getting Around: Improving Rural and Metropolitan Transport’. This discussion was chaired by Iain Stewart MP, Chair, Select Committee on Transport, with guest speakers Peter Stephens, Policy and External Affairs Director, Stagecoach; Martin Dean, Managing Director of UK Regional Bus at Go-Ahead Group and Professor Cecilia Wong, Director of Spatial Policy at The Manchester Urban Institute at The University of Manchester . The event discussed how best to connect rural and metropolitan areas with public transport.

Key discussion points:

  • It is challenging for busses to serve areas outside of town centres i.e. schools and hospitals as town centres often act as the centre of gravity for buses who aim to get people into towns.
  • Bus operators need to reconcile the needs of different client groups when setting timetables and consider the knock-on impacts of delays etc (schools, hospitals, GPs etc)
  • DRT transport is going to be important; footfall levels vary for a variety of reasons and DRT allows for flexible networks that can adjust to varying footfalls in different areas.
  • It is important that all public transport users feel safe, in busses this can be done by training drivers to recognise vulnerable users.
  • Hydrogen will form a big part of the future bus mix, but given the high energy used in creating it battery may be more viable in many cases.

Pioneering Innovation in Healthcare

On Tuesday 27 February 2024 the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) hosted a breakfast event for parliamentarians and industry representatives on ‘Pioneering Innovation in Healthcare’. This discussion was chaired by Carol Monaghan MP, SNP Spokesperson for Science, Innovation, Technology and Education, with guest speakers Clare Trippett, Principal Strategic Opportunities Manager at CPI and Adam Sisson, Vice President & Head of Oral Health R&D at Haleon.

Key discussion points:

  • New challenges and an ageing population are creating an increased demand on healthcare systems. Breakthroughs, innovations and advancements can be used to help improve patient outcomes, and a move to prevention and early diagnosis will help reduce pressure on the NHS.
  • Barriers to innovation include access to, clinical trials, technical and manufacturing support, and wider financial advice. SMEs need end to end support and clear pathways.
  • Innovation needs to be better integrated into the NHS and modernisation is required to overcome barriers to adoption.
  • Healthcare literacy is crucial, especially in relation to oral health. Increased self care could also help ease pressures on healthcare systems. 
  • The healthcare sector is increasingly requiring a multi-disciplinary skill set. The UK skills gap is currently being filled from abroad. Industry and education need to work together to guarantee the next generation of skills.