Public Sector Future Connectivity 2024

Wednesday 6th March – Aspire, Leeds LS1 2JP

Following the success of the NHS Future Connectivity roadshows we hosted last year we are delighted to announce the next Public Sector Future Connectivity conference.

This conference is for senior public sector professionals involved in IT, technology, connectivity and networks and will examine current and future programmes, funding and procurement, emerging and future technologies, through the opening plenary session and then a series of focused, case study based sessions.

The event will feature speakers from NHS England’s future connectivity team, Crown Commercial Service, Building Digital UK and techUK, while delegates will also have the opportunity to engage with Crown Commercial Service’s networks team to learn how the new Networks Services 3 Framework can help in delivering savings to the public sector purse.

Delegates will be able to take part in Q&As, network with their public sector peers in the refreshment and lunch breaks and meet expert public and private solution providers in the busy exhibition. Delegates directly employed in the public sector can attend at no charge and a buffet lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Conference Agenda

Wednesday 6th March 2024, Aspire, Leeds LS1 2JP

0930 – 1030 Plenary Session

Conference Chair: Sophie Greaves, Head of Telecoms and Spectrum Policy, techUK

Oliver Phillips, Engagement Lead, Building Digital UK (Executive Agency of Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)

  • Project Gigabit update
    Find out about the progress Building Digital UK (BDUK) is making to connect hard-to-reach parts of the UK with gigabit-capable broadband through Project Gigabit.

Dan Parry, Head of Future Connectivity Programme, NHS England

  • Connectivity Infrastructure to Enable NHS Transformation
    Enabling NHS gigabit infrastructure to facilitate continued digital transformation

Patrick Cahill, Network Solutions Director, Crown Commercial Service

  • How CCS is helping the public sector with future connectivity challenges.

Martin McFadyen, Director, Public Sector, Virgin Media O2 Business

  • How do we keep the NHS digitally accessible to all? 
    The NHS set out to provide cradle to grave healthcare for all. With the arrival of the digital age however, everything’s changed. In theory, digital technology should give the patient more options, but sometimes it can actually become a barrier. Our task is to bring down that barrier. To work harder and keep the NHS open to everyone. But that’s easier said than done.

Q&A The plenary ends with the plenary speakers taking questions from the audience

1030 – 1100 Refreshments and networking

1100 – 1135 Check your digital transformation vital signs
Are you trying to digitally transform with the same mindset, using the same systems and with the same outcomes planned as 12 months ago? This session will explore why you should turn things on their head.

The landscape has changed dramatically, so moving forward you need to be openminded, flexible and, most importantly, keep things simple.

Mike Culshaw, Chief Technology Officer, Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust
Steve Prescott, Public Sector Specialist Manager, Virgin Media O2 Business
Jonathan Murden, Sales Engineering Manager for Enterprise & Public Sector, Zscaler

1140 – 1200 Unlock a future connected hospital with an in-building cellular network – a case study
Understand the aggregated value of a flexible and scalable in-building cellular network in a hospital environment, specifically at Midland Metropolitan University Hospital (MMUH). We will host a panel discussion covering the connectivity pathway and the benefits to help build a business case to transform your opportunities of today – and in the future.

Mark Taylor, Head of IT, Midland Metropolitan University Hospital
Tom Bennett, CTO, Freshwave
Ben Righton, Public Sector Director, Freshwave

1205 – 1225 See and secure your entire attack surface
Before a patient even reaches their appointment, they will have interacted with connected parking systems, door controls, check in desks, the environmental control of the building, the elevators – and that’s before reaching the highly connected medical devices.

While connected care is driving improved efficiency, lower costs and improved outcomes, it’s also exposing a vulnerable and growing cyber attack surface. So how do we see, protect and manage all of those growing vulnerabilities across NHS Trusts and ICBs?

Matt McCormick | UK Healthcare CISO

1225 – 1315 Lunch and networking

1315 – 1335 Delivering a Hybrid Network Architecture solution for the public sector
The delivery risk and rewards of implementing a hybrid Network infrastructure – covering WAN LAN Wi-Fi and Unified Communications and customer communications based on cases studies from NHS Trusts and blue light organisations to housing associations, higher education, and real-world experiences. Focusing on Gigabit Pathway Journey and Programme stage 5 of your local implementation partner.

Jay Johns, Client Acquisition Director, Maintel
Kevin Hendy, Head of New Business, Maintel

1340 – 1400 Helping to secure and connect public services
Where hybrid working meets multi-cloud – network transformation imperatives.

Oliver Chapman, Head of Sales for Networking & Security, Computacenter

1405 – 1425 Use of AI for public sector network security
This session will give a brief introduction to AI and machine learning, then highlight the security risks faced in public sector networks and explain how AI can help in improving public sector network security.

Wenjia Wang, Associate Professor in Artificial Intelligence, University of East Anglia

1425 – 1455 Refreshments and networking

1455 – 1515 NHS Gigabit Acceleration in 24/25
How does NHS England accelerate the NHS’ gigabit journey and what comes next?

Mike Richardson, Programme Manager, NHS England

1520 – 1540 How to save up to 80% on your mobile voice and data budget to invest in Smart City Future Connectivity projects.
Discover how you can save 80% on your organisation’s mobile phone and data bills -how aggregated procurement can deliver huge savings for your organisation.

Helen Thurston, Commercial Lead Networks, Crown Commercial Service
Stuart Florence, Commercial Manager, Crown Commercial Service
Amber Jones, Associate Commercial Practitioner, Crown Commercial Service

1540 – 1600 Beyond Fixed Line in the NHS 
Challenges and solutions for the current and future wireless networking to support NHS digital ways of working

Jon Parkes, Programme Lead Future Connectivity, NHS England

1600 – 1700 Drinks reception
Round off the day networking with your peers and expert speakers

Sponsored by Freshwave

Plenary and Panel Speakers

Wednesday 6th March, Aspire, Leeds LS1 2JP

Conference Chair: Sophie Greaves

Head of Telecoms and Spectrum Policy


Sophie James is Head of Telecoms at techUK, and represents the most innovative and impactful companies in the UK’s communications ecosystem, spearheading valuable policy work in telecoms security, adoption of advanced connectivity, and wider market development.

techUK is the trade association which brings together people, companies and organisations to realise the positive outcomes of what digital technology can achieve. We create a network for innovation and collaboration across business, government and stakeholders to provide a better future for people, society, the economy and the planet.

Sophie also oversees the Spectrum Policy Forum, the UK’s proactive industry-led sounding board on future policy and approaches on spectrum. The Forum is a cross-industry agent for promoting the role of spectrum in society and the maximisation of its economic and social value to the UK.

Martin McFadyen

Director, Public Sector

Virgin Media O2 Business

Martin McFadyen is Director, Public Sector at Virgin Media O2 Business. He supports organisations from education to healthcare with their digital strategy to enhance employee experiences and improve people’s lives. He goes above and beyond to understand their challenges and provides consultancy to ensure they are overcome and that they are ready to adapt to an ever changing future. He has more than 20 years’ experience within the telecoms sector. He lives in Hampshire with his family and is a passionate football fan.

Oliver Phillips

Engagement Lead

Building Digital UK (DSIT)

Oliver is External Engagement Lead within the Communications and Engagement team for Building Digital UK (BDUK). He is responsible for working with a range of stakeholders to ensure there is understanding and support for the Government’s ambitions for digital connectivity through Project Gigabit. Before joining BDUK Oliver held several positions at the British Council working with the UK education sector on international programmes.

Dan Parry

Head of Future Connectivity Programme

NHS England

Dan has amassed over 14 years’ experience and has a passion for delivering digital services and transformation across the public sector. Moving from local government in 2017 to the health and care sector, Dan joined NHS Digital and led on the delivery of the migration of over 14,000 circuits from legacy N3 to the Health and Social Care Network. Today, Dan is the Programme Director for the NHS’s Future Connectivity Programme, ensuring the NHS has access to gigabit capable connectivity to support and enable its continued digital transformation.

Patrick Cahill

Network Solutions Director

Crown Commercial Service

Patrick is the Deputy Director for the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) Network Services Category that incorporates networks, mobile voice and data services and Space enabled technologies.

Before joining CCS he was the Deputy Director for the Cabinet Office’s Strategic Partnering Programme with responsibility for the development and performance of five of the Government’s top forty Strategic Suppliers.

Patrick was also the Cabinet Office Commercial lead for the UK Space Sector, working with Government Departments, Strategic Suppliers, Space Clusters and Trade Organisations to develop the Sector.

He was involved in the development of the National Space Strategy in 2021 and with CCS in the construction of a Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) that gives the Public Sector better access to products and solutions enabled from outer space to improve key public services such as healthcare, the environment, transportation and infrastructure.

He joined the Cabinet Office in May 2014 after a 20-year career in senior management roles with IT companies Sun Microsystems and Dell Computers where he managed commercial operations in the UK, Europe, USA and Asia/Pacific regions and completed international assignments in the USA, Netherlands and Singapore.

Patrick holds a BEng. in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from the University of Strathclyde.

Session Speakers

Wednesday 6th March, Aspire, Leeds LS1 2JP

Oliver Chapman

Head of Sales for Networking & Security


In his role as Head of Sales for Networking & Security, Oliver is responsible for a team of opportunity based, customer facing specialists with the objective of driving and delivering inherently secure, connected outcomes for the customers.

Mike Culshaw

Chief Technology Officer

Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust

Currently CTO at Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, on a journey to a cloud and net zero trust. Mike has over 15 years’ experience in multiple technology roles and is a Geek by Design.

Matt McCormick

UK Healthcare CISOr

Matt is the Managing Director of McCormickCo Security and a UK Healthcare adviser to Armis. Matt has over 20 years of experience in the IT industry, with a focus on infrastructure, operations, and security. His core competencies include developing and implementing cybersecurity strategies, policies, and standards, conducting penetration testing and vulnerability assessments, delivering managed services and incident response, and providing virtual CISO and advisory services.

Jonathan Murden

Sales Engineering Manager for Enterprise and Public Sector


Jonathan Murden is the Solution Engineering Manager, Public Sector at Zscaler. He supports the Public sector on their journey to Zero Trust from Central government to healthcare. Having worked in the NHS (and surviving WannCry!) He is passionate about Cyber security, great end user experience and enabling them to coexist. He has more than 25 years’ experience within the IT sector from service desk to operations to architecture. Originally from Yorkshire he now lives in West Sussex with his wife and three kids.

Steve Prescott

Public Sector Specialist Sales Manager

Virgin Media O2 Business

Steve Prescott is Public Sector Specialist Manager at Virgin Media O2 Business. With a focus on building long term relationships based on trust and reliability, he supports organisations moving to the cloud to ensure they are fully secure and get optimal efficiency – with over 12 years’ experience consulting on the best foundations to enable further digital transformation. He lives in Bolton with his family and enjoys cycling in his free time.

Jon Parkes

Programme Lead, Future Connectivity

NHS England

Jon has spent most of his working life in telecoms, working across small, medium and large organisations in both the public and private sectors. He began his career in marketing, then moving to product management, before finding his niche in digital transformation programmes.

Since joining NHS Digital in mid-2020, Jon has run a project to look at connectivity challenges across social care, managed the vaccination programme connectivity with NHS England and now working as a programme manager within the Future Connectivity Programme. The fundamental aim of the programme is to define how the NHS and social care should utilise connectivity to help support digital transformation.

Mike Richardson

Programme Manager

NHS England

Dr Wenjia Wang

Associate Professor in Artificial Intellignece

University of East Anglia

Dr. Wenjia Wang is an associate professor of Artificial Intelligence (AI) at the School of Computing Sciences (CMP), the University of East Anglia (UEA). He obtained his PhD from the University of Manchester in 1997.  After working as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Exeter for over 3 years and a lecturer at the University of Bradford for 2 years, he joined the UEA in 2002.

He has been leading a research group at the UEA doing research in AI, Machine Learning and Data Science for over 20 years. As the principal investigator (PI), he has been awarded over 20 grants from UK Research and Innovate funding councils, industries, and businesses. He published about 100 peer-reviewed papers in the international conferences and journals.

The focus of his research is on developing AI ensembles for solving complex real-world problems more accurately and reliably. His research and innovation have been successfully applied to various real-world problems, including the development of an AI system for improving seabed mapping in real time, improving the security of AI/ML systems, and an on-going project for monitoring baby’s health conditions during labour and recommending appropriate intervening actions to doctors if needed at the right time.

image coming soon

More speaker details coming soon…

Speakers, Exhibitors and Supporters from

Event Timetable

Wednesday 6th March, Aspire, Leeds LS1 2JP

0830 – 0930 Registration, refreshments and networking

09301030 Plenary and Q&A

Senior professionals from BDUK (DSIT), NHS England, Crown Commercial Service

1030 – 1100 Refreshments and networking

1100 – 1225 Presentations – see agenda

1225 – 1315 Lunch and networking

1315 – 1425 Presentations – see agenda

1425 – 1455 Refreshments and networking

1455 – 1605 Presentations – see agenda

1605 – 1705  Drinks reception – kindly sponsored by Freshwave

1605 Conference closes

Please note agenda will be updated regularly, speakers, subject matter and timings may be subject to change

Venue, Travel & Hotels


2 Infirmary Street, Leeds LS1 2JP

Venue Information

Built in 1894 in an imposing and opulent styled building, rich with historic interest in the heart of Leeds City Centre, Aspire is Leeds’ premier private event space.

Today it benefits from a multi-million pound restoration with many contemporary features mixing the old with the new and is located close to the main rail station.

Venue Tel: 01132 368 368



How to Reach Aspire, Leeds

2 Infirmary Street

How to find us
Directions by car
There are a limited number of parking spaces available for visitors at Aspire. Car parking at Aspire can be pre-booked by calling our office reception on: 01132 368 368, at a rate of just £3 per hour, obtain a permit from reception to display in your car. Vans are charged at £6 per hour.

From the South
M621, M1 and M62 motorways follow the signs to Leeds city centre and the train station, go along Neville Street towards City Square, pass under the railway bridge, keep in the right hand lane go through the traffic lights pass City Square on your right, enter onto Quebec Street, turn right through the black iron gates leading into Croft Court.

From the North
Take any main A road into Leeds and then follow signs for the train station which leads you round the city centre loop road. Go along Neville Street towards City Square, pass under the railway bridge, keep in the right hand lane go through the traffic lights pass City Square on your right, enter onto Quebec Street, turn right through the black iron gates leading into Croft Court.

Directions by Foot
From Leeds City Station – 0.4 miles Aspire is located just a short walk from Leeds City Station:- Exit Leeds train Station through the left hand exit, cross the road from Wellington Street into City Square straight ahead, Walk past the Restaurant Bar and Grill and the Banyan on your left, turn left onto Infirmary Street, Aspire is approximately 100 yards on your left look for the Aspire banner flags hanging down the building with steps leading up to the glass entrance to the venue, alternatively the office reception is located in the courtyard opposite the Toronto Square building.

Directions by Air
Leeds Bradford Airport is just 8.8 miles from Aspire 20 minutes by car , an express coach service also runs regularly between the hours of 8am and 6pm to connect Leeds station and the Airport, Manchester Airport is 57.6 Miles which is a 1 hour journey by car.

Directions by Bus
Any of the following buses stop on Infirmary Street which is right outside the Aspire main entrance : 35, 45, 71,1, 95, 96, x98, 99, 444, 74, 85, 770.

Situated in the heart of the city centre and close to Leeds main rail station there are many hotels near the venue to suit a range of budgets:

Contact Us

Delegate Enquiries (Including Bookings)

Georgia Richardson – Conference Manager
– 0161 482 7853

Exhibition & Sponsorship Enquiries

Gary Pollard – Head of Events
– 0161 482 7856

Conference Logistics & Presentation & Print Enquiries

Charis Rosen – Conference Manager
– 0161 482 7855


– 0161 482 7853


Public Sector Connect Ltd
Lockside Mill
St Martins Road

(please note this is the organisers business address – NOT the venue for the event)