Sharing ideas on Risk, Human Performance, Teams and Leaders

London 2019

Crisis Management, Leadership, Innovation and Well Being

Due to the high interest in this event - we have sold out in previous years - please book early to avoid disappointment.

The annual Risky Business London conference will return for its 12th year in 2019 and will run over three days. The aim of Risky Business is to improve outcomes and safety in healthcare and other industries.

5th June Risky Business
Learning across healthcare

The packed programme will feature short sharp focused talks from senior frontline clinicians and executives from many of the leading children’s hospitals around the world. They will share experiences of their latest patient safety, improvement and innovation initiatives in their organisations.

6th & 7th June Risky Business
Learning from other industries

The conference will focus on cross industry learning through sharing experiences and ideas between those who operate in risky environments such as business, emergency services, exploration, sport and healthcare.

Learning from paediatric centres of excellence

The paediatric day will focus on short sharp presentations from senior frontline clinicians and executives from many of the leading children’s hospitals around the world. They will share their experiences of their latest patient safety, improvement and innovation initiatives in their organisations. Topics will range from managing a hospital during a major city draught, the role of live video recordings in the operating room and ICU, knowing when to break medical SOPs, solving deadlock between healthcare professionals and their patients and predicting which aircraft and patients are going to crash using latest technologies.

Prof David Wessel and Rebecca Cady

Vice President and COO – Children’s National Hospital Washington DC

The experience of six years of continuous real time video recording at the bedside.

Professor Peter Waters

Head of Orthopaedic Surgery – Children’s Hospital of Boston

Real Event Analysis and Learning using live audiovisual analysis during surgery to assess non technical performance

Dr Evan Fieldston

Medical Director for Clinical Operations – Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Role of a daily physician operational leads in running a hospital safely and efficiently

Dr Karen Harrington

Director of Programme – CHU Sainte Justine - Montreal

Adapting to fewer and more junior trainees - changing the hierarchical pyramid

Dr Emma McCahon

Clinical Director of Operations – Sydney Children’s Hospital

Building a team to “think differently”

Dr David Cooper

Medical Director - Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre

How to be a rule breaker in a system of rule followers?

Dr Harris Baden

Chief Critical Care - Seattle Children’s Hospital R

Physician & hospital management alignment – understanding the differing perspectives to achieve a meaningful partnership

Billy ‘The Whizz’ Monger

Young racing driver who lost both his legs in a horrific F4 racing accident at Donnington Park in 2017 aged 17 years. Now back racing and hoping to become a F1 driver


Professor Peter Laussen

Chief critical care – SickKids – Toronto

Artificial Intelligence, trendy research or real value?

Mr Iain Hennessy

Consultant Paediatric and Neonatal Surgeon and Clinical Director of Alder Hey Innovation Hub - Alder Hey Children’s Hospital

Alder Hey - Building a living hospital

Dr Tex Kissoon

Chief Medical Officer – Vancouver Children’s Hospital

Social media and twitter – potential impact on our teams and how do we manage this to protect our staff

Dr Fiona Reynolds (MD BCH), Barrister, Melissa and Fred Platt (Parents of Sam), Prof David Wessels (VP & CMO CNH Washington)

Experienced Barrister, Clinicians and Patient Family talk about deadlock between families and healthcare professionals and how they see solutions to improve this through understanding each others perspectives. Also different global perspectives presented on this issue

Dr Mignon McCulloch

Director of Critical Care / Renal Services, Red Cross Children’s Hospital

Running a hospital in the middle of a major city water crisis.

Captain Joseph Palmer

Former Commander of Red Devils Free Fall Parachute Team

Plenary talk: Elite teams performing under extreme pressure

During day 2 of the conference you will you will hear from those intimately involved with the following crises around the world:

  • The Grenfell Fire
  • The Manchester Arena Bombing
  • The London Bridge terror attack
  • The Salisbury Novichok incident
  • Thai Cave footballers rescue

The well being and legal issues surrounding those involved in such serious incidents will be discussed and lead to personal reflections by the father of anaesthetist, Julien Warshafsky, who tragically took his own life. The importance of effective leadership will be highlighted by an array of outstanding speakers from the top of medicine, aviation, sport and politics.


John Volanthen

British diver who was first to reach the 12 football players and their coach trapped in the Thai cave in 2018

The story of how we found and rescued the Football team

Professor Yves D’Udekem

Cardiac surgeon and Caver

The lessons I take from caving to cardiac surgery and visa-versa


Assistant Commissioner Andy Roe

London Fire Brigade. Incident Commander Grenfell Fire

Lessons from Grenfell – when is it appropriate to break “SOPs”

Commissioner Dany Cotton

Commissioner London Fire Brigade, Woman of the year, Leader of the year.

Supporting colleagues and oneself after a major event - Grenfell

Dr Anu Mitra

Consultant Emergency Physician, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, CXH ED Unit Training Lead, CXH ED Quality Improvement. A&E consultant on call during Grenfell Fire

Looking after the team after major incidents, Grenfell Fire.

Dr Richard Smith

Consultant Trauma Resuscitation Anaesthetist, Royal Stoke University Hospital. Manchester Bombing – sole emergency responder.

Lessons for pre-hospital triage and “when to break protocol” during a major disaster.

Ms Naomi Davis

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon. Associate Medical Director, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Lead for North West Children’s Major Trauma Network, Surgeon Commander on night of Manchester Arena Attack

Lessons from the Manchester Bombing and supporting families and staff in the aftermath.

Dr Mike Christian

Senior Research Fellow / HEMS Doctor, London’s Air Ambulance, Bart’s Health Trust. First responder on London Bridge terrorist attack.

Adapting to a fluid and fast moving situation during a major disaster and the importance of social media.

Dr Claire Parkes

Lt Colonel, RAMC and HEMS Doctor London Ambulance service.

“In the line of fire” – applying lessons from combat situations to similar civilian crises

Dr Christine Blanshard

Medical Director and Deputy Chief Executive, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust.

Managing a Novichok Crisis – the longest major incident in NHS history

Professor Jo Delahunty QC

Leading barrister, “Top Ranked Silk” of the year, Professor of Law, represented families in the Hillsborough enquiry.

Learning from Public Enquiries after Major Events.


Dr Robin J Warshafsky

Lead General Practitioner for primary care streaming, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

The tragic story of Julien Warshafsky and lessons learnt.

Prof Clare Gerada

GP, Lead Practitioner Health Programme, former head Royal College of General Practice.

Why are doctors so unhappy and Supporting Doctors in crises.

Captain Steve Allright

BA training Captain

Taking the fear out of flying


Lord Adonis

Labour party politician, academic and journalist.

Brexit – What now?

Prof Tim Briggs CBE – MD RNOH

President British Orthopaedic Association, National Director Clinical Quality and Efficiency, National Lead for the getting it right first time (GIRFT) programme

Leading the national “getting it right first time” programme, successes and reflections

Steve Richards

Political editor New Statesman, Presenter Radio 4 Week in Politics and Rock and Roll Politics.

State of the Nation and its Leaders!

Nick Fry

Former CEO Aston Martin and Mercedes F1 Team

Q&A: How would we have dealt with such a situation in the motor industry?

During day 3 of the conference you will hear how systems failures are responsible for ineffective outcomes in all industries. However humans run the systems and it is that interface that is usually responsible for the failures and recoveries of the systems. We will hear stories from those who were intimately involved in such failures:

  • Costa Concordia
  • Rugby’s ‘Bloodgate’
  • Changing a hospital’s culture and willful blindness
  • We will also hear from some inspirational speakers on topics such as:
  • The latest advances in CPR using Smartphones
  • Disruptive technologies
  • Teamwork at the limits

The day concludes with a talk by Billy ‘the whizz’ Monger who as a Formula 4 racing driver aged 17 lost his legs in an accident but is now on course to drive Formula 1 racing cars.


Margaret Heffernan

Entrepreneur, CEO, writer and keynote speaker. Her motto: "Let's not play the game, let's change it."

Willful blindness: at an individual and organizational level

Captain Antonio di Lieto

Senior Instructor, Centre for Simulator Maritime Training, Carnival Corporation and Author: Costa Concordia Anatomy of an organisational accident

Costa Concordia: human factors and organisational issues

Tom Williams

Rugby player at the centre of the “Bloodgate” incident in the semi-final of the Heineken Rugby Cup

The story of Bloodgate from a player’s perspective

Mary Anne Hilliard and Rahul Shah

Chief Counsel and Vice President for Medical Affairs at Children’s National Hospital, Washington DC

How a re-invigorated safety programme can save dollars.

Prof Alex Sia KK Children’s Hospital Singapore

CEO KK Woman’s and Children’s Hospital, Singapore.

What can be achieved by a whole hospital system change in cognitive behavior and safety culture


Yvonne Coghill, CBE, OBE FRCN (Hon)

Director – NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) Implementation.

Diversity in our workforces – How do we practically make this happen?

Beto Guajardo

Senior Vice President, Global Strategy, Starbucks

Starbucks’ organization-wide response to a racial bias event in one of their stores – what was learnt.


Dr Michael Stein

Chairman and CEO of Oxstem, Co-Founder the Map of Medicine and Doctor care

Disruptive technologies and the future of regenerative stem cell therapies.

Professor Silvia Schievano and Mr Owase Jeelan

Professor of Biomedical Engineering, UCL and Consultant Neurosurgeon Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children

Ultimate team work: research innovation in virtual reality and 3D printing facilitating multiple surgical teams in 17 hour operation to separate conjoined twins.

Christopher J Connell

Chief Hospital Design Officer, Cleveland Clinic

Latest thinking & technology in hospital design to maximise patient safety & efficiency.


Robbie Lendrum

Consultant Accident and Emergency Medicine, Barts Health.

Latest innovations, developments and technology in CPR.

Professor Mark Wilson

Neurosurgeon & pre-hospital medicine expert, St Mary’s Hospital and air ambulance. Founder of the Goodsam Resuscitaiton app

Using technology to train and maximise bystander response in emergencies


Dame Inga Beale

Former CEO of Lloyd’s of London – first female in 328 year history. Beale was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to the economy.

Venue Information

The conference will be held at Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9AG

How to book

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