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10 October 2014

Making Bristol a happy and healthy city

How can Bristol become a happy and healthy city? This is the question Mayor George Ferguson, Liz Zeidler, Chair of the Bristol Green Capital Partnership, and Joint Director of Public Health at Bristol City Council Dr Sohail Bhatti, will explore at a debate as part of a new festival that examines the big issues facing health and care today. The inaugural Festival of Health at the Watershed on 10-11 October is organised by Bristol Health Partners and the Festival of Ideas, and this session at 10am on Saturday 10 October will look at what makes cities and communities happy, healthy places to live.

Opening the festival at 6pm on Friday 10 October, North Bristol Trust Chief Executive Andrea Young, Chief Inspector of Hospitals Professor Mike Richards and Dr Neil Bacon, founder of, will be among the speakers exploring how the health system works and the challenges of ensuring quality and safety.

Sir Ron Kerr, Chief Executive of Guy's and St Thomas's will be joined by BBC Points West Health Correspondent Matthew Hill and others on Saturday afternoon, discussing how Bristol's health and care system can be changed for the better. Kerr was Chief Executive at United Bristol Healthcare Trust, which has since become University Hospitals Bristol Foundation Trust.

This is the first event of its kind in Bristol, and brings together influential leaders in the city region's health and care system and prominent figures from further afield. Festival of Ideas Director Andrew Kelly, said:

"Health policy affects all of us. Bristol is committed to looking at health across all sectors, in work and in life. Creating a healthy city is a key aim of Bristol 2015 European Green Capital and we're delighted to be working with Bristol Health Partners on this new festival."

Some of the questions the festival will explore are: How does the health and care system work? Do we have a caring society? Should we focus more on prevention of illness through better living and creating healthier cities? How can Bristol become a happy and healthy city? How should we use technology in the health and care system?

Other speakers include David Relph, Director of Bristol Health Partners and Head of Strategy at University Hospitals Bristol; Emma Redfern, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Helen Morgan, Deputy Chief Nurse, and Dr Sean O'Kelly, Medical Director, all at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust; Dr Martin Jones, Clinical Chair of Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group; Jonathan Hale, Partner, GE Healthcare Finnamore and Dr Jon Bloor, Founder and Medical Director DocCom.

For the full programme and booking information, visit

The Festival of Health is part of Bristol's first Season of Health, an extensive programme of events running this autumn for the public and professionals, encompassing arts festivals, debates, conferences and a 'hack' weekend bringing clinicians, academics, programmers, patients and the public together.