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Right Arrow US know-how helping put patients first
18 April 2011 at 15:14
A hospital trust is drawing on world-class know-how to improve care for patients and help keep health services local.

Four US healthcare organisations are informing thinking at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust which became responsible for many adult health care services in north Sefton and West Lancashire earlier this month.

“US patients may have to pay for their health care but the practical ways their hospitals provide care hold valuable lessons for us,” said Sheilah Finnegan, the Trust’s Chief Operating Officer.

She was one of three Trust staff who made a study tour of the not-for-profit organisations in the US state of Colorado in late March.

“These organisations deliver care both inside and outside hospital – exactly the kind of organisation we became earlier this month,” said Sheilah.

“It is essential we draw on the very best knowledge and experience to deliver the outstanding patient care local people expect and deserve. This will also help preserve the range of local services our community benefits from now.”

The four organisations visited by the Trust specialised in inpatient care; outpatient care; day care and community care; and medical management.

“We were particularly interested in how they involve patients in the planning of their care, so there is a seamless relationship with health professionals,” said Sheilah. “This is particularly valuable for patients with long-term health conditions or chronic illness which is a big issue for our Trust.”

She expects to see lessons from the study tour being put into practice within the next few months. For example, patients who are ready for discharge from hospital should start receiving improved follow-up care within the community to reduce the risk of them returning to hospital.

Issued by Tony Ellis, marketing and communications manager
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust
Telephone 01704 704494

Notes for editors

US healthcare organisations usually charge thousands of dollars a head to overseas visitors on study tours such as these. However, through contacts the Trust has developed, these four not-for-profit organisations provided their time for free.

Additional costs were paid with funds for educational research. These are raised from professional fees/donations paid to the Trust’s charitable body and cannot be used for direct patient care.