Belper pioneers take scheme to Lapland

Five healthcare experts from Belper’s Babington Hospital are visiting Lapland, Finland to teach medics there about new ways of working.

The group will spend five days delivering a training programme – which has previously won national recognition – to their counterparts in Lapland Hospital District.

The visit was announced as it was revealed this week that hospitals are to be encouraged by the Government to sell their services abroad, setting up clinics to pull in much-needed cash for the health service from overseas.

The staff from Babington Hospital – who belong to the Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust – will be in Lapland at the invitation of Finnish hospital bosses.

Helen Short, Business Development Manager for Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, said: “We saw this as a wonderful opportunity to share our training further afield and to promote excellence in the NHS in Derbyshire.

“We will deliver an intensive training package over five days to 20 staff from four hospitals across Lapland and we’re getting interest from other countries in similar training packages from us.”

The link between Finnish healthcare managers and Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust was first established last year during an exchange programme organised by The European Hospital and Healthcare Federation (HOPE).

During that visit, Development Director Mikko Häikiö from Lapland Hospital District was shown how the team at Babington use a “Leader Capability Programme” to improve care for patients.

The programme, which was was set up at the hospital in November 2008, involves project teams working to develop “real life, fast turnaround improvements” in ways of working.

More than 200 members of staff have been trained to lead their own projects to improve quality and patient experience, while delivering efficiency savings for the organisation.

In the past three years, the scheme has generated savings of more than £1.25 million for Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust.

One of the key successes has been slashing a 100-plus waiting list to zero for children needing follow-up appointments for speech and language therapy in Derbyshire.

Mr Häikiö was so impressed with the scheme he went back to his colleagues and recommended that experts from Babington Hospital were invited to teach hospital staff in Finland about the project.

He said: “The programme is well-organised. The tools used in the programme are familiar, but combined into a well-functioning whole.

“In addition to the relevant content, the coaching itself is carried out in a convincing manner.”

The team who will make the trip are: business development manager, Helen Short; head of service improvement, Ian Murray; business development manager, Tracy Gilbert; service improvement manager,Donna Clements and locality manager for the Amber Valley area, Gill Burrows .