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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 118

Date:- 27 September 2003

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Double celebrations for Trust
Report with thanks to Nicky Williams from Healthstart.

IT IS a double celebration for Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust as it will become the first to twin with it's European partner the Lindesberg Lassarett Hospital in Sweden and will also open it's second Learning Resource Centre in Southport.

The Trust believes that it is the first in England to actually be twinned with a European hospital and is also the only Trust in the UK to have two state-of-the-art learning centres.

The NHSU (the new university for health and social care) helped to create the first trans-national partnership, which will be centred on ‘Lifelong Learning’ in the UK. The twinning agreement was brokered by Dr Paul Haunch, of the NHSU, as part of a research initiative with APEL, a Swedish academic research institute.

This latest pioneering project is groundbreaking news within the NHS and will allow new opportunities for further training and education for staff at the Trust and their counterparts in Sweden.

Keith Waterhouse, the Trust’s Learning Resources Centre Manager, said:- “The twinning agreement will enable staff from both countries to work in each other's hospitals and to learn from the best practices across a wide spectrum of disciplines. The interchange of staff will be centred on extending the Lifelong Learning opportunities for all grades of staff and to demonstrate that by working on a skills escalator principle, that is continuous learning, to add and widen knowledge to exchange practice that the NHS will continue to provide first rate services to all who need them.”

To celebrate the twinning, health professionals and academics from Sweden, who are involved in health and social care, will fly over to England and will attend a special opening ceremony at Southport & Formby District General Hospital on Monday, October 6th.

It will be a double celebration for the Trust because the ceremony will also mark the opening of a new Learning Resource Centre at Southport, following on in the successful footsteps on Ormskirk Learning Resource Centre, which opened in October 2002.

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Andrew Johnson, chairman of Southport & Ormskirk NHS Hospital Trust, will jointly perform the ceremony with Janne Johansson, Learning Centre Manager for Lindesberg Hospital and Per-olof Larsson, Director of Personnel.

Mr Johnson said:- “We are delighted that our growing and enhanced relationships with NHSU has allowed us this unique opportunity to work with health colleagues in other countries to extend the development of our own dedicated staff. We believe this is a world first and we intend to demonstrate that by partnership working we can bring out the best in our staff and those of our 'twin' in Sweden, the NHSU has made this possible, without them it would not have happened.”

Dr Paul Haunch, Programme Director with NHSU, added:- “It is essential that good practice, particularly in the field of learning, be shared between communities. Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust and Lindesberg Hospital have people who recognise that knowledge shared is knowledge doubled. This is good for the NHS and good for health care in Sweden. “ 

The Trust’s new friends from Sweden are also looking forward to the new partnership. In a joint statement Marianne Troselius-Bryngelsson, Lindesberg Hospital’s Chief Executive, Janne Johansson, Learning Centre Manager and Marie-Louise Forsberg Fransson, County Council Commissioner, said:- “We are very much excited about the twinning agreement between our hospital and Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust in England. The benefits we can see from this trans-national work is that we can provide for competence development for groups of staff that normally are not provided with many opportunities to develop in their careers. To learn from and with others creates new opportunities to think afresh and hopefully stimulates to further learning. New opportunities for further education and training provided for all employees at the hospital-learning centre create new opportunities for career development at the hospital. We hope that in the long run this will attract the younger generation to stay in the region and to seek employment at the hospital. We expect the trans-national work to start early next year and hope it will develop into something really good.”

Aside from the twinning celebrations, it also means that the Trust will now have a second learning centre, and is now the only NHS Trust in the UK with two state-of-the-art learning centres.

Southport’s learning centre will offer Trust staff new learning opportunities and the chance to gain qualifications. Staff will be able to take advantage of the latest computer-based technology, ‘on-line training’ and learning courses to improve their knowledge and understanding of patient care, treatment and their own personal development.

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