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Health and care leaders in Northumberland sign historic MOU to share expertise in India

Friday, 07 October, 2016
Health and care leaders in Northumberland sign historic MOU to share expertise in India

Health and care leaders in Northumberland have signed a historic memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a leading healthcare provider in India, as part of an ambitious £1 billion programme to transform Indian health and care services. 

The partnership is between Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust /  Northumberland County Council (Northumbria) and Indo UK Healthcare Private Ltd (IUHP) in support of the Indo UK Institute of Health Programme (“the IUIH Programme”). The IUIH Programme is one of the world’s largest and most exciting healthcare initiatives currently underway, which will deliver a transformation in the provision of quality healthcare and medical education services across India. 

The IUIH Programme will deliver a staged rollout linked to the Indian Government’s Smart City programme across 100 cities and will involve the setting up of 11 Indo UK Institute of Health Medicities along with 89 Indo UK Clinics across the 100 smart cities. The agreement between Northumbria and IUHP will see the sharing of NHS expertise as India aspires to achieve the high standards of integrated care which exist in Northumberland.

Expected to become a significant revenue stream for local health and care services in Northumberland, the project aims to help accelerate the development of integrated healthcare outside of hospital in India in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of delivering affordable healthcare for all.

Recognised both nationally and internationally as innovative and forward thinking, it is thanks to a long standing and unique collaboration between Northumberland County Council and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust that the area now delivers some best and most fully integrated care anywhere in the NHS, if not the world.  This model of care delivery uniquely integrates acute hospitals (including emergency services), with community services and care delivered at home to create a seamless experience for patients, which has been rated as Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission.

Dr Ajay Rajan Gupta, Managing Director and Group Chief Executive of IUHP said: “This is an important milestone in our vision to transform the health of millions of Indian citizens.  Northumbria provides outstanding high-quality integrated health and social care for its residents and that is exactly the experience we need to take forward our own plans.  We want to take the very best that the NHS has to offer across to India and there is no doubt Northumbria is the best at what it does.”

Councillor Susan Dungworth, Northumberland County Council Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Public Health, said:  “We are delighted to work with IUHP and to be able to share what we have learned from the strong partnership we have developed between the NHS and social care, over many years, here in Northumberland. 

“India has one of the largest populations in the world so the pressures on its healthcare system are enormous.  Whilst our primary goal is to share how we have developed such a pioneering approach to delivering integrated care in Northumberland, I have no doubt that we will also learn a great deal which will benefit the NHS.”

Grant Davey, leader of Northumberland County Council said: “We look forward to working with the IUIH Programme team in support of delivering their vision for a primary care system in India which is designed to care for more people outside of hospital in a fully integrated way.  This partnership will provide a very solid foundation for future international work with India and other parts of the world who can learn from what we have done so well in Northumberland.”

Deborah Kobewka, Managing Director of Healthcare UK welcomed the signing of the MOU.  She said: “The NHS and social care system in Northumberland delivers superb care to hundreds of thousands of people across one of the largest and most rural areas in England and this makes it a unique fit for this venture with India.

“Northumbria has an outstanding record of excellence in fully integrated health and social care across the acute hospital, community, primary and social care settings.  Better yet, they have the confidence, willingness and ability to share their experience, know-how and expertise with India and, in doing so, will be able to reinvest in their frontline services across Northumberland”. 

Northumbria Healthcare and Northumberland County Council will be working alongside a small number of other NHS Foundation Trusts who began working with IUHP in 2015 to support the delivery of hospital services in the first of the 11 states in India.  These IUIH hospitals will be supported by the new model of community care clinics across India as part of the IUIH programme. Northumbria’s integrated care experience, tools, education and know-how will ensure the quality of care delivered by the IUIH programme is to the same as that in Northumberland. 

In India, public spending on healthcare has been traditionally low and an estimated 70 per cent of its population still lives in rural areas with little or no access to hospitals or clinics.  In recent years, however, the demand for quality healthcare is growing and with it, the opportunities for the NHS and investment in Indian healthcare is now booming.

Deborah Kobewka of Healthcare UK added:  “The NHS has a world class reputation for its standards of care, efficiency and on-going approach to innovation and learning.  Countries wanting to develop their own health services are keen to work with the NHS because they know the quality of advice and systems on offer, and the value for money the NHS represents. This is a moment of opportunity and we are determined it doesn’t pass the NHS by, not least because the gains from overseas partnerships can be reinvested in improving frontline services right here in the UK.”

The partnership between Northumbria and IUHP has been made possible thanks to Healthcare UK, a joint initiative between the Department of Health, NHS England and the Department for International Trade.  It promotes the UK’s healthcare sector overseas, linking foreign governments and healthcare providers with the expertise of both the NHS and healthcare companies.

At the forefront of innovation in the NHS, Northumbria is one of the public sector partners now working with Healthcare UK to build links between the NHS and international healthcare opportunities.

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