A new partnership has been formed to improve health and social care in Northumberland and Ireland.
Health and care leaders have formed the partnership to allow them to share expertise and experience on providing high quality integrated health and social care.
The contract is the first stage of a long-term collaboration between Vanguard Health Services International (VHSI) in Ireland and the UK-based NHS Northumbria International Alliance, a partnership between Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Northumberland County Council.
VHSI is building a network of purpose-built healthcare campuses in Dublin, plus affiliated facilities across the country, all supported by telemedicine.
Jim Mackey, chief executive at Northumbria Healthcare, said: “We are thrilled to be working with VHSI to help it deliver integrated care across Ireland.
“We have been delivering integrated health and social care for more than 17 years and have learned some important lessons.
“Thanks to the unique partnership we have with Northumberland County Council we have been able to achieve a remarkable transformation across the county.
“It is this experience – both the good and the lessons learned – that we look forward to sharing with VHSI.
“We very much look forward to a long and successful collaboration. Firstly, to help it deliver a world-class integrated care service, but also to learn from it.”
Peter Jackson, leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “Northumbria is delivering outstanding health and social care in Northumberland and it is with great honour that we can support VHSI to deliver a transformation of care in Ireland.
“This project fits with the council’s responsibility to support inward investment and exportfor our own local authority, but also across the North of Tyne now due to the devolution.
“Integrated care is becoming more important here in the UK, and indeed internationally, and we have been delivering outstanding integrated care for more than 17 years.
“We very much look forward to being part of this journey, sharing learnings and reinvesting profits generated from our collaboration with VHSI back here for the people of Northumberland.”
Audrey McDonnell, founder and chief executive of VHSI said: “Ireland faces significant challenges in delivering modern integrated care. VHSI is establishing integrated care services, working closely with public health services, to help address some of these.
“VHSI has looked globally for best practices and evidence to design and deliver our vision to transform care by improving access, quality and affordability.
“The NHS is the best in the world at delivering this, and we are pleased to be working with NHS Northumbria International Alliance to develop NHS standard integrated health and social care within the local context of Ireland.
“Northumbria is the best in the NHS at delivering integrated care and it is only right that we work with it to transform services in Ireland.”