A partnership between health and care leaders in Northumberland and a leading group in China has taken a major step forward.
The contract for the first stage of a long-term collaboration between The Rongqiao Group in China and UK partners Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Northumberland County Council, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and architects BDP has been signed.
The deal will see millions of pounds generated and re-invested in patient care in the UK and will lead to the introduction of joined-up health and care in state-of-the-art facilities in China.
The initial stage will see the UK partners supporting The Rongqiao Group with all elements of building a world-class, multi-specialty hospital with a cancer centre of excellence in Fuzhou, the capital of the Fujian Province.
Alan Richardson, chairman of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted that the contract for the first stage of our partnership has been signed and we can move forward with our plans to support our colleagues in China.
“We look forward to working with them to progress a true NHS partnership approach to international development.”
Coun Peter Jackson, leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “In Northumberland we are at the forefront of providing health and social care in England and it is with great honour that we can support other countries as they develop their capability within the health sector.”
He added: “We are thrilled to be working collaboratively with a number of partners, which brings welcome income into the health and care services, which is then reinvested in care for patients and service users across Northumberland.”
Roger Spencer, chief executive officer at The Christie, said: “The Christie is delighted to be involved in this exciting development and is fully committed to working in partnership with Rongqiao to establish world-leading cancer services in Fuzhou.”
Jared Djuhar, director of Rongqiao Group, said: “Agreeing this partnership with Northumbria, The Christie, BDP and partners represents a major step forward for our long-term vision to support improved medical care in China, starting with a world-class facility in Fuzhou.
“Northumbria’s successful experience in integrated care in the UK brings the best of the NHS to our project. Its expertise in patient-centred care, in workforce optimisation and in lean health and care delivery is immensely valuable to our collaboration.”
The Rongqiao Group has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Northumbria for its next project, the development of a 500-bed, world-class, cancer hospital and community and elderly care services in Chongqing, south west China’s commercial capital.