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European mental health staff visit Trust as part of HOPE Exchange Programme

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has been hosting a visit by mental health workers from Sweden and Greece as part of the HOPE European Hospital and Healthcare Federation Exchange Programme 2014.

Lennart Fällberg, Development Co-ordinator at a psychiatric clinic in Gothenburg, and Argyro Fourlopoulou, a mental health nurse at Attikon, the General University Hospital in Athens, have spent the past three weeks visiting Trust services across Norfolk and Suffolk.

The HOPE Exchange Programme enables clinicians and managers to experience health services in another European country and exchange views and ideas. The theme for this year’s exchange is Quality First, exploring challenges in the changing hospital and healthcare environment.

This fact finding visit has been organised by Amy Eagle, Central Norfolk Adult Community Service Manager, who said: “This is the second time that we have hosted visitors with the HOPE Exchange. We’ve provided a busy and informative programme for Lennart and Argyro so that they get a really broad experience of how our healthcare system works.”

Lennart added: “I have been particularly interested to learn about IMROC, the Implementing Recovery through Organisational Change programme, which represents a new approach to helping people with mental health problems by focussing on the recovery process.”

At the end of their visit, Lennart and Argyro will meet with other Hope Exchange visitors to England, and present findings from their visit at a conference in Amsterdam.

The HOPE Exchange Programme provides training and experience for hospital and healthcare professionals and promotes the exchange of knowledge and expertise within the European Union. The programme aims to lead to a better understanding of the functioning of healthcare and hospital systems within the EU and neighbouring countries, by facilitating co-operation and exchange of best practices.