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Special trip sees NSFT share learning with European colleagues

​Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) has been sharing learning and best practice with healthcare colleagues from across Europe as part of a special initiative designed to promote the exchange of views and ideas.

The HOPE European Exchange Programme has seen three delegates from Austria, Sweden and Spain visit NSFT’s services and meet its staff.

Gerda Reithofer, who is in the public relations team at the University Hospital in Graz, Austria, used the trip to find out more about how NSFT works with the media, promotes new services and shares information with its service users and carers.

She was joined by Kerstin Hinz, who is originally from Berlin but is now based in Sweden and is currently driving projects to introduce web-based support and treatment and implement new models of care to improve quality of life for older people with long-term conditions.

The third delegate, Antonio García Blanco, from Spain, is a deputy director at the University Hospital Guadalajara. He said: “HOPE is very important for me for many reasons. It is a challenge to change and open my mind, and because I have worked in the same hospital for many years it is an opportunity to discover a new health system and learn different ways to affront common health problems.”

Paul Johnson, Organisational Development Lead with NSFT, helped to organise the visit. He said: “The HOPE European Exchange Programme is a great opportunity for healthcare professionals to visit another country and to exchange ideas and experiences with others and to experience a different culture and healthcare system.

“The delegates who are visiting NSFT come from a variety of professional and cultural backgrounds and have been sharing their own insights with our staff as well as learn from best practice across our Trust.

“At the end of the exchange, they will share the things they have learnt during their time with NSFT at a wider forum in London. The visit is therefore a great opportunity for us to shout about some of the excellent work taking place at the Trust every day while also learning from best practice taking place elsewhere in Europe.”

The trio arrived in East Anglia on 16 May and have also visited the Norfolk and Norwich and James Paget Hospitals during their stay to gain an insight into the care delivered in acute hospitals.

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