Observations and Lessons from the Franciscus Gasthuis & Vlietland Study Trip to North-West London
On March 31th, 2017, delegates from the Franciscus Gasthuis & Vlietland (FG&V) regional hospital from the Netherlands visited North-West London, as part of an international learning exchange. The purpose of the trip was to bring together key physicians from the FG&V region to learn about essential approaches to the design, implementation and funding of integrated care. Seamless care transitions and the integration of services across the acute, primary and secondary sector was a significant priority for FG&V. To begin this journey, the organization mobilized key physician delegates in the region, and sought insight from the International Foundation for Integrated Care (IFIC) and North-West London Integrated Care System. One of the overarching questions brought forward were:
What are the necessary contextual (including financial, cultural, professional & organizational) factors that enable a successful integrated care system? How do you work past the barriers?
The North-West London experience showcased the importance of supportive organizational and government policies in implementing innovative integrated care plans in the region. It was also clear that strong leadership and cross-sectoral commitment to putting the patient at the centre of this care model, was a major facilitator to its success.
The International study trip demonstrated that despite different care systems, population demographics and underpinning cultural values, knowledge mobilization helped draw on shared visions for a future of health and social care integration. Of real value to the delegates was the ability to learn from innovative care practices in other parts of the world and contrast this with local developments.
International Foundation for Integrated Care (IFIC)