Better Together

The building of public health system in the UK was a great social achievement for the British people and a great inspiration to many other countries in Europe. In fact, the National Health Service (NHS) has been adapted and copied by many nations, as is the case in Spain.

I still remember how the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Summer Olympics impacted me. Among the welcome speeches, raising of flags and athletes parading, I was captivated by the artistic spectacle exemplifying the culture of the host country comprising a historic achievement, the National Health Service, a fundamental asset to the country loved and respected by all.

I think it’s a sentiment that is also shared in Spain. Our citizens are proud of our health system and have always looked to the UK to mark the path to be followed, as an advance party of progress, innovation and evolution of the health management model. For years now, they have been aware of the problems that threaten the long term sustainability of the health system; consequently, they have been working seriously and responsibly to introduce changes and reforms in their model with varying degrees of success.

At Ribera Salud we had the chance to meet the leaders and professionals working in the NHS to explain to them our integration model of healthcare, how we can contribute to the sustainability of the healthcare system and how it can aid a capita funding model to achieve better healthcare results for the population. We have visited each other and attended conferences and meetings. I’ve always said you have to share experiences, be transparent, learn from each other, advocate good practice, and ultimately, work openly to provide better healthcare to citizens to ensure the long term existence of the same.

It is for this reason it was a great honour that in the report‘Examining new options and opportunities for providers or NHS care’, published by The Dalton Review in December 2014, the Ribera Salud management model was included as a success story to be taken into consideration. This high level report deserves to be read and studied.

“The recently published NHS Five Year Forward View describes the enormous challenges that the NHS faces. It emphasizes that new care models are needed to support and care for people. Some models will enable collaborative solutions: where shared services, working across organisational boundaries, meet standards, seven days a week; or where new integrated governance arrangements for primary and secondary care bring greater coherence to a locality”.

Hopefully a report of this type can be published in Spain one day!

For someone like me who next month I will have been working in the health sector for 25 years, almost half of my life, it is an extraordinary honour that the British National Health Service has noticed us. It is a satisfaction that I share with the entire Ribera Salud team, the true protagonists of this project. Hopefully we will be able to contribute in efforts to improve healthcare in a country that has been an inspiration for Spain and many other countries worldwide.

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