South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (SEPT). SEPT provides health care services to U.K. communities and has a partnership with GHLI to strengthen the capacity of health and social care leaders. The 18 delegates worked with GHLI on field assignments tackling public health issues, and presented their final assignments at the conference. Delegates also heard lectures from Yale faculty and visited health care facilities in and around New Haven.
GHLI faculty director, Elizabeth Bradley, Ph.D., provided a history on health care systems in the U.S. including community health care centers and health maintenance organizations. Dr. Bradley highlighted the physician-led Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania as a model of high quality integrated health care services. She ended her presentation with a charge to delegates to continue brainstorming ways in which health care systems can be improved.
Site visits to health care facilities are a key part of this program. Delegates visited the Smilow Cancer Hospital, Yale-New Haven Psychiatric Hospital, Connecticut Valley Hospital and the Cornell Scott Hill-Health Center. Following the site visits, delegates shared their experiences. They were impressed by the investment several of the facilities made in their employees, from their interview stage to ongoing reinforcement for employees throughout their careers. “We struggle to get staff feedback and retain employees for any length of time,” said one delegate. “The investment in employees we observed set up a strong system for employee engagement and long-term retention and that is something we can do better.” Delegates also noted that the U.K. seemed to be better at long-term follow-up with patients after they left a hospital. This type of follow-up helps them rate the quality of care, which is something they felt could be improved in U.S. hospitals.
The SEPT delegates said they felt re-energized to tackle challenges they face as health care leaders and plan to continue working together.