From the land of the rising sun to the birthplace of cooperation

Date published: 06 September 2019

A delegation from the Japanese government visited Rochdale Borough Council to discover how its adult care policies are improving the lives of local residents.

The visit by Ministry of Health officials saw how Rochdale’s integrated health and care services are keeping elderly people out of traditional hospital settings.

The delegation chose Rochdale because of its successful partnership approach in ensuring residents are provided with care and support, in a location of their choice. A recent council survey found that many patients prefer to transfer from hospital to their home or residential care as soon as it safe to do so.

A packed itinerary involved a visit to Rochdale Infirmary, where the Japanese guests enjoyed a tour of the hospital, a visit to the successful intermediate tier care setting and an overview of the council’s approach to delivering adult care services.

The delegation also discovered how council policies like STARS are ensuring hundreds of elderly and vulnerable people retain their independence, following a stay in hospital.

Rochdale’s health partnership comprises the council, NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group (NHS HMR CCG), Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust, Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, the third sector and carers.

Councillor Iftikhar Ahmed, cabinet member for adult care, said: “It’s great that news of our visionary services is reaching a global audience. We are thrilled that our friends from the Far East took the time to visit Rochdale, which underlines the success of our care and Co-operative policies.

“The delegation was highly impressed with what they saw, and will be returning home bursting with ideas to implement across Japanese local government. Our frontline staff, who deliver such high quality care services for residents, deserve enormous credit. Their tireless and dedicated work ensures residents across the borough receive high quality care and support throughout the year.”

Dr Brian Beach, from the International Longevity Centre UK, said: “It was a very worthwhile and productive visit to Rochdale.

“The Japanese officials were very impressed with everything they saw and heard. It’s clear that Rochdale is leading the way on delivering successful policies around reablement and social care. Their effective person-centred approach is certainly delivering a high quality care service for residents.

“I am sure the team from the Japanese Ministry of Health will be returning home with some useful ideas and policies, so a huge thanks to the council and Rochdale’s health partnership for taking the time to share their vision and ideas.”

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