China has major problems dealing with a rapid rise in chronic diseases and supporting an aging population. This is due in part to their fast economic growth, which has increased life expectancy, and the adoption of lifestyles associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and associated problems.
Initially, the course was designed for senior health officials to look at health service delivery in the UK at a strategic level. Over time, it has cascaded from a senior strategic overview to an introduction to daily practise within the NHS system.
The latest delegation included 16 doctors and three nurses who each attended two patient appointments with a GP as well as looking at archive files and IT systems.
Delegates visited Welbeing (Wealden and Eastbourne Lifeline), and were given a demonstration of how the telecare services help people to remain living independently in their own homes. This national, cost effective service uses technology which may help to improve the health service provision in China.
Carol Williams, course leader at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, said: "As a direct result of participation in the course, previous delegations have been able to influence change within the Minhang district which is home to around 2.5 million people, by implementing a GP service. The Minhang model is viewed as a beacon of innovative service delivery and is now being expanded to neighbouring districts of Shanghai. Discussions are also under way to offer a similar programme in Beijing."