East Kent Hospitals recently hosted a visit by 10 nurse lecturers from Shumei University, Japan, on an inaugural visit to England to learn about the NHS, and visit important sites in the history of nursing linked to Florence Nightingale.
The team included specialists in maternity, gerontology, community nursing, psychiatric services and general nursing.
The University of Shumei has just started a new programme of professional nurse training with a cohort of 35 students. Part of their training experience will be to visit the UK and NHS facilities to compare with their own training experience in Japan. They plan to compare facilities and approaches and reflect on best practice. The University hopes that an enduring partnership can be built over time with institutions such as QEQM.
In the maternity area, the lecturers were struck by the high rate of midwife led births, the popularity of water births, the private birthing rooms and the speedy return of mothers to home after normal births.
In A&E they commented positively on the high intensity and busyness of the ward and management of the range of needs. They were extremely interested in the profile of older patients and their complex needs as Japan faces similar issues with its population.
In radiography they were intrigued by the high professional status of the radiographers, their role in diagnosis and relationship to doctors/ consultants.