Society forges US partnership
16th February 2011
Nurse Julie Meredith and Sister Jane Wallace from Benenden Hospital spent three weeks at Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh last November, learning about bariatric (weight-loss) surgery and specialist treatment for obese patients.
‘Watching and working with nurses and other medical staff at Magee Hospital gave us invaluable insight and knowledge into how other hospitals provide obesity care,’ says Julie. ‘It was a great opportunity to learn new skills specific to obesity care and also to spend time with other nurses and professionals.’
Julie and Jane visited the US through the Lord Plant Fellowship Award, supporting personal and professional development for staff at Benenden Hospital and the Society. Staff are encouraged to submit ideas for projects to help them further their own education and skills, as well as supporting the Hospital and the Society to develop standards of care in new areas. Up to £3,000 is available to fund selected projects.
‘We were able to swap ideas, thoughts and opinions with our US counterparts about care provision and gain specialist obesity knowledge and skills needed to care for overweight patients,’ says Jane. ‘The visit has also enabled us to build a good relationship with the medical staff in Pittsburgh. We hope this is the start of a lasting partnership, leading to further visits and exchange trips between both hospitals.’
The visit builds on the Society’s position as a champion of health and well-being and the Hospital’s clinical excellence. The experience allows medical staff to develop their knowledge and skill-set in obesity care, as the nurses help to teach staff how to care for weight-loss surgery patients.
‘With the knowledge and skills we learnt in Pittsburgh, we are developing a staff booklet and presentation to share with our colleagues at Benenden Healthcare,’ adds Julie. This project adds to the work the Hospital and Society undertake to ensure they are at the forefront of health and wellbeing developments.
(This article first appeared in the together section of benhealth magazine issue 14, January 2011)