Gillian Southgate, NHS R&D NW, HOPE Exchange 2017 #GillianHope2017



Welcome to my new live blog where I will  be talking about my experience on the HOPE Exchange Programme in Portugal.

For those of you who don’t yet know, I will be spending 4 whole weeks immersed in the Portuguese health care system at the Centro Hospitalar e Universitario de Coimbra.  I leave for Lisbon, this Sunday 14th May and if all goes to plan I should then catch a train and arrive in Coimbra sometime the same day (fingers crossed!!).

Why Portugal you might ask?? Well the oldest diplomatic alliance in the world is the anglo-portuguese alliance signed by England and Portugal back in 1373 and is still in force today…… but that’s just an interesting fact, not the reason I chose to go!  Some thought I chose Portugal for the sunshine and excellent cuisine and while this is definitely a draw it’s still  not the reason.  In fact I chose Portugal because they have their own National Health Service founded in 1979 and it faces similar challenges to our own NHS.  However, despite these challenges, Portugal has been identified as a centre of competence in health connected activities with the potential to become a cluster of excellence with international vocation.  In order to develop that potential, in 2008, several public and private organisations related with the health sector founded the Health Cluster Portugal (HCP).  It’s objective is to make Portugal a competitive player in the research, design, development, manufacture and marketing of products and associated health services.  The strategy of the HCP focuses in the development of welfare and active ageing, preventative medicine, health tourism and eHealth.

Soooo….. all in all I thought I might be able to learn something new and perhaps bring some creative ideas back to the UK.

To find out how I get on check out this blog or follow me on Twitter #GillianHope2017