Nagoya University visit Aberdeen’s health and social care initiatives

A team of researchers in Aberdeen have strengthened their international links after hosting a delegation of Japanese health professionals in the Granite City this month.

The RGU Principal, Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski (front row centre), and colleagues welcomed the delegation from Nagoya University to The Sir Ian Wood Building.The visit was part of a developing partnership between Robert Gordon University (RGU) and Nagoya University and saw eight health professionals, educators and medical journalists learn more about health and social care integration in Scotland.

The international partnership between the two universities has developed over four years through interprofessional educational contacts and two research projects funded by The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.

The projects focussed on interprofessional curriculum developments in team working and the understanding of professional roles and responsibilities.

They also involved the project teams in Japan and Aberdeen working together to develop an interprofessional game and an online module on diabetic care.

As part of the visit, the delegation were invited by the Lord Provost of Aberdeen, Councillor George Adam, to a reception at the Town House in the city centre.

Dr Sundari Joseph, senior lecturer in RGU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, and research project lead worked with colleagues to facilitate the visit this summer.

She said: “There is a great deal of national and international interest in how educators can improve the delivery of interprofessional education as well as how to research it effectively.

“The research projects enabled students from both countries to experience the different cultural contexts for the delivery of health and social care and develop graduate attributes across a number of professional disciplines.”

Professor Lesley Diack, from RGU’s School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, added: “We’re very proud to host our Japanese partners again this year and are thrilled to be invited by the Lord Provost to visit the Town House and further strengthen Aberdeen-Japanese connections and research.

“The research projects have enabled the internationalisation of the interprofessional curricula of several universities in Japan as well as both universities in Aberdeen.”

Dr Morag McFadyen, from RGU’s School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences is also a member of the project team and a founder member of the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Japan, sponsored by Alex Johnstone MSP.

She said: “The links between Aberdeen and Japan are stronger than ever and further cultural exchange between the two countries at both staff and student level can only benefit our internationalisation and collaborative working.”

The Japanese delegation were welcomed to the university by Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski and Professor Liz Hancock on behalf of the Dean of the Faculty of Health and Social Care.

The party were keen to see examples of health and social care integration and visited Kincardine Community Hospital, Edenholme Care Home, Stonehaven; Carden Medical Practice and Aberdeen Health and Care Village.

Professor Hiorki Yasui, lead for the Aberdeen visit, said: “It was a great pleasure to visit Aberdeen to learn more about the Scottish health system. What impressed me most is the rapid renovation of the healthcare system.

“I wish that we can sustain our partnership and friendship, which will encourage people to be healthier and happier both in Scotland and Japan!”

The delegation's visit was also noted at the Scottish Parliament this week in a motion put forward by Alex Johnstone MSP which was supported by more than 20 of his parliamentary colleagues.

Neil Hendry, Operational Lead Nurse with NHS Grampian, said: “This has been an excellent opportunity to showcase one of our community hospitals and our local authority care home partnership to an international audience. 

“We have been able to give our visitors an insight into Health and Social Care integration in Aberdeenshire. We also shared our strategic vision and intentions for the delivery of health and social care.

“It has also been an opportunity for us to learn that our colleagues in Japan have similar challenges in the delivery of healthcare for their similar demographic population."

Aberdeen City Health & Social Care Partnership Chief Officer Judith Proctor said: “It was an honour for us to welcome our Japanese guests to the Aberdeen Health & Care Village, and to give the group not just a real flavour of some of the frontline services which the Partnership delivers but also an idea of the integration policies and philosophy behind them.

“The party were able to see for themselves the range of services available at the Health Village, where they were given a guided tour. And in a few short presentations from Partnership professionals, they were also given a clear picture of breadth of our health and social care integration remit across the whole of Aberdeen and beyond.

“The visit was a wonderful opportunity to compare Nagoya’s experience and practice with our own and I am sure that the links that have been forged will be lasting and to our mutual benefit.”

Release by Ross Anderson
Communications Officer | Faculty of Health and Social Care
Press and Media Enquiries