Representatives from China’s Ministry of Health have visited a Birmingham care village to see how its innovative principles could be applied in the Far East.
The 19 senior delegates, representing high-level government and health departments, toured the £60m College Green development in Bournville.
It is being built by Bournville Village Trust, in partnership with ExtraCare Charitable Trust, Avery Healthcare and the NHS, on the former site of Bournville College.
Set to be fully complete by 2018, the state-of-the-art development will aim to integrate housing and health to tackle a host of housing, health and social care-related issues.
It will be home to around 400 older people when finished and will also include a health and well-being centre, which will be a base for GP practices and a pharmacy.
As well as touring the care village, the group were given an insight into the challenges of an ageing population in the UK and integrating services like nursing and care.
Peter Roach, Chief Executive of Bournville Village Trust, said: “It was a real pleasure to welcome representatives from China’s Ministry of Health to Birmingham and to help them gain a greater depth of understanding of housing and care in the UK.
“It would be fantastic to see some of the principles of integrating housing and health that we are doing here in Birmingham applied to the health services delivered in China.”
“Indeed, we hope that College Green will become a national exemplar of the way in which we can bring services together to provide better health outcomes and reduce strain on the NHS. One of the models incorporated into the development has already been proven to deliver excellent results, such as a 46% reduction in routine and regular visits to the GP and significant cost savings on social care.”
Lin Hu, Sino-UK Programme Manager at University of Birmingham, which led the visit, said: “The University of Birmingham remains a nationally leading institution in its work with primary care development in China, and we are delighted that our colleagues from China’s Ministry of Health were able to gain a valuable insight into housing and care in the UK.
“This visit reflects the on-going collaborative efforts between the UK and China to develop healthcare, as part of the current £85 billion Chinese Health Reform investment. As host to our esteemed Chinese colleagues, the city of Birmingham continues to play an important role in the UK through working in partnership with China to improve healthcare across the population.”
Bournville Village Trust is a charity and housing organisation founded by chocolate maker and philanthropist George Cadbury in 1900.
Its vision is to create and sustain flourishing communities where people choose to live and it provides services to 8,000 homes of mixed tenure and 25,000 people.