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NHS manager based at Lawson Hospital to travel to Japan for research

By Alison Cameron

An NHS Highland district manager is to travel to Japan early next year to see if technological advances made there, especially in robotics, could improve health and social care back home.

Lorraine Coe
Lorraine Coe

Thanks to a Fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, Sutherland district manager, Lorraine Coe, is to spend a month in the Asian country to see how new technologies are being used in hospitals and care homes and also meet local manufacturers and academics.

One of six Fellows from Highland this year, Lorraine will be supported by the Churchill Fellowship to see these advances and how they could be implemented in Highland and the rest of Scotland.

Lorraine, who is based at the Lawson Memorial Hospital in Golspie, said: “I am absolutely delighted to be offered the Fellowship. I have always been fascinated by new technologies. This award offers me a wonderful opportunity to see how technology is being applied in health and social care in Japan.

“I then hope to bring back the learning and passion to help people and communities in rural areas of Scotland.”

Prior to becoming Sutherland district manager, Lorraine held a number of senior nursing leadership positions within NHS Highland.

Lorraine, who trained at St George’s Hospital in London, joined NHS Highland in 2004. Before that she specialised in Cancer and Palliative Care in Wales after a spell as a district nurse in the West of England.

Lorraine said: “Japan has one of the world`s fastest-ageing population. It has also experienced a drop in population of younger people. This means that the country faces significant challenges in delivering health and social care services. By comparison large areas of rural Scotland experience very similar demographic shift.

“There have been significant developments in Japan to address this gap within health and social care, in particular in the development of robotics, led by Toyota which is also renowned for quality improvement.

“The idea behind the Churchill Fellowship project is to enable Japanese technological advances within rural care in Scotland. I hope that the identification, implementation and embedding of organisational and technological advances - e.g. robotics – combined with the use of quality improvement methodology across rural areas of Scotland, will help address some of the challenges of the demographic shift that we face.”

As well as implementing the new technology to improve delivery of health and social care services in Sutherland, Lorraine, who is currently studying for a post graduate qualification in quality improvement in health and social care, intends to share her findings with key innovation and development contacts across Highland and Scotland. She also will present them at appropriate remote and rural forums across the country.

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust was set up almost 54 years ago. It awards Fellowships to people from all walks of life to travel overseas and bring back knowledge for the benefit of others.

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