Northamptonshire Health and Care Partnership welcomed South Korean delegates to the county to learn about Age Well Wellingborough – after news of the pioneering project supporting vulnerable older people reached all the way to the Far East.

Age Well Wellingborough brings together key health, care and voluntary organisations in one place to provide personalised assistance for over-65s who need it most. After we featured the project in Partnership Update and on the NHCP website back in March 2019, the team’s good work was noticed by researchers from the Korean National Health Service and a visit to Northamptonshire was scheduled as part of a fact-finding visit to the UK.

The meeting started with the delegation explaining the current landscape of the system in South Korea, where closer working between health and social care is planned. They were keen to learn and understand more about how Age Well has successfully brought different NHS, social care and voluntary organisations together to deliver better care and support for older people.

In attendance were staff and volunteers from the Age Well team, as well as leads from Northamptonshire Carers, Northamptonshire Adult Social Services and Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, who spoke about the programme and the difference it has made by highlighting patient stories and the importance of partnership. Towards the end of the meeting an indepth question and answer session took place.

The South Korean delegation included Kangsub Lim, Head of Community Care at South Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare; Hyejin Lee, a specialist doctor in family medicine; and Taehwan Kim, researcher at Seoul National University.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Kim said: “As expected, it has been very helpful. We have been moved because we just expected a couple of people joining the meeting but actually we saw many specialised people at the same time. It was fantastic!”

Mark Major, CEO of Northamptonshire Carers added: “It was really nice to welcome our guests from Korea and share some of the progress and learning from Age Well and, in turn, learn about the Korean health and social care systems. It was a really positive experience to be able to reflect on the integrated approaches of Age Well and how they’re benefiting people in Wellingborough.”

Since Age Well was launched in December 2018, the service has made contact with more than 2,000 vulnerable people – providing tailored support for those in need and reducing unplanned hospital attendances. Thanks to its success so far, further funding has been secured to expand the scope of the programme so it reaches even more people in the Wellingborough community.