Simon Bragg – Executive Director of Finance and Resources, East Coast Community Healthcare
Now back in the UK, reflecting on my recent participation in the GHLI Health and Social Care Strategic Leadership Programme at Yale – I am thoughtful of the takeaways from my experiences with both the mental – and physical – aspects of my visit.
I could wax lyrical about the softer benefits of the programme; the contacts made, the relationships forged and the cathartic nature of shared experiences. It can be incredibly reassuring to meet like-minded individuals battling similar issues elsewhere in the health system. There is nothing like applying raw theory to a practical situation to embed the learning – and from the presentations provided by the course participants it was evident that our class had taken away a great deal from the course – not only about each other, but more about themselves!
The UK and the US are rather languidly referred to as nations divided by a common language, which works on the level of two health care systems divided in their foundations but united by a common purpose and sharing common issues. The excellent site visits to regional health care facilities demonstrated that although hospitals seem to face some of the same challenges in both countries, the patient experience is at the heart of everything that we do. The systems appear to be as similar as they are disparate.
I was inspired by the demonstrable, and personally evidenced, the important link between physical health and mental wellbeing on my professional performance in a leadership role. Early morning exercise sessions were arranged for course participants and both me and my rapidly tightening muscles were heartened to learn that my invigorated metabolism continues to burn calories for many hours after exercise itself has ceased. Like the continued burning of calories following exercise – the GHLI programme promotes the survival of mental acuity by delivering both an immediate intellectual perspective as well as a slower burn of on-going inquisitiveness; in short a full-on cerebral workout.