SOUTH KOREAN VISITORS from Seoul Metropolitan Government have returned to Torbay to learn more about how integrated health and social care works in the region.

The integrated trust in Torbay and Devon – Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust – provides both health and social care services to over 300,000 people in Torbay and Devon. They work in partnership with hospitals, healthcare teams GP practices, NHS dentists, pharmacies, and opticians and also work closely with voluntary organisations such as independent consumer champion Healthwatch Torbay.

In 2017, several civil servants from Seoul Metropolitan Government met with the trust to discuss, what was then, the brand new integrated health care system for Torbay.

After this meeting, Seoul Metropolitan Government made the decision to develop a new healthcare system, based on the Torbay model.

Seoul is the capital of South Korea and home to nearly ten million people, more than London and Paris, and the Government there are aiming to adopt this new healthcare system later this year.

Prior to this, Seoul City Government employees requested to visit Torbay once again to learn more about the integrated health and social care system, particularly how they can ensure patient feedback informs planning and assures quality in the integrated system they are developing in Seoul.

With this in mind, eleven Korean delegates came to visit Healthwatch Torbay, the independent consumer champion for health and social care in the Bay. Here they heard a presentation about the way Healthwatch use the real healthcare experience of local residence to influence the way local services are run at a strategic level.

They were also shown the charity’s online ‘rate and review’ feedback centre – a ‘TripAdvisor’ style website which allows the public to rate and review the healthcare services they use from their own internet-enabled device. They were even impressed to see that the website could be translated into a number of different languages – including Korean – at the click of a button. Healthwatch Torbay Chair Dr Kevin Dixon said:

“It was a real pleasure to greet global guests to our offices at Paignton Library and even better to see how impressed they were with our website and the way we here at Healthwatch Torbay use the real experiences of local people to influence the way services are run by those in charge.”

Dawn Butler, Interim Director of Transformation and Partnerships for Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It was a privilege to welcome our international visitors to share the developments of our integrated care organisation. A reminder of how far we have come as well as a great opportunity to share learning with our visitors about our ambitions for change as we continue to deliver high quality care to our local population.’’

For more information, or to review a local healthcare service, please visit




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