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A celebration in dialogue and partnership when GPCC celebrated its 10th anniversary

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The stage at the conference with key note speakersOn February 6–7, 350 people gathered at the Wallenberg Conference Center for two packed days of seminars, workshops, exhibitions and a gala dinner. The theme was “Together for Better Health Care and Medical Services”.

Almost exactly 10 years after the inauguration of the Center for Person-Centred Care (GPCC), the Center returned to the same place to celebrate and to discuss what has been achieved during the decade and its ongoing work. The conference at the Wallenberg Conference Center at Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg had been fully booked for a long time. The assembled delegates are interested in, work with, research or otherwise promote a person-centered approach in all types of activities in Sweden’s health care sector. They include staff working with health care and medical services, social welfare and rehabilitation, organizations for patients and those close to them, decision makers and academic representatives.

“Our intention was to celebrate 10 years, look back, look outward nationally and internationally and invite a wide range of people to join us,” says Inger Ekman, a professor at Sahlgrenska Academy, who chaired the conference committee.

In retrospect, she notes that the interest was great and the atmosphere good: “I am extremely pleased! It really became a celebration in dialogue, just as we had hoped.”

Opening with praise, ethics and patient perspective

Following opening speeches and commendations from Minister for Health and Social Affairs Lena Hallengren and Lisbeth Löpare-Johansson from the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR), Bengt Kristensson Uggla talked about the philosophical starting points for person-centred care, emphasizing that ethics are always the starting point for activities within GPPC. This was followed by a summary of the center’s activities during the past 10 years by Nicky Britten. Mikaela Javinger, a patient representative and a member of GPCC’s Person Council for patients and relatives, served as the guide throughout the conference and ensured that the patient perspective was included throughout.

Showed off GPCC’s breadth and interdisciplinary nature

The basic idea of the conference program was to feature the full scope of activities within the Center for Person-Centred Care – research, utilisation, education and communication. And especially the interdisciplinary nature of the center, with elements of philosophy, person-centred practice, performance measurement, cross-professional teams, digital tools and the work on a Swedish and European standard for person-centred care that is expected to be completed later this year.

Bring-and-share

Everyone who has worked in any way with person-centred care was invited to share their knowledge and experience by submitting posters and bringing material. This contributed to a "bring-and-share" where almost 70 attendees showed what they are doing in different ways to advance the trend toward person-centred health care and medical services in the conference exhibition. This could involve everything from having developed tools to facilitate a transition to a more person-centred work method at a department or unit to promoting a transition at regional or government levels. Or to promoting a transition to a person-centred approach in a professional or patient association in some way, such as by producing information material, courses or other such resources.

High expectations

The conference concluded with an inspirational talk on future health care and medical services by Lisa Lindström, group CEO and co-founder of the Doberman design and innovation firm. She placed the development of health care and medical services in a larger societal context, citing as an example that most people compare health care with something as simple as transferring money wusing a digital mobile phone app service such as Swish. She also pointed out that technological developments like artificial intelligence and robotics are coming and that everyone needs to participate, ask the right questions and talk about what innovations they need to ensure that the end products will be a real help and mean less, not more, work. She placed responsibility for enabling the transition to person-centred health care and medical services on the conference participants: “I HAVE EXTREMELY HIGH EXPECTATIONS for you here at the conference regarding the transition to future person-centred care,” she concluded.

Collage of pictures from the conference

FACTS ABOUT THE CONFERENCE

Theme: Together for Better Health Care and Medical Services.

Conference website: www.gpcc.gu.se/jubileumskonferens
Date: February 6–7, 2020
Location: Wallenberg Conference Center, Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg.

TEXT: JEANETTE TENGGREN DURKAN
PHOTO: FRANCIS LÖFVENHOLM & JEANETTE TENGGREN DURKAN