Yes! For those who don’t already know, the Cleveland Clinic has several international locations – Toronto, Abu Dhabi and now London. 

This was the part of the trip I couldn’t wait for. How does a giant like the Cleveland Clinic, which was born and raised in a privatized healthcare system, play well in the sandbox with England’s system? As it turns out, very well indeed so far. They were celebrating the 1 year anniversary of their opening the week we were there.

First, we were greeted by Sheila Miller, DNP, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, the new chief nursing operator of CCF London. 

She presented to the students how the Cleveland Clinic got the nursing operations up and running in London. This was no easy task. Nursing fundamentals are the same worldwide, but our scope differs by country. Additionally, the clinic worked with English personnel to expand upon its mission and vision to meet the expectations and standards of all parties involved. The clinic will even be able to help with a backlog in NHS elective surgeries/procedures that are still lingering because of the pandemic. It is an exciting time to witness; I am especially interested to see what the future has in store. 

We were given an educational tour by Warren Little, Nurse Educator for Perioperative Services at Cleveland Clinic London. Here he is with his American counterpart Heidi, who is a Nurse Educator of Surgical Services for the Akron Campus of Summa Health. 

It was no surprise how knowledgeable he was given his current position. 

The tour was well thought out (geared to what nursing students would want to see), and he patiently and thoroughly answered every question we had for him. 

We also met a few other personnel along the way, including Lauren – a nurse from Ohio! 😀

I always used to joke with my friends that (pardon the expression) you would have to blow up the current American healthcare system and re-construct it in order for it to work properly. Many European countries were forced to do this because of the two World Wars, and the NHS is a product of intentionally building a system from scratch that you want to benefit all citizens. There was similar intentionality in the collaboration between the CCF and the English government. It’s an exciting time for the organization there.

During the tour, we note how close to Buckingham palace the clinic is (almost literally across the street).

So I decided to go see it. It’s not exactly on my bucket list, but if you’re in London, you can’t not see it right?

Out of sheer luck, I arrived before the changing of the guard. Lucky me! 

The next day, we visited the Mayo Clinic, another international healthcare system with a satellite in Abu Dhabi and London.  

Anya, a nurse working in England coming from the Republic of Ireland would be our first guide of the day, she led us to the Executive Lounge to tell us about Mayo’s place in the London system.

Mayo went through a similar process to CCF getting up and running in London. While the Mayo Clinic’s operation is smaller (they have no inpatient beds), they have been in operation longer. They opened in 2019, about 6 – 7 months before the start of the pandemic. Anya has been with Mayo since the beginning and recounted what it was like coming to work when London was shut down. We all shared stories of lockdown before moving on to a patient room.

Our black squirrel’s routine visit earned him a clean bill of health!

The last stop for the group before heading to dinner was Harley Street. Our tour guide was Richard from the Mayo Clinic. This is where I personally learned the most. 

While England has health care for all, there are still gaps between the haves and the have-nots. The gap is most evident in Harley Street, a street named after the 2nd earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer (click HERE for more info). Starting roughly in the 1880s, private physicians and specialists began setting up shop in this area, and it is now a centralized area of private healthcare services. 

You can get routine services, MRIs, elective surgeries, you name it. You can come here for anything except emergencies, and many consider it “better care.”

The biggest surprise for me was that there is an American healthcare company that has been in London for the better part of 20 years. HCA Healthcare (to my surprise) surpasses the Veteran’s Health Administration as the largest healthcare system in the United States. It has locations in 20 states (not Ohio) and has quite a few locations in London – enough that, according to Richard, the English government has had to intervene to prevent monopoly-building behaviors. That is absolutely going to be my deep dive for next year. 

But alas, that brings us to the end of this year’s trip. I’ll do one more post about a week or so after I’ve been home with my puppies and family. That will also give the students a moment to chill and send me their final reflections. I’ll answer what went well, what we can do better and what we are already planning for next year.