NHS Scotland staff playing a major role in the country’s global contribution across the international community are to be supported by an ambitious new programme.
Launched today at the annual NHS Scotland Event in Glasgow, the NHS Scotland Global Citizenship Programme is set to build on the country’s existing international development achievements.
It will ensure NHS staff are better supported and co-ordinated in order to enable more staff to participate in Global Citizenship thus increasing Scotland’s global health contribution.
Staff from across all staff groups in NHS Scotland already make a massive personal and professional contribution to global health work in developing countries. However, many staff have done this with no experience and in their own time.
Global Citizenship can take a number of forms including:
The programme board is chaired by our chairman, John Brown CBE.
John said: “Across NHS Scotland we recognise our responsibility to be good Global Citizens and want to contribute to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
“For many years staff from a wide range of services in NHS Scotland have made a significant personal and professional contribution to global health work in developing countries.
“I want to ensure we recognise, celebrate and build on that work. We’ve been listening to those volunteers and discussing how we can best support them.
“This valuable work not only helps to reduce common challenges such a disease epidemics, but also provides mutual learning opportunities for our NHS staff which benefits the people of Scotland.”
Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, said: “We know that for many years our dedicated NHS staff have been travelling to low income countries around the world, assisting in the delivery of healthcare.
“They can be doing this in response to natural disasters or working alongside local health teams often in very challenging circumstances. We’re forming the Scottish Global Health Co-ordination Unit to ensure our volunteers are working safely, in partnership with local health teams, delivering benefits and bringing back their learning to benefit our patients here in Scotland.
“There are a wide range of potential benefits to staff taking part in the programme ranging from the development of leadership and management skills, communication and teamwork to clinical skills, patient experience and personal resilience.
“Benefits to NHS Boards include: enhancement of recruitment and retention, system learning and capacity building, professional development of the workforce, improved Scottish patient experience and reputational development.”
Dr Alasdair Allan, Minister for International Development and Europe, said: “International development is a key part of Scotland’s global contribution within the international community. It is about Scotland acting as a good global citizen, sharing our expertise in areas such as health for global good. It is also about us learning from other countries though, through our partnership approach to international development.
"The NHS Scotland Global Citizenship Programme supports the Scottish Government’s International Development Strategy, in particular the commitment to support capacity strengthening in our partner countries in the area of health. We aim to do this by making it easier for all NHS staff to participate in global citizenship, both here in Scotland and overseas.
"We are building our approach to this new NHS Scotland programme on existing best practice, including the partnership between NHS Borders and St Francis Hospital, Zambia, and the many links between Glasgow and Blantyre, Malawi. I look forward to those existing partnerships being strengthened and to new health partnerships developed."