Created to bring together specialists with experience and interest in haematology issues in Low and Middle Income Countries, the BSH Global Haematology Special Interest Group aims to create a community with expertise and commitment to make a valuable contribution to BSH’s global activities, ultimately benefiting haematology practice within the UK and worldwide.
Chair - Professor Imelda Bates
Trustee Links - Dr Josh Wright and Professor David Roberts
For more information email: email@example.com or call 020 7713 0990
Join the Global Haematology Special Interest Group - this mailing list is free to join and will enable you to keep up to date with BSH global projects and events
These scholarships support our Members who wish to present their work at international meetings. In exceptional circumstances it can be awarded to people who want to attend for other educational purposes.
We particularly encourage applications from Members who are nurse practitioners, clinical scientists, biomedical scientists, academic scientists and PhD students.
Deadline for applications are 31 January & 31 July annually. Apply here
The BSH have a partnership with the Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) to set up short-term placements for UK haematologists to support haematology departments in low and middle income countries around the world. Current partnerships are with four hospitals in Cambodia, Peru, Tanzania and Uganda and placements are focussed on a locally prioritised need such as developing treatment pathways and protocols, initiating new laboratory tests, improving transfusion services or building capacity for local research. You can read about the scheme here
We are looking for volunteers who have completed their training and who can volunteer two weeks of their time, longer placements are encouraged but not essential. Volunteers will need to be BSH members as well as HVO members. If a volunteer is accepted on to the scheme the BSH will pay their HVO membership. If you are interested, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
It is widely recognised that developing countries reap significant benefits from the volunteering efforts of NHS staff. Often overlooked are the new skills which volunteers gain through their experiences and which could be utilised within the NHS. These include: improving staff morale, enhancing staff leadership skills and learning how to work with limited equipment, weak management systems and insufficient money. Ultimately, if properly utilised, these skills and experiences could significantly impact on UK health systems and the care that NHS staff provide.
Over the last few years there has been a large increase in NHS staff undertaking volunteering activities. This is strongly endorsed by UK government policies and budgets - the Department for International Development have committed £14 million for 200 health international volunteering partnerships. “The skills developed through volunteering in a link are considered valuable skills for NHS employees according to numerous professional development frameworks”3.
Independent volunteering and volunteer programmes enable NHS employees to experience LMIC cultures and health systems which are very different from those in the UK. The resulting enhanced cultural awareness and sensitivity, better appreciation of the cost of resources and creative ways of optimising their use, and the ability to strategize and take decisions with minimal infrastructural and system support means that volunteers bring back skills which are critically important for the NHS and which will ultimately lead to better patient care. At organisational and national levels, volunteer programmes can benefit the NHS through a more motivated workforce, a better understanding of patient and staff needs, improved strategy development, increased knowledge about pathologies uncommon in the UK and better management and policy-making skills3 8.
Benefits can be considered at individual, institutional and national level and have been assigned to seven categories; clinical skills, management skills, communication and teamwork, patient experience and dignity, policy and academic skills3. In addition to improving health in poorer countries, the APPG review4 themed the benefits of volunteering for the UK into three domains – leadership development, sharing innovation and international recognition of NHS – all of which contribute to improved services and patient care:
Leadership development, particularly communication, self-knowledge, ingenuity and adaptability, is one of the most important gains of volunteering. Encouraging and equipping NHS staff to take on more leadership and management responsibility is also a central tenet of the Health and Social Care Act 2012. Returning volunteers are highly motivated with a rejuvenated work ethic and renewed vocation for the NHS4.
Several NHS trusts have reported gaining new knowledge and ideas through volunteering schemes including new tools for patient treatment and better integrated working. Other benefits have been described in the areas of workforce development, technology, financing and governance1.
International recognition of NHS institutions
Promoting the profile of UK health facilities overseas gives them a competitive advantage by making them appear innovative and outward looking and helping them to improve recruitment and retention of the highest calibre staff9. The downside is that poorly executed overseas activities risk reputational damage which will extend beyond those immediately responsible.
- Syed S, Dadwal V, Rutter P, Storr J, Hightower J, Gooden R, et al. Developed-developing country partnerships: Benefits to developed countries? Globalization and Health 2012;8(17).
- Jones FAE, Knights DPH, Sinclair VFE, Baraitser P. Do health partnerships with organisations in lower income countries benefit the UK partner? A review of the literature. Globalization and Health 2013;9:38.
- All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health. Improving Health at Home and Abroad: How overseas volunteering from the NHS benefits the UK and the world; 2013.
- Welsh Assembly Government. Volunteering for Health: Report on the findings of research into the impact of volunteers working in health care settings; 2004.
- McBain C, Jones A. Employer supported volunteering - the guide: Volunteering England; 2005.
Annual Scientific Meeting: Speaker Videos