This partnership was established to support haematology colleagues in Latin America, Africa and Asia, through short-term, carefully organised placements of BSH volunteers.
Can you really make any meaningful impact in two weeks?
A crucial part of the scheme is careful matching and careful planning. Local coordinators in host haematology departments inform HVO what their training and development needs are. Examples of these include the development of a new treatment protocol, to quality assure a new laboratory assay, or to improve local transfusion services. HVO will then look at the pool of potential volunteers to find someone with the right skills and experience. They will then work with the volunteer and the receiving institution to carefully plan the placement to maximise its usefulness.
The other benefit of placements is to set up longer term connections and partnerships. Around half of volunteers arrange repeat placements.
Who can volunteer for the scheme?
We are looking for a mixture of volunteers: haematology subspecialists as well as haematology generalists, senior nurses and laboratory staff as well as doctors.
To be eligible to be a volunteer:
- You’ll need to be able to volunteer for at least two weeks. Longer placements are possible but two week placements are standard
- Be (or become) a BSH member. You will also need to become an HVO member, and BSH will pay for your HVO membership if you are accepted on this scheme.
- Hold full FRCPath (if you are a doctor)
Who are Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) and what is their role?
HVO are an experienced organisation in arranging placements such as these in many specialities. They have been working with the American Society of Haematology (ASH) over many years, and arranged 21 haematology placements in 2018. They match suitable volunteers and placements, prepare volunteers for placements, and debrief volunteers after placements. They currently place haematology volunteers in Cambodia, Peru, Tanzania and Uganda.
I am interested in volunteering – what do I do next?
Please contact the BSH-HVO Partnership task force at firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest. After we have had initial communication with you to find out your skills and experience, we will then put forward eligible volunteers to HVO. They will then get you to provide further information and make a formal application to volunteer. Once accepted, they will then look to match you to a suitable placement.