The extension to the Health Partnership Scheme (HPS) provides an opportunity for established health partnerships to enhance the quality and reach of their overseas work and to build on the successes of their existing activities.

THET is delighted to announce that the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID) has extended support for the Health Partnership Scheme (HPS) beyond 2015. The additional £10 million in funding will allow the Scheme to run until 2017 and ensure that established partnerships between NHS hospitals, universities and health institutions from across the UK and their counterparts in low and middle-income countries will have the opportunity to sustain successes and build on the progress they have already made.

Now, in its fourth year, HPS supports over 80 institutional health partnerships in the delivery of projects to improve the skills and knowledge of the health workforce in low and middle-income countries.  To date, over 20,000 health workers have received training, education and peer-to-peer support as part of strategic and long-term organisational arrangements.

HPS has also enabled over 800 health professionals from the UK National Health Service (NHS) to volunteer to address issues such as maternal mortality and child health, mental health and cancer care, across over 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. As well as bringing lasting improvements to health services overseas, many volunteers report a renewed vocation for the NHS and a more adaptable and open-minded approach to service delivery upon their return.

In 2013, HPS was recognised in a report by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health Improving Health at Home and Abroad as "The most effective government action to support NHS overseas work in recent years. The funding and expertise this has provided is having a transformative effect on the number and quality of international links between the NHS and developing countries."

THET welcomed the report’s focus on the importance of sustaining success and the additional support under HPS will aim to do just that – to enable established partnerships to enhance the quality and reach of their overseas work, to replicate and build on what works and to foster strategic engagement with UK institutions on partnership development.

There will be five categories of funding allocated over the period of the extension, with all grants completing no later than March 2017.

  1. Additional support to HPS Partnerships to build on and/or replicate successes
  2. Strengthening existing HPS Multi-Country Partnership and Long-term Volunteering projects
  3. Knowledge Exchange and Sustainability Grants
  4. Additional support for the HPS Community
  5. Support for UK health sector engagement overseas through Health partnerships a) Strategic engagement with UK institutions on health partnership development. b) Strengthening different approaches for health partnership engagement

An overview of each funding category is available to download here.