Reports and resources for NHS international engagement


This section highlights various reports, guidelines and toolkits on international engagement which will be of interest to the NHS.

If you are aware of a resource that ought to be included, or would like to request the development of a resource on a particular topic, please email

General UK international health sector strategy

Volunteering and international development

Commercial engagement



General UK international health sector strategy

2015: The UK's contribution to health globally by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on global health. A report on the UK's footprint on health globally across four sectors: academia, government, commerce and not-for-profit. It demonstrates that the UK plays a leading role in each sector, with a global contribution second only to the US, which it surpasses in some areas.

2014: Global Health Strategy 2014 to 2019 by Public Health England. Public Health England's global health priorities for 2014-2019 and how these will be achieved.

2011: Health is Global. A UK government outcomes framework to support the UK's global health strategy for 2011-2015.

Volunteering and international development

2019: International volunteering in a low-resource setting. A research summary of the benefits that volunteering overseas can have for NHS staff and the organisations in which they work

2018: International Volunteering A summary of benefits, employer considerations and resources in international volunteering for NHS staff.

2018: Supporting NHS staff who are volunteers Guidance for NHS employers looking at the business case and benefits of volunteering, the impact it has on an employee’s terms and conditions and providing examples from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust who have both supported their staff to take part in volunteering activities. 

2017: Health Education England guidance for trainees planning to volunteer or work overseas. A summary of opportunities for training and work.

2017: Evaluation of the Health Partnership Scheme. Department of International Development Independent evaluation carried out between April and September 2016.

2016: In Our Mutual Interest. Tropical Health Education Trust report exploring how health partnerships serve as a case study throwing light on the challenges of striking the right balance between our own organisational or national interest and the benefit given to host institutions and countries.

2015: Toolkit for the Collection of Evidence of Knowledge and Skills Gained Through participation in an international health project. Health Education England Toolkit outlining staff benefit from working and training overseas

2014: Engaging in Global Health: the framework for voluntary engagement in global health by the UK health sector Department of Health, Department of International Development and THET. A report and framework showing how UK health services can benefit from the knowledge and experience gained from work in low and middle income countries. A key set of principles underpin this framework - that activities are driven by the needs of low and middle income countries, aligned with national, district or local health plans, coordinated adequately, evidence-based and sustainable and developed in partnership.

2013: All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health. A review of overseas health volunteering from the UK, addressing the role of NHS staff who volunteer overseas in advancing health globally and bringing new knowledge, skills and ideas back to the UK.

2010: The Framework for NHS Involvement in International Development. A framework for NHS Involvement in International Development, developed to provide greater clarity on how NHS agencies and individuals can best maximise their potential to contribute in a sustainable and appropriate way to capacity building in developing countries.

2007: Global Health Partnerships by Lord Nigel Crisp.  A report which reviews how the UK’s experience and expertise in health could be used to best effect to support developing countries.

Commercial Engagement

2019: First steps for NHS organisations interested in international commercial engagement . A brief guide from the NHS Confederation on the benefits NHS organisations can gain from international commercial engagement.  As well as six reasons to engage, the guide also provides helpful advice on the initial steps organisations need to take if they wish to become more involved in international activity.

2018: Healthcare UK NHS Export Catalyst-Diagnostic Tool. A HealthcareUK service to help NHS organisations get ready for international commercial activity.

2016: Enhancing the NHS through International Engagement. A HealthcareUK publication sharing the experience of NHS organisations that have already achieved export success, as well as insights from other healthcare services exporters. It contains the basic facts you need to know and gives examples of best practice to help organisations new to exporting health services to start off on the best possible footing.


2016: Life Sciences Industrial Strategy from the Office for Life Sciences.  This report provides recommendations to government on the long term success of the life sciences sector. It was written in collaboration with industry, academia, the charity sector and research organisations.

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