Our international partnerships

We collaborate with several international associations to share learning, promote NHS expertise, access opportunities, and influence policy.
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The NHS European Office and the NHS Confederation's international programme work in partnership with a number of organisations in the UK and abroad.
Partnership working, both domestically and across Europe, is an important way of sharing information and reinforcing our views on legislative and policy developments at a European level. We work with a range of organisations, both from the healthcare sector and with wider interests, to achieve common goals and objectives.

Our partners include:

The International Hospital Federation (IHF) 

Established in 1929, the International Hospital Federation (IHF) is an international not for profit, non-governmental membership organisation of hospitals and healthcare organisations. The IHF provides a platform for the exchange of knowledge and strategic experience as well as opportunities for international collaborations with different actors in the health sector.

The European Hospital and Healthcare Federation (HOPE)

Established in 1966, HOPE is a European non-profit organisation representing national public and private hospital and healthcare associations and hospital, health and social care services owners. HOPE seeks to foster efficiency, effectiveness and humanity in the organisation and operations of hospital and health services across Europe.

The European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies 

The European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies supports and promotes evidence-based health policy-making through comprehensive and rigorous analysis of the dynamics of healthcare systems in Europe. The Observatory, in conjunction with LSE Health, produce Eurohealth, a quarterly publication that provides a forum for researchers, policymakers and experts to express their views on health policy issues in Europe. 

The Local Government Association European & International Unit

The LGA European and International Unit monitors and influences key European proposals which will affect local authorities, analysing their impacts and liaising with central and local government, the European institutions and international bodies to ensure the best possible deal for local councils around the UK.

Social Partners

The NHS European Office also participates on behalf of the NHS in the EU social dialogue process through our membership of two European employers' associations, HOSPEEM and CEEP. To find out more about this aspect of our work, see our page on social dialogue.

The European Hospital and Healthcare Employers' Association (HOSPEEM)

HOSPEEM represents at the European level national hospital employers’ organisations and promotes their interests on workforce-related issues in the hospital and healthcare sector.

The European Centre of Employers and Enterprises providing Public Services and Services (CEEP)

CEEP represents employers and enterprises in Europe. It is one of the three European general cross industry social partners and an actor in the European social dialogue.

European Health Management Association

The European Health Management Association is a non-profit membership organisation that focuses on enhancing the capacity and capability of health management to deliver high quality healthcare.

The European Social Insurance Platform (ESIP)

ESIP is a platform for transnational dialogue and exchange of best practices between national social security institutions in Europe and strategic network for developing common positions to influence the European decision-making process. ESIP also provides a consultation forum for the European institutions and other multinational bodies active in the field of social security.

The European Connected Health Alliance

The ECHAlliance is the global connector for digital health, facilitating multi-stakeholder connections around ecosystems, driving sustainable change and disruption in the delivery of health and social care. 

WHO Prison’s Health Steering Group

Sean Duggan, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Network, sits on the World Health Organisation’s Steering Group on Prison’s Health, which leads the health in prisons program (HIPP). HIPP was established in 1995 to support Member States in improving public health by addressing health and health care in prisons, and to facilitate the links between prison health and public health systems at both national and international levels.

HIPP’s main activity is to give technical advice to Member States on the development of prison health systems and their links with public health systems and on technical issues related to communicable diseases (especially HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and tuberculosis), illicit drug use (including substitution therapy and harm reduction) and mental health.


The Mental Health Network is a member of the EUCOMS network, which was established in 2015 from the realisation that community mental health service providers were not represented at European policy level.

The EUCOMS network wants to “make a difference with and for people who experience severe and enduring mental ill health. The network does this through the facilitation of mutual learning and support between organisations and individuals that strive to work on the implementation, promotion, monitoring and evaluation of community mental health care".

International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership

Sean is also a member of the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership which is an international collaborative that focuses on improving mental health and addictions services.

IIMHL organises systems for international innovation sharing, networking and problem solving across countries and agencies. The overall aim is to provide better outcomes for people who use mental health and addiction services and their families.

Knowledge transfer among IIMHL countries includes not only the leadership exchange, but also promotion of workshops/training/education, research, support of learning collaboratives and information dissemination between exchanges.