Come to the conference and be inspired

'The conference is a unique and stimulating annual event'

This year’s conference will take place over two days and once again the programme is designed to be of interest to people working in the NHS and wider UK health community who are engaging in global health activities.

The conference will explore the ‘health partnership’ approach most associated with THET, and draw more widely on examples of programmes being run across the NHS and UK global health community. In particular, it will provide participants with the opportunity to examine, question and discuss the critical nature of ‘quality’ in health care services. In exploring this theme, the conference will be built around four streams which we believe will transform partnership approaches to ensuring quality Universal Health Coverage:

  • ResponsibilityMorals and Quarrels in the Quest to Leave No One Behind: International partnerships operate in a myriad of complexity. This stream will ask: whose responsibility is it to ensure everyone everywhere has access to healthcare? Who answers for patients detained in hospitals because they cannot afford to pay the medical bills in Kenya or for Sudanese refugees in need of palliative care in Uganda?
  • CollaborationHealth Workers and Beyond: There is no health without health workers. In order to ensure the presence of trained health workers we must look beyond them to the systems in which they are positioned. This stream will look at how partners can develop a common ethos with organisations from governments and the private sector to advocacy and rights groups.
  • InnovationLearning Globally, Leading Locally: Finite resources define the operational environment for our partners working in the NHS and our partners overseas. This stream will explore how we are working to accelerate the discovery and adoption of innovations, in processes, services and design to help health professionals overseas and at home.
  • Equity | Myths and Principles in the Search for Equitable Partnerships: How reciprocal are our programmes? Do we really invoke equal ownership? This stream will look at approaches to fostering LMIC leadership in the design, implementation and monitoring of projects. Exploring how diaspora engagement and fully harnessing the engine of creativity and knowledge that is held within LMICs can transform our approaches.

With leading practitioners and researchers from both the UK and low and middle income countries (LMICs), discussions will focus on how global health programmes and partnerships can continue to evolve to ensure the greatest benefits for both patients in LMICs and the UK.

The conference will also explore how health partnerships and broader global health programmes are being supported by the UK government in an era of uncertainty. We will hear from key decision makers within the Department of Health and Social Care, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Scottish government and the Department for International Development on schemes including ‘Stronger Health Partnerships for Stronger Health Systems’ and the Prosperity Fund.

With the ability to follow a particular stream across the two days, or to select freely from a range of plenary and breakout sessions, delegates will leave the conference with a clear understanding of how the health partnership approach is contributing to ensuring quality care for all.

Day 1

How can we leave no one behind? Does collaboration muddy the waters? How reciprocal are our programmes? Why are we not learning globally?

The first day of the conference will seek to explore these questions. Through debates, discussions and analysis delegates will explore their work in the context of shifting global health priorities.

Delegates will have the opportunity to engage with leading thinkers across the health, donor and research communities. The day will combine keynote speeches and breakout sessions to stimulate debate around the four transformational streams being prioritised at this year’s conference.

Day 2

The second day of the conference will provide a platform for those involved in health partnerships and global health programmes and research to celebrate and discuss specific programme interventions. Delegates will have the chance to consider practical interventions which illuminate the transformational themes explored in Day 1.

Highlights from our 2018 annual conference

Two days, 360 delegates and 89 speakers debating and discussing the contradictions and challenges we face working in global health and the innovative and inspiring ways health partnerships are working to tackle these: our 2018 Annual Conference provided insight into the enormous strength and power of global health initiatives. Top ministers and leading practitioners from the world of global health gathered at the UK’s biggest Health Partnership event to debate the challenges and responses to global health issues and how the UK is contributing to the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Prolific speakers including, the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, Dr Catherine Calderwood, Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College, Professor the Lord Darzi and a video message from the Director General of the WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, gave the global health and development community an opportunity to discuss how health partnerships can improve healthcare abroad as well as at home as the NHS celebrates its 70th anniversary.

As Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the WHO, stated in his welcoming video for the Conference:

‘This year, as you know, marks the WHO’s 70th birthday and as you know it is also the 70th anniversary of the National Health Service. Both the WHO and the NHS were founded on the conviction that everyone everywhere must have access to affordable quality healthcare. But today more than half of the world’s population lack access to essential health services and almost 100 million people are pushed into extreme poverty every year by the costs of paying for care out of their own pockets. ‘

Innovative partnerships can help address this injustice by tapping global experience to find local solutions. Partnerships are the only viable way to train health workers and boost health systems, few countries can go it alone. 

Best practice, innovation and the ethics of volunteering within the health partnership community were also furthered as the conference saw the announcement of the Commonwealth Partnerships for Antimicrobial Stewardship Project announced, a welcome and much celebrated commitment from the UK government as part of the wider work of the Fleming Fund. The launch of the Students in Health Partnerships Toolkit provided another fantastic highlight of the conference! Produced in collaboration with Students for Global Health the toolkit aims to aid those coordinating health partnerships to increase their focuses on the role of the student. the toolkit promotes the concept of a health partnership, explains the role of the student in this and outlines practical considerations. As Lord Crisp wrote in his foreword:
Students form the next generation of doctors, nurses, midwives, innovators, researchers and global health champions and this Toolkit pays tribute to the students from across the UK who have already taken part in global health work. It also forms a call to action, we could be doing much more for this which in turn will benefit both students , their counterparts and those most in need.

The Conference was closed by Professor Sir Eldryd Parry, THET’s Founder and Lord Nigel Crisp, Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Global Health who spoke in conversation of their beginnings in global health and both the barriers and great advances they have experienced whilst working to bring about equitable health services around the world.

Over two days, the conference brought to bear the need for partnerships, research and programmes to combat the continually growing health inequalities, whilst highlighting the continued and growing contribution the UK is making to combat this. If the energy, commitment and enthusiasm that we witnessed during the conference is anything to go by, the future of global health and attainment of Universal Health Coverage is certainly bright!


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