Our Impact

Research into the UK’s Health Partnership Scheme found that the evidence ‘overwhelmingly demonstrated the effectiveness of the partnership and volunteering approach in supporting health worker capacity strengthening’, noting that ‘long-term volunteering and strategic short-term volunteering are most effective’.

Our core programmes focus on delivering long-term partnerships with institutions – our programmes in Botswana date back to 2007, in Myanmar to 2013, and in Uganda to 2014. This provides time to build crucial relationships, to assess how we can best help, and to work together and embed good practice. The enduring nature of the partnerships demonstrates the mutual value and the strong communication and commitment between the partners.

Putting numbers on the value that partnerships deliver is difficult due to the availability and interpretation of data and the complexities of associating cause and effect. Ethical and practical issues can also arise when quantifying life or disability. However, Social Return on Investment Analyses (SROI) completed for two different partnerships found that for every £1 invested, at least £3 of socio-economic value for beneficiaries was delivered.

Win-win-win partnership model

Strengthening partners’ health systems

By introducing new techniques and procedures, our partners can get more value out of their often overstretched resources. This may be from training on specific skills and techniques, early detection and diagnosis, setting out and codifying procedures, introducing new systems, encouraging inter-disciplinary team working, or a mix of these. Such interventions can then have a real and sustained impact on clinical and other outcomes.

 

Developing members’ skills

Our members volunteer their time and expertise from all parts of the healthcare profession, from the recently qualified to experienced specialist consultants. All have something to learn from working in more challenging and immediate situations, sometimes with very limited resources. Our members report improvements in their confidence, team working skills, leadership and flexibility, and often participate in partnerships again and again to build on these skills.

Strengthening the NHS

The experience that members gain has a positive knock-on effect to the NHS, as volunteers return with valuable skills, applicable knowledge and a fuller appreciation of the facilities and support available in their home institutions. 97% of our members report that their volunteering has developed their communication skills, 88% are better able to manage limited resources, and 84% are refreshed and feel more motivated at work on their return.

We describe this as a Win-win-win partnership model: a win for our overseas partners; a win for participants who return to the NHS with a refreshed view of healthcare and their role in it; and so a win for their employer.

Monitoring and evaluation

Each financial year CGHP employs an intern to research and write a monitoring and evaluation report. The reports assess the impact of CGHP’s activity on partners, members and the wider NHS from an outside perspective. The reports are researched using the Personal and Professional Development Questionnaires (PPDQs) that CGHP members complete, as well as interviews, trip reports and grant scheme reports.

I was so honoured and felt so valued by my team when my consultant asked me to volunteer to El Salvador. Volunteering overseas was something I had never experienced before and I saw a completely different way of life. It was a personal adventure for me as well as a professional one. I am trying to initiate things in CUH that I learnt out there. The learning has been both ways, and that’s the great thing about health partnerships!

Nick Fletcher, Simulation Centre Technical Manager, CUH, volunteer in El Salvador