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Global Health Partnerships

Health Education England (HEE) supports the delivery of high-quality patient care through its role in educating, training and developing the health workforce.

Global partnerships are in our national interest. The NHS is increasingly engaging in global health work, with growing interest from NHS staff for overseas learning opportunities and an increasing demand for NHS expertise and services globally.

HEE has legislative responsibility to ensure that our future workforce is available in the right numbers and has the necessary skills, values and behaviours to meet patients’ needs and deliver high quality care. As the NHS workforce organisation for England, HEE is uniquely placed to support the NHS to become a global centre of excellence for workforce development. HEE can do this by embedding global skills, learning and innovation, supporting local NHS organisations to engage in global activity as a way to attract and retain staff, bringing experienced overseas staff to work in the NHS on placements and also by playing a facilitative role to ensure the collective efforts and expertise of the NHS is coordinated and aligned to the overseas objectives of Government departments including FCDO and DHSC.

Our work 

HEE has been working with a number of countries, responding to requests for support on workforce development, creating placements for professional groups, matching NHS workforce need with overseas training requirements and seeking out new bilateral relationships to strengthen workforce development in the NHS and overseas.

Take a look at our global microsites for more information, Global Learning Opportunities and Technical Collaboration and Consultancy

Examples of our projects and programmes

HEE is mandated by the government to support NHS volunteering, which includes supporting and encouraging NHS staff to take advantage of volunteering opportunities within health and social care and working with senior operational leadership to increase recognition of the value of volunteering. HEE chairs the international NHS Volunteering Group which brings together stakeholders involved in facilitating and supporting overseas placements, and volunteering of NHS staff overseas. HEE has also led development of an NHS international volunteering platform to showcase and signpost to information and opportunities, provide a repository of information and resources on international volunteering and connect applicants with potential hosts.  

HEE has also developed resources including guidance for those interested in overseas placements (Health Education England Guidance for Trainees Planning to Volunteer or Work Overseas) and a toolkit for those on overseas placements to support collection of evidence of  knowledge and skills gained through participation in an international health project (Toolkit for the Collection of Evidence of Knowledge and Skills Gained Through Participation in an International Health Project


HEE is facilitating a number of short and longer-term quality placement programmes for professionals to work and learn in the NHS. As part of its government mandate, HEE is working to address identified shortages in the NHS by increasing the number of staff trained in the UK and through development ethical earn, learn, return programmes in the NHS across a number of key professions, specialties and geographies.

The ambition is to create a circular programme with a sustainable pipeline of cohorts arriving and returning each year. HEE is creating longer-term relationships with ‘in-country’ partners to identify high-quality experienced candidates and support their journey into the programme

HEE supports professionals through their preparation for language and competency tests; entry onto the UK professional register; visa application’, and through a comprehensive programme of pastoral care, including cultural sensitivities, prior to and on arrival.

We are working with a number of NHS Trusts to offer placement opportunities, and we are eager to hear from registered healthcare professionals who would like to work in the NHS.

These videos detail further information about the programme

To apply for the programme please complete the application form via the online applicant tracking system.

The Technical Collaboration team facilitates system-to-system Human Resources for Health (HRH) partnerships.

We support health system strengthening for global partners and the NHS, in order to expand Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC).

We help build more resilient and sustainable health systems in the NHS and internationally, in order to maximise opportunities and address shared challenges.


We build HRH system capability through:

Knowledge Exchange
Access to NHS experts for knowledge-sharing on specific policy challenges, based on NHS expertise and experience. Hosted in the UK, in-country or virtually through interactive seminars, service visits and speaking engagements.

Strategic Advice
Collaborative deeper exploration of HRH challenges and interventions, through the facilitation of high-quality strategic analysis, diagnostics and advice with NHS experts.

Implementation Support
Defined partnership-working with NHS experts for strategic advice on the design and implementation of programmes and policy interventions, including technical review and quality assurance


As HEE is funded by the UK government to support NHS staff and patients, all international technical collaborations are funded on a fee-paying not-for-profit basis.

For more information get in touch with ge@hee.nhs.uk.

With a long history supported by the Royal Colleges, the UK’s medical specialty training is truly world class. IPGMTS aims to provide medical specialty training in England, giving the candidates a full replication of NHS competence-based training.  Once the candidates have completed the programme they return to their sponsor country to put their skills into practice, leading in service provision in their chosen field. 

IPGMTS trainees are sponsored by overseas governments or institutions and are supernumerary to the UK’s medical workforce needs.  They complement British trainees on existing training programmes. Places are limited and only open via government to government agreements. 

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