UK-Med and RCSEd Signal Intent to Further Professionalise Humanitarian Healthcare

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06 Aug 2021

A virtual signing ceremony took place on 2 August 2021, bringing together David Wightwick, CEO of UK-Med, Professor Tony Redmond, Founder of UK-Med, Professor Michael Griffin, President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Tony Oxford, CEO of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh to sign the MOU on behalf of their respective organisations.

RCSEd has a long history in supporting humanitarian healthcare. We are immensely proud of our members who contribute to humanitarian work through their own commitments and on behalf of college activities such as the teaching of basic surgical skills in Rwanda and Palestine. The partnership with UK-Med is an exciting opportunity to highlight the invaluable lessons to be learned from humanitarian deployments and how those lessons can benefit the NHS and our international members domestic practice.

Professor Michael Griffin, RCSEd President

Each organisation brings a wealth of experience that will contribute to the further professionalisation of humanitarian healthcare.  RCSEd has been setting standards in healthcare and supporting healthcare professionals continual professional development since 1505. UK-Med has specialist knowledge and experience of emergency humanitarian assistance globally. Together, both organisations are set to make considerable strides in supporting the development of humanitarian healthcare.

This is a natural partnership. UK-Med and The Faculty of Remote Rural and Humanitarian Healthcare share the common goals of helping the sick and injured wherever they may be, and strengthening such altruism with training and professionalism. By working together UK-Med and the humanitarian community can draw on the support of a College active in healthcare education and support for over 500 years and the College draw from the rich experience of those engaged in emergency humanitarian assistance around the world.

Professor Tony Redmond, Founder, UK-Med

Under this new formal relationship each organisation will work collaboratively guided by four key objectives;

  1. enable, enhance and define formal career pathways in humanitarian healthcare;
  2. identify and mitigate any barriers to accessing a career in humanitarian healthcare;
  3. determine and recognise professional standards in humanitarian healthcare; and
  4. promote greater recognition and support for medical and non-medical practitioners undertaking humanitarian work as part of an established career pathway.

These objectives will be delivered through both parties working together in the support of and through RCSEd’s Faculty of Remote, Rural and Humanitarian Healthcare (FRRHH). UK-Med will work closely with the FRRHH on a number of the faculty’s key development projects to progress the achievement of the partnerships key objectives.

The partnership will initially support and inform the creation of a Capabilities Framework. This framework will define and demonstrate the scope of practice and capabilities required of those working in clinical and non-clinical roles in remote, rural and humanitarian healthcare. The framework will set out the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for safe and effective practice in the contexts of remote, rural and humanitarian healthcare. Once completed the framework will act as the standard that the Faculty will use to assess remote, rural and humanitarian healthcare professionals. The framework will inform a number of activities and services that will facilitate the professional development and continual assessment of healthcare professionals such as assessment and award of post nominals and the accreditation of training courses, resources and centres. This work will address the third objective of the partnership to determine and recognise professional standards in humanitarian healthcare.

The work of the Faculty, supported by UK-Med, will take important steps to provide those working in humanitarian healthcare the same opportunities for support and development that have been afforded to other healthcare professions. This will effectively bring humanitarian healthcare in line with other aspects of healthcare delivery and ensure that humanitarian healthcare professionals have a professional home to share best practice, develop professionally and inspire future generations.

UK-Med joining forces with the RCSEd is a real step forward for the delivery of professional healthcare within humanitarian response. Building on the RCSEd’s international reputation we are developing a platform for training and recognition of healthcare within humanitarian response as a discipline in its own right, improving professional development across the sector and driving up standards of healthcare delivery for the most vulnerable people on the planet.

David Wightwick, CEO UK-Med

UK-Med have played a crucial role in the development of the the Faulty of Remote, Rural & Humanitarian Healthcare since its creation. For example, the creation of the Faculty’s first educational offering, the online Introduction to Humanitarian Healthcare Course could not have been delivered without UK-Med. The online course is an excellent example of what this kind of partnership can achieve and a strong indicator of the type and quality of activity to be expected of the partnership.

We are delighted to formalise what has to date been a hugely successful relationship between UK-Med and RCSEd’s FRRHH. The online Humanitarian Healthcare course is a great example of what this partnership can achieve and I look forward to seeing this collaboration develop.

Tony Oxford, CEO, RCSEd

The signing of this MOU formalises and acknowledges the importance of this partnership and the commitment of RCSEd and UK-Med through the FRRHH to the development of remote, rural and humanitarian healthcare. 

Both UK-Med and FRRHH look forward to exploring additional opportunities for future collaboration under the auspices of the newly signed MOU.


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