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Global health partnerships: leadership development for a purpose

Peter Hockey (NHS South Central, Newbury, UK)
Alexandra Tobin (Alexandra Tobin & Associates, Great Bedwyn, UK)
Juliette Kemp (NHS South Central, Newbury, UK)
Janet Kerrigan (NHS South Central, Newbury, UK)
Fleur Kitsell (NHS South Central, Newbury, UK)
Penny Green (NHS South Central, Newbury, UK)
Amanda Sewell (NHS South Central, Newbury, UK)
Christopher Smith (NHS South Central, Newbury, UK)
Stephanie Stanwick (Alexandra Tobin & Associates, Great Bedwyn, UK)
Peter Lees (NHS South Central, Newbury, UK)

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Article publication date: 2 October 2009




The purpose of this paper is to describe a novel approach to leadership development for UK healthcare workers, while contributing to health service improvement in a developing country.


A quality improvement faculty are used to teach and mentor National Health Service (NHS) International Development Clinical Fellows in quality improvement (QI) methods. Using accepted QI methods, sensitive and practical improvement projects are selected in partnership with local people in Cambodia in order to start achieving United Nations Millennium Development Goals related to child and maternal health. Simultaneously, NHS International Fellows gain an unparalleled opportunity to develop their leadership skills, which should benefit the NHS on their return to the UK.


Healthcare quality improvement methods, developed in First World countries, are transferable to the developing world and also function as a vehicle for developing leadership skills in experienced healthcare workers.

Practical implications

This leadership development programme fits with the stated aims of the Global Health Partnerships report, which encourages the NHS to play a global role in healthcare development in the developing world. Other First World healthcare systems could adopt this leadership development method to both improve the leadership capability of their own staff while also making a significant contribution to less well‐developed healthcare systems.


The combination of leadership development through quality improvement is novel – promising to benefit both providers and recipients.



Hockey, P., Tobin, A., Kemp, J., Kerrigan, J., Kitsell, F., Green, P., Sewell, A., Smith, C., Stanwick, S. and Lees, P. (2009), "Global health partnerships: leadership development for a purpose", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 306-316.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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