About the programme

The NHS Scotland Global Citizenship Programme aims to increase NHS Scotland’s global health contribution, by making it easier for all NHS staff to participate in global citizenship, both here in Scotland and overseas, through the provision of guidance, co-ordination and support.

The Programme reflects and supports our existing international development commitments to our partner countries, as set out in the Scottish Government’s International Development Strategy, in particular our commitment to support capacity strengthening in the area of health.


In 2015 the Scottish Global Health Collaborative (SGHC) was established to work with the Scottish Government, and partners in the wider health community to promote effective and coordinated health sector involvement in global health. 

The SGHC commissioned the Royal College of Surgeons and Physicians of Glasgow (RCPSG) to produce a report which would:

  • Define and describe current international volunteering by Scottish health workers.
  • Evaluate the benefits and challenges of international volunteering to the Scottish NHS.
  • Appraise the current approach by NHS Scotland to international volunteering by its staff.
  • Suggest what actions would deliver improved benefit from global health work to Scottish health workers and the Scottish health system, and improved benefit to partners abroad.

The RCPSG report  “Global Citizenship in the Scottish Health Service” published in 2017, set out 8 recommendations for a more structured approach to the management of global citizenship activities across NHS Scotland. 

The approach was endorsed by the Health and Social Care Management Board (HSCMB), NHS Chairs and Chief Executives. A NHS Scotland Global Citizenship Advisory Board to oversee implementation of the recommendations in the RCPSG report. A Scottish Global Health Co-ordination Unit was also established to support the Programme.

The NHS Scotland Global Citizenship Programme formally launched in June 2018.

Doing it well guide

To learn more about our programme, please download the 'Doing It Well' guide'.