About Health Partnerships

Health partnerships are a model for improving health and health services based on ideas of co-development between people and institutions from different countries.

Partnerships are long-term but not permanent and are based on ideas of reciprocal learning and mutual benefits. Fundamental to any health partnership, is that it has been developed collaboratively and is based on need.

Engaging with a Health Partnership

Health partnerships take many forms; they can be an arrangement between friends, colleagues, organisations, charities or NHS Boards.

If you are looking to get involved in a health partnership, we suggest, as a first step, contacting the Global Citizenship Lead Champion in your Health Board who will be able to guide you to further information and local staff involved in global health work.

You can also search the Health Partnership Map which will give you an idea of the different health partnerships that are underway and an idea of what is involved and how your skills and interests could contribute.

Health Partnership Toolkits

Regardless of which type of health partnership you opt to volunteer with, NHS Scotland recommends that all NHS staff engaged in health partnership work embrace the Principles of Partnership developed by the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET) .

THET have also produced a number of other useful documents and tools to support partnership working, including their Guide for new Health Partnerships.

The NHS Scotland Global Citizenship ‘Doing It Well’ guide also provides links to a selection of sources of advice and support.

Twinning Partnerships for Improvement

The World Health Organisation promotes Twinning Partnerships for Improvement (TPI) as a way for institution-to-institution partnerships, working together to improve quality of care for all.

The NHS Scotland Global Citizenship programme is involved in one such partnership, between the ministries of health of Malawi, Scotland and Zambia. This partnership is focussed on what all members can learn from each other.

For more information, please click Twinning Partnerships for Improvement

If you would like more information on our twinning partnership, please email ScottishGHCU@gov.scot


To learn more about global health projects being taken forward by colleagues in the NHS and other sectors relevant to health, visit our Health Partnership map