The International Health Coordination Centre (IHCC) is a unique whole-of-Wales programme of work, bringing together all Health Boards and NHS Trusts. It promotes and facilitates international health partnerships, serving as a focal point for information sharing, knowledge exchange, collaboration and networking across the UK, Europe and the world.

The IHCC aims to maximise potential gains for the people in Wales and beyond, promoting a culture of global citizenship and supporting a health system, which is globally responsible, as well as more equal, resilient, sustainable and prosperous.

The IHCC is part of Public Health Wales and its WHO Collaborating Centre on Investment for Health and Well-being, sharing and amplifying international learning, benefits and opportunities. It has successfully established a strong network of key stakeholders within and beyond Welsh borders, including Welsh Government, Wales for Africa, NGOs, and UK, European and global partners and networks.

Charter for International Health Partnerships in Wales (the Charter)

The IHCC has facilitated the development of the Charter – a unique whole-of NHS commitments, aiming to ensure that principles and values of the NHS are reflected in all international health activity. It strengthens Wales’ reciprocal work to build evidence-based practice, and develop sustainable partnerships based on equity and in the pursuit of mutual tangible benefits and healthy prosperous lives for all, within and beyond Welsh borders. The Charter is based on Wales’ history of accomplishment and learning in this area and outlines the four foundations of successful international health partnerships: organisational responsibilities; reciprocal partnership working; good practice; and sound governance.

The Charter is available here: Charter for International Health Partnerships in Wales – World Health Organization Collaborating Centre On Investment for Health and Well-being

The IHCC has established a Charter Implementation Group (CIG) to provide a cross-NHS Wales platform for outreach and involvement related to international and global health work; informing, sharing, discussing, supporting and developing synergies and joint work streams. It works to create an active and motivated network of Health Boards and Trusts representatives who champion international health engagement, support ‘globally responsible’ sustainable organisations and drive a culture of ‘global citizenship’. The ultimate aim of the CIG is to help achieve better health and well-being and reduce health inequalities within and beyond Welsh borders.

Charter for International Health Partnerships in Wales: an Implementation Toolkit

The Charter Implementation Toolkit has been developed from lessons learned along the way, compiling examples of best practice and providing a governance framework to support international health activity. Designed as a ‘living document,’ the Toolkit will be continually updated to assist signatories in implementing charter principles.

The Charter Toolkit is available here: Charter Toolkit – World Health Organization Collaborating Centre On Investment for Health and Well-being

IHCC progress reports

The IHCC has published two progress reports highlighting NHS Wales’ achievements in working internationally and implementing the Charter. They also describe the IHCC enabling role and how it has evolved over the years in relation to global, UK, national and local developments.

The first IHCC progress report can be found here: IHCC Progress Report 2013-2015 – World Health Organization Collaborating Centre On Investment for Health and Well-being

The second IHCC progress report can be found here: IHCC Progress Report 2015-17 – World Health Organization Collaborating Centre On Investment for Health and Well-being

Global Citizenship

Global Citizenship: launch of the new NHS e-learning module

The International Health Co-ordinating Centre (IHCC), WHO Collaborating Centre on ‘Investment for Health and wellbeing’, Public Health Wales has announced the launch of the first Global Citizenship e-learning resource for the NHS.

This free online learning platform is aimed at health professionals and all in the NHS in Wales, interested in learning more about Global Citizenship (GC) what it means to our every day lives, understanding international perspectives and health professional’s experiences and how we can contribute, help with solutions and become more globally aware in and outside of work.

The resource has been created to encourage GC development and will enable NHS staff to:

  • Learn about why there are inequalities in Wales and the world and their impact on health
  • Take part in discussions on international health and development and other themes and topics
  • Question viewpoints and perspectives
  • Challenge stereotypes
  • Learn about the social, economic, environmental, cultural and political impact of globalisation, especially on health and the NHS
  • Explore their own values and how they impact on others
  • Listen to, understand and respect different views
  • Be reflective and develop critical thinking skills
  • Understand the different ways of achieving global poverty reduction
  • Develop and support their personal and professional development

Split into six modules, a core and five ‘deep dives’ covering subjects such as aid and development, rights based health, globalisation, peace and conflict and climate change, this resource is easy to access, easy to use and will be invaluable to all NHS professionals.

Liz Green, Consultant in Public Health, Policy and International Health, WHO Collaborating Centre at Public Health Wales said:

 “Building a globally aware workforce will not only have benefits for those working within Public Health Wales and NHS Wales, it will have benefits for the wider population.”

Dr Gillian Richardson, Deputy Chief Medical Officer (Vaccines) who oversaw the project which began in 2018 said:

“We live in an interconnected world where local health threats rapidly become global, and global threats have local impact, as we have seen with the Coronavirus pandemic, climate change, food and water security and essential medical and other supply chains. In 2017 Public Health Wales made a commitment to become an organisation which is nationally focused and globally responsible through a 10 year International Health Strategy. This resource co-produced with Oxfam Cymru and the Wales Centre for International Affairs is an expansion of this, for the whole of NHS Wales, building on the Welsh Government Framework ‘Health Within and Beyond Welsh Borders’ (2012) where developing NHS Wales professionals as global citizens was one of four key priorities.”

The resource has been commissioned by Public Health Wales, in junction with the Welsh Centre for International Affairs and Oxfam Cymru and was launched on 4 November at the Wales and Africa Health Conference 2021.

The modules can be accessed here: Learning.wales.nhs.uk