The Global Health Fellowship (GHF) programme offers doctors the chance to work as a volunteer for 4 to 6 months in Africa.

The information on this page applies to trainees in England. 

See guidance for Northern IrelandScotland and Wales.

GP, Paediatric and Acute Care Common Stem (ACCS) trainees

As you may be aware, Health Education England (HEE) supports a volunteer programme enabling post-ST/CT2s from GP, Acute Care Common Stem (ACCS) and Paediatric training programmes to work as a volunteer for 4 to 6 months in a low-resource setting in Africa. The continuation of the GH programme is important for HEE because of opportunities for the personal and professional development of individual GHFs but also benefits to the NHS and the opportunity to improve health outcomes in resource poor communities.

Time out must be taken as Out of Programme Experience (OOPE) and needs to be agreed with your educational supervisor (ES), head of school and regional dean. Some previous GHFs have used the time to attend Dip TM&H courses in Liverpool, London, Glasgow and MSF. GHFs are encouraged to attend HEE pre-deployment courses and possibly Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) and Advanced Paediatric Life Support (APLS) / Helping Babies Breathe.

Deployment options include, South Africa, Namibia, Malawi, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya and Sierra Leone. If you're interested please take a little time to look at the Global Health Fellowship Volunteer Programme brochure and the HEE Global Health website.

HEE offers a stipend of up to £1,000 pm (to a maximum of £6,000 over six months) to successful Global Health Fellow applicants.

There are numerous opportunities for professional and personal development. Previous GHFs have reported that their time overseas as a GHF was the single most formative experience in their professional life and return to work in the NHS as future leaders of our profession.

We envisage that prospective GHF Volunteers will apply for a 12-month OOPE and plan for a 6-month deployment to include working, travel and holiday and so on, leaving the other 6 months to do NHS locum work while they build up skills, knowledge and funds for their deployment or perhaps take the opportunity to attend a Dip TM&H course.

4-month full-time deployment during ST3

A shorter 4-month full-time deployment during ST3 is an alternative for GP trainees. Applicants should discuss plans with their ES and training programme director (TPD) before a formal OOPE application to their head of school. Successful application is not a “given” and depends on their academic progress and the logistics in their training practice.

Suggested educational requirements for 4-month GHF volunteer OOPE during ST3 are:

  • outcome 1 at their last Annual Review of Competency Progression (ARCP)
  • Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) pass before starting ST3
  • Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA) or Recorded Consultation Assessment (RCA) requirement specific to the dates of their overseas deployment
  • minimum of 3 months (prior to CCT) in their training practice after return from GHF programme OOPE

Appointment as a GHF is subject to completing an application form and meeting with your deanery GH lead to discuss the GHFP along with your motivation, suitability and resilience. There will be an opportunity to ask any questions that you may have. There is no formal competitive interview process. 

GHFs should be reassured that HEE will try to deploy them in groups of 2 for mutual support and that they will be clinically supervised during their deployment. Completing the GH programme is an extremely tough and demanding assignment and in the past there has been a 50% drop-out rate after appointment. We understand that personal circumstances change but retention of GHFs is a priority for us and we want to be sure that you have made an informed decision. Resignation during ST/CT 2 immediately prior to deployment can lead to gaps in service provision, blocking accommodation and disappointment for other unsuccessful applicants and the host health institution.

We now invite expressions of interest from GP, ACCS and Paeds ST/CTs for deployment in 2023/24. If you think that a Global Health Fellowship is right for you and you would like to strengthen your CV and use your skills and knowledge to give something back to a resource poor African community, apply now.

If you're applying from the South West, Peninsula, Thames Valley or Wessex regions, send your completed application form to Paula Cain, GH Manager, at [email protected]

If you're applying from the East of England, East Midlands or West Midlands regions, send your completed application form to Hilary Foster at [email protected]