A host of Department of Health arm’s length bodies - including Health Education England, Public Health England and Monitor - will meet this month to discuss the scope for marketing their services overseas.
The organisations have agreed to attend a meeting of all DH arm’s length bodies called by Healthcare UK, the organisation tasked with helping UK healthcare providers do more business abroad.
Healthcare UK - part of UK Trade and Investment - and the DH said the talks were intended to establish what “appetite” existed among the arm’s length bodies for raising revenue overseas.
Howard Lyons, Healthcare UK’s managing director, told HSJ: “The meeting with the ALBs will explore what opportunities are available, [the organisations’] appetite and capability to pursue those opportunities, and how they are set up to do that.
“It will be wide ranging discussion.”
A spokesman for NHS Blood and Transplant, which also confirmed it will send a representative to the meeting, said: “The objective [of the meeting] will be to understand better what products and services of the organisations represented might be attractive to export markets, and what support UKTI/HealthcareUK might be able to offer in accessing those markets.”
A HEE spokeswoman said: “We would be interested in opportunities to raise revenue where this enhances our core purpose of providing high quality clinical training to support high quality patient care.”
However, health sector regulator Monitor indicated that, while it would attend the meeting, it was unlikely to be interested in pursuing overseas work.
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A spokesman for Monitor said: “Monitor exists to make the English health sector work better for patients, and all our efforts are focused on that core purpose.
“While we will be attending the Healthcare UK workshop on marketing services overseas, we currently have no plans to market our own expertise abroad.
“However, we do support those foundation trusts who are seeking to bring in extra income for the benefit of NHS patients from providing their own services overseas.”
Mr Lyons added that any outcomes from the meeting, to be held on 23 September, would also inform guidelines Healthcare UK is drafting to help NHS trusts and foundation trusts interested in developing overseas commercial partnerships.
He said the guidance, due to be published in November, would help “NHS trusts that have not yet considered the possibility of doing international work to look at the different markets and options, whether they do it in partnership with another trust or with a private company. [We will be] looking at business models as well.”