What is Wessex?
Wessex was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom dating back to the 6th century CE. The area continued to have an identity for many centuries and after the formation of the National Health Service in 1948, the name was used by successive Regional Health Authorities to define the administrative areas that they covered.
As the NHS developed, Southampton became a centre for regional services and a medical school was formed. Clinical networks developed across the region and local hospitals play a part in the education of medical students. The area the networks cover now includes Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton, the Isle of Wight, Dorset and South Wiltshire. This is the area covered by the Wessex Global Health Network, though anyone outside this area is welcome to become connected and is welcome to sign up to receive the newsletter.
Why was the Network formed?
The Network was started in 2014, when it was realised that there were many good pieces of work being carried out in Low and Middle Income Countries by people in various parts of Wessex, but very few knew what each other was doing. Not only did this limit the sharing of good practice, it also made it very difficult for others to know how to become involved.
The formation of the Network was supported by the Wessex Deanery, which looked after NHS workforce education. With subsequent NHS reorganisations the Network found a new home in 2017 with the Centre for Global Health at the University of Winchester. Partly as a result of this collaboration, the Network developed a Short Online Introduction to Global Health.
Most of the work of the Network is carried out on a voluntary basis, which includes that of its Steering Group chaired by Dame Yvonne Moores. Grants to support Networks from Health Education England in 2021 have enabled the website to be redeveloped and its work extended.
What does the Network do?
The are broadly three areas of work in which the Network is involved
- Education – provided mainly through its newsletter, online events, the website and the short online introduction to global health course.
- Networking – provided mainly through its events (particularly to share tacit knowledge and develop the social capital of participants) and the website
- Involvement – provided mainly through use events and use of the website
Its activities include
Who is doing what, where? The website has been designed particularly to let users find out who is doing what, where in the world and be able to contact them. This includes both the Health Partnerships that exist and research that is being carried out. Its design also allows users to relate this to specific Sustainable Development Goals and to enquire in what research individual universities in Wessex are involved.
Events : Using this information allows the Network to organise events where people who are working in the same country or the same topic can meet and share experiences.
Engagement : The website is designed to help people find early or late career pathways to engage in global health. It does this by providing information about global health policies and organisations related to global health together, guidance about where to learn about global health and the practicalities and option to consider when planning to work abroad.
Newsletter : The fortnightly newsletter provides information about local, national and international news, events and learning opportunities as well as information on global health research, funding sources, Sustainable Development Goals in the UK and jobs. It is free and open to anyone to sign up to receive it whether or not they live or work in Wessex.
Let us know what you are doing
Global health activity in Wessex continually changes and we rely on people letting us know what they are doing, what may have changed and any errors that we may have made on the website.
Please let us know about anything you think should be added, subtracted or modified or if you would like to become more involved with the Network or just find out more, please e-mail the co-ordinator, John Acres.
If you would like to receive the newsletter, the use the button below.