“Healthcare UK  has been delighted to support the Wessex International Healthcare Consortium from the very beginning of their journey to capitalise on international opportunities by bringing together the extensive healthcare expertise of the region’s NHS organisations, academic institutions and businesses. We look forward to working closely with the consortium to support their international commercial ambitions well into the future”. 

Deborah Kobewka, Managing Director, Healthcare UK


WIHC_LOGO_MASTERWessex International Healthcare Consortium is a large, clinically comprehensive and high quality regional NHS consortium which brings together NHS and academia in Wessex, with most of its members already having an established track record of working successfully internationally for many years. It was established by the AHSN on behalf of all members as a unique opportunity to offer unrivalled expertise across the widest spectrum of healthcare including primary, secondary, mental health and academia with a purpose to work in partnership with healthcare providers internationally.

Examples of current expertise include:

  • Partnering with international healthcare organisations to support the development of sustainable healthcare solutions which meet local needs.
  • Harnessing the expertise of our leading clinicians, academics and operational managers to provide international consulting services ranging from single projects to long-term partnerships.
  • Medical education partnerships that lead to long-term and sustainable improvements in clinical services and enhanced capability in the workforce required to deliver them.

The aim of this programme is to;

  • Raise the international profile of the Wessex healthcare and education sector
  • Identify the biggest healthcare opportunities
  • Showcase and respond to overseas business opportunities for our members & encourage collaborative working
  • Help Wessex NHS organisations and universities access opportunities and convert them into business success

Challenge/ problem identified

High growth countries are embarking on large programmes of healthcare reform which creates new opportunities for partnerships with UK healthcare institutions and organisations. Healthcare UK (a joint venture between Department of Health and Department for International Trade) has £13bn of active opportunities and whilst the international market is looking to the UK with our strong reputation and premium worldwide ranking, we need to organise ourselves to respond. The window of opportunity is 5 years and relationships created now might generate revenue which can alleviate pressure on budgets and be reinvested in innovation and improvement within the UK.

International activity can also bring fresh research and learning opportunities, increase recruitment and retention as well as sharing NHS expertise with other countries.

Actions taken

Wessex International Healthcare Consortium promotes and grows the capabilities of Wessex NHS and universities to offer the very best healthcare and health education to the international market. By collaborating to combine our unique skills, expertise and international reputation of the NHS, Wessex International Healthcare Consortium offers exceptional services and suppliers to the international healthcare market.

Wessex AHSN has

  • Developed a showcase for WIHC members to use a website as a ‘shop window’ of services and products available from WIHC members to generate enquiries from international organisations
  • Informed Healthcare UK of the types of services and products available, so potential international business opportunities can be identified which could be met by WIHC members
  • Provided a UK-side brokerage function: Wessex AHSN will encourage business to business contact between WIHC members and interested overseas businesses, via Healthcare UK.
  • Supported consortia development to bring services and products together to generate an offer that one organisation could not provide on their own.

Impacts/ outcomes

  • Wessex WIHCGenerating at least 3 new inward investment opportunities for the Wessex region and UK Plc
  • Providing at least 5 concrete examples of collaboration amongst Wessex AHSN members to internationally export high quality, safe services and products
  • Increasing and developing local workforce through exchanges / placements with international organisations
  • Supporting at least 5 local businesses to win commercial health and life science contracts overseas, bringing new investment to the UK

A strategic partner with Healthcare UK and a Founder Member of the UK International Healthcare Management Association (UKIHMA), Wessex AHSN hosts the first NHS with Academic Consortium.

“Working with colleagues throughout the Wessex area gives us a unique opportunity to offer unrivalled expertise across the widest spectrum of healthcare including primary, secondary and mental health and we welcome the opportunity to work in partnership with healthcare providers internationally”.

Mel Rankine, Commercial Director, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust

Plans for the future

  • Generating new inward investment into the Wessex region and UK Plc by meeting the business needs of international organisations.
  • Providing opportunities for International organisations to showcase products and services that, if implemented, would improve patient care and generate cost savings for the NHS.
  • Increasing cohesion amongst AHSN members to export high quality, safe services and products to international customers.
  • Workforce development opportunities; increasing local workforce growth through placements with international customers and developing our workforce through providing exchange opportunities internationally
  • Industry involvement; supporting Wessex and South Coast businesses to win commercial health and life science contracts overseas, bringing new investment into the UK.

Which national clinical or policy priorities does this example address?

  • Driving Economic Growth.

Start and end dates

  • WIHC was launched in 2016.  In 2017, it has responded to over 20 potential international trade opportunities on behalf of the NHS Trusts, CCGs and Universities in Wessex.
  • WIHC has supported a trade deal with Holland for set-up consultancy for a Mental Health initiative developed in Wessex.
  • WIHC is an ongoing programme hosted by Wessex AHSN.

Contact for help and advice

Project contact for further information:
Rachel Dominey, Associate Director Wealth & Enterprise, Wessex AHSN.
E: Rachel.dominey@wessexahsn.net

Media contact for further information:
Michael Goodeve, Head of Comms, Wessex AHSN
E: Michael.goodeve@wessexahsn.net

Find out more at www.wihc.co.uk