Skip to main content

Can the UK's NHS learn from innovations in world’s poor regions?

An article in the BMJ on Lord Nigel Crisp's Reverse Innovation conference held in April featured Dr Matthew Harris, an academic clinical lecturer in the Department of Primary Care & Public Health at Imperial College. In the article, Dr Harris noted the “effective” model of primary care support provided by Brazil’s lay “army” of 250 000 community health workers might be adapted for use in the UK. He also said the locally recruited workers had played a big role in Brazilian cities and rural areas, providing extensive support to households, such as sexual health, nutritional, and lifestyle advice and monitoring population health.

Dr Harris, who heads a collaboration that is planning to test the feasibility of such an approach for use in north Wales, said that implementing such “reverse innovation” could be a “game changer for the NHS” if successful. Dr Charles Alessi, who chairs the National Association of Primary Care and NHS Clinical Commissioners, said, “The north Wales experiment needs to become an English experiment.” Paul Farmer, a professor at Harvard University’s department of global health and social medicine, welcomed the idea, saying, “It’s a beautiful solution: an army of health workers with weapons of mass salvation.....”.


Popular posts from this blog

MPH students trip to Geneva 2016

Staff from the WHO Collaborating Centre for Public Health Education and Training and twenty students from the Master of Public Health course at Imperial visited multiple UN and humanitarian agencies during their recent trip to Geneva, Switzerland. Over a three day period the group visited Médecins Sans Frontières, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UN, WHO and Global Fund. Two students – Praise Izinyon and Rachael Williams – presented their mini-projects at the WHO followed by an excellent discussion with Blerta Maliqi, a technical officer for Family, Women’s and Children’s health.

Applying for the 2016-17 Imperial College MPH Programme

Thank you for your interest in the Imperial College MPH programme. The 2016 -17 MPH course starts in October 2016. Applications for entry opened in November 2015. I cannot tell you at this stage whether you will be eligible for the MPH because the decision is made by the Admissions Team when they have an opportunity to view your degree results and IELTS score (if relevant). We generally require a First Class or Upper Second Class degree from a good university, or a medical degree. A good personal statement about why you want to undertake the MPH course is essential. Previous public health experience is also helpful. You should take the opportunity to find out more about public health, for example, from the FPH website (

We have several international student societies at Imperial to provide students with some peer support away from their home country. Do check out the visa rules before you apply if you intend to stay in the UK after the MPH as these opportunities are now…