BSSH Overseas Committee 5 Year Strategy
5 year ambition: “To be a world leader in influencing and supporting the development of hand surgery services in low to middle income countries.
Our purpose is to “use BSSH resources to deliver maximum possible benefit for patients in need of hand surgery in low to middle income countries (LMICs). The access to timely, high quality hand surgery we take for granted in the UK is not available in many low to middle income countries. Surgical care, if available at all is provided by generalists hungry to obtain skills and knowledge in the management of hand conditions. Over the last six years our overseas work has grown from an embryonic project in Sierra Leone to established projects in four countries with several further projects being explored. The appetite for and ability of BSSH members to make a difference has been demonstrated. To date 26 members have taken part in BSSH supported overseas work. We know that many others take part in their own independent projects. This strategy describes how we will build on these solid foundations over the next five years. The BSSH Overseas Committee has seven key aims for the next five years.
BSSH Overseas Committee Role
We will support overseas work by acting as the coordinator of long-term sustainable BSSH overseas projects.This will include identification of projects, providing project leadership, liaison with the hosts and collaborating organisations and provision of pump priming funding.
We will support long-term sustainable projects.The focus will be on educating local surgeons and their wider surgical teams and supporting them to develop hand surgery services in their country.Participation in projects will be accessible to BSSH members, supervised senior trainees and allied health professionals. The BSSH will help fund travel costs aiming to provide support until projects become self-funding.Project oversight will be provided by BSSH Overseas Committee members.
Supporting BSSH member involvement
BSSH work will be visible to all members using a variety of resources including the BSSH website, and via an overseas interest group.The BSSH overseas committee will aim to educate and facilitate overseas volunteering to LMICs by learning together and sharing experiences including an annual overseas study day.Learning regarding effective surgical management in the austere environment will be developed and shared.We will aim to help remove barriers to overseas work such as obtaining authorisation of leave and developing a buddy system for new volunteers
Developing an accessible educational resource
Within two years we will have developed and maintained a hand surgery curriculum capable of being tailored to the needs of individual institutions and countries and delivered by BSSH members.We will have a mature educational resource designed and populated by BSSH members and tested in LMICs. This educational resource will be freely available to all BSSH members performing educational work in LMICs.
Influencing hand surgery delivery in low and middle income countries
There is a real opportunity for the BSSH to play a leading role in the development of hand surgery services in LMICs. Our projects will identify surgeons with potential to lead the development of hand surgery services in their country. We will create evidence based standards for hand surgery using BSSH resources aided by local surgeons tailored to the needs of patients in individual LMICs. By supporting local surgical leaders to achieve agreed standards of hand surgery provision we will encourage the formation of local Societies for Surgery of the Hand.
Long-term funding for BSSH overseas work will have been secured within two to three years. In addition to funding direct from the BSSH we will generate additional sources of funding. These will be project specific with the aim that BSSH funding will pump prime projects until they are mature enough to apply for other sources of funding grants (for example: Department for International Development, , Scar Free Foundation). Project leaders will be encouraged to generate their own funds supported by a BSSH fundraising role.
We have learnt that maximum benefit and best value for money is achieved by collaboration with other surgical providers of overseas work. Existing collaboration with BFIRST (BAPRAS overseas group) and World Orthopaedic Concern will be strengthened and relationships developed with the Royal College of Surgeons and British Orthopaedic Association.
We have achieved much during our initial phase of overseas work. There is a real opportunity for BSSH to play a key role in the development of hand surgery services in the developing world. We can make a real difference to surgeons and patients. BSSH Overseas Committee will drive this strategy forward with the help and support of BSSH membership
The key measurable targets for the next 5 years are:
1 year: Sustainable long term goals agreed for current projects in Sierra Leone, Nepal, Sudan and Malawi and project initiated in one further country.
DropBox resource established as repository for overseas teaching material.
Relationships established with key surgical and healthcare leaders in our project countries.
Role for the BSSH fundraiser agreed
3 year: BSSH supported projects being delivered in 8 LMICs
Overseas Hand Surgery curriculum developed and being used in 2-3 LMICs
BSSH facilitated standards for hand surgery in use
Two of our projects generating sufficient funds to be self-sufficient
5 year: BSSH supported projects being delivered in 10 LMICs
BSSH developed hand surgery curriculum regarded as the world leader for LMICs
Project fund raising exceeding the BSSH contribution