The HOPE European Exchange programme offers the opportunity for healthcare managers, or clinicians in a managerial role to visit another country and to exchange ideas and experiences with healthcare professionals, as well experience a different culture and healthcare system.

Approximately 150 participants take part in the exchange programme over 4 weeks and across 27 countries. It culminates in an international conference in Brussels, which brings together participants as well as other healthcare professionals to explore the exchange’s theme and share best practice. 

Participants in the UK

Participants are usually placed in pairs with a local host and, where possible, will be placed with a healthcare professional from another country providing a further national perspective to their programme. You’ll understand the structure of a healthcare system that’s a world apart from the NHS and, by agreeing on specific areas of interest with your line manager, your organisation benefits too.

Each receiving country structures the exchange in a way that best works for them, so you might be placed with one organisation for the duration of the exchange, or you might move around between a few.  Regardless, you’ll be sure to gain fantastic experience and learn a lot!

Host organisations in the UK

Hosting organisations will usually receive two or three participants from different professional backgrounds and countries, so as well as discussing your own services, you can also benefit by hearing first-hand about different systems and thinking from the EU participants.

You will work with the National Coordinator as well as the participants themselves to develop a local programme that will allow them to immerse themselves in your organisation while exploring the year’s theme and their own specific interests.

The exchange is between countries, not between organisations, so it isn’t necessary to both host and send participants however to maximise the impact of the exchange we would encourage you to consider it.

Benefits for participants and host organisations include:

  • An injection of fresh perspectives, ideas and innovations and encouragement to look at your services with a fresh pair of eyes
  • Learning how best practices from other countries can be applied or adapted in your organisation
  • Participants can highlight areas of strength that may be going unnoticed or underappreciated, boosting morale and engagement
  • Increased collaboration, meaning smoother delivery of care across the system (so less waste and more efficient use of resources)
  • Staff expand their professional networks, fostering the exchange of ideas and best practices beyond the exchange period.