HOPE: The Royal College Foundation
While the roots of our Royal College reach back to the sixteenth century it is evident that the role and relevance of our mission is just as critical today as it was when our founders responded to the health inequalities and variable outcomes which applied 400 years ago. We continue to strive to improve healthcare by ensuring that physicians, surgeons and health professionals are trained to the highest professional standards. One of our significant contributions is grounded in the standard of our assessments – benchmarks of clinical skill and professionalism which are recognised worldwide. It is the skill, commitment and passion of our membership that defines us as we continue to set the highest values of care.
While our administrative headquarters are located in the city where our story began in 1599, the essence of the College today lives in our global family of thousands of clinicians across a range of specialties. We have become increasingly concerned to develop our forward vision in such a way that we can, through our network, have a significant positive impact on the ongoing health inequalities that are still the experience of many both close to home and in other parts of the world.
We have a real opportunity to give more and to provide hope for people living in challenging circumstances where access to even basic lifesaving health services is either difficult or even impossible. We can help to provide vital services by using our resources, working through our networks, breaking down barriers and coordinating activity to produce the best effect. Our new initiative is to establish a new charitable fund to help extend the reach of our College. Our Fellows and Members have already demonstrated concern and commitment to go beyond what is expected and help to build a better future for those in need. However, a lack of funding, education and training fundamentally limits what can be done. We need to empower professionals and communities to improve the health of people everywhere and I believe we can do this through HOPE, our new philanthropic fund.
We have been grateful to have been one of the founding members of the Scottish Global Health Collaborative. From that connection we took on the responsibility of reviewing Scotland’s current contribution to global health and suggesting how this may be improved. Many partners, including the NHS, the Scottish Government and other academic and charitable bodies will now help us drive this forward and it is right that the concept of “global citizenship” is front and centre of the international aspirations of Scotland.
Our new HOPE fund will focus on driving the agenda for change, leading the charge and embracing the drive for global health. I am confident we have the human resource, indeed we have already demonstrated that through connections in Malawi and Zambia where we have been involved in supporting service, training and system strengthening. To bring some of the exciting and diverse projects, which will be the subject of future posts, to fruition we need to raise finance. We plan to do this through contributions from fellows, members, college friends and funding partners. Philanthropic giving is an opportunity for donors to support well-formed, focused activities locally, nationally and internationally, which truly make a tangible difference.
Today we have launched the first phase of HOPE: The Royal College Foundation. Over the next weeks and months, we will listen to clinicians, communities and countries to better understand their needs and shape our thinking around HOPE. Please get involved and have your say http://rcp.sg/HOPE