The Academy is pleased to be sponsoring the HOPE European Exchange programme again in 2018. It’s a unique and exciting opportunity to understand the challenges of a healthcare system outside the UK. The benefits are personal, as well as professional, as it leads to seeing your own role and the NHS in a whole new light.


Firstly, HOPE stands for Hospitals of EurOPE. The exchange programme offers those with healthcare managerial responsibilities a unique opportunity to exchange time in your healthcare system with another EU member state for four weeks, followed by an international meeting for all participants.


The 2018 programme will run from 7th May – 5th June 2018. (Please note applications for the 2018 programme are now closed)


This year, we are pleased to have increased the number of UK applicants and encouraged more organisations – across the NHS spectrum – to host participants from other EU countries to open up the experience for more people.


In his first blog, Erik Smith, HR business partner at Central North West London NHS Foundation Trust, shares the start of his journey on the programme. Read the full article here.

Who is the HOPE exchange programme for?

Individual participants


For individual participants, HOPE is open to healthcare managers or clinicians with at least three years’ experience in a healthcare management role. If you are considering it for yourself or recommending it to a colleague, participants must be available for the full period – for the exchange itself, the international meeting and all arranged programmes.


While you may not have to speak the native language, you must have proficiency in a language that is accepted by your host country; many countries accept English. Click here to download the programme’s language proficiency guide.


Host organisations


UK Hosting organisations are usually NHS Trust/Foundation Trusts or Clinical Commissioning Groups.  You should be interested in sharing your expertise with international colleagues, and engaging with them to share best practice from their home countries.


Derby Teaching Hospitals have been participating in the HOPE Exchange programme since 2013:


“It’s a great opportunity to network and share ideas and good practice across Europe. The programme helps us look at our services from a different perspective, and think about what could be done differently to drive improvements in patient care.


“So far, our Trust has sent two participants to Finland and Spain to help them broaden their horizons and see how other healthcare services function. We have also enjoyed hosting participants in both clinical and non-clinical roles from Malta, Spain, Serbia, Slovenia, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Portugal. Meeting the variety of professionals benefits our staff who can ask questions and find out how what we do here compares to the healthcare services abroad.


“What’s really important is the ever-expanding network of professionals to ensure an ongoing exchange of ideas to help individuals meet their objectives and improve healthcare services across Europe.”

– Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 



How does the programme work?