Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Global health and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine: a cross-sectional survey of members and fellows
  1. Emma Fernandez1,
  2. Najeeb Rahman2,
  3. James Hayton3,
  4. Claire Crichton4,
  5. Victoria DeWitt1,
  6. Giles Cattermole5,
  7. Olivia Corn6,
  8. Shweta Gidwani7,
  9. Hooi-Ling Harrison8,
  10. Richard Lowsby9,
  11. Stevan Bruijns10
  12. On behalf of Royal College of Emergency Medicine Global Emergency Medicine committee
  1. 1 Royal College of Emergency Medicine, London, UK
  2. 2 Emergency Department, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, UK
  3. 3 Emergency Department, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, Whitehaven, UK
  4. 4 Emergency Department, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  5. 5 Emergency Department, Princess Royal University Hospital, Orpington, UK
  6. 6 Emergency Department, Newham University Hospital NHS Trust, London, UK
  7. 7 Emergency Department, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, UK
  8. 8 Emergency Department, King's College Hospital NHS Trust, London, UK
  9. 9 Emergency Department, Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Crewe, UK
  10. 10 Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
  1. Correspondence to Dr Stevan Bruijns, Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town 7925, South Africa; Stevan.bruijns{at}


Background There is growing interest in global health participation among emergency care doctors in the UK. The aim of this paper was to describe the demographics of members and fellows of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine involved in global health, the work they are involved in, as well as the benefits and barriers of this work.

Methods We conducted a survey to include members and fellows of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine describing the context of their global health work, funding arrangements for global health work and perceived barriers to, and benefits of, global health work.

Results The survey collected 1134 responses of which 439 (38.7%) were excluded. The analysis was performed with the remaining 695 (61.3%) responses. Global health involvement concentrated around South Asia and Africa. Work contexts were mainly direct clinical service (267, 38%), curriculum development (203, 29%) and teaching short courses (198, 28%). Activity was largely self-funded, both international (539, 78%) and from UK (516, 74%). Global health work was not reported to contribute to appraisal by many participants (294, 42.3%). Funding (443, 64%) and protected time (431, 62%) were reported as key barriers to global health productivity.

Discussion Participants largely targeted specialty development and educational activities. Lack of training, funding and supported time were identified as barriers to development. Galvanising support for global health through regional networks and College support for attracting funding and job plan recognition will help UK-based emergency care clinicians contribute more productively to this field.

  • communications
  • education
  • emergency care systems
  • global health

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Handling editor Richard Body

  • Twitter @NajeebR777, @codingbrown

  • Contributors Substantial contributions from authors included the conception and design of the work (EF, NR, JH, CC and SB), the acquisition (VDW), analysis (EF and SB), interpretation of data for the work (all authors). SB wrote the first draft. All authors revised it critically for important intellectual content. All authors approved the version submitted to be published. All authors agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Map disclaimer The depiction of boundaries on the map(s) in this article does not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of BMJ (or any member of its group) concerning the legal status of any country, territory, jurisdiction or area or of its authorities. The map(s) are provided without any warranty of any kind, either express or implied.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available upon reasonable request. All data relevant to the study are available upon reasonable request.