Take a look at how we have got to where we are today

This could be a long story and all we want to outline is the basic milestones. This is also essential since our interest is in moving forward.. Although it is a personal account, we were fortunate to have many colleagues and friends who supported us, and we are very grateful to all of them. We also want to draw a line under the past and from here on we would like this to become a more comprehensive and inclusive project.

It started in 1995, when Rajan had been in the UK for 15 years and Raman had been working in various sectors in India, and began to think about what could be done to promote exchanges between India and the UK and more importantly contribute to developments in health and education in India.
Since then there have been numerous events, and in addition to the work on public health and patient safety we started becoming concerned about the governance and accountability challenges facing the health sector in India, and started thinking about supporting leadership development.

The first attempt resulted in a workshop in Mumbai, which led to the idea of focusing on public health.

Subsequently, the Indian Confederation for Healthcare Accreditation conducted its first workshop on health care quality and this stimulated our efforts in this field and more recently the focus on patient safety.

Since then there have been numerous events, and in addition to the work on public health and patient safety we started becoming concerned about the governance and accountability challenges facing the health sector in India, and started thinking about supporting leadership development.

The Association of British Scholars (ABS) – Mumbai Chapter hosted, on 25 April 2011, the second symposium on building Indo-UK collaborations in health with a particular focus on developing leaders to support the rapidly growing health sector in India.

In a series of short presentations, delegates heard of the work being done by Professor Rajan Madhok, Medical Director NHS Manchester, who is leading a number of initiatives including for public health, patient safety and potential leadership role of Indian students in the UK. Sir Muir Gray, the former Chief Knowledge Officer of NHS England, painted a future scenario of health systems where patient empowerment and knowledge management will be increasingly important in shaping health policy and service delivery. Finally, Dr Nikhil Datar, a practising Gynaecologist in Mumbai, shared his experiences of being a Commonwealth Fellow with Professor Madhok in Manchester recently; he outlined the various ways in which he benefitted from the Fellowship and which is helping him to realise his full potential to support future health systems developments in Mumbai and beyond.

During discussions there was a consensus that much work was needed in India, that it was essential to develop leaders for the future – that British Council was already doing work to support this and that ways of extending and accelerating Indo:UK collaborations in health should be further explored.

Peter Beckingham, the Deputy HC, who attended the symposium said : ‘I found it to be a highly informative, relevant and timely symposium. The British Government is committed to playing its part in tackling global health issues and the work being done to develop and strengthen Indo:UK links seems to me to be a good start. We need to find ways to support these plans and help develop a cadre of leaders to meet India’s growing needs in this area’.

We are building on this and both of us participated in the Eisenhower Fellows South Asia meeting in Sri Lanka in Sep 2012 to develop this theme further and explore synergies in the sub-region.

With Rajan pushing from outside and Raman pulling from India, we have tried to keep going and add value in a small way.

We are committed to progressing this area of work and also recognise that the time has come to join forces with many other like-minded colleagues, many of whom have shared parts of our journey already, and together do something worthwhile.

We now want to build on this work, with your help.