The International Network of Health Promoting Hospitals & Health Services is a "network of networks". In total, it consists of more than 40 National / Regional HPH Networks, collaborating to reorient health care towards active promotion of health.
Each of the National / Regional HPH Networks consist of a minimum of 3 hospital and health service members. Furthermore, more than 60 hospitals and health services are individual HPH members of the International Network, since they are positioned in places yet without a National / Regional Network.
In total, the International HPH Network is made up of more than 900 hospital and health service members in more than 40 countries.
The goal of being an HPH member, of working with health promotion and of collaborating internationally is to acheive a better health gain by improving the quality of health care, the relationship between hospitals/health services, the community and the environment, as well as the conditions for and satisfaction of patients, relatives and staff.
The members are working on incorporating the concepts, values, strategies and standards / indicators of Health Promotion into the organizational structure and culture of the hospitals and health services. The network follows the principles of WHO regarding health promoting as described in the Ottawa Charter (1986), the Budapest declaration (1991), the Vienna recommendations (1997), the Bangkok Charter (2006), and the Standards for Health Promoting in Hospitals (2006), while at all times adapted to local needs and resources.
More than a decade ago, the World Health Organization initiated the Network of Health Promoting Hospitals as a pilot project in order to support hospitals towards placing more emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention, rather than on diagnosis and curative services alone.
Later, the International HPH Network became an NGO on its own, with its constitution under Swiss law in 2008. Meanwhile, the network also changed its name to include health services too. This was done to extended the scope by including non-hospital services and to strengthen the vital links between primary health care and other health services in order to secure the continuity and cooperation with other health service providers and other institutions and sectors.
Since the early years, when HPH was only a European WHO initiative, global expansion has taken place with more than 800 member hospitals and health services from all the continents of the world. The memberships are anchored in the management of district hospitals, primary care clinics (including general practitioners, nurses, midwifes etceteras), university hospitals, health centres and nursing homes amongst other parts of the health care system taking care of patients.
The December 2010 signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between WHO and the international HPH Network, was a significant achievement, a very important step and a great success. The document is an umbrella framework for collaboration, and it forms basis for the annual MoU Work Plan which outlines the specific and detailed actions that will be taken. These actions have been included into the HPH Action Plan for 2011 – 2012.
The WHO collaborations are a key priority for HPH, and among the core elements are WHO’s Health 2020 document and the agreed focus on Eastern Europe, synergies with other WHO Networks as well as the outside Europe work with PAHO, WPRO, EMRO, National Offices and Liaison Officers, which would be strengthened in future.The connection and collaboration between WHO and HPH is now even closer – something which, will bear fruit and be developed for the benefit of patients, staff and communities all over the world for years to come.
For registration and further information, please visit the join HPH section of this web page.