Press release

Press Release: Government unveils healthcare sector export champion

Healthcare UK, the new organisation set up to promote Britain’s world leading healthcare sector to international customers, will be launched…

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Healthcare UK, the new organisation set up to promote Britain’s world leading healthcare sector to international customers, will be launched in the Middle East at a major international trade show this month.

In a joint initiative between the Department of Health, NHS Commissioning Board and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), Health Minister Lord Howe will launch the organisation at the Arab Health Congress in Dubai on 29th January. He will be joined by UK Business Ambassador Lord Darzi and the newly appointed Healthcare UK Managing Director, Howard Lyons

Drawing on the unparalleled experience running the world’s largest integrated national health system and a strong private healthcare sector, the UK offers complete solutions to major healthcare challenges. Healthcare UK aims to boost the value of the UK’s trade in healthcare products and services.

Health Minister Lord Howe said:

The UK is a world leader in healthcare, with unrivalled experience and expertise in meeting the health needs of a diverse population.

Healthcare UK is good news for the UK economy which will benefit from the extra jobs and revenue created by our highly successful healthcare industries as they trade more across the globe. It also means more money for the NHS across the UK.

I’d like to congratulate Howard Lyons on his appointment as Managing Director - his international healthcare experience matched with the UK’s expertise in healthcare can drive growth and benefit the UK taxpayer.

Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said:

The expansion of healthcare provision across the globe represents a significant trade opportunity to the UK - particularly in the big emerging economies like India, China and Brazil and the Middle East. Healthcare UK will deliver a step-change in the value of the UK’s exports in healthcare.

UKTI chief executive Nick Baird said:

I am delighted to welcome Howard Lyons to his role as Managing Director of Healthcare UK. Howard brings a great deal of international commercial healthcare experience and has worked in the NHS and the private health sector in Britain and overseas. He will provide the leadership to ensure that Healthcare UK supports the development of this developing export sector.

Healthcare UK will draw on an in-depth knowledge of the UK’s health sector and utilise UKTI’s network of professional advisers in nearly 100 countries to:

  • provide a single gateway to the UK’s capabilities in healthcare – private, public and academic – to help international customers access the UK’s healthcare expertise
  • run campaigns to boost the profile of the UK’s health sector overseas in target markets
  • identify the biggest international opportunities in healthcare and help the UK’s health sector access them enabling compelling and culturally appropriate propositions to be formulated
  • facilitate the formation of consortia of UK organisations to provide complete solutions to major healthcare challenges.

Notes to editors

  1. UKTI has appointed Howard Lyons as Managing Director of Healthcare UK. Howard spent the first ten years of his career working in the NHS as a senior manager in London teaching hospitals. Since leaving the NHS to work on international assignments, he has managed large hospitals in the Middle East and undertaken a wide range of consulting assignments for public and private sector clients as well as for some of the major development agencies such as the World Bank, Department for International Development, Inter-American Development Bank and the United Nations. Over the past 30 years, Howard has been actively involved in taking the best of British healthcare and applying its expertise and knowledge to healthcare systems and organisations which want to benefit from the enormous investment Britain has made in developing its own health services.
  2. Healthcare UK will work closely with Trade Envoys and Business Ambassadors and with the government’s international network of embassies, consulates and trade offices. Its activities will be overseen by a board with representatives from the NHS, the Department of Health, UKTI and industry. Healthcare UK will be based at UKTI’s headquarters in London.
  3. An extensive media campaign, involving print, TV and digital media will be mounted to support the launch of Healthcare UK at the Arab Health Congress on 29th January 2013.
  4. Recent examples of successes for the UK’s health sector overseas include: * Capita Symonds has just been awarded a multi million pound contract for the design review and construction supervision of a 415 bed expansion programme to the existing Amiri Hospital in Kuwait * Arup has recently secured a contract for the development of a 1,500 bed woman and children’s hospital in Kaifeng, Henan province, Central China * Alliance Boots in June 2012 entered a partnership with Walgreens, the largest drug store chain in the US, to bring together the strengths and expertise of both companies to create the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise * Laing O’Rourke is one of the four equal equity partners for the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal, a state-of-the-art patient-centred hospital leading the regeneration of Montréal * King’s Health Partners are establishing a day case outpatient based clinic at Shining Towers in Abu Dhabi, and are setting up a foetal medicine Clinic in Burjeel Hospital based on the existing world renowned model at King’s * University of Bradford have signed an agreement with the Dubai Health Authority to provide nursing and midwifery education to nurses working in the field to enable them to seek higher education without having to leave their jobs * Sheffield Hallam University have signed an historic agreement with the Kuwaiti Ministry of Health, which could see nursing leaders from Kuwait being trained at the University * Serco has signed a 10 year agreement to provide facilities and operational management at Fiona Stanley Hospital at Murdoch. The $2 billion hospital will be Western Australia’s flagship health facility * UK Biocentre has established a collaboration with the National Guard Health Affairs (NGHA), for the development of a Biobank in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  5. The UK Healthcare Sector: * World leader - the UK is a world-leader in healthcare with unrivalled experience and expertise in meeting the complex health demands of diverse populations * Cost effective - the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is one of the world’s most cost effective healthcare systems, which is at the forefront of healthcare delivery, research and training * Excellent institutions – many NHS institutions have an international reputation for excellence, including Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, Imperial College Healthcare, King’s College Hospital, Moorfield’s Eye Hospital, The Royal Marsden Hospital and University Hospitals Birmingham * World-class training - the UK has a world-class reputation for training for medical, nursing and allied professional staff * Partnership - the UK has pioneered collaboration between the NHS, commercial healthcare companies and academia to develop innovative, integrated, high quality and cost-effective systems of care. This partnership extends to planning and delivering facilities, clinical services and deploying new technologies * Enhancing clinical services - the UK has a long track record of enhancing clinical services through analysis of how they are delivered and implementing solutions which provide better patient outcomes and improve efficiency * Creating facilities – the UK has specialist design, build and operating companies with an international reputation for creating unique and culturally appropriate medical facilities * Sophisticated data analysis - the UK has some of the most sophisticated health data, analysis, planning and programme implementation systems in the world * Telehealth leader – the UK is at the forefront of implementing community-wide telehealth, telecare and m-Health (mobile health) systems.
  6. The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011: * To create the most competitive tax system in the G20 * To make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business * To encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy * To create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.
  7. Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.
  8. UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the Government Department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage. For more information on UKTI, visit or visit the online newsroom at
Published 16 January 2013