Beyond the Hospital’ (BTH) was a 22 month public engagement project, funded by a Wellcome Trust International Engagement Award from 2014-2016. The project aimed to empower patients with central nervous system (CNS) infections, their carers, and health staff at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases (HTD), Ho Chi Minh City, by facilitating consultation and engagement between health service users, researchers and health service providers. The broader goal was to contribute to biomedical research and improved health outcomes.

The project was well received by all stakeholders and objectives were achieved through qualitative social science research and a range of public engagement activities and outputs. Early feedback demonstrates promising outcomes including, most significantly, the establishment of a social work department and ‘family room’ at HTD to support and empower patients & carers to continue their recovery post-discharge. Other outcomes include increased discussion and action in HTD around rehabilitation and patients’ needs.