NHS Staffing – demands & the role of overseas doctors

  • April 10, 2020

The NHS is estimated as the 4th biggest employer in the world, employing more than 1.7million...

Despite the scale of the NHS labour force, it still does not have enough staff to meet demand. In this article we will explore the reasons why International Medical Graduates (IMGs) want to work in the NHS, the demand for more staff across the UK in every aspect of UK Healthcare, and some of the reasons working in the NHS can be beneficial for you. 

'The United Kingdom (and the NHS) has been, and remains, a popular place to work for doctors and other members of the medical profession'

In the UK, as well as across the globe, it has been well documented that demands on health services have been increasing year on year since the millennium. Advances in technology and medicine, wider ranges of healthcare, and an ageing population all play their part. It can also be said that improved practices, safer staffing numbers and planning strategies have also contributed to increasing demand. 

Shortfalls in staff, leading to greater demand for overseas practitioners

Over the past few decades shortfalls in NHS Staff across the UK have increased in part due to the slowing growth in training sufficient numbers of staff. When domestic supply slows, the NHS looks to International Recruitment. Current figures estimate that roughly 13 – 15% of hospital and community staff are recorded as having non-British nationality.

The NHS is one of the most efficient, most egalitarian and most comprehensive public health services in the world. 

Unemployment levels in the UK are at an all-time high, yet despite this there are many areas of high jobs demand. According to the UK Bureau Visa Department, the UK is experiencing severe shortages in 3 main skill areas which are: engineering, healthcare and art & entertainment. So, for International Medical Graduates (IMGs) looking to build a long-term career, with good salaries, they need look no further than the UK and the NHS. 

Strengths within NHS attract overseas doctors

The strengths of the NHS, such as training, quality and ethos, continues to attract many overseas doctors. Many choose to work in the NHS because of the attractive salaries and benefits. But the work offers much more: the chance to enhance your clinical experience as part of a team of 1.7 million NHS employees, many of whom have come to the UK from across the globe. All of whom are proud to work for the NHS, and care passionately about its growth and development. 

The NHS is committed to offering learning and development opportunities for all employees. No matter where you start within the NHS, you will have access to the highest quality training and be given every chance to progress within the organisation and to develop unique skills.

The NHS doesn’t stand still, there’s always more to learn. With a progressive and forward-thinking plan, there is always new equipment, new procedures; there’s always something to keep you progressing in your career in the UK, or for your return to your home country to enhance practice. 

There's a growing market for international health practitioners to work in the UK, and demand is very high. With a professional health qualification and an IMG Connect consultant you can pick a lot of the UK in which to work.

Senior NHS figures have told IMG Connect that recruitment has to be approached in line with changes to the way health and care services are delivered and in demand. That means a much more sophisticated approach to understanding where professionals will be needed, at least in the medium to long term. 

With that in mind, IMG Connect offers an opportunity for some fresh thinking on the process of recruiting international doctors to UK Healthcare. A comprehensive Recruitment, Relocation and Retention service for permanent doctors only, helping to considerably reduce costs and time to hire. 

NHS directors increasingly demand a significant focus on aligning values and fit and after care, in order to build a fully complimented and sustainable workforce to meet demands. 

With the level of demand for healthcare continuing to rise, the need for overseas staff will continue to increase. 

Put simply, the NHS is reliant on IMGs who want to start a career in a progressive, welcoming and rewarding environment. 

If you are a client, we would be delighted to discuss your staffing requirements and develop a bespoke solution and hiring plan. Taking time to understand your Trust and the type of doctor that will thrive in your culture, IMG Connect looks to form successful working partnerships that continue beyond the initial placement.

If you are an IMG, we offer a personalised recruitment & relocation service to any International Medical Graduate looking to find work in the UK. IMG Connect can help you start and progress your career, with advice and guidance on every aspect of planning, finding the right job, navigating legislation and relocating. This service can be summarised into four key areas of support and guidance:

  • Exams, registration and Medical Qualifications 
  • Job search & interview preparation
  • UK Visa & Immigration 
  • Relocation, aftercare & ongoing career support

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