Trust Doctor Jobs in the NHS

  • April 10, 2020

NHS trust doctor jobs are paid well with numerous posts available across the UK.

Trust doctors are employed by the NHS in service posts, and therefore for training purposes only are not regulated by Royal College or Deanery. They are an attractive way for both the NHS and IMGs to ensure doctors are secured into posts quickly. The work of a trust doctor is often indistinguishable from that of a training post, and can therefore be an attractive option for trusts, paving way for the recruitment of overseas doctors. 

In this article will explore the both, with particular focus on service jobs. We will include the following topics:

What is a trust doctor?

Trust doctor jobs in the NHS cover a range of grades and apply to all specialities. It is a term applied to a doctor who is working in the NHS in a non-training post. 

Typically, the title trust doctor is applied to a doctor working at Senior House Level (FY1 & 2), however the term has now become synonymous with all grades. 

It is now a term most commonly applied to doctors from FY1 to ST3, but can be applied to specialty doctors by some trusts. 

Trust doctors work in career posts without specialist recognition, but often doctors doing service level jobs secure an ‘approved post’ and complete specialist training, others continue to progress using their experience as the platform.

Many of the doctors accepting service posts are from overseas, this can be a quick way to enter the NHS system and start your career in the UK. 

Could I take a training post instead?  

Yes, training posts in the NHS are very attractive. However, competition for places on training posts within the NHS is highly competitive. 

As such for IMGs interested in securing a place on a training post in the NHS, we advise that IMGs obtain a trust doctor or SAS doctor post, depending on experience, for 1 – 2 years. Following which you will be able to apply for a training post, for which you will be given priority. 

Not only will this approach give you the best chance of securing excellent training and career progression opportunities in the NHS, it will also give you the chance to settle in to the UK, get to know your trust better, and help you understand the training post that will suit you the most. 

Trust doctor posts also offer very competitive rates, so whilst you are getting to know the NHS and settling into life in the UK, you can also ensure that you are financially rewarded

What are the benefits of a trust doctor job? 

No matter what grade you are working at, there are benefits to a trust doctor role. 

Less competition and route to more training

The majority of IMGs are keen to enter training pathways at some point, but competition for these positions is very high. Places are offered to UK based applicants first, then EEA followed by Non-EEA applicants.

As such, it can be difficult to get a training post when applying for your first NHS role. 

However, competition for trust doctor roles are not nearly so competitive and can lead to successful applications for training programmes. 

Quicker route to securing your first post

For overseas doctors applying for trust doctor posts, as opposed to a training post, the process can be quicker. Less competition and a high demand for doctors will ensure that IMG Connect can secure you interviews quickly. 

Financial reward

Trust doctor jobs typically offer competitive salaries, with some harder to fill locations able to offer additional incentives. Speak with your IMG Consultant for more information. 

Allowing you time to settle into the UK and NHS

Taking a trust doctor role can be a great way to allow yourself time to settle into your new job and enjoy living in the UK. By taking on a new culture, employer and healthcare system all at once, you may feel more comfortable taking on a service post avoiding all the extra commitment and learning associated with a training role. 

More patient focused roles and less responsibility

Trust doctor posts are usually more focused on meeting NHS service requirements compared to trainee roles. Many doctors simply prefer a role where they can spend more time with patients, without the pressured commitment to training, admin and competition associated with training roles. This gives you more time to do the job you love.

Balance between work and personal life

When taking a service post such as a Trust doctor post, additional working hours and on call commitments can be optional. You will also be given the option to increase your overall hours through weekend and shift work, which will increase your overall take home pay. In most circumstances it is up to you how you want to approach balancing a life at home with work commitments & financial rewards. 

Freedom to consider all parts of the UK

Entering a training post is not only a commitment to the programme over a number of years, but also the geographical location that the deanery covers. By taking a trust doctor service role instead, you could complete a one year contract and relocate to a different part of the UK altogether after completing the contract.


How do I secure a trust doctor job in the NHS? 

There are many reasons why a trust doctor job can be a great option for IMGs when considering their first NHS post and it is clear that service doctors are vital to the day to day running of the NHS.

Of course, many doctors will be keen to get straight onto the specialty training programme, with a clear vision of achieving consultant status. The NHS training programme is recognised the world over for its quality and innovation and as such places are at a premium.

Regardless of the route you wish to take, IMG Connect will support any doctor pursing either path and can offer guidance and advice throughout either process.

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