A psychiatrist's journey to the UK - Dr Linda Granqvist

  • November 18, 2021
 

Are you an overseas psychiatrist looking to move to the UK? Here, you can hear first-hand the experiences of an international doctor who has been through the process, from completing GMC registration, to securing an NHS job and relocating to the UK.

IMG Stories is our series introducing you to international doctors who we have helped to relocate to the UK - sharing their personal journeys from working overseas to securing a new job as a doctor in the NHS. 

Today we introduce you to Linda Granqvist, a fantastic child and adolescent psychiatrist who relocated to the UK from Sweden. Linda has been living and working in the UK since earlier this year when she received full specialist registration from the GMC. She is now working in the Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust in the north west of England – where she is making a huge contribution to the NHS and wider community.  


Tell us a little about yourself – what should the IMG community know about Linda Granqvist? 

I’m a mum of three who comes from Sweden and I work as a child and adolescent psychiatrist, which I have done for many years. I'm also a family therapist and a certified therapy dog handler. In my free time, I really enjoy hiking and diving – I'd say those are my main interests. 

What motivated you to move to the UK? 

So, for a couple of years, I’d been thinking about moving to an English-speaking country. Both because I want to improve my English skills and the same for my kids – I also wanted them to learn how to speak English fluently. Also of course, to experience another country, to see how they work within CAMHS, and to be able to develop professionally in a new place. 

Your journey to the UK was an adventure! Why did you decide to drive rather than fly to the UK? 

In the beginning, it was just practical reasons really. I wanted to have the car with me to be able to move around easily in the UK, also, I don't like to put Iris on aeroplanes. So I decided I’d rather drive. I also have a lot of friends in the countries I’d be passing through along the way, so I thought I might be able to stop and say hi. In these strange times, this was a different way to stay in touch. To be honest, I was a little bit nervous at first - it's a long journey. And initially, it was just going to be me and Iris in the car, fully packed with all of our things. But then a very sweet friend of mine offered to join me on the trip. This made the whole trip incredibly easier and so much more fun. I'd recommend traveling with a friend to anyone thinking of coming to the UK the same way. 

Tell us about your journey to get here, any issues or exciting moments along the way? 

The trip took us four days, which doesn’t sound very long, but then we were on the road for long periods of time, because we needed to cross the French and English borders within 72 hours of us departing Sweden because of the COVID situation. So, we had that tight schedule to work to, but it all worked out! 

Alongside taking wonderful swims in the ocean and being on the beach when we were taking a break, getting to visit friends was great. I was a little curious about the COVID restrictions, to see how they would hold up in practice. There was no one checking us at any of the check points we passed at the borders between Denmark and Germany, Germany and Belgium then on to France. The only place where they actually checked all the certificates and vaccination status was on the ferry between France and England, so that was surprising to me. 

What were the best places or things you saw on your journey? 

The most exciting thing for me, just off the top of my head, is when we got to Dover. It was such a beautiful moment, having these white cliffs heading towards us on such a beautiful evening. I had a moment of strong emotion when I realised this would be my home for a long time and I was finally here. 

You are the first psychiatrist we have worked with who has travelled with their care dog - exciting! We can’t wait to meet Iris, what was it like travelling here with her? 

Iris is so relaxed. She's very used to me taking her everywhere, to all sorts of places, so she was quite happy after around 12 hours of travelling, when she realised she could just chill out. So she's no problem at all. Even now, I think she sort of misses the car! 

Was it difficult to make arrangements to come to the UK with a dog? 

You have to have your shots up to date and have the all the tablets that you need. But not really, it's not really been much of a fuss and was quite easy. Also, we'd travelled abroad before, so she had a passport and things like that. 

What role does Iris play in your daily practice in the NHS? 

Iris is a trained Care and Therapy Dog and we have worked side by side for 4 years now.

There were no protocols in place for a care dog at first, so the situation needed some working out, but now that’s been sorted, we’re up and running and I'm working with her clinically every day. She helps me with patients so they feel emotionally supported. She can do most tricks in the book and loves children and adults and is so proud to be helping me with these sometimes very vulnerable children.

How did you manage to navigate and juggle the different aspects of registration whilst working full time in Sweden? 

Without all the support from Ruaidhri, I don’t think I would have, to be honest - all the credit goes to him. There was so much paperwork and so much to consider in doing things in the right order that it would have taken me forever. But Ruaidhri has been so supportive, holding my hand all the way, always letting me know what the next step was and what I would have to do, helping me wherever he could. He's just been amazing. 

Do you have any advice for international doctors hoping to find jobs in the UK? 

Find IMG Connect. Seriously, it made all the difference for me. If I’d had less support, I don't think I would have gone through with the move. 

From your experience so far, tell us about a day in the life of a consultant CAMHS psychiatrist in the NHS… 

I'm a locum consultant, so I work together with one other senior doctor and then another part-time consultant, as well as other doctors who are training and more junior. I take part in assessments and support the team in medical issues spend time on-call.  

It's a big difference from what I’ve experienced before. I've worked both privately and in the NHS in Sweden, and I'd say it's a big difference in terms of the psychiatry role, and also how we support the team. It’s understaffed in some areas, and the socio-economic factors within the area can make things more difficult. I think I was maybe a little bit naïve coming into this role. But everybody is so supportive and really welcoming. 

How are you settling into life in the North West of England? 

So far, we’re enjoying it very much. It's almost like a tropical environment for us compared to Sweden. The people are extremely friendly and open, and not to say the least, they're very dog oriented. Iris really gets to socialise, so the dog life here is much easier. And then the nature, I mean, it's beautiful. Preston doesn’t have the most wonderful nature, but it's so close to the Lake District and the sea, so we're taking advantage of that as well. 

What’s next for you now that you’re working in the UK?  

My field of interest is in using dogs as part of the work within Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. So I’d love to do more research on this, to find out who benefits the most from having a therapy dog - I think that will be my next step. I always give everyone feedback forms to comment on how they found the appointment with a therapy dog present. I've previously done a small project in Sweden related to this, but I would like to expand on that. 

Have you had any culture shocks living in the UK so far? 

Probably the dog culture being so friendly. It's I think a positive culture shock. I'm really happy with how things are going.

We’re vegetarians, me and my three daughters, and we’re finding that British vegetables are so much tastier than in Sweden! We talk about it at dinner all the time, wondering how they can taste so good. I'm not too keen on fish and chips and some other typical British dishes, they’re not my cup of tea, but there’s so much choice here as well. 

What have you missed about Sweden the most? 

I guess there's the emotional part of it - leaving your closest friends, and some family. I think that's the hardest part and what I've missed most. 

Do you have any advice for international doctors who want to move to the UK? 

It’s a big step, relocating with your family, so it’s good to have practical and emotional support around you. But don't be afraid to try new things. Embrace everything, be flexible and just go for it. You will have an experience you will never forget. 


Moving to live and work in the UK is a big decision to make but can be massively rewarding in many ways. International doctors have the chance to find a new home and the NHS presents an incredible opportunity to secure rewarding jobs, progress within their field and explore adjacent opportunities such as CESR (for non-EEA doctors), writing publications and research. Whatever route an overseas doctor may take on their journey to the UK, IMG Connect is here to support them through every step and welcome them to the IMG Connect family.   

            

 

Relevant Jobs

110,257 - 164,372

We are looking to recruit a Consultant Psychiatrist to a Crisis & Assessment Team role in the Channel Islands, a UK territory sitting off the coast of France and just a 1 hour flight from London. This job presents a great opportunity to advance your medical career in the UK.

The health service, separate from the NHS, is an integrated, taxation-funded system, free at the point of delivery, managed by the Health and Community Services Department on the island. Key benefits of working there are higher salaries than the NHS, lower taxes and sunnier weather.

Consultant Pay range - £110,257 to £164,372
Single rate of tax - 20%.

The Department & Team

The Crisis and Assessment Team (CAT) serves as the primary gateway to adult and older people\'s mental health services, conducting assessments in the community and emergency settings, alongside medical reviews. They collaborate closely with law enforcement, responding to Adult Protection Notices and coordinating mental health law assessments. This role within the CAT focuses on streamlining referrals, providing short-term crisis interventions, and ensuring individuals receive appropriate ongoing care. You\'ll engage with both working-age adults and older adults, with responsibilities extending to police referrals and mental health law assessments during standard working hours, with on-call commitments.

Continued Professional Development

Professional development is integral to their ethos, offering CESR Portfolio Pathway support, access to specialty training, and opportunities for sub-specialist development. They prioritize ongoing learning through conferences, local CME events, and a generous study leave allowance.

Life in the area

Living in this location offers significant financial benefits. The flat income tax rate of 20% is notably advantageous compared to the UK, and a generous public sector pension scheme is provided, not constrained by UK lifetime or annual contribution limits. The consultant contract closely mirrors the UK model but offers higher incremental levels starting at £110,257 and with a top basic salary of £164,372.


Am I eligible for this role?

UK based candidates:

  • Experience in General Adult Psychiatry
  • Specialist Registration or locum consultant experience

EEA candidates: 

  • Experience in General Adult Psychiatry
  • European Specialist Qualification


Non-EEA candidates:

  • MRCPsych
  • Experience in General Adult Psychiatry
110,257 - 164,372

We are looking to recruit a Consultant Psychiatrist to an Old Age role in the Channel Islands, a UK territory sitting off the coast of France and just a 1 hour flight from London. This job presents a great opportunity to advance your medical career in the UK.

The health service, separate from the NHS, is an integrated, taxation-funded system, free at the point of delivery, managed by the Health and Community Services Department on the island. Key benefits of working there are higher salaries than the NHS, lower taxes and sunnier weather.

Consultant Pay range - £110,257 to £164,372
Single rate of tax - 20%.

 

What is the health & community service like?

Working in this location is professionally rewarding, offering high-quality, patient-centered care. Clinicians lead in developing and managing services, supported by strong links with UK specialists. With a generous study leave budget, doctors are encouraged to pursue further education. Exciting developments include a new general hospital and a new mental health inpatient unit. The service fosters strong relationships between mental health, primary, and secondary care, promoting joint learning and teaching in a modern education center.

What is the department & team like?

The inpatient services are currently undergoing extensive refurbishment, including two wards for older adults. One ward offers 14 assessment beds for individuals over 65 experiencing functional mental health issues, with some flexibility for those under 65. The other ward provides 10 assessment beds for patients with dementia. Following the refurbishment, the latter ward will feature 8 acute assessment beds and 8 transitional/step-down beds for those with dementia or enduring mental health problems who cannot be supported in local nursing or residential homes.

The Older Adults Community Mental Health Team (OACMHT) manages a caseload of about 300 patients, including new referrals triaged by the Crisis and Assessment team, providing both short-term treatment and long-term care coordination. The role involves providing medical support to the OACMHT alongside two other consultants and a staff grade doctor.

The post holder will join an established team, comprising 2 WTE older adult consultants, 1.0 WTE Associate Specialist (Memory Assessment Service), 2.0 WTE staff grades (inpatient and community), and 1.0 WTE F1 doctor (inpatients and community). Dedicated administrative support includes a 0.5 WTE medical secretary and ward and team secretarial support.

Continued Professional Development

This position offers further training and accreditation within psychiatry, including CESR Portfolio Pathway support, access to specialty training, and the opportunity to develop sub-specialist interests. The post holder will have ample opportunities to develop knowledge, skills, and experience through attendance at relevant courses, conferences, and locally organized CME events. The organization supports Continuing Medical Education with time and financial support, offering study leave of 30 days in 3 years and an annual study leave allowance. Regular case discussions, teaching sessions, and MDT supervision ensure ongoing professional development, meeting the Royal College of Psychiatrists\' CPD requirements.

Living in the Area

Living in this location offers significant financial benefits. The flat income tax rate of 20% is notably advantageous compared to the UK, and a generous public sector pension scheme is provided, not constrained by UK lifetime or annual contribution limits. The consultant contract closely mirrors the UK model but offers higher incremental levels starting at £110,257 and with a top basic salary of £164,372.

Am I eligible for this role?Am I eligible for this role?

UK based candidates:

  • Experience in Old Age Psychiatry
  • Specialist Registration or locum Consultant Experience
EEA candidates: 
  • Experience in Old Age Psychiatry
  • European Specialist Qualification
Non-EEA candidates:
  • MRCPsych
  • Consultant experience in Old Age Psychiatry
110,257 - 164,372

We are looking to recruit a Consultant Psychiatrist to a General Adult role in the Channel Islands, a UK territory sitting off the coast of France and just a 1 hour flight from London. This job presents a great opportunity to advance your medical career in the UK.

The health service, separate from the NHS, is an integrated, taxation-funded system, free at the point of delivery, managed by the Health and Community Services Department on the island. Key benefits of working there are higher salaries than the NHS, lower taxes and sunnier weather. 

Consultant Pay range - £110,257 to £164,372
Single rate of tax - 20%

General Adult Psychiatry Department & Team

The inpatient service features 17 adult acute beds, including an extra-care area, for individuals aged 18 to 65 with severe mental illness requiring admission. The goal is to promote recovery and well-being, helping service users achieve their potential. The service caters to a diverse population with complex needs. The multidisciplinary inpatient team includes doctors (two part-time consultants, staff grade/clinical fellow, and F2), a clinical psychologist, nurses, a social worker, occupational therapists, an art therapist, healthcare assistants, and administrative staff.

The Home Treatment Team functions as a step-up, step-down service to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions and facilitate early discharge. They attend ward reviews, support patients on leave, and assist with discharge planning, also gatekeeping inpatient beds. The team includes two part-time consultants, a 0.5 FTE team manager, two FTE senior practitioners, 5.5 FTE nurse practitioners, one FTE social worker, three FTE senior HCAs, and one FTE occupational therapist. Covering all adult ages, there is an arrangement with an Older Adult Consultant for additional support if needed.

Continued Professional Development

This position offers further training and accreditation within psychiatry, including CESR Portfolio Pathway support, access to specialty training, and the opportunity to develop sub-specialist interests. The post holder will have ample opportunities to develop knowledge, skills, and experience through attendance at relevant courses, conferences, and locally organized CME events. The organization supports Continuing Medical Education with time and financial support, offering study leave of 30 days in three years and an annual study leave allowance. Regular case discussions, teaching sessions, and MDT supervision ensure ongoing professional development, meeting the Royal College of Psychiatrists\' CPD requirements.

Living in the Area

Living in this location offers significant financial benefits. The flat income tax rate of 20% is notably advantageous compared to the UK, and a generous public sector pension scheme is provided, not constrained by UK lifetime or annual contribution limits. The consultant contract closely mirrors the UK model but offers higher incremental levels starting at £110,257 and with a top basic salary of £164,372.

Am I eligible for this role?

UK based candidates:

  • Experience in Adult Psychiatry
  • Specialist Registration or locum Consultant Experience

EEA candidates: 

  • Experience in Adult Psychiatry
  • European Specialist Qualification

Non-EEA candidates:

  • MRCPsych
  • Consultant experience in Adult Psychiatry
110,257 - 164,372
We are looking to recruit a Consultant Psychiatrist to a Child & Adolescent  role in the Channel Islands, a UK territory sitting off the coast of France and just a 1 hour flight from London. This job presents a great opportunity to advance your medical career in the UK.

The health service, separate from the NHS, is an integrated, taxation-funded system, free at the point of delivery, managed by the Health and Community Services Department on the island. Key benefits of working there are higher salaries than the NHS, lower taxes and sunnier weather.

Consultant Pay range - £110,257 to £164,372
Single rate of tax - 20%.

The post holder will be expected to take on the full range of duties including the routine and emergency diagnosis and management of children and young people with significant mental health problems (up to the age of 18), the support of other team members, and providing consultation and advice to other agencies. Successful applicants will be encouraged to develop a special interest and take a clinical lead in one of the following areas: Eating Disorders, Crisis Intervention, Neurodevelopmental Disorders, or Transition.

The Health Service

Working for this service is professionally rewarding, offering high-quality, patient-centered care. Their clinicians lead in developing and managing services, supported by strong links with UK specialists. With a generous study leave budget, doctors are encouraged to pursue further education. Exciting developments include a new general hospital and a new mental health inpatient unit. They foster strong relationships between mental health, primary, and secondary care, promoting joint learning and teaching in their modern education centre.

Department & Team

The Mental Health Service is staffed by a dedicated multi-disciplinary team, supported by secretarial and administrative staff. The service provides comprehensive assessment, treatment, and therapeutic interventions for a wide range of developmental, behavioral, emotional, and psychiatric issues in children and young people up to their 18th birthday.

Currently, CAMHS manages 1,627 open cases. In 2022, 926 new referrals were received, with 752 new referrals to date in 2023. The current locum postholder\'s caseload is approximately 90, with most cases having an allocated care coordinator. While most new assessments are conducted by other members of the multi-disciplinary team, some will require an initial medical assessment. On average, there are 1-2 new assessments and 15-20 follow-up appointments per week, depending on case complexity and other commitments.

Continued Professional Development

The health service offers further training & accreditation within psychiatry, including CESR Portfolio Pathway Support, access to specialty training, and the opportunity to develop sub-specialist interest. The post holder will have ample opportunities to develop knowledge, skills, and experience through attendance at relevant courses, conferences, and locally organized CME events. Health & Community Services supports Continuing Medical Education with time and financial support, offering study leave of 30 days in 3 years, and an annual study leave allowance. Regular case discussions, teaching sessions, and MDT supervision ensure ongoing professional development, meeting the Royal College of Psychiatrists\' CPD requirements.

Living in the Area

Living in this location offers significant financial benefits. The flat income tax rate of 20% is notably advantageous compared to the UK, and a generous public sector pension scheme is provided, not constrained by UK lifetime or annual contribution limits. The consultant contract closely mirrors the UK model but offers higher incremental levels starting at £110,257 and with a top basic salary of £164,372.

Am I eligible for this role?

UK based candidates:
  • Experience in Child & Adolescent  Psychiatry
  • Specialist Registration or locum Consultant Experience
EEA candidates: 
  • Experience in Child & Adolescent  Psychiatry
  • European Specialist Qualification
Non-EEA candidates:
  • MRCPsych
  • Consultant experience in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
52,530 - 82,400

A prime opportunity awaits a dedicated Specialty Doctor in Psychiatry to join the Crisis Resolution Home Treatment Team (CRHTT) for a NHS job in the UK, with CESR support. Located at Eaglestone Health Centre on Milton Keynes Hospital Campus, you\'ll provide top-tier assessment, consultation, and treatment for individuals in mental health crises, with office space and administrative support.

As part of a medical team with a Consultant Psychiatrist and Trainee Doctor, you\'ll demonstrate motivation, energy, and a fervent commitment to exceptional patient care. Strong teamwork, organizational skills, initiative, effective communication, and empathy are key. Operated by an NHS Foundation Trust that is known for excellence locally, nationally, and internationally, this role offers professional growth opportunities for EU-trained specialists and experienced IMGs seeking CESR completion.

What is the NHS Foundation Trust like?

Established in 2002 through the merger of several trusts, this NHS Foundation Trust is among the UK\'s largest. With about 7,000 staff, they serve a third of London\'s population and extend services to areas like Milton Keynes, Kent, Surrey, and Hampshire.

Their focus is on delivering patient-centered, safe, and effective care across various settings, from hospitals to community clinics and even patients\' homes. They emphasize community-based services, aligning with the NHS\'s modernization goals. They prioritize recruiting exceptional individuals who support patients and colleagues alike, offering opportunities for career development. The role entails participating in clinical supervision sessions with the team\'s consultant psychiatrist.

What is the Department & Team like?

The Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Team (CRHTT) comprises a multi-disciplinary group of mental health professionals delivering a 7-day service for individuals in acute psychiatric crises. They offer intensive community-based interventions as an alternative to hospitalization and support early discharge, facilitating the transition back to the community. The team triages referrals, deciding on home treatment or admission, aiming to provide less restrictive alternatives to hospitalization when feasible.

The Team is composed of:

  • 1.0 wte Consultant Psychiatrist
  • 1.0 wte Specialty Doctor
  • 1.0 wte Core Trainee / equivalent
  • 1.0 wte Team Manager
  • 3.0 wte Senior Practitioner Band 7
  • 14.5 wte Mental Health Practitioner Band 6
  • 2.6 wte Occupational Therapist Band 6
  • 2 wte Therapy Support Staff Band 4
  • 6.6 wte Support Worker Band 3
  • 3 wte Medical Secretary and Team Administrator Band 4

The post holder is expected to make an assessment, diagnosis, formulation of risks and development of a management plan for new referrals, re-referrals and patients under the care of the team. The post holder is expected to identify need for referrals to other services such as referrals for psychological interventions and review treatment plans and risk assessments of patients in the service.

Career Development & Opportunities Available

There is real opportunity to progress through CESR at pace at this trust, with a strong desire for newly-qualified consultants to develop their specialty areas of interest and undertake in various cancer trials and research projects where possible. Research is encouraged here, particularly when this is appropriate to professional development and to the service development of the department. 

If you are a new consultant you will receive mentoring and support from medical leads as well as access to a large peer group of enthusiastic and high-caliber Consultants. 

Life in South East

South East, a vibrant urban area in Buckinghamshire, offers a blend of city amenities and rural charm. Residents enjoy scenic parks & perfect for outdoor activities. The area boasts excellent schools and universities. Transportation links are convenient, with easy access to major cities like London and Birmingham via train and nearby airports like Luton and Birmingham. Housing options range from modern apartments in the city center to spacious suburban homes, catering to diverse preferences and lifestyles.

Am I eligible for this role?
UK based candidates:

  • Experience in General Adult Psychiatry - Crisis Resolution Home Treatment Team
EEA candidates: 
  • Experience in General Adult Psychiatry - Crisis Resolution Home Treatment Team
Non-EEA candidates:
  • MRCPsych
  • Experience in General Adult Psychiatry - Crisis Resolution Home Treatment Team

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