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Since the UK voted to leave the EU in 2016, the countries exit (now commonly known as Brexit), has raised many questions in the healthcare sector centred on the implications for workforce management and planning. With some European doctors publicly stating that they either intend to leave the UK, or are uncertain as to the future plans to remain a staff member of the NHS, their decisions pose important questions – are European doctors welcome in the NHS and what is being done to encourage doctors to stay in post? Speaking with senior NHS figures, it is clear that the contribution of European doctors and healthcare professionals is greatly valued. To add, workforce managers and service leads have advised in no uncertain terms that they do not wish to lose any of their workforce, far from it – services up and down the country are trying to attract more doctors to their services. Brexit they say, is an unfortunate stumbling block at a time when demand is increasing for healthcare. It is therefore a major hurdle that the NHS needs to overcome in order to continue to bring experienced healthcare staff to the UK. What might not be clear amongst the bad press surrounding Brexit, is that in 2018, the Government actually relaxed its rules on the immigration of overseas doctors seeking relocation to the UK, considerably increasing the number of Visas made available. Further evidence of the demand for overseas doctors can be found in the recent White Paper advising the government to add all grades and specialities of medicine to the shortage occupation list. Whilst this is yet to become government policy, the report makes clear the ever-growing demand for European and Non-European doctors. With ministers agreeing to expand the number of doctors allowed into the UK and changes to the shortage occupation lists in the pipeline, Brexit very much goes against the grain. So, with a conflicting backdrop of Brexit set against the welcoming approach to European doctors in the NHS, where does recruitment of the best doctors to the UK stand? Sources tell us that the government is set to continue to encourage doctors to the UK, taking on board proposals to increase the shortage occupation list to all medical doctors, as well as many other areas of healthcare professionals. Good news. The issue that the NHS faces, is the growing media storm and political posturing around the Brexit debate. This toxic masculinity and surge to the right of centre in British right-wing politics is putting a large number of Europeans off their previously planned immigration. It can also be said that this atmosphere has triggered a small but growing exodus from the NHS. The government now finds itself in a position where it is trying to explain its response to demand for staff in the NHS and its plans for Brexit, both very different approaches and rhetoric – can it have it both ways? Focusing on NHS services, Directors, lead consultants and HR managers cannot be clearer – all Europeans doctors will be welcomed with open arms, and all current members of the NHS are highly valued for their continuing contributions. The praise goes further, Royal Colleges from all specialties, the General Medical Council and the British Medical Association have all unequivocally stated that they wish to support their European colleagues. In addition, these organisations have increased their efforts to attract European candidates in an effort to combat the negative publicity brought about by Brexit. But, Brexit is having an immediate impact on retention, planning and hiring of new staff. The NHS in England alone was short of nearly 10,000 doctors, with latest figures across the whole of the UK showing further increases in demand. Such figures do not reveal the full picture, with locums filling many posts, the real number of vacancies is likely 25% higher. NHS operating departments continue to make it clear that staffing is their main problem when trying to combat the rising need for a varied healthcare system. What can be done to combat the negative stem caused by Brexit, and redress the balance in favour of the NHS? Some attempts have been made in recent years to increase numbers in University as well as attracting junior doctors to the MTI scheme, however such efforts have fallen short. In fact, the NHS will need to build its reliance on quality overseas doctors to take up fixed term and permanent service posts, an attractive option compared to either expensive temporary staff, or facing the prospect of competing for UK trainees, whose numbers remain very low. Our hope is that there will be continued drive to employ talented and committed international doctors to help deliver services. Starting with the local needs of each hospital or Trust in detail to create bespoke searches for the best talent, the best quality staff can be found. And rather than finishing at the point of placement, retention and after care services that ensure overseas doctors settle into their roles quickly, feel valued and integrate in their communities are crucial to successful relocation and retention. Such an approach will offset the negativity mindset and decrease in available candidates brought about by Brexit. Supporting doctors with practical support & information surrounding their relocation ensures that they can focus on their work. Offering advice on engaging with their communities and new team can bring about a positive mindset. And connecting employers with a wider pool of candidates, most suited to the Trust values and fit, can ensure prolonged partnerships with European and non-European doctors. All in all, staffing demands caused by Brexit, coupled with the need to increase the skills base in the NHS, can be offset with agencies and HR departments being accountable for the challenges they face. Turning things around in the attraction of workforce supply to the NHS. What we know so far is that the status of already registered doctors is guaranteed. What is not clear is whether the current arrangements for registration will remain the same, with European Mutual Recognition continuing unaffected. In all Brexit outcomes, the NHS will need to engage in more international recruitment. Take rural and hard to reach areas, as a good example of where even without Brexit, NHS organisations face challenges to attract greater staffing numbers. With improved partnerships, focused on overseas recruitment, we can jointly attempt to maintain the number of EEA doctors remaining and joining the medical register. In summary, the NHS remains an attractive place for overseas doctors to work and train, and the NHS remains committed to supporting all European colleagues and future colleagues. However, the challenge to recruit the best and most committed candidates is growing. Demand is increasing for overseas recruitment; we all must pay our part to maintain the positive impact that employing and supporting Europeans doctors has on our patient care. Fore more information or for support with bespoke recruitment for your trust dont hesitate to get in touch. Connect with us: Call us on +44 (0)203 973 0133 WhatsApp +44 (0)203 973 0133 Email us on email@example.com
Despite the scale of the NHS labour force (current estimates place the NHS as the 4th biggest employer in the world employing more than 1.7million), 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 For more useful blogs & articles on the NHS, the job search, or updates on registrations & qualifications to help you find your dream job in the NHS - take a look at our IMG Library. Finding work in the UK as a doctor is complex. Our approach is designed to simplify this process, so more time can be spent on job selection and interviews. Connect with us Send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org Call us on +44 (0)203 973 0133 Join our growing IMG community!
On 23rd June 2016, the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU). As it stands a final agreement has not yet been passed by the UK House of Parliament, and in turn agreed with the European Parliament. The exact terms of the process by which the UK will depart the EU are unclear and may remain so for some time. As such, IMG Connect will continue to review our guidance for EU Nationals relocating to the UK, for now there are some steps that you can take to explore your rights as an EU citizen. At IMG Connect we support every single one of our IMG colleagues, and we know that the NHS is enhanced by the contribution of doctors from every country in the world. The contribution of EEA doctors to the NHS is hugely significant across all areas of medical practice. What does Brexit mean for you so far… The status of EEA doctors already registered with the UK is guaranteed. But it is unclear whether current GMC registration arrangements for EEA doctors*, which are based on the principle of mutual recognition of doctors’ qualifications and enables the GMC to grant registration very quickly, will continue after the UK leaves the EU in 2019. The UK government has reached an agreement with the EU that will protect the rights of EU citizens and their family members living in the UK. It has also reached an agreement with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, and a separate agreement with Switzerland. These agreements mean that most citizens from the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland will need to apply to stay in the UK. *The EEA includes EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. EU Settlement Scheme: If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. If your application is successful, you’ll receive either settled or pre-settled status. You may be able to stay in the UK without applying - for example, if you’re an Irish citizen or have indefinite leave to remain. The EU Settlement Scheme is open and free to apply. You can apply now if you meet the criteria. The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021. Use the Government online toolkit to find out what you need to do and when. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal: You will need to be living in the UK before it leaves the EU to apply. The deadline for applying will be 31 December 2020. What else can I do? Of course, there remains uncertainty over the impact that Brexit will have on the laws regarding immigration in the United Kingdom. So, we must stress that the information above is for general information purposes only and it may not always be up to date. We will do our upmost to keep informed and be in a position to support our EEA colleagues, for whom who we have the highest regard. We encourage all doctors to join our community, and show their support, field any concerns, or share and answer questions to stay connected. You can always get in touch with us at IMG Connect by requesting a call back with anything you need help with - we are here to support you individually and collectively. For more useful news & updates, or to discuss job opportunities in the NHS - take a look at our IMG Library. Connect with us Send your CV to email@example.com Call us on +44 (0)203 973 0133 Join our growing IMG community!
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