The NHS and its associated service providers is a highly complex organisation. Here, the new International Medical Graduate can find a list of resources that can help them explore this further.
Understanding the National Health Service
Learn about the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK
The NHS is the world’s largest publicly funded health care system, and is free at the point of care. It is a large and complex structure; with the NHS currently employing over 1.3 million people and seeing over a million patients every 36 hours.
NHS Employers has information aimed specifically at overseas-qualified medical practitioners including a document with an overview of the health service, the structure of the NHS, information on what to prepare and immigration requirements, as well as resources and links to details about terms and conditions and pay structures in the UK. This would be very helpful to have looked at before coming to GOSH.
NHS England leads the National Health Service (NHS) in England (https://www.england.nhs.uk/).
The King’s Fund (an independent charity) also has a useful video about the structure of healthcare in the NHS in England. https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/projects/nhs-65/alternative-guide-new-nhs-england
Applying to the General Medical Council
The General Medical Council (GMC) is the independent organisation that sets standards for students and doctors in the UK. The GMC website has lots of information, online resources and videos about what to expect when working in the UK which may be helpful.
All doctors working in the UK require GMC registration with a Licence to Practice, more information about how to apply can be found here.
It is important to start the application process in good time before you plan to enter the country.
If you have spoken to the GMC and you believe that it will be difficult to obtain GMC Registration independently, it may be possible to obtain support from the UK Royal College for the Specialty that you have been appointed to work in. The following Royal Colleges have schemes; Royal College of Paediatric and Child Health (RCPCH), Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCOSE) and Royal College of Anaesthetics.
If you undertook your primary medical qualification in a country other than the United Kingdom, as part of your application enquiries the GMC will confirm the English Language Competency that they expect you to demonstrate. This may require you to undertake one or more of the following; (1) International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and/or Professional Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) Exam. See the following for more information regarding the IELTS and PLAB.
In preparation for IELTS, the following links may be of use:
Royal College of Paediatric and Child Health
The Royal College of Paediatric and Child Health (RCPCH) mission is to transform child health through knowledge, innovation and expertise both nationally and internationally. The college plays a major role in postgraduate medical education professional standards, research and policy.
The Diploma in Child Health (DCH) and Membership of the Royal College of Paediatric and Child Health (MRCPCH) examination are able to be taken both in the UK and abroad. They have a Medical Training Initiative Paediatrics (MTIp) scheme to enable non-UK/EEA doctors, with MRCPCH, or other postgraduate qualifications, to undertake training in the UK. More information is available here:
British Medical Association
The British Medical Association (BMA) is the trade union and professional body for doctors in the UK. It is optional to join the BMA. Their website has some open access content including an introduction to UK immigration specifically for doctors. https://www.bma.org.uk/advice/employment/immigration/guide-to-uk-immigration
Health Education England
Health Education England (HEE) supports the delivery of healthcare in England by overseeing training and education for the NHS workforce in England (https://hee.nhs.uk/). They act at a National and local level.
The local group that GOSH comes under is North Central and East London (NCEL). Another group that works closely with HEE to deliver education is the London and South East Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education (LPMDE) group who have an E-learning induction pack for international medical graduates with links to podcasts and videos about working in London, as well as online modules that can be completed on prescribing and record keeping.