Client Blog

Advice when interviewing international doctors

By Gabrielle Richardson
November 19, 2019

It is global knowledge that the NHS is suffering a staffing crisis and consequently, it is spending 25x as much on temporary staff than permanent staff to fill rota gaps. Our vision to aid this detrimental system is to employ more permanent international doctors over long-term agency locums to reduce NHS spend, increase staff retention and provide better continuity of care. Reports reveal than 1/30 agency locum doctors earn over £120 an hour. This amounts to paying some locum consultants £375k a year compared to a permanent consultant who would receive just £74-107k per annum. This disparity is both unjustified and damaging, so to replace a long-term temporary doctor with a permanent staff member will reduce a Trust’s staffing cost dramatically. These extra funds could go towards life changing research or equipment to better aid the work of doctors. In addition to the financial benefit is increased staff retention; providing departments with more doctors will increase confidence in their clinical decisions, they will feel better supported and it will provide them with a healthier work-life balance. In turn, it will create a better continuity of service to all patients on top of job satisfaction. Before the interview When reviewing CV’s, it is important to remember that all international doctors we provide you with will be either fully GMC Registered or eligible to register, having completed the required qualifications. This is advantageous compared to using NHS jobs as it will eliminate the doctors who have not yet evidenced their English language abilities or knowledge and skills to the GMC. The doctors we provide you with will be highly qualified, experienced (as per your specifications) and will be able to communicate safely in English, in line with the GMC’s standards. When it comes to the interview stage you can then focus on getting acquainted with the doctor as well as exploring their clinical competencies. For example, it’s common to establish their motivations for wanting to relocate to the UK, why they have applied to your Trust, their career goals and whether their personality aligns with the Trust’s values and visions. We would also advise that you question in more depth the clinical roles and job titles contained within a potential candidate’s CV. For example, some international doctors use the word “Specialist” when describing their job title – in the NHS this could mean a Specialty Doctor or a Consultant depending on where the candidate is practicing in the world. With so many job titles in different healthcare systems it’s always good to be clear about the capacity in which someone has been working. Another example might be if a doctor states they have “ICU experience” – again this job role will vary between countries i.e. sometimes this will mean the individual has anaesthetics experience and sometimes it will be closer to what you would consider an acute medicine role in the UK. To sum, it is best to check duties and responsibilities as what is written in the CV of an international doctor may not always reflect our understanding from an NHS point of view. Scheduling an interview In our experience, it is always best to try and arrange interviews for a post or number of posts on the same day. The reason for this is that NHS Trusts will typically require a senior clinician on the interview panel which may be hard to arrange on a sporadic basis – we know that frontline staff are hard to pin down at the best of times, so by consolidating interviews into prearranged “blocks” you have all candidates being considered fresh in your mind when making hiring decisions and feedback can be delivered promptly. This ensures that offers are made in good time and you have the best chance of securing your first-choice applicants. Please also remember that international doctors will often be working full-time at the point they interview with you, so if you are carrying out interviews please do stick to the specific time slots agreed. Like you, these doctors are taking time out of their working day with patients or have booked days off work in order to attend interviews, so it is not always possible for them to wait around or reschedule at short notice. Skype Test 24 hours before the interview is due to happen, we have found it is helpful for a Trust to “add” the doctor being interviewed on Skype and test their audio and visual connection is adequate for the interview to take place – this ensures everyone is ready and time is not spent during the interview slot finding the correct contact online and dealing with technical issues. We would recommend asking candidates to send a screenshot of their Skype ID and also send the doctor the Trust’s ID or account you will be calling from too. Of course, if working with an agent like BDI Resourcing then we would conduct this test on your behalf with the doctor/s.   The interview When the interview starts, the doctor you are speaking with may be very nervous – it could even be their first interview for an NHS job! On that basis, we find it’s always important to start the conversation off with a warm and welcoming atmosphere before easing into the clinical components. Sometimes the interview panel forgets that an international doctor is uprooting their whole life to move across the world and so first impressions of the UK, its people and their potential new employer are absolutely critical. As much as you want to check that the doctor will be a good fit for your team, that same person will want to be sure that you are the right fit for them and their family. From experience, doctors tend to choose the department that they feel most comfortable with at interview and who they feel will give the best support (both professionally and personally). Additional topics to cover during the interview Whilst you will likely have a list of standard questions and information to provide during any interview, we would recommend expanding on the below topics in more depth when considering an international candidate: Training opportunities Orientation/Induction periods Long-term career prospects CESR opportunities Research and audit work   Culture and Community Engagement As an agent, we can provide an insight into the key things a candidate will be looking for on a case by case basis, but generally they will want to know they won’t be thrown in at the deep end and that working for you would provide a positive step in their development as a medical professional. Providing as much information and reassurance regarding the above items can certainly help when working to secure your first-choice applicants. After the interview After the interview has finished and you have decided that you would like to offer the post to the doctor, you will need to obtain their full name and address to place on their offer letter. Don’t underestimate how competitive the international recruitment market is – if you like a candidate, ensure that an offer letter is sent as soon as possible. If you attended an interview and didn’t have any feedback within 48 hours, then you would probably start considering other options…. It’s important to bear in mind that no one will accept a job without knowing how much they will be paid. On occasion, offer letters will be sent with the full salary scale rather than an exact salary – this will replicate work as you will need to provide more detail in order to obtain commitment to a role. Some Trusts will issue something called an incremental credit form for the doctor to evidence their experience and help HR calculate the most appropriate salary for an offer letter. We would advise notifying a successful applicant of your intention to offer as soon as possible, alongside this form if you use one. Remember that offer letters are always conditional, so you can assess a doctor’s experience based on their CV and offer them an estimated salary on the condition that they can evidence clinical experience with official letters/references prior to beginning their employment with you. Candidates are more likely to sign an offer with an NHS Trust if it is evident what their salary will be from the start. Our support If you would like our support in sending you qualified and experienced international doctors to help fill your vacant posts, or just require some advice or market insight, please email us at [email protected] and we can provide you with more information.

Applying for a Certificate of Sponsorship

By Samantha Joubert
November 15, 2019

When hiring any doctor who holds a passport from outside the UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you will need to provide that doctor with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) which they will require to complete their Visa application to relocate to the UK. It’s very important to ensure that they are issued with a CoS in a timely manner and with accurate employment information in order to allow them to apply for their Tier 2 visa and in turn, take up employment with you! In this article, we will explain the process of obtaining a license to sponsor international doctors and how you can issue certificates of sponsorship.   What is a Certificate of Sponsorship? A Certificate of Sponsorship is a document issued by a Trust which is approved by the Home Office, enabling a doctor to apply for a visa – once approval is given it confirms that the Trust can employ a non-EEA candidate and sponsor a doctor’s visa whilst they work in the UK.  Whilst this document contains all information about the job itself (including pay, responsibilities, etc.), it’s the electronic reference number at the top of page one which the doctor must enter when completing the online part of their visa application. There are two types of CoS: restricted and unrestricted (which we will explain in more detail later in this article). In order to provide doctors with either of these, a hospital will need to obtain a license to issue them first. Obtaining Sponsorship License All NHS hospitals should already have this, but if not, will need to apply for a license to sponsor workers through the UK Home Office website. The application process will involve selecting the type of license you wish to apply for, the options are a Tier 2 Visa license or a Tier 5 Visa license, or you can obtain a license to issue both. Tier 2 Visas are for workers coming to work in the UK on a long-term or permanent basis and Tier 5 Visas are for those coming to work on a temporary basis of two years or less (often utilised for staff arriving via the MTI scheme). All of our candidates are looking to relocate to the UK and work on a long term or permanent basis, so they will all be applying for Tier 2 Visas, however the license to issue Tier 2 CoS is currently the same price as the license to issue CoS for both Tier 2 and Tier 5, so it may be worth applying for both. That said, if you do not intend to employ anyone for less than two years, then it is probably worth just applying for a Tier 2 license. On the application, you will be asked to estimate how many certificates the hospital will be expecting to issue over the course of a year, and you will also need to prove that the hospital needs the number of certificates being requested. We will delve into more detail regarding this later in the article. Another step in the application process is determining who will be responsible for the sponsorship procedures within the hospital. One individual may be responsible for the entirety of the process or multiple staff members can take on different roles, but you will need to specify who will be responsible for each role within your application – usually senior members of your medical staffing/HR team. If more than one person will be managing the process, you will require a more senior staff member to oversee those who will be using the sponsorship management system. The sponsorship management system (SMS) is the system you will use to request certificates of sponsorship once your license has been granted. You will also need a member of staff to act as the main point of contact between the hospital and UK and Visas Immigration (UKVI). Finally, someone must run the day to day management of the SMS. The government website outlines these roles in more detail here if you would like more information. Any staff members who will be using the SMS will be subject to checks in order to ensure they are suitable for this responsibility – ensuring that none of these staff members have unspent criminal convictions and that they are based in the UK. Again, there is more information about these checks on the government website. Applications for a license must be made through the UKVI website, though there is a portion of the application that will need to printed and sent to the UKVI with some extra documentation to support the hospital’s legitimacy, outline why you wish to apply for a license, the kind of organisation you are and the kind of workers you are hoping to hire. During the application process, the hospital will also need to pay a fee for the license, the current fee for a Tier 2 license application is £1,476. As stated earlier in this article, the price to acquire a Tier 2 and Tier 5 issuing license is also £1,476. Once you have submitted the application and paid the fee, it will take around 8 weeks for the UKVI to process it (although this can vary). Issuing Certificates of Sponsorship As mentioned already, there are two types of Tier 2 CoS (restricted and unrestricted) and in order to issue either you will be expected to pay a fee of £199 per Tier 2 certificate granted. Please note that certificates being issued to residents of Croatia, Macedonia and Turkey are free of charge. You will also be responsible for ensuring that any doctors you sponsor have the relevant qualifications to work in the role you’re hiring them for. As an agency we will have done everything possible to ensure that a candidate has these skills and qualifications before we put them forward for interview, however the UKVI will require you to have documentation supporting these facts. You will be expected to keep track of a doctor’s attendance, their documentation proving their right to work in the UK, keep their contact details up to date, and if you learn that they are breaking their Visa conditions or if they stop attending work, you will need to report this to the UKVI. Unrestricted CoS To issue an unrestricted CoS, you’ll need to make a request to the UKVI, and this will be deducted from the hospital’s yearly quota. Once it has been granted and added to your SMS, you can then assign it to the doctor you’re hiring. When the hospital has applied for an unrestricted CoS, you should receive it very quickly – certainly within 48 hours of the application being submitted. It’s possible to apply for as many of these as your hospital needs through your SMS, though you’ll need to give evidence that you require the amount you’re requesting. The government website has more information on the kind of evidence you will need to provide here. After you have assigned the CoS to the doctor and issued them with the reference number, they will have three months to apply for their Visa before the CoS expires. If the CoS expires unused, then you will be able to recover the cost. Restricted CoS In the event that you have issued all of the unrestricted CoS allocated to the hospital during a year, you can apply for a restricted CoS in order to hire an international doctor via the Tier 2 route. This application will still be made directly through the SMS, with a limited number of restricted CoS available to all employers in the UK every month. Each application will be assessed by a panel (something that won’t take place if you request an unrestricted CoS) who use a points-based system to determine whether the CoS is approved for use. As a result, this process will take longer. Currently, application meetings occur on the 11th or 12th of each month, with any valid applications required to be submitted before the 5th of every month in order to be considered. If your application/s are successful then the hospital will usually receive approval a day or two after the panel meeting to assign the CoS to your desired doctor (also valid for 3 months). Immigration Skills Charge ICS Whether you’re issuing an unrestricted or restricted CoS, the hospital will also need to pay an Immigration Skills Charge of £1000 per doctor and this will need to be paid annually for every year they are employed at that hospital. If for any reason the doctor’s visa application is withdrawn or refused or if they end up finding employment elsewhere, you will be eligible to receive a refund but you will need to inform the UKVI. Hiring International Doctors If you are an NHS Trust who needs support in securing international doctors, we would be happy to help. Email us at [email protected] References 2, T. (2019). Immigration rules and the points-based system: Tier 2. [online] Nhsemployers.org. Available at: https://www.nhsemployers.org/your-workforce/recruit/employer-led-recruitment/international-recruitment/immigration-rules-and-the-points-based-system/tier-2#4 [Accessed 11 Nov. 2019]. GOV.UK. (2019). UK visa sponsorship for employers. [online] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/uk-visa-sponsorship-employers [Accessed 11 Nov. 2019].

How Qualified are the Doctors we Work With?

By Samantha Joubert
November 13, 2019

A genuine concern many have when they consider recruiting doctors from overseas is how qualified those candidates will be to fill posts within the NHS. It can be daunting trying to understand the plethora of overseas qualifications and whether or not they will adequately equip a doctor with the level of medical knowledge and understanding to work at the same level as our UK trained doctors, not to mention concerns surrounding the level of English potential candidates may possess. In this article, we strive to explain why the doctors BDI Resourcing works with are qualified and how you can be certain of their legitimacy.   Assurance of Medical Knowledge and Qualifications One of the key benefits of working with us as an agency is that we will have done all the research and preparation for you. We ensure that any candidates we put forward for interview have a high level of clinical skill and English language knowledge. We will never offer up doctors who don’t have the qualifications to be successful in the role we are putting them forward for. To legally practice medicine in the UK, all international doctors must obtain registration with the General Medical Council, the same as British doctors. As such, the first thing we will confirm before we consider working with a doctor is that they have completed the necessary qualifications to obtain GMC Registration. If they have not acquired these qualifications, we will offer them advice and assistance to help doctors work towards them but will not take them on as candidates until they have completed these qualifications. As such, we try to make sure that any doctor we put forward for a role within an NHS Trust should have the relevant level of clinical skill and understanding to thrive in the role we put them forward for, saving you time trying to discern medical qualifications and offering you peace of mind. At the most basic level, our doctors will have completed a General Medical Council approved MBBS or MBCH course, as well as an internship year with a GMC approved hospital. Any international doctors who attended medical school outside of the UK, the European Economic Area or Switzerland, and who have not completed a GMC approved postgraduate qualification will have to take the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board exam, known as the PLAB exam, in order for us to work with them. If a doctor has completed the PLAB exam, they should have the same level of clinical knowledge and understanding as a UK doctor starting the second year of their Foundation Programme here in the UK. As such, completing PLAB should equip them with the core medical skills to take on roles at CT1/ST1 and CT2/ST2 level, depending on their previous clinical experience. This will ensure that their basic medical training is at least at an equivalent level to that of a junior doctor who has undergone training in the UK. Each of the specialist senior doctors that we work with will have passed a Royal College approved course of postgraduate study in their relevant field of medicine, or an approved overseas equivalent qualification. The Royal College has test centres around the world where international doctors can earn these qualifications. Given that these are the exams a UK doctor would take, we would strive to locate any candidates who hold one as a priority. However, there is a list of international postgraduate qualifications which are approved by the UK Royal Colleges and GMC as being equivalent to their UK counterparts – this is varied by specialism, but does allow holders of these qualifications to register with the GMC via the approved post-graduate qualification route as the course content and clinical skills are in line with UK standards. As a result, doctors who register for a UK medical license using approved international qualifications are expected to be of at least the level of an ST3+ doctor trained in the UK. Below is a full list of the international postgraduate qualifications recognised as equivalent - this list is taken from the General Medical Council’s own website: Country Awarding Body Qualification America American Board of Paediatrics (ABP) Diplomate of the American Board of Paediatrics – General Paediatrics America American Board of Anesthesiology Certificate of the American Board of Anaesthesiology America The American Board of Radiology  The American Board of Radiology Diagnostic Radiology Examination   Australia/New Zealand Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists  Fellowship of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists     Australia/New Zealand The Royal Australian College of Physicians   FRACP Adult medicine or evidence of three years of basic training (PREP) + achievement of RACP written and clinical examinations   OR   FRACP Pediatrics or evidence of three years basic training (PREP) + achievement of RACP written and clinical examinations Australia/New Zealand The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Fellowship of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (FRANZCP) awarded since January 2012 Australia/New Zealand The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists Fellowship of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (FRANZCR) (Clinical Radiology)   Fellowship of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (FRANZCR) (Radiation Oncology)   Bangladesh Bangladesh College of Physicians and Surgeons Fellowship in Anaesthesia and Anaesthesiology awarded since July 1999 Canada The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada – diagnostic radiology examination   Europe European Academy of Anaesthesiology or European Society of Anaesthesiology       European Diploma in Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care     Europe European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM) European Diploma of Intensive Care (EDIC) awarded since January 2015 Hong Kong   Hong Kong College of Physicians       Membership of the Hong Kong College of Physicians   Ireland College of Anaesthetists in Ireland Fellowship of the Faculty or the College of Anaesthetists [of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland1] Ireland Royal College of Physicians in Ireland MRCP Medicine (Medicine of childhood) Ireland Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland MRCS (collegiate examination) MRCSI (Intercollegiate examination) Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Fellowship of the Faculty of Radiologists in Clinical Radiology of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (FFR RCSI) Malaysia Ministry of Health Master of Medicine (MMED) Malaysia with MRCP (UK) awarded since 1 July 2010 This must include four years of clinical experience (required to completed MMED) plus two years of training. Pakistan College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan FCPS Paediatrics Pakistan Fellowship in Anaesthesiology awarded since 1998 Singapore National University of Singapore Master of Medicine (Paediatrics) Master of Medicine (Internal Medicine) including MRCP (UK) Singapore Joint Committee on Specialist Training Singapore Master of Medicine (MMED) Singapore, plus MRCP (UK) awarded since 1st July 2010 South Africa Colleges of Medicine of South Africa Fellowship of the College of Radiologists of SA FC Rad Diag (SA) – Diag Rad awarded after 1st October 2013 Sri Lanka University of Colombo, Sri Lanka Doctor of Medicine or MD, (Anaesthesiology) Doctor of Medicine or MD, (Obstetrics & Gynaecology) Doctor of Medicine or MD, (Paediatrics) Doctor of Medicine or MD, (medicine) awarded after January 2017 Doctor of Medicine or MD, (surgery) awarded after July 2017 West Africa West African College of Physicians Fellowship of the West African College of Physicians (Paediatrics) West Indies University of the West Indies Doctor of Medicine (Anaesthesia) awarded since September 2003 (Course title has since changed to Doctor of Medicine (Anaesthesia and Intensive care)) 1Acceptable without a reference to the Irish College of Surgeons If you would like to see a full list of the UK postgraduate qualifications accepted by the GMC, you can find them here too.   Assurance of English Language Skills We understand that communication is an essential skill in a busy hospital, and that lack of communication or misunderstanding can have serious consequences. We have dedicated an entire article to this as it is such an important topic, so if you would like to know more about our candidates’ level of English, you can read more about the process they undergo to evidence their English in this article. To give a brief overview, in order to ensure that every doctor we put forward for interview has a high standard of English, they have all completed English language exams that test their written and spoken skills, as well as their ability to listen and understand. All candidates will have either passed the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Occupational English Test (OET). We go into the process and level of skill and understanding involved in passing these tests in further detail in the previously mentioned article. To give you a summary though, the average person relocating to the UK must achieve a 4.0 overall in their IELTS in order to obtain a Tier 2 Visa, however for a doctor to obtain GMC Registration, and for us to be willing to present them as viable candidates they must have obtained a 7.5 overall. In addition to this, our recruiters further screen doctors via Skype to ensure first-hand experience of communicating with a candidate in English, recording and marking each facet of language capability.   Commitment to Working in the UK We pre-screen our candidates thoroughly and provide as much information about any potential position clinically as well as geographically, to try and make sure that our candidates are aware of the location and nature of the role before we present them for interview. We do this to try and safeguard against placing candidates in a hospital that they will not be well suited to. Not only do we work closely with our candidates to confirm that they intend to remain in the UK on a long-term basis, but it is also important to mention the time and cost it takes for an international doctor to obtain GMC Registration and relocate to the UK. To give you an idea, the cost for an international doctor to take IELTS, PLAB, and apply for both a Tier 2 Visa and GMC Registration is currently anywhere around or upwards of £2,284. If a doctor is relocating with their family as well, they will need to pay for visas and an Immigration Health Surcharge that will allow them to access free healthcare with the NHS, these expenses alone can cost upward of £5000. This isn’t taking into consideration other factors and costs that crop up throughout the process or other costs involved once they have arrived in the UK. As well as the price, the amount of time it takes to complete the entire process can be around three years, potentially more depending on the individual’s circumstances. As such, by the time we present a candidate to you, we have an understanding that the doctor is extremely passionate and committed to securing work in the UK and remaining here on a long-term basis.   Candidate References If you have any concerns regarding a candidate’s validity, we would always recommend checking a candidate’s references. Though these referees will usually be international doctors themselves, many have worked in the NHS at some point, and as such, possess a knowledge and understanding of what it’s like to work in NHS hospitals. This experience can help them to accurately attest to a candidate’s ability to work well within a UK hospital, as well as providing you with first-hand knowledge of the candidate’s clinical skill.   Hiring International Doctors If you are an NHS Trust who needs support in securing international doctors, we would be happy to help. Email us at [email protected]   References Gmc-uk.org. (2019). A guide to the PLAB test. [online] Available at: https://www.gmc-uk.org/registration-and-licensing/join-the-register/plab/a-guide-to-the-plab-test [Accessed 5 Nov. 2019]. Gmc-uk.org. (2019). Acceptable postgraduate qualifications. [online] Available at: https://www.gmc-uk.org/registration-and-licensing/join-the-register/before-you-apply/acceptable-postgraduate-qualifications [Accessed 5 Nov. 2019].  

What level of English will our doctors have?

By Gabrielle Richardson
November 07, 2019

BDI Resourcing’s English language checking procedure is fully compliant with the NHS Employment Check Standards and the Government’s Code of Practice on the English Language Requirement for Public Sector Workers. The procedures mean that any doctor working within the NHS has the required level of English language competence to enable them to take on their role effectively, assure the delivery of safe care and successfully communicate with colleagues and patients. The English language assessment is always completed prior to interview stage. There are five ways for a doctor to evidence their English language skills: IELTS certificate OET certificate Structured English language reference form UK job offer Employment in an English-speaking country for over two years IELTS For the GMC to accept the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) from a doctor, their certificate must show: They took the academic version of the test They obtained a minimum score of 7.0 in each testing area and an overall score of 7.5 Their scores were obtained in the most recent sitting of the test The original stamp and test report form number A validity of two years OET For the GMC to accept the Occupational English Test (OET), the doctor must show: They took the medicine version of the test They got a minimum of Grade B in each testing area The doctor’s candidate number Their grades were obtained in the most recent sitting A validity of two years Structured English Language Reference Form Most of our NHS doctors will hold IELTS and OET to evidence their English language skills. However, in certain circumstances possible exemption is available. Please contact us at [email protected] for further information on this. UK Job Offer If a doctor has previously been working within an NHS hospital of which they have been speaking English on a day-to-day basis, they can use a reference from their employer to evidence their language skills. Employment within an English-speaking country for over two years If a doctor has been working in: Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Irish Republic, Jamaica, New Zealand, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago and the United States of America – they will be exempt from evidencing their English skills due to the native language being English. Our Internal Auditing Systems When an international doctor registers with us, we verify their English language certificates and then scan them onto our internal system with a date stamp. We then store it as an unalterable file. Our internal system will then notify us of any doctors whose English language certificates are due to expire two months prior to the expiry date. This notification will then allow us to contact the doctor in enough time to ensure the continuity of their relocation process. International Recruitment If you are an NHS hospital who would like support in securing doctors via an international recruitment campaign, email your CV to [email protected]

Why International Recruitment?

By BDI Resourcing
October 30, 2019

When you come across a company like ours, you may question why you should consider international recruitment over other options such as hiring UK trained doctors or locum staff. In this article, we aim to clarify why international recruitment is not only beneficial, but vital to providing the NHS with a solution to the continually growing number of vacancies. The NHS reported that between April 1st 2019 and June 30th 2019, there were 90, 992 advertised vacancy full-time equivalents in England across the entirety of NHS staffing groups. 83 percent of these were permanent and 17 percent were fixed term. This is considerably more than the previous year in which 31,198 vacancies were advertised. With the number of vacancies rising so dramatically from one year to the next, it is crucial to find long term solutions to this rather than relying on locum staff. “International recruitment will be significantly expanded over the next three years, and the workforce implementation plan will also set out new incentives for shortage specialties and hard-to-recruit to geographies.” – NHS Long Term Plan   Expediate Your Time to Hire There is no busier department within a busy NHS Trust than an HR team. Sifting through hundreds of applications and shortlisting suitable candidates is a hugely time-consuming process. For many NHS Trusts even after a successful round of interviews, appointable doctors may not actually join the Trust, dropping out of the process later on. This can be hugely frustrating for both HR and Clinicians involved in the recruitment process.  Many doctors apply to in excess of 100 NHS Jobs applications, so the percentage of drop-outs is very high even when an applicant has successfully interviewed. At BDI Resourcing we ensure that all of our doctors are pre-screened and given a thorough briefing on your Trust, the department that they will be working within, the local area, cost of living, schools etc. in advance of interview to ensure that they have all the information at hand to make the best decision for their career aspirations. We have built our reputation on making sure that doctors who accept a post within your Trust will honor that commitment and will not only start, but will stay! Training doctors in the UK is obviously a priority, however it is important to note that it can take seven years to train a doctor. As such, international doctors can be particularly valuable in this area. The doctors we work with have already completed their training and foundation years and not only have an excellent level of English (Clearing either the OET or IELTS exam) but possess the practical experience and qualifications to successfully fill specialty roles within the NHS (The majority of our doctors will actually hold full membership with their relevant Royal College) The GMC this year has reported that for the first time, more international doctors have joined the workforce than were trained in the UK in 2019, showing how valuable international doctors have become to solving the NHS staffing crisis. Whilst there are doctors in the UK applying for positions, another potential obstacle is the notice period of the average UK doctor, which is usually three months, meaning a long wait for the hospital in need of them. In comparison, it is often possible to place an international doctor within a hospital in less than three months, providing hospitals with a faster solution to staffing issues. Our time to hire is historically 6-12 weeks. We firmly believe that getting more doctors into the NHS system is more be beneficial than moving one UK based doctor to another NHS Trust (This will always lead to a gap appearing for Trust that the doctor has left). Retention of international Staff  International recruitment can be a long and complicated process for both NHS Trusts and the doctors who are relocating. We recognise that due to the complexity of the process you need to have a reliable partner who are true experts within the field to help, support and guide both NHS Trusts and Doctors. We have successfully relocated hundreds of doctors since our inception and always have a solution to any problem that may occur. Our dedicated relocation and support team assist HR Departments and Doctors every step of the way. This leads to less issues and stress upon commencement of employment for our doctors, leaving them free to concentrate on getting used to working within the NHS. Our on-going support for our doctors upon commencement of work in the UK leads to better staff retention rates for our international doctors. Part of our commitment to any NHS Trust is ensure that we don’t just “place” doctors, we have a dedicated team to provide pastoral care to our doctors once they actually start working in the UK (Sometimes the most stressful time on a doctors journey). We are in continual dialogue with our doctors throughout their engagement and ensure that any issues are highlighted and resolved quickly, leading to far greater staff retention rates and happier doctors! Save your Trust Money Whilst locum staff have an important role to play within the NHS, (such as filling in at the last moment to cover an important shift within a Hospital). Where locums are employed on longer term full-time contract this can be extremely expensive for NHS departments and this is where a company like ours can provide a huge benefit for overstretched departmental budgets. The NHS reported that to employ just five locum doctors cost the NHS at least £2 million per year. We as a company are committed to helping NHS Trusts to reduce locum agency spend by supporting them with their international recruitment campaigns. As is the nature of locum work, a locum can leave with as little as 1 weeks’ notice given. This can leave departments short-staffed at precisely the wrong time and can be a huge issue for continuity of care for patients. It is far better to employ international doctors as direct employees of the Trust on fixed term or permanent contracts to ensure that your departments are stable and are protected with a reasonable notice period so that contingency plans can be made if a doctor does decide to move on. Locums can provide temporary relief for a hospital but in the long term, locums don’t provide a solution to the problem. With our global reach of talent, BDI Resourcing can help NHS Trusts fill those posts that have not been successfully appointed to via traditional internal recruitment methods. We have a magnificent track record of delivering both large scale recruitment campaigns and ad-hoc placements for those historically difficult to fill vacancies. Benefits of International Doctors “The level of funded vacancies and the adverse impacts of workload and time pressures on doctors mean we also need to maximise the flow of new non-UK doctors.” – The GMC The truth is, that while the NHS can continue to hire UK trained doctors and locum staff, these two options alone simply aren’t enough to resolve the issues that many hospitals are faced with daily. As time goes on, it is becoming apparent that international doctors have become a vital part of our NHS and are helping hospitals to run more efficiently by saving money and taking pressure off existing staff members.   Hiring International Doctors If you are an NHS Trust who need support in securing international doctors, we would be happy to help, email us at [email protected] References England, N. (2019). NHS England » NHS could free up £480m by limiting use of temporary staffing agencies. [online] England.nhs.uk. Available at: https://www.england.nhs.uk/2018/08/nhs-could-free-480m-limiting-use-temporary-staffing-agencies/ [Accessed 29 Oct. 2019]. Gmc-uk.org. (2019). The state of medical education and practice in the UK: the workforce report. [online] Available at: https://www.gmc-uk.org/about/what-we-do-and-why/data-and-research/the-state-of-medical-education-and-practice-in-the-uk/workforce-report-2019 [Accessed 29 Oct. 2019]. NHS Digital. (2019). NHS Vacancy Statistics England, February 2015 - June 2019, Provisional Experimental Statistics - NHS Digital. [online] Available at: https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/nhs-vacancies-survey/february-2015---june-2019-provisional-experimental-statistics [Accessed 29 Oct. 2019]. Plan, N. (2019). Overview and summary. [online] NHS Long Term Plan. Available at: https://www.longtermplan.nhs.uk/online-version/overview-and-summary/ [Accessed 29 Oct. 2019].

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