Wales is a Country in the South West of the UK and is popular for its beautiful coastline, mountainous national parks and distinctive Welsh language. The capital of Wales is Cardiff which is a coastal city with an extensive array of history, leisure and culture.
Working for NHS Wales will bring you plenty of benefits including:
Health services in England are primarily provided through NHS Trusts. There are 240 NHS Foundation Trusts and Trusts in England. Broadly, these NHS providers fall into the groups of Acute, Ambulance, Community and Mental Health. Each Trust will have its own board of executive and non-executive directors, and are accountable to the secretary of state. Each Acute NHS Trust in England oversees a certain amount of Hospitals.
In contrast, Health Services in Wales are delivered through their seven Health Boards and a further three NHS Trusts. Rather than having Trusts that are split into Acute, Ambulance, Community and Mental Health, the Health Boards encompass all aspects of HealthCare within a specific region of Wales. If you are an international Doctor interested in relocating and working within Wales, you will be working within one of the seven Health Boards (dependant on the specific location you are relocating to).
NHS Wales’ seven health boards are in place to plan, secure and deliver healthcare services in their specific areas, managing the hospitals that are within their catchments. They are listed below:
Rather than the previous structure within Wales, whereby there were 22 Local Health Boards, the seven larger integrated organisations aim to provide improved collaborative working between hospitals, easier access to a wider range of health professionals and with small management, more money available for frontline services to improve patient care.
In addition to the above Health Boards, which cumulatively cover the whole of Wales, the three NHS Trusts within Wales function slightly differently, covering the whole of the Country and offering specialist services. This of course differs from the NHS Trusts in England – which are smaller organisations overseeing Hospital groups.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspects care services in England only. The Health Care regulator equivalent that operates within Wales is the ‘Healthcare Inspectorate Wales’. Similarly to the CQC within England, the HealthCare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) regulates and inspects NHS services and independent healthcare providers in Wales against a range of standards, policies, guidance and regulations to highlight areas requiring improvement.#
The HealthCare Inspectorate Wales will make announced or unannounced inspections of Hospitals within each of the 7 Health Boards and look at how the services comply with regulations, meet healthcare standards and meet other legislation, professional standards and guidance as applicable. Similarly to the CQC in England, they will then use these judgements to write an inspection report, which will include any required improvements, where it is then published on their website.
The reports published by HealthCare Inspectorate Wales are delivered in three themes:
This is one of the most common questions we get asked by International Medical Graduates considering relocating to and working within Wales. The answer is no! NHS Wales do not expect their staff to speak Welsh. According to the ONS, and as of June 2020, the number of Welsh speakers in the UK sits at 874,700 (just under a third of the Welsh population).
It is important to acknowledge, that even though it is not a requirement or necessity to speak Welsh in Wales, the language is still used in a variety of social settings. For example, all road signs in Wales are bilingual; meaning they are written in both English and Welsh. Additionally, in education (specifically Primary and Secondary Schools), the Welsh language is integrated into both teaching and learning.
If you are an international doctor who wants to relocate to the UK and work within the NHS in Wales send your CV to [email protected] – and we will be happy to help you. In addition, if you would like support form an online forum of other IMG’s join our Facebook Group - IMG Advisor
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Wales.nhs.uk. 2021. Health In Wales | Structure. [online] Available at:
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GOV.WALES. 2021. NHS Wales Health Boards And Trusts | GOV.WALES. [online] Available at:
WebsiteName. 2021. Why Are Signs Bilingual In Wales? A History Of Welsh Signs. [online] Available at:
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