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How to apply for an NHS Clinical Attachment

  • December 07, 2018

Clinical attachments are an opportunity for international doctors to gain NHS experience and get an insight into the working lives of UK doctors. The clinical attachment allows an IMG to observe a Consultant within their desired specialty without being medically responsible for patients.

In this article, we provide you with a guide on applying for an NHS clinical attachment and the benefits of doing so.

What can I expect from a clinical attachment?

An NHS clinical attachment will allow you to prepare for working within the NHS. You will gain an insight into UK medical processes and the way the NHS functions as a system.

During your attachment, you can expect to:

  • Observe the Consultant’s work
  • Patient administration
  • Take patient histories
  • Physical examinations (under supervision)

Please note, you will never be given sole responsibility for a patient and you will not be expected to provide clinical advice or make a clinical decision.

Is a clinical attachment useful when applying for GMC Registration or an NHS job?

It is not a requirement to have an NHS clinical attachment for GMC Registration or to apply for an NHS job. However, the experience will most definitely enhance your application when applying for your first NHS job. It will demonstrate to the hospital that you are aware of UK standards and the care and conduct required of doctors.

Are there any requirements to apply for an NHS clinical attachment?

You will need the following:

  • Criminal record check
  • Proof of identity
  • A pass in IELTS or OET
  • Occupational health clearance from the NHS Trust providing you with the attachment
  • Satisfactory references

What visa will I need?

To participate in your NHS clinical attachment, you should apply for a UK Standard Visit Visa.

How do I apply for an NHS clinical attachment?

Unfortunately, there is not a single application process to apply for a clinical attachment. To apply, you should search online for the desired hospital you want to conduct the attachment within with the words ‘clinical attachment’ – and they will provide you with an email contact.

For example, if you wanted to conduct a clinical attachment at East Sussex Health Care NHS Trust, you should search “East Sussex NHS Trust clinical attachment”. And you will be directed here -

Alternatively, you could ask any friends who currently work within the NHS if they know of any opportunities.

If you would like support in finding your first NHS post, email your CV to [email protected] and we will be in touch.

Come and say hello! Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor. Here, you will gain access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional support and the chance to meet other IMGs!

References (2018). BMA - Clinical attachments. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Dec. 2018].


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