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How to successfully secure your first NHS position in Anesthetics or ICU

  • January 17, 2022

NHS Anaesthetics and ICU departments are very much in need of Doctors of all grades to fill various positions. If you are currently trying to secure such a role but are unsure on how to begin or have been trying for some time without success, BDI Resourcing’s top tips below aim to show you how you can make it possible.

1) Make sure that you CV is tailored

When applying for roles in either Anaesthetics or ICU make sure that your CV is tailored to the position that you are applying for. Applying for various positions and changing your CV accordingly can take some time and effort but it is definitely worth doing. Some positions can be competitive so in order to give yourself the best chance be sure to express your experience and passion for the particular vacancies. If you are unsure on how to tailor your CV or feel like you need assistance when applying for multiple roles do take advantage of agencies like BDI Resourcing. 

2) Take the time to sit post graduate qualifications  

We would always recommend EDIC or MRCP for any Doctors wishing to peruse a career in Intensive Care medicine. Neither is seen to be better, both are recognized as certificates of excellence.

For Anaesthetics we would always recommend FRCA. This is probably the most attractive looking qualification – it’s a certificate of excellence and something that most NHS consultant Anaesthetists would be expected to have. EDAIC (European Diploma) is another good route for Anesthetists, similar to EDIC.

Previously the FCPS post graduate qualification was accepted by the GMC for registration. However, this has recently been taken off the list. If you have already obtained GMC via the FCPS route, then you can absolutely still use this to secure an NHS position. If you are yet to complete FCPS and be granted GMC do now consider the other routes to GMC you can see the full list of accepted postgraduate qualifications here.

5) Be flexible when it comes to specific subspecialities of Anesthetics

We find quite regularly that Anaesthetists will have an area of preference (i.e Cardiac Anaesthesia). The best way to subspecialise, is to take your initial post within the NHS as a generalist and then once comfortable in post, ask your Consultants and Head of Service for more exposure to a certain area of interest.

General Anaesthesia posts are more common than areas like NeuroAnaesthesia, so for a higher probability of securing a post initially – we would always recommend keeping your options broad and then spend time subspecializing your rota whilst in the NHS. Once you have gained NHS experience in your first post you will find it a lot easier and quicker to secure a more specialised role when applying for NHS roles the second time.

6) Be aware of CESR and start collective evidence now

CESR is not an easy or quick process. If CESR is definitely the route you want to take towards specialist registration, you need to understand the different areas and exposures you will be required to evidence. We have a separate blog that outlines the evidence you will need here.

Most NHS Trusts will be able to provide a certain level of support, however not every Trust will be able to sign off every competency. As experts in the field of ICU and Anaesthesia, we find that the trickiest areas of exposure to get signed off (due to the limited Trusts that have these subspecialties) are:

  • Advanced Paediatric
  • Neuro
  • Cardiac

In order to give yourself the best chances once in the UK working for the NHS start collecting your evidence now. A lot of Doctors have found that using an agency and explaining that your long-term goal is to complete CESR can be extremely beneficial. We can spend time creating a role that suits your needs and ensure that you can get the CESR support you need.

BDI’s top advice for an Anaesthetist or Intensivist

To summarise, the best advice we can give is to be flexible, especially for your first NHS job. The hardest part of the process is securing the first NHS position, so try and be as flexible as possible in terms of location and grade.

It’s important to remember that every healthcare system is extremely different, so if you’re working as a Consultant overseas, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best idea to step into the NHS as a Consultant. Specifically in Intensive Care, it’s very rare that a trust will take on a Doctor at Consultant level with no NHS experience. Be prepared to step down and then step back up again once you feel comfortable with the way the NHS operates.

How can we help?

If you are an international Doctor who would like to relocate to the UK, email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your relocation journey to the UK.

Are you a member of our Facebook group? When you join IMG Advisor, you join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs to the group each day. We will also be on hand to answer all of your relocation queries.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 60 videos covering everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS.

Listen to BDI Resourcing on the go with IMG Advisor the Podcast! You can listen to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Buzzsprout. We have a number of episodes with tips and advice on relocating to the UK and the routes you can take to achieve this.

Finally, we also have Instagram, so if you are a member, feel free to follow us to view our posts and IGTV: @bdiresourcing


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