Latest Blog

Q&A with Dr Ibidolapo Ijarotimi, GPST1 Warwick Hospital

By Gabrielle Richardson
November 18, 2019

Thank you for taking the time to interview with us Dr Ibidolapo Ijarotimi.  We wish you all the best with your GP training and life in the UK with your children. Introduction 1. What speciality, grade and what hospital do you work at? GPST1, Geriatric department, Warwick Hospital 2. What country did you relocate from? Nigeria 3. Would you share with us your personal mission as a doctor? All I have ever wanted and still want is to bring joy to people by helping them heal, physically and mentally. I also want to work towards improving the work conditions of junior doctors in the NHS. 4. At what point in your career did you decide you wanted to relocate to the UK? About 3 years after I finished medical school although it didn’t come to pass for over a decade after. 5. What were your motivations for wanting to do so? Mostly just the need to have better work environment and better socioeconomic conditions The Relocation Process 6. How long did it take you to relocate, how difficult did you find the process, and do you recommend it to other IMGs? I started the process pretty much in 2008 by applying for HSMP then. I got it but some circumstances prevented me from relocating then. Afterwards I had to start writing IELTS and PLAB. Throughout the course of 10 years that it eventually took me, I wrote IELTS at least 8 times PLAB1 2 times PLAB2 5 times. 7. Is there anything you would have liked to have known before deciding to relocate? I think I had enough knowledge before I came. Average salary to negotiate for, work hours and rota, estimated monthly budget, total cost of getting British passport. 8. And now once you live in the UK? You can’t know how it really is working as a foreigner in the NHS, you can only experience it. But if I could know the way it feels I would suggest that. Thoughts on the UK 9. For you, what are the key benefits of living in the UK? Opportunity for my children to have broad education, develop their talents and attend good universities 10. How do you feel you settled in your chosen location within the UK?  I am well settled. It is urban but I live near the city edge so I get the benefit of city living and the quietness of rural area. My closest family is only 35 minutes drive away and we see each other very often. Our children spend holidays in both homes. The NHS 11. How did you feel on your first day of working within the NHS, your first week, month and then how do you feel now compared to when you first started? My first day I felt so happy and proud of myself. It was a dream come true. Gradually over the next few months I started feeling stressed and disillusioned and perhaps a bit burnt out. Now, I am kind of at a plateau. I am a more patient doctor. The NHS has taught me that. 12. How would you describe the support you received from your hospital after starting your new position? This new position I am in as a GP trainee the support is immeasurable. I recently went through a rough patch and that was when I I was overwhelmed by the support I got. From Health Education England and the hospital. 13. What is your opinion on the NHS? Working within it and as a patient receiving care? The NHS is good. If not for the NHS the mortality rate in this country will be very high however, it is over stretched. The doctors and nurses are stretched too thinly thereby putting them at greater risk of making mistakes. To make it worse there is the culture of blame. It makes staff unnecessarily fearful practicing defensive medicine which is expensive and can even be unsafe for patients. In addition, there is need for the system to be more tolerant and accommodating of foreigners. 14. How do you find working in the UK compared to your home country? It is more stressful. Mostly because of fear of making errors. GP Specialty Training 15. Why did you choose to specialise in General Practice? I chose GP for several reasons; 1. It is the closest to my background in Community medicine 2. It was relatively easy to get into 3. The training is short 4. I believe it will give me the work life balance I crave. 16. What were your thoughts on working as a GP before you came to the UK? I didn’t really have any idea about how it will be working as a GP but now in the training and visiting GP surgeries I now know what to expect. 17. How are your MRCGP studies going? So far, I am finding it quite challenging but interesting. It is definitely doable. 18. Do you have any advice for any other doctors who want to pursue GP Training? They should go for it. It is a good decision. Once you are GP it is easier to find a work life balance. 19. Any tips on the application process? Pay attention to the SJT section of the stage 2. And be natural in the stage 3 part, skills learnt for PLAB also comes useful here. Having previous exposure to NHS will certainly help but it is not necessary. Acute Medicine 20 .Before your GP training, I understand that you worked in Acute Medicine – what were your thoughts? It was a rude introduction to UK health system but also quite fun and challenging. To be fair, I loved it but I found it too stressful for me. 21. Any advice for IMGs about to join an Acute Medicine Unit? Be aware that it is a very busy unit. Very much like emergency medicine. You need to have current medical knowledge at your fingertips and be confident of your decisions The Future 22. What are your hopes and goals for the future? I hope to become a GP (working 3 or so days week as either locum or salaried. I don’t want to be a partner. I also want to spend the remaining 2 days being a blogger. Links to Dr Dale's blogs: Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Meenadalediary/ Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/meenadalediary/ If you are an international doctor who would like support with relocating to the UK and joining the NHS, email your CV to us at [email protected] and we can support you on your journey.

How do I Anonymise my CESR Evidence?

By Samantha Joubert
November 14, 2019

In order to work as a permanent Consultant within the NHS, you will need to be placed onto the Specialist Register. This can be done in three ways: CCT, CESR CP and CESR. CCT: If you have completed all of your training within a GMC approved training programme. CESR CP: If you have completed some of your training overseas and some of your training within a GMC approved training programme. CESR: If you have completed all of your training in a non-approved training programme. For further information on CESR, read our dedicated CESR article here. Please note, it is possible to work as a Locum Consultant/ Fixed Term Consultant without being the Specialist Register. For more information on this or current opportunities, email us at [email protected] In this blog article, we explain the process of anonymising your evidence for your CESR application. Why do I Need to Anonymise my Evidence? The GMC expects all doctors applying for CESR to anonymise sensitive information such as patient and colleague details in any evidence they’re providing. This is to comply with patient confidentiality standards which comes under good medical practice. There are also the General Data Protection Regulations, known as GDPR; a data protection law which, as the name suggests, is in place to protect people’s personal information and the way it’s handled. If you fail to anonymise your evidence, the GMC can delete any information they deem to be in violation of these rules from your application and can ask you to resubmit it. It’s likely that they will also inform the Royal College you are applying for CESR with that you have failed to anonymise sensitive information within your application. It’s incredibly important to comply with this as not only can it postpone the application process for you, but it is actually in breach of the law and goes against the good medical practice code (something which won’t reflect well on you as an applicant or a doctor). How to Anonymise Information Depending on whether you are submitting evidence electronically or submitting hard copy evidence, there are different methods for anonymising sensitive information. If your evidence is electronic you can use a redaction software - we would recommend making sure you use something reputable as you will be dealing with sensitive information. For example, Adobe Acrobat allows you to redact information for PDFs. It is also possible to use the font feature on Microsoft Word to hide text, then go to file, click ‘check for issues’, then select the ‘hidden text’ tick box. This will remove any hidden text from the document, but please be aware that this will remove the text permanently. We advise that you create a new copy of the document you’d like to redact text from before attempting this method – this ensures you have a backup should you make a mistake. If you are submitting hard copy evidence, the GMC advises concealing any sensitive information using a crayon. A marker may seem like the obvious choice, but the GMC has stated that text is often visible through marker once it has been scanned, so crayon is the more reliable choice.   Patient Information Patient information must be anonymised due to the standards of the previously mentioned good medical practice; doctors have a duty of care that means patients must be able to trust doctors to keep their personal data and information confidential. Though they may seem like obvious things to anonymise, you do not need to redact patient gender or date of birth, as any variety in ages and gender of the patients you’ve worked with can be used to support your experience during your CESR application. If you’re not sure where patient information might be included, the GMC states that it can often be found in: Medical Reports Case History Referral Letters Logbooks Patient Lists Thank You Letters Emails Cards Meeting Minutes Complaints Any identifying patient information should be anonymised, including: Patient names (first names and last names) Addresses Street Names Postcodes Phone Numbers Email Addresses Any other contact details NHS or URN numbers Reference numbers on documents Any details of patients’ relatives Colleague Information Colleague information would come under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the process for identifying colleague information is similar to that of a patient, but with a few differences. Colleagues include people you’ve provided a reference for, who have been involved in a complaint submitted by you or who you have assessed.   You’re likely to find colleague information in: Participation in assessment or appraisal Complaints Colleague information that should be anonymised: Colleague names (first and last names) Phone Numbers Email Addresses Any other contact details Login codes and reference numbers of assessments GMC Numbers Once you have anonymised your evidence, you will need to verify it. We will cover this in more detail in a future article, but this information is also available on the GMC’s website. If you would like advice on how to organise your CESR evidence, read our blog post here. Relocation to the UK If you are an international doctor who has decided that the UK is for you, email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your journey to the UK today. Are you a member of our Facebook Group? When you join IMG Advisor, you will join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs into the group every single day. We will also always be on hand to answer all your relocation queries. Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 40 videos on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS! References Gmc-uk.org. (2019). How do I anonymise my evidence?. [online] Available at: https://www.gmc-uk.org/registration-and-licensing/join-the-register/registration-applications/specialist-application-guides/cesr-with-registration/how-do-i-anonymise-my-evidence [Accessed 8 Nov. 2019].

Advanced Life Support Courses & The NHS

By Gabrielle Richardson
November 13, 2019

An effective Resuscitation Service is an operational priority and obligation within every single NHS hospital, with employers expected ensure that their staff receive training and regular updates. They also have a responsibility to provide equipment, managerial support and continual reappraisals of expected standards and results. In order to achieve this, NHS hospitals will each have a set of standards for resuscitation training in both basic and advanced life support. The general guidelines are stated below: To ensure patients receive safe, current and evidenced-based, effective resuscitation, when appropriate. To provide staff with guidance on the resuscitation courses that are most appropriate to them depending on their clinical role To implement and develop prevention strategies to reduce the number of preventable cardiac arrests To reduce cardiac arrest morbidity and mortality through education To ensure relevant staff are updated and adequately supported to deal with resuscitation situations To ensure relevant staff are updated and adequately supported to deal with resuscitation situations Reduce clinical risk Your Training Each NHS hospital will have to adhere to an Annual Training Schedule. Courses offered by each hospital should include: Basic Life Support – Adult (BLS) Paediatric Basic Life Support – (PBLS) Adult BLS Cascade Training Paediatric BLS Cascade Training Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Training AED Cascade Training Recognition and Treatment of Anaphylaxis Recognition of the Sick Patient for Health Care Support Workers Paediatric Emergency Ward-Based Scenarios Ward-based sick patient and mock-arrest scenarios (Adult) Immediate Life Support (ILS) Advanced Life Support (ALS) Advanced Life Support Recert Advanced Paediatric Life Support (APLS) Advanced Trauma Life Support Paediatric Life Support (PLS) Acute Life-Threatening Events – Recognition and Treatment (ALERT) Ill Medical Patients Acute Care and Treatment (IMPACT) Neonatal Life Support Which international life support courses are accepted by the NHS? Advanced life support courses look fantastic on your CV, however, since the NHS has no information or control over the standards of the courses conducted outside of the EU – there are only a few international courses that are recognised as equivalents to UK life support courses. Does the NHS recognise the European Resuscitation Council (ERC) qualifications? The European Resuscitation Council courses are recognised and accepted as equivocal by the RC (UK). Does the NHS recognise the Australian Resuscitation Council qualifications? The NHS only recognises the Australian Resuscitation Council Advanced Life Support and Immediate Life courses as equivalent. Does the NHS recognise the American Heart Association (AHA) qualifications? Unfortunately, the NHS does not accept any courses from the American Heart Association as they are not able to examine the information or standards for these courses. What happens when I join my NHS Trust? Once you start working for your NHS hospital, they will arrange the relevant course for you. Most hospitals will offer a study budget of £400 which can be used to purchase the course. You are advised to complete your course within the first six months of joining. How long is my certificate valid for? Most certificates are valid for one year, however, there are some exceptions. Check the expiry date when you receive it. The Resuscitation Council (UK) states that you have one year from the expiry date of your certificate within which to recertify your qualification. Relocation to the UK If you are an international doctor who has decided that the UK is for you, email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your journey to the UK today. Are you a member of our Facebook Group? When you join IMG Advisor, you will join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs into the group every single day. We will also always be on hand to answer all your relocation queries. Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 35 videos on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS! References Resuscitation Training. (2019). 19th ed. [ebook] Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. Available at: http://www.cardiffandvaleuhb.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/documents/1143/Resuscitation%20Training%20Guidelines%20updated%202017.pdf [Accessed 6 Nov. 2019]. Resus.org.uk. (2019). FAQs for Candidates. [online] Available at: https://www.resus.org.uk/information-on-courses/faqs-for-candidates/ [Accessed 12 Nov. 2019].

Q&A with Dr Aashish Raghu, JCF Trauma and Orthopaedics

By Gabrielle Richardson
November 12, 2019

BDI Resourcing supported Dr Raghu with his relocation to the UK and securing an NHS post.  Thank you for taking the time to feature in our Q&A Dr Raghu, it was a pleasure supporting you on your journey to the UK and we wish you all the best with your future in the UK. Introduction 1. What speciality, grade and what hospital do you work at? I’m working in Trauma & Orthopaedics as a Junior Clinical Fellow at Lister Hospital, Stevenage. 2. What country did you relocate from? India 3. Would you share with us your personal mission as a doctor? I support the NHS’s motto of offering free and high-standard Healthcare to the public. Isn’t this why we wanted to become doctors?  4. At what point in your career did you decide you wanted to relocate to the UK? What were your motivations for wanting to do so? I was always in awe of the NHS and it’s workings to help each and everyone. When I was doing my Orthopaedic training in India I realised I wanted to learn more to better my knowledge. I personally feel UK offers the best ground to learn and progress in my  career, in keeping with the latest development. The Relocation Process 5. How long did it take you to relocate, how difficult did you find the process, and do you recommend it to other IMGs? It was a very smooth journey, all thanks to Jonny Carter and Gabrielle Richardson at BDI who were with me with every step. I definitely recommend BDI Resourcing. 7. Is there anything you would have liked to have known before deciding to relocate? And now once you live in the UK? I was briefed very well by the BDI team and was adequately prepared. I was in touch with them for each and every step till I started work and it was a very satisfying experience. Bless you all! I was able to adapt and am settling in. Thoughts on the UK 8. For you, what are the key benefits of living in the UK? The wonderful weather, beautiful architecture, excellent work environment and helpful colleagues. Last but not least, the scrumptious food… 9. How do you feel you settled in your chosen location within the UK? I stay at the outskirts of London.  It’s got a vibrant High Street with everything to offer. Less traffic and the hustle-bustle of Central London. I do miss my family and friends but I make time to keep in touch with them, regularly. The NHS 10. How did you feel on your first day of working within the NHS, your first week, month and then how do you feel now compared to when you first started? I imagined it would be daunting on my first day but it was the exact opposite. I was warmly welcomed by my colleagues.  It was a little difficult at first because there are a lot of things we get to learn on the job which is very different from back in our home countries. Especially executing things requires protocol and documentation which I gradually picked up. Now I feel more confident and have realised that patient safety is the key in making all the right decisions. 11. How would you describe the support you received from your hospital after starting your new position? I am lucky to be working with wonderful people. They are supportive and always willing to listen. Wouldn't have asked for better. 12. What is your opinion on the NHS? Working within it and as a patient receiving care? I’m satisfied with the way NHS works but I feel it is understaffed. Everything we do is to make sure the patient receives the quality care with safety. At the end of the day, the patients are the most understanding people who worry about us too. 13. How do you find working in the UK compared to your home country? There are a lot of differences and I am grateful for my experience in my home country which has taught me a lot in my surgical field. I am completing my learning to be a safe and updated doctor in the NHS. Trauma and Orthopaedics  14.  Why did you choose to specialise in Trauma and Orthopaedics? There’s no better satisfaction to treat your patient and see them walk again.  15. What were your thoughts on working as a T&O before you came to the UK? Did reality meet your expectations? Since I did my training in T&O in India, I wanted to learn more and update myself. I have also learnt that safe-practice is the best. Reality indeed did meet my expectations. 16. Do you plan to apply for Surgery Specialty Training? I would love to pursue training in the UK because  training offers great benefits to making an overall confident and safe surgeon with good exposure to clinical research as well. 17. How was studying for MRCS? Do you have any advice for other doctors currently studying for it? The MRCS was a difficult exam because it was not just Orthopaedics but more of General Surgery and ENT as well. I had the great company of other aspirants during my preparation which I think was vital.  My advice is to get your basics strong, practice well and you will pass the exam with flying colours. 18. Do you have any advice for doctors about to join a new NHS post in Trauma and Orthopaedics?  Come to work in the NHS with an open mind and learn to adapt quickly because it’s very busy and at the end of the day we need to be safe doctors for our patients. T&O offers a rewarding career and must be considered. The Future 19.  What are your hopes and goals for the future? I want to progress into T&O training and also contribute to clinical research. If you are an international doctor who would like our support with relocating to the UK and joining the NHS, email your CV to [email protected] Are you a member of our Facebook Group? When you join IMG Advisor, you will join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs into the group every single day. We will also always be on hand to answer all your relocation queries. Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 35 videos on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS!

How to Travel Around the UK

By Samantha Joubert
November 08, 2019

Whether you’re visiting the UK or you’re in the process of relocating, it can be tricky to get your head around the different modes of transport and how they work. In this article we will try to give you an overview of the best ways to travel in the UK, how you can buy tickets, and which parts of the country they are available in. Please note, each area of the UK has its own services and systems in place and so they may vary slightly from place to place.   Travel by Bus Buses are a commonly used form of public transport in the UK and are estimated to account for 59% of public transport journeys. Most locations will have a bus service, making it easy to travel by bus. City buses tend to be more frequent and often provide services to more distant locations as well as around the immediate area. Services in smaller locations may be less frequent, but they will usually still provide a few routes. Buses are popular as they allow people to travel cheaply, though the cost of tickets will vary depending on the region, the general consensus is that travel by bus is one of the cheaper options available. Buses in the UK are also very accessible as there is usually space for wheelchairs and pushchairs on board. Most companies will offer a range of tickets depending on your needs. You can usually buy a ticket for a single journey that will allow you to travel to a single destination on a particular service, or a return ticket, which will allow you to travel to your destination and back on the same service. Most companies will offer a day ticket that allows you to travel multiple times on the same service or on multiple services in the area. Many locations also offer weekly, monthly and even yearly passes for people who use the service often. These long-term tickets usually allow you to travel on multiple bus services as well. Family tickets and discounted tickets for children and the elderly are also available. Many buses allow you to pay for paper tickets onboard using cash, or in cities and some towns, you can use contactless debit cards and Apple pay. It is worth noting that many bus companies in the UK are attempting to phase out paper tickets to reduce boarding times and aid environmental change. Some services require you to have purchased your ticket before you board the bus, either from machines at the bus stop, or on apps or travel cards. Again, this will depend on the area, so it is good to research the place you’re travelling to beforehand to find out what the bus company expects passengers to do. You can often find this information online and can sometimes purchase the relevant tickets on a company’s website or on a relevant app. Bus stops in the UK will have timetables displayed, and some will even have electronic timetables informing you when the next bus is due. You can also check timetables online and plan your journey on websites such as Traveline. On Traveline, you can enter the location you’re travelling from, your destination, and the time you’d like to leave, and it will tell you which stop the relevant bus is departing from, at what time, and if there are any additional buses you will need to catch. Some bus companies offer free WiFi and USB charging ports on their buses, though smaller services will not include these features, so we wouldn’t recommend relying on it to charge your devices, and they cannot be used for laptops. The downside to buses is that they can be slower than trains as they must contend with traffic. Services in rural areas can be less frequent. Finally, long term tickets such as weekly, monthly or yearly tickets can be quite expensive, though still cheaper than other modes of transport. For long distance journeys, there are also coach services, these mostly link cities, and the buses themselves are built for long distance journeys, often having toilets, charging outlets for laptops and phones and places to store suitcases and hand luggage. The seating also tends to be more comfortable on coaches than on standard buses. They mostly pick up and drop off at bus stations rather than smaller bus stops, but it depends on the service and route. If you’re interested in travelling by coach, you can use the websites below to plan your journey. National Express Megabus   Travel by Train Trains are another popular means of transport, cities will have train stations, as will many smaller regions, making them another great way to travel around the country. Train services usually offer transportation around an area, as well as to destinations further away. Inner town and city transport can be more limited than with buses as there are less train stations than there are bus stops. That said, they are an excellent way to travel if you want to go further afield. Trains are usually faster than buses as they don’t have to compete with traffic, and there is usually less stops for a train as well. What also decreases travel time is that you can either buy your train tickets beforehand or buy them from a conductor on the train. Even if you must change trains during your journey, a conductor on any train will be able to sell you tickets for the entirety of your journey. They will usually accept cash and debit card payments. When buying tickets, many stations in the UK will have booths or machines where you can purchase your train tickets beforehand. Booths will usually be run by a staff member who will accept cash or card payments, while machines are self-service and will generally only accept payment by credit or debit card. Many train services now have apps where you can buy paperless M-tickets beforehand as well. A notable difference with train tickets is that the price for the same journey will differ throughout the day and on different days of the week. With trains, you can purchase off-peak and super-off-peak tickets. Peak times are the times of day when a train service is at its busiest, so in the early mornings and late afternoons and evenings during the week when people will be commuting to and from work and school. Weekends are generally considered to be off-peak and will be cheaper than standard tickets. However, you will not be able to travel at peak times with an off-peak ticket and may have to pay for another ticket if you try to board a train at peak times with one of these. You can, however, travel at any time with a ticket that isn’t classed as off-peak. Super off-peak tickets will vary, but they will be cheaper than off-peak tickets, and will cover the least busy times of day. Again, you will not be able to use a super off-peak ticket to travel on a train at peak hours, or even during off-peak hours, so while they are cheaper, they will be more restrictive than standard or off-peak tickets. Another thing to note about UK trains is that they have two different types of carriages, first class and standard, there tends to be one or two first class carriages, and then the rest will be standard. You can only sit in first class if you have purchased a first class ticket, as they are more expensive. The benefit of travelling first class is that the carriages are generally more spacious, the seating will be more comfortable and there is complimentary food and drinks, as well as free WiFi and newspapers. Perhaps more often than with buses, you may need to change trains during your journey, most trains are travelling a long distance and won’t always stop at your desired location, so you will need to make sure you are aware of which station you need to change at and what time your connecting train will leave. Like buses, you can check timetables at train stations, but they are also available online. You can plan a journey on Traveline, or look on Trainline or National Express. These sites will inform you if you need to change to a different train at any point in your journey, which station and platform your next train will leave from, as well as the time it will leave. Sometimes, if your train is running late, you may miss your connection. If this happens you can usually ask one of the conductors when the next train will be. Most trains will have toilets, luggage and bike racks, small tables, free WiFi and electrical outlets allowing you to charge laptops and other devices. These facilities will vary between services, but they tend to be more comfortable than travelling by bus. The main downside of travel by train is the cost, it can be quite expensive to travel long distance, so many opt to travel by coach instead. Travel by Car Most people in the UK travel by car. The benefit of driving is that you have the freedom to go wherever you like whenever you like. It’s also an excellent mode of transport if you live in a more rural area where buses and trains aren’t frequent or easily accessible. Some may consider driving a cheaper option as they don’t have to pay for regular bus or train tickets however others may dispute that the cost of petrol, parking, insuring and running a car makes it the more expensive option. It’s very dependent on an individual’s circumstances, and what you want out of your journey when travelling around the UK. We have a full article explaining the cost of running a car in the UK to give you a better idea of the cost in comparison to other modes of transport. In order to legally drive in the UK, you will need a full, valid driving license and will need to be seventeen years of age or older. If your driving license was issued in the UK, EU, or in a European Economic Area (EEA), you will be able to drive any vehicle stated on your driving license. If you have a license from a designated country (Andorra, Australia, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Isle of Man, Japan, Jersey, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland and Zimbabwe) you will legally be allowed to drive in the UK on your full, valid driving license for 12 months when you become a resident, but after that you must exchange your license for a UK license. If it isn’t from one of the designated countries, you will be allowed to drive with it, as long as it is a full, valid license, and you will be allowed to do this for 12 months from when you became a resident, after that, you will need to apply for a provisional UK driving license and pass the theory and practical driving tests to obtain a UK license. You can learn more about acquiring a driving license in this article. These rules apply whether you are just visiting or if you are relocating. We would advise having a look at the direct.gov website about the restrictions on driving in the UK though, and which vehicles you will be allowed to drive. If you are visiting, or if you have not yet decided if you want to purchase a car, you can rent one for the duration of your visit or for a journey. The rules for renting a car in the UK can vary between rental companies, but generally you will need your passport and a full driving license. Some will only hire out to you if you have had your license for a certain amount of time, usually between 1 and 5 years, and often you will need to be over 25 years of age. If you have a non-EU or UK driving license you will also need an international driving permit (IDP). IDPs are valid for 12 months, and you should try to secure one three months before coming to the UK. Sometimes, you will need to provide proof of address. If you’re only in the UK on a short-term basis, you may also be asked to provide proof of travel dates to and from the UK in the form of flight tickets or hotel bookings. Car rental companies will also charge a deposit fee which you will get back once you return the car at the end of the rental period, providing there is no damage to the vehicle. If you are interested in renting a car, these are a few companies you can look at to get an idea of the requirements and potential costs: Avis Hertz Europcar A disadvantage of driving is that it can be tricky if you are not accustomed to UK roads, we drive on the left-hand side of the road, which is different to most other countries. It takes time to get used to, but it can be off-putting to some, and is something to consider if you’re not a confident driver. Cars can also be less helpful in cities, and if you are planning to visit or relocate to a city, we would recommend doing some research beforehand, as other means of transport such as buses and trains can actually be cheaper and easier to rely on. Due to congestion and pollution in many UK cities, particularly London, there are restrictions on certain roads, areas and times of day that you can drive a car. If you are planning on driving in a city, it’s important to check the rules and restrictions for that area, as you can be fined for breaking these rules even if you were unaware of them. The final disadvantage of using a car is the price of parking. It can often cost upwards of £10 a day to park in city car parks, and many instead choose to find alternate means of transport when travelling within a city, even if they own a car. Travel by Taxi Taxis are another flexible form of transport if you want the freedom of a car but if perhaps you don’t have a license or would simply prefer not to drive yourself. Taxi drivers usually know the area very well or have a GPS so can usually get you to your destination more quickly than if you were trying to find it yourself. Most places will have taxi companies. Depending on where you’re travelling from, you can either find a Taxi rank, or simply call a taxi company to pick you up from where you’re staying. You can also book taxis in advance with many companies. It’s also easy to search for local taxi companies online or find their numbers in local phone books. In some areas, transport apps are now in use as well including Uber,  Ola, Lyft and others. These apps are usually available on Apple and Android, and allow you to request a car, and input your current location and your destination, you can often pay through these apps too. A nearby driver can then accept your request and will pick you up. The benefit of apps like these are that you usually can track how far away your driver is and rate your journey and driver. Some disadvantages of taxis are that they can be more expensive than public transport, particularly for long journeys, and some taxi companies will only travel a certain distance. Taxi rides will run on a timed meter, and if your cab gets stuck in traffic, the meter will continue to run, even if you’re not moving. It’s also important to make sure that any taxi company you travel with is legitimate and reputable as occasionally, people will pretend to be taxi drivers to try and make money. This is something to be particularly aware of if you’re travelling alone and at night. You can check before you get in a car if the driver has a taxi license. This will usually be displayed on the dashboard. Travel by Bike Bikes have become increasingly popular in the UK for both commuters and tourists. Unfortunately, they are not the best option for long distance journeys (unless you’re feeling ambitious!) but are excellent for sightseeing and travelling around a small area. A reason bikes have become so popular in recent years is because it is better for the environment. Particularly in cities where air pollution and congestion are poor, many opt to cycle instead. It’s also the cheapest form of transport on this list. Once you’ve purchased a bike and the necessary accessories, the maintenance and upkeep will be considerably less than that of a car. To improve the environment, many cities now have rental bikes that can be found at points all over the city. You can rent these bikes for a set amount of time for as little as £1, and if you want to use the bike for longer, you can simply pay more. A lot of cities have also implemented cycle lanes to make it easier for cyclists to navigate traffic and pedestrians. Like cars, there are certain rules to cycling, particularly on roads. You can see the full list of requirements and rules here, but the main one is to familiarise yourself with the highway code as cyclists are expected to adhere to the rules of the road in the UK. As well as being more environmentally friendly and healthier, cycling is faster than walking, you don’t have to pay for parking, petrol or for tickets, and it can be a scenic way to travel and acquaint yourself with an area. The main disadvantages of cycling are that you can’t travel long distances, you will need more than one bike if you’re not travelling alone, if the weather is bad, which it can often be in the UK, particularly during the winter months, it’s not the most pleasant form of transport, and it can also be more dangerous, particularly if you are cycling on busy main roads. Travel by Underground Train The most well-known form of underground travel is the London Underground, a series of underground train lines that connects different areas of the city. The only other cities in the UK that run underground services are Glasgow, Newcastle and Liverpool. Underground transport is incredibly popular, particularly in London, as it’s incredibly fast. It’s possible to get from one side of the city to another in a matter of minutes on the London Underground, something that would take much longer if you were driving, walking or taking a bus. You can catch underground trains, (also referred to as tubes and subways) from underground stations which are well signposted. Focusing on London Underground in particular, it is divided into nine zones, and there are eleven tube lines. The cost of travel will depend on the zones you’re travelling between. This can seem confusing to anyone not familiar with them, but there are maps at every station and on the trains themselves to help you figure out where you need to go, they are also colour coded to make them slightly easier to navigate. The tube is also one of the most accessible forms of transport in London as lines run from 5am until midnight, and on Fridays and weekends some later night services run too. Unlike over ground trains, you will not be able to buy tickets on the train. You can buy paper tickets from ticket machines at tube stations, these will usually accept credit or debit cards. Paper tickets can be slightly more expensive as cities are encouraging passengers to use contactless payment methods instead, however this is a good choice if you’re only planning on travelling on the underground service for a couple of stops, and don’t intend to plan your journey around it. A more popular form of payment in tube stations is to use a contactless debit card. There are yellow touchpads on the turnstiles in underground stations where you can scan your debit card like you would scan a ticket, this will automatically charge the cost of your journey to your bank when you scan your card at the destination point of your journey. There is a daily cap as well, so you will only be charged a set amount a day, though this cap will vary depending on the zones you travel in. If you don’t have a contactless debit card, you can get an Oyster card. You can either get a visitor Oyster card which you will need to order online before your journey, or a standard Oyster card. Oyster cards will work in the same way as a contactless debit card in the sense that you will scan them at the turnstiles when you enter and leave a tube station. The difference is that you must add money to the Oyster card in order to use it. You will pay a £5 deposit which will be refunded once you’ve returned the card, and then top up your Oyster card to pay for your journeys. You can order standard Oyster cards online if you are a UK resident, if not you can find them at Oyster Ticket stops in newsagents, at visitor centres or at the tube stations themselves. You can also top up your card at these locations. If you have a contactless debit card but aren’t sure whether to use it or get an Oyster card, it should be noted that it is the same price to travel with your debit card as it would be to use an oyster card, and you won’t have to pay a deposit to use your debit card. Another benefit of contactless and Oyster cards in London is that they can be used on other forms of transport including buses.  Like over ground trains, there are off-peak times, and if you are travelling during peak times the journey can cost more. However, if you’re using an Oyster or contactless card, you needn’t worry too much about this as the correct amount will be charged to your card anyway. You will need to be aware of this if you have a paper off-peak ticket, however. In London, the tube runs every few minutes, so you don’t need to consult a timetable, but rather make sure you are travelling on the right line and in the right zone. If you plan to travel in London, we would recommend planning your route ahead of time if possible, and getting acquainted with a map of the underground. Underground services in the other cities mentioned are similar as you can buy paper tickets or purchase a smartcard to allow you to travel more easily. They also offer tickets that cover different zones, and long-term tickets for a week’s worth of travel and a month’s worth of travel as well. This will vary from city to city though. The maps for Glasgow, Newcastle and Liverpool underground services are a lot simpler than the London underground map, but we would still recommend having a look ahead of time to gain a better understanding of how to navigate your way around the cities. The disadvantages of using underground services, particularly in London is that you can’t travel to other parts of the country, you’re restricted to travelling within that city, it unfortunately isn’t a mode of transport that is widely available across the country, only in the four cities mentioned. Travel by Plane A less commonly used form of travel around the UK due to it being such a small country, most people opt to take the train or simply drive. There are a few situations where it may be beneficial to travel by plane though, in particular, travelling between England and Scotland. There are airports in most major cities in the UK, and you can get direct flights from many of them to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness. A benefit of getting a flight to Scotland is that it can be considerably faster than a train, to give you an idea, it can take 4 hours 20 minutes to get to Edinburgh from London by train, and 1 hour 15 minutes by plane. If this is something you think you would be interested in, you can look for plane tickets with Skyscanner or Expedia. You can also book tickets directly through British Airways or easyJet. Travel by Tram Several places in the UK have tramlines as it’s an environmentally friendly alternative to cars and buses, however tram locations are limited to Croydon, London’s docklands, Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Newcastle, Nottingham and Blackpool. Trams are a good means of transport for travelling a short distance within a city, they are faster than walking, and are better for the environment. They tend to have certain zones, and tickets will be priced according to zone. Like underground travel, you are often able to use contactless debit cards and mobile apps as tickets using smart readers at the tram stops, and you can pay for your journey as you travel. Generally, you will be charged the cost of a single journey, or if you’re travelling multiple times a day, the cost will be capped at a set price. There are also smart cards like the Oyster card mentioned previously in the article. You can order these cards online and add money to them. Many tram stops will have ticket machines where you can purchase the relevant tickets as well, or travel shops where you can go in and buy tickets. Trains and buses tend to be faster than trams, however trams have more stops than trains, and are also cheaper than both trains and buses. If you are staying in a city that has trams, then it can be worth using them.   Overall, our best advice for travelling around the UK would be to research the area you’re going to ahead of time and plan your journey around how far you want to travel, which modes of transport are available within that area, and how much you’re willing to spend. Timetables and ticket prices are available for most areas online making it easy to plan your travel route. Whether you’re travelling first class or riding a bike, we hope that you enjoy your journey! Relocation to the UK If you are an international doctor who has decided that the UK is for you, email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your journey to the UK today. Are you a member of our Facebook Group? When you join IMG Advisor, you will join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs into the group every single day. We will also always be on hand to answer all your relocation queries. Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 40 videos on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS!   References Zestcarrental.com. (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.zestcarrental.com/blog/2016/12/20/hiring-a-car-in-the-uk/ [Accessed 7 Nov. 2019]. GOV.UK. (2019). Driving in Great Britain on a non-GB licence. [online] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/driving-nongb-licence [Accessed 7 Nov. 2019]. visitlondon.com. (2019). London Underground. [online] Available at: https://www.visitlondon.com/traveller-information/getting-around-london/london-tube [Accessed 7 Nov. 2019]. Nationalrail.co.uk. (2019). National Rail Enquiries - m-Ticket. [online] Available at: https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/ticket_types/100261.aspx [Accessed 7 Nov. 2019]. Times, T. and times, O. (2019). Off-Peak Train Times | Super Off-Peak Times | Trainline. [online] Thetrainline.com. Available at: https://www.thetrainline.com/train-times/off-peak [Accessed 7 Nov. 2019]. Visitorshop.tfl.gov.uk. (2019). Visitor Oyster Card | TfL Visitor Shop. [online] Available at: https://visitorshop.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/london-visitor-oyster-card/?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=tfl.gov.uk&utm_campaign=tfllondon%20underground%20daily%20cap [Accessed 7 Nov. 2019]. Transport for Greater Manchester. (2019). Where to buy tram tickets. [online] Available at: https://tfgm.com/tickets-and-passes/where-to-buy-tram-tickets [Accessed 7 Nov. 2019].    

The top 5 reasons to work within the NHS

By Gabrielle Richardson
November 05, 2019

The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is one of the largest employers in the world and the biggest in Europe, employing over 1.3 million staff. For the NHS, a typical day includes: Over 835,000 visits to GP Practice’s Almost 50,000 people Accident and Emergency Departments Over 49,000 outpatient consultations 94,000 people are admitted to hospital as an emergency 36,000 people in hospital for planned treatment The NHS offers a huge range of exciting and challenging opportunities for doctors who are passionate about making a difference. So, we wanted to share the top reasons on why it is amazing to work within the NHS. 1. You will make a difference to someone’s life every single day Whether you are a Pediatrician treating children or a Surgeon carrying out life-saving operations, you are part of an amazing team that makes a huge difference to peoples’ lives every single day. 2. World renowned training The NHS provides world-class training and support to their doctors to help them develop unique skills. You will learn things that you did not know you needed. The best thing about practicing medicine in the UK is that there is always more to learn, from new equipment to new procedures. 3. The opportunity for professional development The NHS allows you to develop both professionally and personally. You will deal with high pressure situations that will enhance your medical knowledge and skills whilst overlapping into your personal life to make you into a better person. 4. Access to fantastic discounts Working within the NHS allows you to save money on everything! From travel, shopping, insurance to finance. You can also save money and earn cashback at over 50 stores with the NHS Cashback Card. The list of companies you can receive discount from are, but are not limited to: Ray-Ban, Asics, Apple, Moss Bros, Paperchase, Sofology, Halfords, New Balance, Clarks, GHD, Hotpoint, Benefit, Flipflop, PureGym, Gymshark, Graze Snack Boxes, Leon, Nandos, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Case Nero, TGI Friday’s, Ask Italian, Yo! Sushi, Zizzi, Thorpe Park, Jet2holidays, Travelodge, Virgin Holidays, The London Dungeons, Shrek’s Adventure London, BuyaGift Experience Days, Go Ape Adventure, Murder 57 Murder Mystery Breaks, Quad Nation Quad Biking. Sign up for free today to start saving with Health Service Discounts. 5. An excellent Pension Scheme Having one of the best pension schemes in the entire UK will help you secure a better future. When you retire, you will be entitled to a tax-free lump sum that can support you through the later years of your life. Click here to find out more information on the NHS Pension Scheme. Dr Naseer Khan’s Reasons for Living in the UK: 1. “A sense of satisfaction: the NHS is beautiful system that does not discriminate on the basis of your financial status. Healthcare in the UK does not only include treatment at the hospital, but it includes a completely physical and mental wellbeing at both home and work as well. It gives me immense satisfaction that I am part of this system. 2. Learning: The UK is open to all and because the UK has always been a centre of excellence in medicine, it is one of the best places in the world to learn and grow as a doctor. 3. The Working Hours: We only work an average of 40-48 hours per week. So, we get enough time for ourselves. 4. Money: Even as junior doctors, we earn enough to able to afford the latest cars and to buy a house in the UK. As a junior doctor, my earning in Pakistan was only 10% of my earning in the UK.” Relocation to the UK If you are an international doctor who has decided that the UK is for you, email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your journey to the UK today. Are you a member of our Facebook Group? When you join IMG Advisor, you will join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs into the group every single day. We will also always be on hand to answer all your relocation queries. Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 35 videos on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS! References Fullard, A. (2019). 5 Reasons Why It’s Awesome to Work in the NHS - Health Service Discounts. [online] Health Service Discounts. Available at: http://blog.healthservicediscounts.com/5-reasons-why-its-awesome-to-work-in-the-nhs/ [Accessed 9 Oct. 2019].

How do I Rent a Property in the UK?

By Samantha Joubert
October 28, 2019

One of the most important steps in your journey when relocating to the UK will be finding long term accommodation for yourself and your family. In this article, we will be exploring how to rent a property in the UK and where you can search for a property. Some of the key things you will have to consider before deciding which route you want to take will be how much money you are willing to spend on a property outright, how much you will be able to afford to spend on accommodation once you start working, how quickly you need to secure a property and how much flexibility you need should you wish to move homes in the future. Renting a House When you first arrive in the UK, it is likely you will need to rent a property as it is the quickest and most flexible way in securing accommodation without holding a UK credit history. Pros of Renting: Securing a rental is often much faster than buying, it can take days or weeks, rather than months. There are less upfront costs and paperwork involved in renting than with buying. If something goes wrong with the property, (e.g. the boiler breaks) it is usually the landlord’s responsibility to fix it unless stated otherwise in the contract. A contract can be between 6 months and 7 years, giving you the freedom to easily move if you choose to. You can usually renew your lease once your contract ends and sometimes negotiate the length with your landlord. You won’t lose money if the value of the house decreases. Cons of Renting: You won’t have ownership of the property. You may not be able to make changes to your home depending on the landlord and contract, this can include small changes such as painting the walls, or large changes such as renovating a room. If the house increases in value, you can’t build equity. Renting can cost more than buying in the long run. Some rental properties do not allow you to have children or pets in the property depending on the landlord and contract. The landlord can evict you after your contract ends, even if you choose to extend it. The eviction notice period is generally 2 months after your initial contract ends, though it can be as short as 2 weeks if you breach any terms in your contract. The landlord can put the price of your rent up when it comes time to renew your contract. Where can I search for properties? There are a variety of resources to search for a property to let in the UK. Websites Probably the easiest way to search for accommodation is online, as you can quickly and easily search for properties in a specific area and tailor your search to match your specific requirements. You can usually enter the name of the town or city you wish to live in or use a postcode to search for properties nearby and then use filters to narrow down or broaden your search. You can also input a price range. If you’re renting, some sites will advertise the rental cost by month, and others will advertise by week, so it’s good to double check which you’re viewing. You can usually select the number of bedrooms, type of property, the date the property will be available from, and several other filters depending on the website. Some sites even allow you to compare the prices of properties with those in nearby areas. If you come across a property you’re interested in, you can often request more details about the property. You’re usually able to easily contact the agency or landlord to make enquiries either via email or there will often be a contact number. There are various websites you can use to find properties to buy or rent, here are a couple of our recommendations: Rightmove: https://www.rightmove.co.uk/ This is one of the most popular sites for searching for properties. Some of the key features of the Rightmove website are: Ability to search for properties for sale or to rent. They allow you to change the radius of your search, you can limit it to a specific area or broaden your search up to 40 miles from your original location. You can set a minimum and maximum price range to filter out any properties that aren’t in your price range. You’re able to change the number of bedrooms you’d like your property to have. You can filter the property type should you prefer to look at houses, flat, bungalows and more. You can filter out when properties were added to the site so that you can look at the most recent properties added. They have a tick box to allow you to include properties that are currently under offer or in the process of being sold. This is so that you can enquire about a property should an offer fall through, you might still be able to put an offer in on the property. You’re also able to view properties on a map to see what the transport links including tube stations, schools and amenities nearby are like. Zoopla: https://www.zoopla.co.uk/ Zoopla is another popular option for property searches in the UK, their features include: Like Rightmove, you are able to filter properties by rental or sale. You can input the property type you’re interested in, though they do have a few less options than Rightmove.  You can input the number of bedrooms you’d like your property to have. You can alter the distance you’re looking at between ¼ of a mile and 40 miles. You have the ability to toggle when the property was posted on the website. Unlike Rightmove, you also have the ability to filter properties by most recent, by highest to lowest cost, as well as most reduced and most popular. Again, you’re able to view properties that are under offer, and are also able to change the filters to view only new homes, retirement properties, shared ownership properties and auction properties. There is also the option to view a map of the area, as well as schools and nearby rail stations.  Zoopla also includes a chart on each property outlining the estimated running costs of the property. Newspapers Another way to search for properties if you’re already staying in the UK, in temporary accommodation, is via local newspapers. This will narrow down your search as you will need to be looking at papers specific to the area you wish to relocate to, and you won’t be able to filter out any unsuitable options the way you can online. If you are already in the area you wish to buy or rent in however, this can be another way to search for a property. Letting Agencies Another option if you are already staying in the UK is to visit a letting agency. The benefit of visiting an agency is that agents will be able to give you advise you on your personal circumstances. As well as this, they can also give you greater insight into the specific are you wish to locate to. Things to Consider Some final things to consider whether you’re hoping to rent a property in the UK is that it is a legal requirement to for you to sign for a property in person, so you will need to travel to the UK beforehand in order to view potential properties and sign any paperwork. We previously wrote an article about securing temporary accommodation that you can read here. You will also need to ensure you have a Tier 2 Visa to live in the UK and obtaining this early can help you during the renting process. Though the prospect of finding a permanent place of residence can seem daunting, in the end, the best thing you can do to make the process easier is to ensure that you do your research beforehand and weigh up the benefits of each option before making a decision, that way, when you collect the keys to your property, you can rest assured that you made the most informed decision and enjoy your new home! Relocation to the UK If you are an international doctor who has decided that the UK is for you, email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your journey to the UK today. Are you a member of our Facebook Group? When you join IMG Advisor, you will join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs into the group every single day. We will also always be on hand to answer all your relocation queries. Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 40 videos on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS! References Moneyadviceservice.org.uk. (2019). First-time home buyer guide. [online] Available at: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/first-time-buyer-money-tips [Accessed 23 Oct. 2019]. GOV.UK. (2019). How to rent: the checklist for renting in England. [online] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-rent/how-to-rent-the-checklist-for-renting-in-england [Accessed 23 Oct. 2019]. GOV.UK. (2019). Tenancy agreements: a guide for landlords (England and Wales). [online] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-agreements-a-guide-for-landlords/ending-a-tenancy [Accessed 23 Oct. 2019]. reallymoving. (2019). Timeline for buying a house. [online] Available at: https://www.reallymoving.com/first-time-buyers/guides/timeline-for-buying-a-house [Accessed 23 Oct.

How to get CCT and onto the Specialist Register

By Gabrielle Richardson
October 22, 2019

To work as a permanent Consultant in the UK, you will need to evidence your specialist knowledge, skills and experience via one of three pathways to get onto the Specialist Register. This blog post explains the difference in the three pathways and how you can obtain a Certificate Completion of Training (CCT). What is the Specialist Register? The Specialist Register was introduced on 1st January 1997. It is a public list of doctors who are eligible to take up appointment in any fixed term, honorary or substantive Consultant posts within the NHS. Once you are on the Specialist Register, the public can view the following information: The specialty and sub-specialties you are qualified in The date you joined the specialist register in each specialty Click here to access the Specialist Register. How do I get onto the Specialist Register? You have three pathways available to you. 1. CCT To apply for CCT, you must have obtained all of your specialty training via a GMC approved UK training post. Further information on what a GMC approved training is can be found below. 2. CESR CP To apply for CESR CP award, you would have had a combination of your training done via a GMC approved postgraduate qualification and non-approved training post. For example, you would use this route if you are an international doctor who trained overseas and then joined the NHS at ST5 level because you were able to demonstrate your competencies gained outside of a GMC approved training post. 3. CESR If you are a doctor who has obtained all of your specialist training overseas or within a non-approved GMC training post and your experience and qualifications are relevant to the entirety of the curriculum, you can use CESR as a pathway of getting onto the Specialist Register. Click here to read our full guide on CESR. What is a GMC approved training programme? The GMC approve the curriculum and assessments for 65 different medical specialties and 31 sub-specialties. Each GMC approved curriculum is designed by the Royal College and their faculties. Click here for a list of approved curriculum documents and training pathways. Click here for a list of sub-specialty approved curricula. How do I apply for CCT? When applying, you must make sure that all of the below evidence is uploaded to your Royal College’s e-Portfolio’s Additional Evidence tab. Documents required: Your CCT application form (this must be reviewed and signed by the Postgraduate Dean) Logbook Cumulative Data Sheet (this must be signed by the Training Programme Director) Your Educational Supervisor Reports It is important to contact your NHS Educational Supervisor with regards to your CCT application as they will provide you with a full list of documents to collate and the appropriate steps to take. Method of Submission Once you have collated your documentation, you will need to email your submission to the Head of Education and Training of your Royal College.   After this, you will then receive an email from the GMC asking for you to submit your application to them. Your evidence will sit with the GMC until they receive your Royal College’s recommendation which will trigger the issuing of your CCT certificate. It is advised for you to apply to the GMC before your CCT date to avoid delays. Please note, applications for CCT must be made to the GMC within 12 months of a doctor’s expected completion of training date. After 12 months from the expected completion of training date, you will have to apply for CESR to get onto the Specialist Register. Relocation to the UK If you are an international doctor who has decided that the UK is for you, email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your journey to the UK today. Are you a member of our Facebook Group? When you join IMG Advisor, you will join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs into the group every single day. We will also always be on hand to answer all your relocation queries. Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 40 videos on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS! References Gmc-uk.org. (2019). GMC approved postgraduate curricula. [online] Available at: https://www.gmc-uk.org/education/standards-guidance-and-curricula/curricula [Accessed 22 Oct. 2019]. The Royal College of Ophthalmologists. (2019). Award of the Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) - The Royal College of Ophthalmologists. [online] Available at: https://www.rcophth.ac.uk/training/certification-of-training-and-specialist-training/award-of-the-cct/ [Accessed 22 Oct. 2019].

London Weighting

By Gabrielle Richardson
October 15, 2019

What is London weighting? London weighting is an allowance paid to a range of key workers in London, including NHS employees, civil servants, teachers, airline employees, police and security officers. It is designed to help these workers with the cost of living in London, which is notoriously higher than the rest of the UK. The purpose is to encourage people to stay and live in the UK’s capital rather than relocating to cheaper areas of the UK. If you are a doctor who has been employed by a London NHS Trust, you will be entitled to London weighting. A recent study conducted by the Trust for London estimates that the cost of living and working is 20% more expensive than the rest of the UK. However, the city’s global trends and its exclusivity makes it a desirable place to live. London has previously been named the world’s most expensive city to live and work in for several years. What is the history of London weighting? The history of London weighting began when the Industrial Revolution hit. Factories were desperate for staff to labour the machines and turn the wheels of production. Predictably, thousands and then millions fled to the capital to be employed. As the influx of people increased, so did the cost of living. Why is London weighting needed now more than ever? Rent: accommodation in London is unthinkably expensive in comparison to every other major city in the UK. The average price of a rental property in Greater London is £1560pcm, to compare this to the UK average of £749pcm, which equates to a 108% disparity. How much London weighting will I receive? It completely depends where your hospital is situated in the city. There are two zones: 1) The Central London Zone (inner) and an Outer London Zone/ Fringe Zone and different rates apply to each. If you are staying within hospital accommodation, then you will be paid a reduced rate of London weighting. However, if you are a doctor who is occupying private rented accommodation with reasonable daily travelling distance of the hospital, you should receive the full rate of London weighting. Each NHS Trust will have their own policy; however, you can expect an estimate of (before tax): Central London - £4,098 per year Outer London - £2,756 Fringe / South East – 1,000 per year Click here for further information on how to find accommodation in the UK. Click here for our guide on living in London and here for our top tips on living in the city. Relocation to the UK If you are an international doctor who has decided that the UK is for you, email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your journey to the UK today. Are you a member of our Facebook Group? When you join IMG Advisor, you will join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs into the group every single day. We will also always be on hand to answer all your relocation queries. Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 40 videos on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS! References Perkbox. (2019). London weighting: what is it and who is entitled to it?. [online] Available at: https://www.perkbox.com/uk/resources/blog/london-weighting-what-is-it-and-who-is-entitled-to-it [Accessed 15 Oct. 2019]. Trustforlondon.org.uk. (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.trustforlondon.org.uk/documents/57/London-Weighting-Key-Findings-2.pdf [Accessed 15 Oct. 2019].

How do I organise my CESR evidence?

By Gabrielle Richardson
September 26, 2019

If you are an international doctor who has completed all of your training outside of the UK and you would like to become a Consultant within the NHS, you will need to apply for CESR. CESR stands for Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration. Please read our article A guide to CESR for more in-depth information on how CESR can be advantageous to your career. The process can take over six months and you will need to prepare various pieces of evidence to support your application. Your evidence and documentation you need to provide differs depending on what specialty you are applying for. Click here for access to specialty specific guidance. How much do I need to evidence? The GMC state that they will be able to process your application quicker if you only send them relevant evidence. The GMC usually expects to see between 800 and 1,000 pages of evidence. Electronically, this equates to around 100-150 uploaded documents across your whole application. Click here to access the step-by-step guide on how to apply for CESR. The GMC’s tips when uploading your evidence: If your evidence is over five years old the Royal College will give it considerably less weight compared to your most recent evidence, so, you may not need to include it Providing more evidence in one area will not compensate for deficiencies in another Do not duplicate your evidence Do not provide evidence for sections in the specific guidance the GMC have confirmed are not needed for your specialty All documents you upload should have a clear and appropriate title with a description The quality and variety of your evidence is important Can I use hard evidence to apply for CESR? If you have any hard copy evidence that you need to submit, you must follow the structure of your specialty specific guidance when ordering your evidence. Click here to follow the GMC’s guidance. The GMC states that you should create a divider for each section of your evidence and use A4 paper. Similar to your electronic evidence, each piece of evidence should have a clear title and a description. What happens after I have submitted my evidence? If your application is successful it means that you have met the assessment standards for Specialist Registration or GP Registration in full. The GMC will then invite you to an ID check and you will need to bring the original versions of your documents for full registration to the appointment. You will have three months to attend and if you do not have your ID check within this time your application will be closed and you will need to re-apply with an additional fee. If your application is unsuccessful, the GMC will tell you why. They will then provide you with a list of recommendations to improve your application with a list of missing evidence or the training that you need to complete. You can then apply for a review within 12 months of receiving the GMC’s recommendations. Click here to apply for a review. Relocation to the UK If you are an international doctor who wants to relocate to the UK and join the NHS, email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your journey to the UK today. Join our Facebook Group Are you a member of our Facebook Group? When you join IMG Advisor, you will join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs into the group every single day. We will also always be on hand to answer all your relocation queries. YouTube Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 35 videos on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS! References Gmc-uk.org. (2019). How do I organise my evidence?. [online] Available at: https://www.gmc-uk.org/registration-and-licensing/join-the-register/registration-applications/specialist-application-guides/cesr-with-registration/how-do-i-organise-my-evidence [Accessed 25 Sep. 2019]. Gmc-uk.org. (2019). How do I list my evidence?. [online] Available at: https://www.gmc-uk.org/registration-and-licensing/join-the-register/registration-applications/specialist-application-guides/cesr-with-registration/how-do-i-list-my-evidence [Accessed 25 Sep. 2019]. Gmc-uk.org. (2019). What happens after I apply?. [online] Available at: https://www.gmc-uk.org/registration-and-licensing/join-the-register/registration-applications/specialist-application-guides/cesr-with-registration/what-happens-after-i-apply [Accessed 25 Sep. 2019].

What is the difference between Indefinite Leave to Remain and British Citizenship?

By Gabrielle Richardson
September 20, 2019

What is Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)? ILR allows you to live and work in the UK, no longer subject to UK immigration controls. This means you can enter and exit the country whenever you like. There is often confusion between the two and so, we list the differences of both and the advantages of having British citizenship. Application Requirements: You will need to live in the UK for five years before you can apply Not spend more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12-month period in period in the last five years Earn over £35,800 per annum at the time of your application Evidenced your English language skills via an approved test Pass the life in the UK test British Citizenship After you have gained ILR or “settled status”, you can then apply for British citizenship. British citizenship or naturalisation gives you the right to a British passport and the full rights of a UK citizen. To apply, you will need to have held ILR for one year. Application Requirements: Spent more than 90 days outside the UK in any 12 months Spent more than 450 days outside the UK during your five years of UK residency Meet the “Good Character” To become a British citizen, you will have to be of “Good Character”. During your time spent living in the UK, you will need to have followed the laws and respected its rights and freedoms. This means that you should have paid your income tax and national insurance etc. Various background checks will be performed and so, you must be on the right side of the law. You should note that it can take up to six months to process a citizenship application and you are required to attend a citizenship ceremony within three months of your application being approved. It will then take about six weeks to be issued. What is the difference between ILR and citizenship? To apply for British citizenship, you must hold ILR. If you leave the UK for more than two years, your ILR will be lost and you will need to apply for a Tier 2 visa. Once you hold British citizenship, it will be for life. With British citizenship you can freely enter, exit, live and work in the UK forever. It also gives you the right to vote while ILR does not allow you to vote in UK elections. UK law allows you to hold dual citizenship, but it is important to check the relevant laws in your home country. Relocation to the UK If you are an international doctor and you need support with relocating to the UK, email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your journey to the UK today. Join our Facebook Group Are you a member of our Facebook Group? When you join IMG Advisor, you will join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs into the group every single day. We will also always be on hand to answer all your relocation queries. YouTube Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 35 videos on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS! References Sableinternational.com. (2019). British citizenship and indefinite leave to remain: Why you need to know the difference. [online] Available at: https://www.sableinternational.com/blog/british-citizenship-and-indefinite-leave-to-remain-why-you-need-to-know-the-difference [Accessed 20 Sep. 2019].

Can I bring my pet with me to the UK?

By Gabrielle Richardson
September 18, 2019

You can enter or return to the UK with your pet cat or dog if it meets the following criteria: It has microchipped It has a pet passport or third-country official veterinary certificate It has been vaccinated against rabies If you are travelling from an ‘unlisted country’, it will need to have a blood test Must have had tapeworm treatment If you do not follow the above steps, then your pet may be put into quarantine for up to four months or get refused entry if you travelled by sea. You will be responsible for any fees or charges. Click here to find out if your country is listed or unlisted.   What documentation will I need to bring with me to the airport? Provide the correct certification with your import Enter the EU through a border inspection post (BIP), where checks will be carried out to make sure that the import conditions have been met You may also need: An import licence or authorization A commercial document EU Pet Passports If you are travelling from the EU, you will be able to obtain an EU Pet Passport which can be issued by an official veterinarian in the EU. So, if your pet is coming from a non-EU country then you will not be able to obtain an EU Pet Passport and you will need to follow the above-listed requirements and steps. The Five-Day Rule If you do decide to bring your pet to the UK with you, then you must travel to the UK within five days or their pet’s arrival in order to avoid being labelled as ‘commercial’ shipment. Whilst you can still important your pet as a commercial shipment, the health certificate will be different which means the timeline for completing the health certificate is much tighter and so, the import taxes will be higher. What if I want to leave the UK with my pet? If you decide to return back to your home country with your pet, you will need to follow the pet import requirements for your destination before you depart the UK. Depending on what country you are travelling to, you may need to obtain an export certificate from DEFRA. For further information on how to import or export your pet to the UK, visit the GOV. website. Relocation to the UK If you are an international doctor and you need support with relocating to the UK, email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your journey to the UK today. Join our Facebook Group Are you a member of our Facebook Group? When you join IMG Advisor, you will join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs into the group every single day. We will also always be on hand to answer all your relocation queries. YouTube Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 35 videos on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS! References Petrelocation.com. (2019). Bringing Dogs and Cats to the UK - A Simple Guide | PetRelocation. [online] Available at: https://www.petrelocation.com/blog/post/bringing-dogs-and-cats-to-the-uk-a-simple-guide [Accessed 18 Sep. 2019]. GOV.UK. (2019). Bringing your pet dog, cat or ferret to the UK. [online] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad [Accessed 18 Sep. 2019].

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