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How to get an NHS Pension Refund

By Gabrielle Richardson
July 17, 2019

What is the NHS Pension Scheme? When you start working within the NHS, you will automatically be included in the NHS Pension Scheme. It is important to note that you can choose to opt-out of the Scheme, if you would prefer. In this blog post, we share how much of a pension contribution to expect and how to claim a refund if you decide that you do not want to be enrolled within the MTI Scheme. How much do I contribute to my NHS Pension? You will pay a percentage of your gross salary into your pension each month. This is then topped up by your employer contributions (listed below) and you will also receive pension tax relief on your contributions. Salary Range Contribution Rate £26,824-£47,845 12.5% £47,846-£70,630 12.5% £70,631-£111,376 13.5% £111,377+ 14.5% When will I receive my NHS Pension? You will receive your pension at the “normal pension age”. You can retire early and claim your pension once you reach the minimum pension age (55). However, your pension benefits will be reduced, to reflect the fact your pension will pay out for longer. The “normal pension” age varies depending on what section of the scheme you are in: 1995 section: 60 years of age 2008 section: 65 years of age 2015 section: state pension age (65 for men and 64 for women) What if I have made contributions into my pension but decide I do not want to pay anymore? If you want to obtain the money you have paid into your pension, you may be eligible for a refund. To qualify, you must: Have no continuing membership upon reaching the Normal Pension Age Have ceased membership of the Scheme in all employments Have less than two years qualifying membership in the NHS Pension Scheme Have not had a transfer into the NHS Pension Scheme from a personal, money purchase or stakeholder pension If you have re-entered pensionable NHS employment after a break of 12 months or more, you may be entitled to a refund of your earlier contributions. You do not qualify for a refund if: You have two years or more qualifying membership You have reached Normal Pension Age during this period of membership for which a refund is being requested How do I apply for an NHS Pension Refund? If you believe that you qualify for an NHS Pension Refund, you will need to complete the application form, labelled refund of a pension contributions (RF12). Please click here to download the form. You will need to complete Part 1 and then give Part 2 to your HR department to fill out. How long will it take until I obtain my refund? After your request has been processed and approved, the payment can take 5-10 working days until after that letter. Please note, the refund will be less than the pension contributions you have made. This is because, by law, your hospital will have to make two deductions. One is to cover the cost of you reinstating in the State Second Pension Scheme and the second in respect of income tax. Can I rejoin the Scheme after I have had a refund? Yes, you can rejoin the NHS Pension Scheme after a 24-hour break.   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 on your journey to the UK. Are you a member of our Facebook Group IMG Advisor? By joining IMG Advisor, you will have access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional advice and the chance to meet other IMGs. References Davies, P. (2019). NHS pension schemes explained. [online] Which? Money. Available at: https://www.which.co.uk/money/pensions-and-retirement/company-pensions/public-sector-pensions-explained/nhs-pension-schemes-explained-azydt0q5t434 [Accessed 17 Jul. 2019]. Nhsbsa.nhs.uk. (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/sites/default/files/2017-03/Members%20Refunds%20Factsheet%20V5%2002.2017.pdf [Accessed 17 Jul. 2019].

Q&A with Dr Alex Vallakalil, NHS Trust Grade Doctor Psychiatry

By Gabrielle Richardson
July 08, 2019

Introduction 1. What is your name, speciality, grade and what hospital do you work at? I am Dr. Itticheria Alex Vallakalil (better known as Alex). I work as a Trust Grade Doctor in Psychiatry with Aneurin Bevan University Health Board; Newport. I am starting my Core Training in Psychiatry with Oxford Health NHS Trust under the Department of Psychiatry; University of Oxford; Thames Valley Deanery this August. 2. What country did you relocate from? India 3. Would you share with us your personal mission as a doctor? I would do my best to offer comprehensive treatment and consultation to our patients, their families, and the community. I would also like to apply my knowledge to the development and delivery of more effective, evidence-based treatments. 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 decided to relocate to the UK six months after my Internship in India. I decided to relocate when I got feedback that the Psychiatry Training in the U.K is far more disciplined than how it is in my home country healthcare system is. The Relocation Process 5. What pathway did you choose to obtain GMC Registration? PLAB Examinations. 6. How was your experience of securing an NHS post? I did a clinical attachment in Psychiatry with the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust for a period of 2 months directly after my PLAB part 2 examinations. This increased my chances of receiving more interview invitations. I attended most of the interviews in person and received offers for the posts. 7. How long did it take you to relocate? It took me twelve months to relocate to the UK. I did not have any specific difficulties relocating to the UK as my job was on the shortage occupation list. 8. Is there anything you would have liked to have known before deciding to relocate? And now once you live in the UK? I wish I had known about the sudden changes in weather (laugh. Ol) Thoughts on the UK 9. For you, what are the key benefits of living in the UK? The work culture in the U.K offers a good work-life balance. I am very much impressed by the advanced technologies that exists here. There is a lot to explore in the country side for short get-aways and there are opportunities to travel all around Europe easily whilst in the U.K 10. How do you feel you settled in your chosen location within the UK? I reckon; Wales is a very good place to start the first NHS job. I live in Abergavenny; which is one of the best places to live in Wales. The people here are very friendly and there are lot of things going on. I love Wales for its serenity and its similarity to where I am from (Kerala; India -“Gods Own Country”) The NHS 11. How would you describe the support you received from your hospital after starting your new position? I feel very well supported even as a Non-Trainee Doctor. I had a lot of time to work on my portfolio during my Trust Grade job. I also have weekly supervision sessions with my Consultant. My Mentor Dr. Raja Adnan Ahmed and my Educational supervisor (RCPsych Tutor) Dr.Ranjini Rao was too kind; helping me to settle in and also secure a core training post .My Consultant Dr. Rahim Safeer also helped me have an understanding of Audits and the abilities to work in a multidisciplinary team. The work colleagues were also very friendly and professional. 12. What is your opinion on the NHS? Working within it and as a patient receiving care? I would see NHS as a “Mother” to the patients receiving care and also for all its wonderful staff. Yes; the NHS has always been caring, kind, supportive, empathetic and straight forward. 13. How do you find working in the UK compared to your home country? I feel that there are lot more opportunities to develop in one’s own career in the U.K compared to my home country (especially in Psychiatry). I have always loved working in my home country; but I could not really devote a lot of time for my personal development and lateral interests amidst the busy shifts. Training within the NHS 14. How long did it take you to secure a training post? It took me four months to obtain a training post.  15. Do you have any advice for other IMGs who want to secure a training post? There are opportunities to apply into Psychiatry Training without any U.K work experience if your Alternate Form of Foundation competencies are signed off from your home country. I took time off to understand the system without applying directly. This has definitely given me an upper hand in securing a rotation of my personal choice and also good experience within Psychiatry. It is not necessary that the candidate have prior psychiatry experience before applying; but a strong interest and realistic insight into psychiatry and mental health is very essential. Psychiatry 16. Why did you choose to specialise in Psychiatry? Mental Health I believe is important as physical health and definitely more thought stimulating. Psychiatry allows me to work on a bio-psycho-social model to do the best for my patients; which is very creative most of the times.  I am curious about every individual and I like interacting with patients as a whole; making them the centre of our conversation. I understand there is a lot of social stigma around Psychiatry and mentally ill patients; which I completely disprove of and I am hoping to make a difference. There are also lot of untouched areas in Psychiatry; which improves the potential for research opportunities 17. Do you have any advice for junior doctors who want to pursue a career in Psychiatry? If you are always curious, ready to explore what you don’t know and happy to see people beyond face value; Psychiatry is for you. The Future 18. What are your hopes and plans for the future? I am looking forward to complete my Core Training and then apply for my Speciality Training on Child and Adolescent Mental Health. I would also like to contribute towards Psychiatry on a Public Health perspective. Thank you for taking the time to participate in this interview Dr Vallakalil, we wish you all the best with your new training post. Relocation to the UK If you are an international doctor who needs support securing an NHS post, email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you on your journey to the UK. Are you a member of our Facebook Group IMG Advisor? We publish regular blog posts to aid your relocation, you will receive professional support and get the chance to meet other IMGs.    

How to apply for an Enhanced DBS check

By Gabrielle Richardson
July 05, 2019

Before you can start your NHS post, it is a UK legal requirement for you to undertake a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. It is important to note that you can only complete your enhanced DBS check once you are in the UK as you need a UK address. You should also ensure the check is “enhanced”. What is an Enhanced DBS check? An enhanced DBS check is a check on your criminal convictions and cautions record. The check is required for job roles that involve caring for children and vulnerable adults. An enhanced DBS includes details of all convictions on record, whether they are spent or unspent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (ROA). The Enhanced DBS Disclosures involves an extra level of checking with your local police force records in additional with the Police National Computer. What documentation do I need to apply for my enhanced DBS check? You will apply for your check online. To apply, you will need the below documentation: A valid passport or driving license with evidence of your date of birth National Insurance number Two of the following documents; a utility bill, bank, mortgage or credit card statement with your full home address How much does an Enhanced DBS check cost? The average cost is £44 excluding processing and VAT fees, each website will have different fees. How long does an Enhanced DBS check take? It usually takes up to 14 days for you to receive your certificate. How do I apply for a DBS check? When you first arrive in the UK, the HR will ask you to attend a “HR appointment” where you will fill out employment forms and receive your rota. They will also provide you with the exact online link of which to apply for your DBS check, as each Trust uses a different website. Relocation to the UK If you are an international doctor who needs support securing an NHS post, email your CV to [email protected] and we can aid you in the relocation process, finding accommodation and schools for your children. Join our Facebook Group Are you a member of IMG Advisor? We publish regular relocation blog posts on relocating to the UK and joining the NHS. You can also receive professional guidance and get the chance to meet other IMGs.

How to secure temporary accommodation in the UK

By Gabrielle Richardson
July 01, 2019

How to secure accommodation in the UK Before you arrive in the UK, it is important for you to have accommodation organised for yourself and your family. So, when you step off the plane your journey and plans are stress free. Unfortunately, it is a legal requirement for you to rent/sign for a property in person. Therefore, you have three short-term accommodation options available to you before you can book long-term accommodation. Option 1: Stay at hospital accommodation NHS hospital accommodation for doctors can be extremely limited. So, when you sign your offer letter and you are interested in temporarily staying in hospital accommodation – it is important for you to enquire about whether there is any availability. Depending on the hospital’s availability, you may have to fill out an accommodation request form and accommodation will be successfully allocated. However, if all of the hospital accommodation is full, you may need to join a waiting list and wait until an occupancy becomes available. In our experience, hospital accommodation large enough for a family is rare, so, you may need to consider the below two options if you are travelling with a spouse and children. That being said, if you are successful in securing hospital accommodation, you can expect a furnished room with a wash hand basin and then you will usually share the bathroom/shower and kitchen facilities. How do I pay for it? The majority of NHS Trusts will deduct your rent for the property from your monthly salary. Option 2: Air BnB Air BnB is an online marketplace that lets people rent out their property or spare room guests. The website allows you to book a single room to an entire house. The website/app will provide you with lots of photos of the property with a full map listing. Booking a room/property via Air BnB will provide you with great value for your money. The website allows you to compare a range of properties at a range of price points from a few pounds a night to hundreds, depending on your requirements and location. How do I use Air BnB? Go to airbnb,com or install the app on your smart phone. Enter your destination, dates, number of guests, select whether you want to book an entire home, private room or shared room. Select your filters to match your criteria, for example, wifi, kitchen, bathroom, pool etc. Click search. Once you have found a property that meets your requirements within your price range click “Contact Host” to ask a question about the property or “Request to Book” to begin the booking process. The host will need to approve your request before your booking has gone through. Tips for booking an Air BnB Start your search and book as early as possible as this will provide you the most options when it comes to selecting a property. Pay attention to the location. Put the property’s street into Google maps from your hospital – so, you know exactly how long it will take you to travel to work until you find something more permanent. Read attention to the fine print and cancellation policy. Contact the host with information on the local area. More than likely they will be happy to help you with information on local grocery stores, public transport etc. Option 3: Book a hotel If you cannot find an Air BnB to meet your needs, you may need to consider booking a hotel for your first week in the UK. There are various comparison websites to aid you in booking a hotel in the UK. These include, but are not limited to: Booking.com Trivago Expedia Late Rooms The advantage of booking a hotel for your initial stay, is that the booking process is flexible. Often, you can book a hotel room with free cancellation and pay on arrival, giving you additional flexibility. Furthermore, if you are travelling with your family, then you can book a hotel room with enough space for all of you. However, the disadvantage of booking a hotel room is that is can be costly for a long duration of time. Relocation to the UK If you are an international doctor who needs support relocating to the UK and joining the NHS, please email your CV to [email protected] and we can aid you in securing your first NHS post. IMG Advisor Are you a member of our Facebook Group IMG Advisor? We publish regular blog posts on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS. You can receive professional guidance from us and get the chance to meet other IMGs.    

Training Guidance Seminar for IMGs - London Event.

By Gabrielle Richardson
June 05, 2019

Are you an international doctor who wants to obtain a UK training post? We are proud to announce that BDI Resourcing is partnering with Dr Naseer Khan and Arora Medical Education to provide a UK Training Guidance Seminar for IMGs. There will be doctors in training, sharing their experience and guidance from the following areas: ACCS Emergency Medicine Core Anaesthetics Training Core Psychiatry Training General Practice Specialty Training Internal Medicine Training Obs and Gyne ST1 Training Ophthalmology ST1 Training Paediatrics ST1 Training Event Details Date: Saturday, 20 July 2019 Time: 10:00 - 17:00 Venue: ORTUS Conference and Events Venue, 82 - 96 Grove Lane, Camberwell, London, SE5 8SN. Entry: Free Refreshments: Sandwiches, tea, coffee. How do I register for the event? Although the event is free, we only have 100 spaces available. To attend, please fill in this form and wait for an email response for confirmation of your registration. Join the Facebook Event to stay up to date with the day’s event! https://www.facebook.com/events/443460856441712/ Event Structure: 10:00-10:20 Registration 10:20-10:30 Welcome by Dr Naseer Khan 10:30-11:00 Guidance for Ophthalmology ST1 by Dr Kimberley Tan 11:00-11:30 Guidance for O&G ST1 by Dr Sheena John 11:30-11:45 Arora Medical Education - your partner in GP Training 11:45-12:15 Guidance for Core Psychiatry Training by Dr Shah Tarfarosh 12:15-12:45 Guidance for GPST by Dr Shaz Khan 12:45-13:45 Lunch/Networking 13:45-14:15 Guidance for Core Anaesthetics Training by Dr Azeem Awan 14:15-14:45 Guidance for ACCS EM by Dr Nehal Sarja 14:45-15:00 BDI Resourcing - Relocating to the UK 15:00-15:30 Guidance for Paediatrics ST1 by Dr Ayesha Maitla 15:30-16:00 Guidance for IMT by Dr Abubaker Raheel 16:00-17:00 Q&A/Networking Any questions? Email us at [email protected] and we will be happy to answer any questions about the event. Relocation to the UK If you are an international doctor looking to secure your first NHS service post, email your CV to [email protected] and we will be happy to support you on your journey to the UK. Join our Facebook Group Are you a member of IMG Advisor? We post regular relocation blog posts, you can ask questions and receive professional advice and get the chance to meet other IMGs.    

Your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

By Gabrielle Richardson
June 04, 2019

What is a Biometric Residence Permit? As an international doctor on a Tier 2 visa, you will receive a BRP if you: Obtained a Tier 2 visa for longer than 6 months Extended your Tier 2 visa for longer than 6 months Applied for permanent settlement in the UK Transferred your visa to a new passport Please note, you do not need to apply separately for your BRP. You will be issued one automatically when your Tier 2 visa is approved. What is on my BRP? Your permit will state your name, date, place of birth, your fingerprints and photographic identification. It will also provide details on your immigration status and whether you have access to public funds. Typically, your National Insurance number should be printed on the back of your BRP. If you receive it and it is not printed on the back of your BRP, you will need to apply for one here. What should I do if my BRP does not arrive? Please do not worry if you arrive in the UK and your BRP has not yet been issued. If it has been 10 days after arriving in the UK, you can follow the progress of your BRP here. The Home Office typically responds within 5 working days to inform you of what to do next. Can I start my NHS post if BRP has not yet arrived? Yes. If you are waiting receiving your BRP, it is legal to take up your new employment within an NHS hospital. What do I do if I have lost my BRP? If you lose your BRP or it is stolen, you can only order a replacement from inside the UK. The Home Office will contact you within one working day of reporting it. Please note, if you locate your BRP at a later date after receiving a replacement, you cannot use the original. The cost of a replacement BRP is £154. Relocation to the UK If you are an international doctor who plans to relocate to the UK and join the NHS, email your CV to [email protected] and we will be happy to support you on your journey. Join IMG Advisor Join our online community of over 10,000 doctors! We share regular relocation blog posts, and updates. References GOV.UK. (2019). Biometric residence permits (BRPs). ] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/biometric-residence-permits/replace-visa-brp [Accessed 4 Jun. 2019].    

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

By Gabrielle Richardson
May 22, 2019

What is limited leave to remain? If you are a non-EEA national, you will be subject to UK immigration rules which means that to enter the UK for a limited period of time, you will need to apply for limited leave to remain. Typically, for doctors and nurses, this is by way of Tier 2 visa application. Limited leave to remain requires you to depart from the UK at the end of the specified visa period or to make a further application to the Home Office via either a Tier 2 visa extension, further leave or indefinite leave to remain. Whilst you are on a Tier 2 visa, you will have to meet the conditions of your visa and a number of restrictions will apply, such as having no access to public funds whilst in the UK. What is indefinite leave to remain? If you hold indefinite leave to remain, which is also known as a permanent residency or settled status – this means you have no time limit to live in the UK and usually no conditions on your right to stay. You can access the same entitlements to services as UK citizens and apply for welfare and tax credits. Indefinite Leave to Remain Criteria You must complete 5 years of continuous residence in the UK and adhere to certain income requirements Keep a detailed record of any absences from the UK over the last 5 years, as any lengthy absences may negatively impact your application Evidence your English language skills – You will need to either provide evidence of an academic qualification taught in English or you will need to sit an approved English test You must demonstrate a good knowledge of life in the UK, by way of the “Life in the UK” test What is The Life in the UK Test? This is an official government test and it costs £50. There are over 30 test centres in the UK, and you will need to choose the nearest 5 to where you live. To prepare for the test, you should study the official handbook for the Life in the UK Test. You will have 45 minutes to answer 24 questions about British traditions and customs. Examples of possible Life in the UK Question? What is New Year’s Eve called in Scotland? ​A. Vaisakhi​​ B. Hannukah C. Diwali D. Hogmanay Why did Henry VIII establish the Church of England? ​A. To celebrate his wedding with Anne of Cleves B. To have control over religious people C. To establish a unique religion in England  D. To divorce his first wife, Catherine of Aragon Where is Snowdonia located? A. England  B. Northern Ireland  C. Scotland D. Wales Cost of Indefinite Leave to Remain Application It costs £1,330 to apply. You must also pay £19.20 to have your biometric information taken. Please click here to apply. Relocation to the UK If you are an international doctor with plans to relocate to the UK and join the NHS, email your CV to [email protected] and we would love to help you on your journey to the UK. Join our Facebook Group Are you a member of IMG Advisor? Here, you will have access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional advice and the chance to meet other IMGs. References GOV.UK. (2019). Life in the UK Test. ] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/life-in-the-uk-test [Accessed 20 May 2019]. Morris, A. (2019). Leave to Remain in the UK (Requirements & Applications) - - Immigration Solicitors. ] - Immigration Solicitors. Available at: https://www.davidsonmorris.com/leave-to-remain/ [Accessed 20 May 2019].    

A snapshot of... Hertfordshire

By Gabrielle Richardson
May 20, 2019

Beautiful Hertfordshire is located in South East England and is surrounded by Essex, Buckinghamshire, Greater London and Bedfordshire. It contains one city, St. Albans and other large towns including Watford, Hitchen, Hemel Hempstead and Stevenage. The county has various landmarks from Leavesden Film Studios, where the Harry Potter tour lies, Paradise Wildlife Park and English Country Stately Homes. St. Albans, which is found in South Hertfordshire has been voted one of the best places to live in the entire UK and this city has the third highest earnings in the country. Families choose to relocate to Hertfordshire because it is easily commutable distance to London, just an 18-minute train ride away. Reasons to relocate to Hertfordshire Excellent transportation links to London An array of green spaces and easy access to the countryside Picture-perfect villages Outstanding state schools, in addition to top-performing independent schools Rich in history, the county is full of many historic and cultural sites and events Cost of Living Accommodation One bedroom in City Centre £908.33 One bedroom Outside of Centre £875.00 Three bedrooms in City Centre £2,000.00 Three bedroom Outside of Centre £1,500.00 Transportation 1L of Petrol £1.29 One-way ticket £2.90 Monthly pass £75.00 Taxi trip, 5 miles £20 Entertainment Basic dinner out for two in a neighbourhood pub £35 Two tickets to the cinema £20 Two tickets to the theatre £95 Cappuccino £3.01 One month of gym membership £40 Areas to live in Hertfordshire If you prefer quiet village life, you have various options available to you. From Ashwell, Barley, Harpenden and Aldbury – which all made it to County Life’s Best Places to Live for Commuters Survey. Residing in one of the listed villages will provide you with access to art galleries, luxury properties, country fairs and music festivals. Alternatively, if you prefer the buzz of a busy town, you could opt to live in Hertford, St. Albans or Watford – these towns offer plenty of green space, excellent quality schools and a healthy economy. Similar to country living, you will have a full range of properties, from flats, terraces, town houses and new builds. Getting to other cities from Hertfordshire via Train London – 18 minutes Birmingham - 2 hours 11 minutes Manchester – 2 hours 52 minutes Bristol - 2 hours 41 minutes Cardiff – 2 hours 41 minutes Leeds – 2 hours 49 minutes Edinburgh – 4 hours 53 minutes Education in Hertfordshire Hertfordshire is a fantastic place to bring up children because statistics have revealed that 9 out of 10 schools in the area come under the good or outstanding ratings. Overall, the schools in Hertfordshire have a higher score than the Ofsted national average, which currently sits at just below 90%. With regards to further education, those living in Hertfordshire can easily access top universities such as University College London, Imperial College London, King’s College London, London School of Economic and Political Science, Queen Mary University of London, Royal Holloway University of London and so forth. Top things to do in Hertfordshire Warner Bros. Studio Tour, The Making of Harry Potter – This is one of the biggest days out in Hertfordshire and the tour sees millions of visitors from all over the world each year. On your visit you can explore sets used in the films, alongside props, costumes and art. St. Albans Cathedral – The city is named after Britain’s first saint and the grand cathedral is a beautiful church to explore. Cassiobury Park, Watford – This is the largest public open space in Watford and is over 190 acres. The park consists of a playground, paddling pools, a miniature railway, a zip wire and a local nature reserve. The River Lee, Broxbourne – Explore the River Lee by boat at the Lee Valley Boat Centre. You can explore the river via electric boats, rowing boats, pedalos and canoes! You can also book a public or a private cruise on a larger boat where you can also enjoy a meal on-board. Relocation to Hertfordshire If you are an international doctor planning to relocate to the UK and join the NHS, email your CV to [email protected] and we will be in touch regarding current opportunities. Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor When you join, you will have access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional guidance and the chance to meet other IMGs. References , cost of living comparisons. (2019). Cost of Living in United Kingdom.. ] Available at: https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/country/united-kingdom [Accessed 17 May 2019]. Zoopla.co.uk. (2019). Moving to Hertfordshire - Zoopla. ] Available at: https://www.zoopla.co.uk/discover/buying-area-guides/living-in-hertfordshire/#gzfllAxTSbUihtvp.97 [Accessed 20 May 2019]. Storing.com. (2019). Moving To Hertfordshire: An Easy Guide - Storing.com. ] Available at: https://storing.com/moving-hertfordshire-easy-guide/ [Accessed 20 May 2019].      

A snapshot of... Southampton

By Gabrielle Richardson
May 15, 2019

Southampton is located on the South coast of England and it is one of Britain’s greenest cities with over fifty parks to enjoy. Living in Southampton, you will also have access to the famous National Park’s New Forest and the South Downs, all on your doorstep. The city has a population of 919,843 (2019) and it is extremely well connected. On average, there are 113 trains each day between Southampton and London Waterloo, with the journey time taking just 1 hour and 20 minutes. Southampton also has its own airport providing flights to both UK destinations and Europe. There are also regular daily ferry crossings to France. Top Reasons to Relocate to Southampton Perfect location for families – Southampton is a working city, but it also provides an element of relaxation. Inland, you have the beautiful New Forest National Park and just 20 minutes away you can experience the happiest place to live in the UK, Winchester. Because of the high level of visitors to the city, the shopping is excellent and there are 100s of restaurants and entertainment to choose from. The University – Thousands of students relocate from all over the UK to live and study at the University of Southampton. This gives the local economy an annual boost and ensures that Southampton provides a range of arts, music venues and a busy entertainment calendar. The University is also one of the city’s largest employers, drawing academics from around the globe to attend. Offers a good work-life balance – Southampton provides excellent rail, road, air and sea connections, which makes it an excellent place to work if you live in the surrounding rural or countryside areas. Living in Southampton is affordable if you prefer, the average monthly mortgage figure of around £700pcm, which is far below the national average of £1900. Cost of Living Renting Accommodation One-bedroom apartment in the City Centre £702.72 One-bedroom apartment outside of the City Centre £577.50 Three bedrooms in the City Centre £1306.25 Three bedroom Outside of the Centre £1041.67 Transportation One litre of petrol £1.24 Monthly public transport ticket £46 Taxi trip on a business day, basic tariff, 5 miles £13 Entertainment Basic dinner out for two at a neighbourhood pub £29 Two tickets to the cinema £21 Two tickets to the theatre £84 Cappuccino £3.42 One-month gym membership in the business district £26 Where to live in Southampton? If you are looking for a new and modern property, you ought to live in the up and coming Cultural Quarter which is situated close to arts venues and Southampton Solent University. You can choose from townhouses to luxury apartments with views across the River Itchen and the marina. If you want to live in a more family-oriented area, you have the option of Hedge End, which provides good schools, shops and parks. Alternatively, there is Southampton Common which is just a short walk away from Southampton Central Train Station. Travelling to other UK cities from Southampton via Train London Waterloo – 1 hour 19 minutes Birmingham – 2 hours 31 minutes Manchester – 3 hours 57 minutes Bristol – 1 hour 37 minutes Cardiff – 2 hours 36 minutes Leeds – 4 hours 21 minutes Edinburgh – 6 hours 19 minutes Education in Southampton There are 42 schools and colleges rated “Outstanding” by OFSTED within a 10-mile radius of Southampton. You can find a list of these schools here. Top things to in Southampton Visit the boats – Attend Britain’s biggest boat show, which is held in the city centre every September. There will be entertainment and hundreds of world’s leading sailboats and powerboats to take the water. Go skiing – The Alpine Snowsports Centre will allow you to improve your skills all year round. You can try snowboarding, skiing or have fun on the inflatables and spin down the slopes. Learn to Dive – The Quays is one of the only four High Performance Centres for diving in the UK and several of Team GB’s Olympic divers train here. Visit the Theatre – The Mayflower was built in the 1920’s and it is the South of England’s biggest theatre. You can see a range of performances from West End Musicals, dance performances and operas. Visit St. Michael’s Square – Home to the amazing Tudor House that was built in the late 15th Century for a wealthy merchant family. The house is now a museum that exhibits from the Victorian and Edwardian eras, encompassing more than 900 years of local history. Visit the Sea City Museum – Based in the heart of the city, the Museum tells the story of the people of the city, their lives and the historic connections with the Titanic and the Sea. Relocating to Southampton If you are an international doctor who plans to join the NHS and relocate to Southampton, email your CV to [email protected] and we will be happy to support you throughout your relocation journey. IMG Advisor Are you a member of our Facebook Group IMG Advisor? Here, you will have access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional guidance and the chance to meet other IMGs. References Schepens | UK & European Removals Specialist | FREE Quote. (2019). Relocating to Southampton | Home & Business Moving to Southampton | Schepens. [online] Available at: https://www.schepens.co.uk/relocating-to-southampton/ [Accessed 14 May 2019]. Safestore. (2019). Why Southampton is great for job hunters. online] Available at: https://www.safestore.co.uk/blog/2018/02/why-southampton-is-great-for-job-hunters/ [Accessed 14 May 2019]. Schepens | UK & European Removals Specialist | FREE Quote. (2019). Relocating to Southampton | Home & Business Moving to Southampton | Schepens. online] Available at: https://www.schepens.co.uk/relocating-to-southampton/ [Accessed 14 May 2019]. Expatistan, cost of living comparisons. (2019). Cost of Living in Southampton, United Kingdom. May 2019 prices in Southampton.. online] Available at: https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/southampton [Accessed 14 May 2019]. Lastminute.com. (2019). 21 things to do in Southampton - Blog - lastminute.com. online] Available at: https://www.lastminute.com/blog/things-to-do-in-southampton [Accessed 14 May 2019].    

A snapshot of... Nottingham

By Gabrielle Richardson
May 03, 2019

Nottingham is home of the legend Robin Hood, who stole from the rich and gave to the poor and the city is an ancient centre of lace making. As the most populated city in the county, Nottingham is of vital importance to its wider borough and the rest of Nottinghamshire. There an average of 303,000 residents living in the city itself but that number rises to around 729,000 when you can consider the entire county. Nottingham has become a popular location for expatriates, with an estimated 93 nationalities calling Nottingham home. Reasons to live in Nottingham 1. It is the home of English sports. The city has two football clubs, the world-famous Test match cricket ground Trent Bridge, the National Ice Centre and The National Water Sports Centre. 2. Full of history. Nottingham is home to a number of exhibition spaces, such as Nottingham Contemporary which is one of the UK’s most exciting art galleries. You can also visit Nottingham’s famous castle or take a trip to Wollatan Hall, a grand estate. 3. Access to the beautiful English countryside. Visit the county’s tranquil Sherwood Forest or explore the Peak District National Park, just an hour’s car journey away. 4. It has a tram. This award-winning transport network allows you to get from A to B in a matter of minutes 5. It is home to one of the oldest pubs in England. The Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem was founded in 1189, slaking the thirst of departing crusaders. Average living costs in Nottingham One-bedroom in City Centre £583.33 One-bedroom apartment outside of the City Centre £472.35 Three-bedroom apartment in the City Centre £1,063.64 Three-bedroom apartment outside of the City Centre £753.92 Transportation 1L of petrol £1.25 Monthly ticket public transport ticket £65 Taxi trip on a business day (5 miles) £15 Entertainment Basic dinner out for two at the neighbourhood pub £21 Two tickets to the cinema £20 Cappuccino £3.10 One month of gym membership in a business district £33 Where to live in Nottingham? If you would like to reside in urban living, then you could choose to reside in a stylish apartment in the former lace warehouses and in the updated Lace Market area. Alternatively, you could live in a Victorian property which has also been converted into apartments found in the park. If you prefer a quieter, more countryside living you could look at areas in Edwalton And West Bridgford suburbs. Travelling to other UK cities from Nottingham via Train London St. Pancras – 1 hour 54 minutes Birmingham – 1 hour 8 minutes Manchester – 1 hour 50 minutes Bristol – 2 hours 46 minutes Cardiff – 3 hours 21 minutes Leeds – 1 hour 44 minutes Edinburgh – 4 hours 51 minutes Where is Nottingham’s nearest airport? The nearest airport to Nottingham is the East Midlands Airport, located just half an hour away from the city centre. You can fly to a wide array of European countries including Germany, Spain, France, Turkey, Greece and Croatia. The next largest airport is Birmingham. You can fly to more than double the number of locations from this airport compared to East Midlands Airport. Education in Nottingham The city is home to two large universities and the University of Nottingham. The student popular is on average 60,000. To consider primary and secondary education, there are a wide range of excellent quality schools available in all areas. A noteworthy option is the independent day school Nottingham High School, which was included in the Telegraph’s list of top best value private schools. Top things to do in Nottingham 1. Visit Old Market Square – Nottingham has the largest remaining market square in the UK, almost 5.5 acres in size and it one of the main landmarks. 2. Explore the City’s Caves – Before the city was founded, the Celtic name for Nottingham translated to “Place of Caves”. At the top level of the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre you can embark on an underground journey through more than a thousand years of history. The caves were used for homes for the poor and in later years they were used as an air raid shelter during the Nottingham Blitz. 3. Visit Highfields Park – The park can be found South of the University of Nottingham and it is a 121-acre green space. The park is home to a boating lake and views across the University’s Trent Building and the lake itself has an island that you can reach along stepping stones. You will also see two stone lions that were presented to the University by the city of Ninbo, China. Relocating to Nottingham If you are an IMG who needs support in relocating to Nottingham or another area of the UK and securing your first NHS post, send your CV to [email protected] and we look forward to helping you. Are you a member of IMG Advisor? By joining, you will gain access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional support and the chance to meet some other IMGs! References Expatistan, cost of living comparisons. (2019). Cost of Living in Nottingham, United Kingdom. May 2019 prices in Nottingham.. [online] Available at: https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/nottingham [Accessed 2 May 2019]. Numbeo.com. (2019). Cost of Living in Nottingham. [online] Available at: https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/in/Nottingham [Accessed 2 May 2019]. Ntu.ac.uk. (2019). Top ten reasons to love Nottingham | Nottingham Trent University. [online] Available at: https://www.ntu.ac.uk/life-at-ntu/nottingham/top-ten-reasons-to-love-nottingham [Accessed 2 May 2019]. Zoopla.co.uk. (2019). Moving to Nottinghamshire - Zoopla. [online] Available at: https://www.zoopla.co.uk/discover/buying-area-guides/living-in-nottinghamshire/#DDdJg7PdYqauBvwl.97 [Accessed 2 May 2019]. MoveHub. (2019). Move to Nottingham | MoveHub. [online] Available at: https://www.movehub.com/uk/moving/nottingham/ [Accessed 2 May 2019]. The Crazy Tourist. (2019). 15 Best Things to Do in Nottingham (Nottinghamshire, England) - The Crazy Tourist. [online] Available at: https://www.thecrazytourist.com/15-best-things-to-do-in-nottingham-nottinghamshire-england/ [Accessed 3 May 2019].  

NHS Service Post v NHS Training Post

By Gabrielle Richardson
April 24, 2019

The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is one of the largest employers in the world and it is the biggest employer in Europe, with over 1.3 million staff. A typical day for the NHS includes: Over 835,000 people visiting their GP practice or practice nurse Almost 50,000 people visiting accident and emergency departments 49,000 outpatient consultations 94,000 people admitted to hospital as an emergency admission 36,000 people in hospital for planned treatment No matter what area of the NHS you join, you will become part of a talented, passionate team of individuals who are committed to providing extraordinary care and treatment to UK patients. With the NHS being such a busy institution and with over 10,000 vacancies at this present time – it is important for the NHS to possesses both Service Doctors and Training Doctors but we often get asked what the difference is… An NHS Service Post An NHS service post (also known as a non-training post) is designed to fill gaps in the department’s rota of training doctors. So, in order to ensure that NHS patients receive continuity of care and excellent quality of care, service posts exist. The job role of a service doctor is essentially the same as a doctor in training, except the post is not recognised by an NHS Deanery and it is not designed to provide official educational support. That being said, some hospitals do provide international doctors with CESR support to help them get onto the Specialist Register (get in contact with us today to find out which hospitals – [email protected]). What is an NHS Deanery? An NHS Deanery is a regional organisation who is responsible for postgraduate medical training, within the NHS. Each NHS Deanery is advised by a Specialty Training Committee (STC), which includes a number of Consultants who provide their expert opinion. The recruitment of doctors into Specialty Training Programmes are managed by Deaneries. Once you have accepted a training post the Deanery will then allocate specific jobs, arrange educational supervision and provide the assessment of whether you have demonstrated sufficient progress within your training. What is an NHS Training Post? If you have secured an NHS training post, your relevant Deanery will provide you with a set curriculum that you will need to follow with regards to updating your e-portfolio, signing off competencies and attending teaching sessions. You will be allocated an Educational and Clinical Supervisor to provide you with support. Within a training post, you will be allocated study leave to allow you to study for your postgraduate qualification exams. As an international doctor – can I apply for a Specialty Training Post? It is important to note that NHS training posts are given first refusal to UK/EU citizens and to those already working within the NHS. So, to successfully obtain an NHS training post, we always advise the following: Obtain a service post for a year or two years, acclimatise yourself with the system and then you will be both physically and mentally prepared and eligible to apply for a training post. Good luck! Securing an NHS Service Post If you are an international doctor who has plans to relocate to the UK and join the NHS – email your CV to [email protected] and we will be happy to support you through the entire process. From your GMC Registration, assistance securing a post, relocation logistics to finding schools for your children. Are you a member of IMG Advisor? Here, you will find access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to receive professional guidance on relocating to the UK and the chance to meet other IMGs! References Jobs.nhs.uk. (2019). NHS Jobs - Working in the NHS. [online] Available at: https://www.jobs.nhs.uk/about_nhs.html [Accessed 24 Apr. 2019]. BMJ.com (2004). The BMJ – What is the difference between a LAT post and a LAS post? [online] Available at: https://www.bmj.com/content/329/7479/s236.1  

A snapshot of... Inverness

By Gabrielle Richardson
April 23, 2019

Inverness is located in Scotland and it is the most northern city in the UK, known as the capital of the Highlands. Relocating to this fantastic city will offer you access to outstanding natural beauty and city life. In 2014, Inverness was evidenced to be the happiest place to live in Scotland and the second happiest to live in the entire UK. With easy access to glens, lochs, mountains and beaches – you can combine living in a major city with great outdoors. Top reasons to live in Inverness Affordable house prices Compact city centre oozing with history Excellent travel connections Access to picturesque landscapes Voted the happiest place to live in Scotland and the second happiest in the whole of the UK Home to the Loch Ness Monster or “Nessie” – a creature with a long neck and humps said to inhabit Loch Ness. Average Living Costs Housing One-bedroom apartment in the City Centre £530 One-bedroom apartment outside of the City Centre £483.33 Three-bedroom apartment in the City Centre £825 Three-bedroom apartment outside of the City Centre £716.67 Transportation One-way public transport ticket £2 Monthly public transport ticket £45 1L of Petrol £1.25 Taxi trip on a business day, basic tariff, 5 miles £10 Entertainment Basic dinner out for two in the neighbourhood pub £39 Two tickets to the movies £20 Two tickets to the theatre (best available seats) £106 Cappuccino £2.99 Pint of beer £3.73 One month gym membership in a business district £34 Transport links from Inverness Living in Inverness and the surrounding areas gives you access to rail, road and air links – making it extremely easy to get around. By Air: Inverness Airport provides you with regular scheduled flights to London (Gatwick, Heathrow and Luton), Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Belfast City, Dublin, Amsterdam, Geneva and other areas of Scotland. By Rail: Scotrail provides you with easy transport from Inverness Railway Station to Edinburgh, Glasgow and London, including other surrounding towns such as Aviemore, Perth, Nairn and Elgin. Things to do in Inverness and Surrounding Areas Shopping: Eastgate shopping centre is the place to go for all your shopping needs. It hosts a number of popular high street shops. The Old Town allows you to shop at beautiful boutique stores and the Old Victorian Market gives you access to traditional sellers. Head to Castle Street or Bank Street for shops selling art, ceramics and designer jewellery. Food and drink: To try quality Scottish produce, head to Rocpool Reserve Hotel & Chez Roux Restaurant. It’s located on the bank of the river and serves Highland beef, Black Isle pork and mussels from the Shetland Isles. For rustic comfort, but contemporary dining, try The Mustard Seed. The restaurant is set in a former church and boasts an open fire and a double-height ceiling. Its terrace on the top floor has fine views over the river and city. Living in Scotland means you need to sample some of the whiskies on offer. Take a tour of the Tomatin Distillery, which is just 16 miles south of Inverness. Find out how they produce their whiskies and sample a few in a tutored tasting. Relocating to Inverness If you are an IMG who needs support in relocating to Inverness or another area of the UK and securing your first NHS post, send your CV to [email protected] and we look forward to supporting you. Are you a member of IMG Advisor? By joining, you will gain access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional support and the chance to meet some other IMGs! References Property, C. (2019). Moving to Inverness. All about the area, schools & transport.. [online] CCL Group Ltd. Available at: https://www.cclproperty.com/location-guides/scotland/highland/inverness/ [Accessed 18 Apr. 2019]. Expatistan, cost of living comparisons. (2019). Cost of Living in Inverness, United Kingdom. Apr 2019 prices in Inverness.. [online] Available at: https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/inverness [Accessed 23 Apr. 2019]. Zoopla.co.uk. (2019). Moving to Inverness - Zoopla. [online] Available at: https://www.zoopla.co.uk/discover/buying-area-guides/living-in-inverness/#3qV7WF1Mhyo2aZ6c.99 [Accessed 23 Apr. 2019].  

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