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Q&A with Raja Ahmed, UK Consultant Psychiatrist

By Gabrielle Richardson
October 03, 2018

Introduction 1.What is your name, speciality, grade and what hospital do you work at? My name is Dr Raja Adnan Ahmed and I am working as a Consultant Psychiatrist in       South Wales currently based in Ysbyty’r Tri Chwm Hospital which is part of the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board. I have been working on this substantive consultant post for over two years. 2.What country did you relocate from? I relocated from Pakistan having graduated in 2003 and I arrived in the UK in 2005. 3.Would you share with us your personal mission as a doctor? My mission is to raise awareness about mental illness amongst the general public as well as healthcare professionals and to reduce the stigma associated with mental health. I believe due to the lack of awareness many people, including doctors and allied health professionals, suffer in silence and treatable mental health conditions become disabling. I would like to see mental health receive the same attention and parity of funding as physical health. I would also like to see an improvement of training in Psychiatry as a discipline among medical students in the UK and in Pakistan.   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 moved to the UK following my house job (internship) in Pakistan. In fact, I started to plan during my final year of medical college. I was interested in Psychiatry and started to research the Royal College of Psychiatrist Training Curriculum and various training programmes within the UK. I undertook the necessary IELTS during my internship as well as studied for my PLAB1 exam. My main motivation to pursue training in the UK was the highly organised and carefully structured training programmes available in Psychiatry. There were excellent training opportunities, emphasis on a work life balance, a rewarding salary, recognition and clear pathway for progression of one's career, all of these factors contributed to my choice in migrating to the UK. 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? I relocated to the UK in 2005, at that time under the labour government, the visa regulations, especially for highly skilled migrants were quite straight forward. Unfortunately, this also meant that the job market became saturated quickly. A single non-training vacancy would attract hundreds of applications. It was not unusual at that time for IMGs to start with unpaid clinical attachment work for months whilst simultaneously applying for post across the country. The situation changed around 2006-2007 as many IMGs started to leave due to lack of posts. When I first moved to the UK within first few months of passing PLAB I was able to secure a clinical attachment and within 8 weeks of that I was able to secure first locum post in the same department which led to further short-term locum positions. However, it took me more than a year to secure my first training job as a foundation year two doctor. Certain specialities continue to have a chronic shortage of doctors, but I can see that the situation is improving, therefore, I advise young IMGs to pursue their ambitions at this current time. 6.Is there anything you would have liked to have known before deciding to relocate? And now once you live in the UK? When you move countries, you are leaving behind all the support networks, family and friends. It takes time to settle and for me at first it felt like I was starting my life from scratch. The initial months can be very anxiety provoking due to lots of uncertainties and challenges but as times goes on most of us adapt to the changes and the new cultures and working environment. Once a job is secure the rest comes naturally. You are never too far from a supporting figure, colleague or mentor. In my experience, Wales, has been a very welcoming and friendly place to live hence, I have chosen to stay and work here. I advise new IMGs to keep an open mind and be prepared to face the initial challenges. There is a lot to learn about British cultural norms, culture of NHS as a health service and British society in general. But once you start to settle the you will find British society and NHS is very welcoming and inclusive towards IMGs and you will get many of opportunities to grow.   Thoughts on the UK 7.For you, what are the key benefits of living in the UK? I see plenty of benefits living in the UK. The society in general is very liberal, inclusive and welcoming, people are very friendly and value your hard work, intelligence and dedication. The UK is at the cutting edge of medical research and innovation and there are excellent training opportunities which include training in the hospitals, Royal Colleges and opportunities with the local universities. The training and qualifications you gain in the UK are recognised globally. The NHS has the mechanisms to make you a well-rounded doctor. Our children also get better education via the school system here in the UK and hopefully will get excellent university education which will open opportunities for their future progress. The UK also offers you a very healthy work life balance and there is a lot to explore and enjoy as a family within the UK and also in Europe. 8.How do you feel you settled in your chosen location within the UK?  I grew up in a small town in Pakistan which was surrounded by beautiful countryside and mango farms. I think because of my upbringing and the lovely early childhood memories, I love the countryside. I remember my very first days in London when I was preparing for PLAB-2, visiting the city and travelling around on the London underground during the peak hours, as much as I enjoyed this experience my heart has always been drawn to the idyllic country atmosphere. Fortunately, I had the chance to work in the South Wales which offered me good balance or city and rural life with proximity of cities like Cardiff and Bristol along with the lovely countryside with rolling hills, peaks of Brecon Beacons and sandy beaches of the Welsh coastline. The cost of living is lower in Wales if you compare it with areas around London or the South West of England. 9.Have you applied for permanent residency in the UK? How did you find the process? The visa regulation has changed a lot since 2005, generally speaking, it was a lot easier 10 years ago. IMG doctors applied for a HSMP visa (highly skilled migrant programme) which lasted for certain number of years leading to ILR (indefinite leave to remain) and there was no need to change visas with every job.    Unfortunately, I don't understand the current visa rules so well as so much has changed but I believe the UK government should make it easier for highly skilled professionals to acquire British visa’s and provide them a clear pathway to permanent residency. 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? My very first experience of working in the UK was clinical attachment which led to a locum SHO job in the same hospital. I was very excited and nervous at the same time. I met very helpful experienced seniors to guide me through that period and I slowly gained experience and confidence. There is no doubt that the first few weeks or months in the NHS can be difficult as there is a lot to learn about the system and functions of the multi-disciplinary teams. I advise doctors to be honest about their skill level and do not ever hesitate to ask for help when you are unsure. Also, do not feel ashamed to ask plenty of questions and identify areas of your weakness, reflect upon them, discuss them with your supervisors and develop a personal development plan (PDP)  to constantly learn and improve your skills. 11.How would you describe the support you received from your hospital after starting your new position? I received good support from seniors in the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport when I was doing both my clinical attachment and during my locum SHO position in medicine. I was lucky to work with the seniors who understood that IMGs require periods of induction into the NHS system and require extra support and supervision at the start.    My first training post was in Yeovil, Somerset as and FY2 in 2007, again I was warmly welcomed by the staff and received appropriate support in settling in and achieving my required foundation competences and application process for the core psychiatry training. I think all departments in NHS are familiar with new IMGs starting their first job in the NHS and they are usually very helpful. I also advise IMGs to look out for mentors both at a peer level and senior levels who can guide and support you during the initial years. 12.What were your thoughts on the UK/NHS System in 2005, do you think either has changed much over the last 13 years? This is an interesting question. Certainly, a lot has changed within the NHS and as an organisation NHS is constantly evolving as it is trying to improve and find more effective ways to perform. Although we use word NHS as if this is a single organisation but in reality, the NHS is formed by lot of different bodies and as doctors we experience interactions with various different trusts, hospitals, training schemes, royal colleges, deaneries and universities. Since I started working in the NHS I have noticed there are certain negative streams of media that denigrate the health service and portray it to be unsustainable. I remember IMGs back in 2005 were worrying if the NHS would survive another 5 years. It is true that certain Trust services and hospitals struggle to manage safely but on the other hand there is a lot more positivity about the NHS and its excellent performance which is not reflected fully in the media. I now advise my colleagues and new IMGs to avoid concentrating on all the negative media coverage about the NHS and focus on all the positives NHS offer you. By working within the NHS, you become part of a diverse multicultural workforce and get exposure to excellent training opportunities, cutting edge techniques, chance to work with worlds experts in certain fields, frontline academics and mentors. I believe NHS will continue to offer excellent training despite the austerity measures.    13.What is your opinion on the NHS? Working within it and as a patient receiving care? NHS is an excellent health system and simply one of the best in the world. The staff show real compassion and commitment and generally the training of the staff along with safety standards are exceptional. I believe your hard work and dedication are recognised and commended within the NHS and you are given opportunities to bring about the change. 14.What pathway did you use to become a UK Consultant? I have a CCT in Old Age Psychiatry which I achieved in 2016. I started the training pathway in 2007 with a Foundation Year 2 job in Somerset, which led to core psychiatry training. I finished my membership exam, core and specialist training within Wales Deanery. For IMGs who are interested in psychiatry training, I always advise them to consider the proper training pathway with membership exams and aim for the CCT. Given the shortage of applications on core training jobs, the core training places have been under filled for the last 10 years (although in 2018 we had a much better year for recruitment). Similarly, when core trainees are finishing their membership exams, they are getting specialist training posts fairly easily leading to CCT. Although I have nothing against CESR pathway, generally speaking in Psychiatry it is easier to get a CCT with better exposure to training which helps you to become a confident consultant.     15.How do you find working in the UK compared to your home country? When I left Pakistan in2005, the life of a trainee doctor in Pakistan was very difficult due to shortage of training places, shortage of supervisors and very low salaries. But above all, I was most concerned with the lack of training opportunities. In comparison to Pakistan, I felt the training in the UK offered a better structured and clear pathway to progress along with several excellent opportunities to refine my skills as educator and leader. Working and training in the UK also gives you financial independence and a peace of mind so you can focus your energies on training needs, membership exams and clinical skills. When I was working in Pakistan, I knew I would have been financially dependent on my parents, but in the UK, my wife and I moved into our first house in Wales when we were both Foundation Year 2 doctors. The Future 16.What are your hopes for the future? I am currently working on a Consultant Psychiatrist post with NHS Wales and pursuing a Master’s in medical education with Cardiff University. I would like to develop myself as an experienced educator, I am already involved with Cardiff University Medical School, the Welsh Deanery and my local health board in teaching and examining roles but I would like to expand my involvement and improve my own experience as an educator. I am interested in raising awareness about mental illness in general public and healthcare professionals and improve recruitment into psychiatry. I am also interested in Qualitative research methods and currently exploring and learning more about qualitative research and designing my first Qualitative research project. In the future, I like to establish myself as an experienced researcher with publications in reputed psychiatry journals along with my clinical and educational role. In my personal life, I am blessed with an extremely supportive wife, who is a GP herself and we have three lovely energetic children. I always try and find ways to spend quality time with my family and maintain a healthy work life balance. We enjoy hobbies such as cycling, hiking, running and swimming. The future holds so much more! Thank you for reading! Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor! Here you will have access to regular relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional support and the chance to meet other IMGs! 

Your NHS Salary

By Gabrielle Richardson
September 17, 2018

Every week we see many doctors begin their career within the NHS, joining hospitals all over the UK. In today’s post, we provide you with our top tips on how to manage your finances after relocating to the UK. If you have any questions regarding any of our tips, please email apply@bdiresourcing.com and we will be happy to advise you. Disclaimer – we are not a financial advisory firm and the tips below our just our tips from experience with working with IMGs. 1. Work out how much you will get on your first payday Knowing how much to expect in your monthly salary payment is essential. This will help you plan your monthly outgoings, such as rent, council tax, food – this will allow you to know what you can spend on recreational activities and what you can afford to save for the future. Please note that there are various apps available on smart phones that allow you to calculate your monthly salary – try searching “Salary Calculator” in your app store. There are also apps to guide you on your expenditure and it calculates how much you can afford to save each month. Try this link for a full list. 2. Understand the UK tax system Before you receive your first paycheck it is important to understand how UK income tax works.        How does it work? Each UK citizen has a “personal allowance” which denotes the amount we can earn without paying any income tax. If you earn more than your personal allowance, then you pay tax at the applicable rate on all earnings above the personal allowance, but the allo wance remains untaxed. What is my personal allowance? Earning bracket Personal allowance Under £100,000 £11,850 £100,000 to £123,700 Decreased from £11,850 by £1 for every £2 you earn, until it reaches £0 Over £123,700 £0 What income tax band am I in? Once you know your personal allowance, anything extra earned will be subject to income tax. For 2018/19 tax year, if you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, there are three marginal income tax bands – at the 20% basic rate, the 40% higher rate and the 45% additional rate bracket (remember your personal allowance starts to shrink once earnings hit £100,000). If you live in Scotland, there are five marginal income tax bands from the 2018/19 tax year - the starter rate of 19%, the 20% basic rate, the 21% intermediate rate, the 41% higher rate, and the 46% additional rate. Earnings (England, Wales or NI) 2018/2019 Rate Under your personal allowance For most, £11,850 No income tax payable Between PA and PA+£34,500 (basic rate) For most, £11,850 to £46,350 20% Between PA+£34,500 and £150,000 (higher rate) For most, £46,350 to £150,000 40% Over £150,000 (additional rate) 45% Example monthly take home for a doctor’s salary Level Basic Salary Basic Salary after tax Monthly take home FY1 £26,614 £21,480 £1,790 FY2 £30,805 £24,330 £2,028 Specialist Training £36,461 £28,176 £2,348 Speciality Doctors £37,923 £29,170 £2,431 Consultants £76,761 £52,541 £4,378 GP’s £56,525 £40,804 £3,400 NB: Basic salary does not include any uplifts, banding or additional PA’s. To work out your monthly take home for your specific salary please visit this site. You should also note that there is a further opportunity to increase your salary either through Bank Staff work or agency Locum work. Please visit our article on this matter for further information. National Insurance Please note that you will also have to pay National Insurance along with your tax.  How much will I pay? Your pay Class 1 National Insurance rate £162 to £892 a week (£702 to £3,863 a month) 12% Over £892 a week (£3,863 a month) 2% How do I pay? Your National Insurance contribution will be taken from your wages before you are paid and your payslip will show your contributions. NHS Pension You will also be entitled to contribute to your pension via the NHS Pension Scheme. Within this scheme both you and your employer will contibute to your pension at different tiers depending on your pay.  How much will I contribute? Tier  Pensionable Pay (whole-time equivalent) Contribution Rate from  2015/16 to 2018/19  1  Up to £15,431.99   5.0%  2  £15,432.00 to £21,477.99  5.6% 3    £21,478.00 to £26,823.99   7.1%  4  £26,824.00 to £47,845.99  9.3%  5  £47,846.00 to £70,630.99  12.5% 6   £70,631.00 to £111,376.99   13.5% 7   £111,377.00 and over   14.5% 3. Boost your income There are two ways to boost your income once you have started your new position. NHS staff bank – each Trust has an NHS staff bank that contracts healthcare professionals to take on extra shifts at the hospital. This option allows you to pick up extra shifts within your own hospital, whenever it is convenient for you. Please note, if you are on a Tier 2 visa – there will be no restrictions on the number of bank shifts you can take up. You will be paid monthly, along with your salary for any additional bank shifts that you cover. Agency locum work – alternatively, you may choose to take up temporary work via a medical recruitment agency that provides locum work for doctors. The agency will work with various hospitals across the UK and they will help you find temporary work. Agency locum work offers a higher rate of pay compared to bank staff rates, however, on a Tier 2 visa you are limited to working up to 20 hours per week and it is likely you will have to travel to another hospital. 4. Plan your career progression – medical exams are expensive so make sure you factor these fees in Junior doctors face a number of expenses at the beginning stages of their careers. If you are a junior doctor who plans to specialise then you will need full Royal College Membership. The prices vary depending on the Royal College, so it is important that you factor in the cost of the exam fees as they are essential for your career progression. 5. Don’t forget other costs The process of relocating to the UK can be very costly, from paying for PLAB, IELTS, GMC Registration, your visa application, flights and airport transfers – but often, doctors forget about costs they will incur after they have started their position. For further information on how much it costs to relocate to the UK please visit our blog. These fees include revalidating your GMC licence, British Medical Association fees and your medical indemnity cover fees. Thank you for reading our post. If you are an IMG who is interested in relocating to the UK and working within the NHS please register your CV on our website and we will be in touch about available positions. Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor – get frequent access to relocation blogs, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional advice and the chance to meet other IMGs!

Who will I be working with?

By Gabrielle Richardson
September 14, 2018

When you join the NHS the people you will be working most closely with will be the other doctors in your team also known as “firm”. This will typically include: Your Consultant (most senior member of the team) Senior or Specialist Registrar (in training) Foundation Programme trainee (within the first two years after qualification) Other doctors you may come into contact with include: Staff grades (a non-training grade doctor who is typically very experienced) Clinical fellows (a trainee grade doctor undertaking research) Who will be in my multi-disciplinary team? In order for patients to receive the best possible clinical care, several healthcare professionals will be involved. This is what is known as a multi-disciplinary team. These include: Nurses – who will provide practical direct care for patients and often will provide you, as a doctor, with direct support on the wards and in clinics. The nurses are likely to have worked in the department for a long time and can provide you with invaluable advice – please do not be afraid to ask them questions. Midwives – work within the maternity and can deliver low-risk patients. They have limited prescribing abilities. Pharmacists – provide essential advice on which medications to prescribe and dispense drugs. Every hospital prescription is reviewed by them and you can contact them directly for advice when prescribing. Phlebotomists – most hospitals employ phlebotomists to take blood from patients, typically in the morning, so that results are available in the afternoon. Remember to make sure request forms are put out early in the day if you would like the phlebotomist to take blood from your patients as if you miss their ward round, you will have to take the blood yourself. Physiotherapists – assess patient mobility and may provide specialist input into care e.g. for patients with chest infections. Come and join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor.  Here, you will have access to frequent blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions regarding relocating to the UK and working within the NHS and the chance to meet other IMGs! References Bma.org.uk. (2018). BMA - Life and work in the UK. [online] Available at: https://www.bma.org.uk/advice/work-life-support/life-and-work-in-the-uk/insiders-guide-to-being-a-junior-doctor-in-the-nhs/meet-the-team [Accessed 7 Sep. 2018].

Continuity of care - tips for Junior Doctors

By Gabrielle Richardson
September 07, 2018

Continuity of care for patients is fundamental because going into hospital can be an overwhelming experience - you want reassurance that the doctors and nurses know your name, can explain what is happening and there is “someone in charge” to answer your questions and worries. Patients can often be moved between different wards, sometimes in the middle of the night and usually without informing the patient or carers in advance. Poor communication between staff and inadequate handovers across shifts result in patient details and vital information being lost, forcing patients and carers to repeat the same information to numerous people. Doctors are therefore expected to have thorough knowledge of each patient’s inpatient journey, to ensure that every medical professional who wishes to follow the patient up has made arrangements to do so. Therefore, in today’s post we provide you with some tips on successfully executing excellent continuity of care. Tips Ensure the patient and their carers understand the follow up plan. This will reduce their anxiety, empower the patient and their partners to be champions in their own health care and increase their likelihood of attending appointments. Provide accurate and comprehensive information in discharge summaries. This is a fundamental component of continuity of care that helps to ensure that the patient’s GP is aware of new diagnoses and any changes to medications. Liaise with the specialties planning to follow-up a patient to ensure appointments are made. Communicate with each member of the multi-disciplinary team to ensure timely discharge. This is especially important for junior doctors, as they will be the primary member of the medical team who is most commonly on the ward, a junior doctor is in the perfect position to co-ordinate between the different levels of professionals involved. If you are an IMG who is interested in relocating to the UK and working within the NHS send your CV to apply@bdiresourcing.com and we will be in touch. Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor – here you will have access to frequent blog posts on relocating to the UK and working within the NHS, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional guidance and the chance to meet other IMGs. References Medical professionalism and regulation in the UK. (2018). Good continuity of care: four top tips for junior doctors. [online] Available at: https://gmcuk.wordpress.com/2015/09/09/good-continuity-of-care-four-top-tips-for-junior-doctors/ [Accessed 5 Sep. 2018].

Additional PAs

By Gabrielle Richardson
August 31, 2018

Introduction When applying for your first NHS post, you should always try and make sure you have a job description and as much detail about the post and Trust prior to interviewing. However, during your interview is always a great time to ask for further information such as proposed objectives, supporting resources available to allow you to carry out your work – all information which will show you are interested in the position. Please note that prior to starting your position you may be given an idea of your working rota, however, the likelihood is that your rota will change slightly once you arrive at the Trust. My contract is based on PAs, what are they? PAs stand for ‘Programmed Activities’. A PA is 4 hours of work if done within the normal working week (Monday to Friday 8am-8pm). A PA done outside of the normal working week is 3 hours of work. All the activities in your job must be detailed in your job plan – and it is important to agree to the content of the job plan before taking up your post. How many PAs should be in my contract? The standard full-time contract is for 10 PAs, i.e. 40 hours of work per week (if that work is within the normal working week). Posts that are less than full-time will be for fewer than 10 PAs. However, some posts may advertise for more than 10 PAs, generally 11 or 12, (PAs greater than 12 would necessitate the doctor to opt out of the European Working Time Directive limit of 48). Types of PAs Direct Clinical Care – work directly on patient care, includes ward rounds, theatre sessions, all administration connected with name patients Supporting Professional Activities – work underpinning patient care including teaching, audit, appraisal, research, training, clinical governance and clinical management Additional NHS Responsibilities – sitting on appointment or disciplinary panels, CEA panels, not necessarily for own employer but for benefit of NHS, Caldicott Guardian or Guardian of Hours Other / External Duties – Senior positions in Royal Colleges, BMA, GMC, DH working parties or negotiating groups Do I have to work more than 10 PAs? No, you do not. You are not obliged (or entitled) to undertake any more than 10PAs per week. As a new full-time Speciality Doctor or Consultant, you should be offered a 10 PA contract, and your job plan should clearly state the work to be undertaken in each PA. However, where it is not possible for your department to maintain their service, then you may, at the discretion of your employer, be offered more than 10 PAs (and the post may have been advertised as such – see above). Are PAs over 10 ‘special’ in any way? PAs over 10 are called EPAs (extra programmed activities) and these are generally allocated for clinical duties. EPAs must be contracted separately to your standard contract and the duties within the 11th or 12th PA should be clearly specified. Can my employer demand that I work some of my PAs outside the normal working week? Your hospital cannot require you to undertake scheduled work outside of 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 1pm on Saturdays or on public holidays. Any PA undertaken outside of the hours 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday is regarded as taking place in ‘premium time’. This means that the PA must last 3 hours instead of 4. Your contract should state that no more than 3 PAs per week should be out of hours other than in exceptional circumstances. Please note that the definition of premium time does not mean that, Monday to Friday, has been designated as the ‘normal working week’. It simply sets a higher rate of pay for work outside of these hours. How will my on-call duties be calculated? Your on-call commitment should be clearly set out in your job plan. Types of on-call: Working out of hours: Some specialities (including anaesthetics, surgery, obstetrics), schedule out of hour PAs, where a Speciality Doctor or Consultant is mostly “hands-on” working and some rotas are now based on this working pattern. Your job plan must be structured to ensure adequate rest is provided before and after the hours period. Remember, that the number of PAs undertaken during the out of hours period should not exceed 3 per week other than in exceptional circumstances. On-call rota: Participating in an on-call rota is recognised through the payment of an availability supplement representing a percentage of basic salary which reflects the frequency and level of availability. This supplement is separate from the actual work undertaken when you are on-call, which is recognised and paid through the PA allocation. I am still not sure about my contract and the job plan I am being offered: what should I do? The fundamental thing to do in this situation is to get advice Contact your Recruitment Consultant – they will be able to liaise between you and your HR department to provide clarification and a solution. Contact the BMA – if you are a BMA member you can phone the BMA for employment advice on 0300 123 1233 or email support@bma.org.uk If you are an international doctor who wants to relocate to the UK and work within the NHS, please send your CV to apply@bdiresourcing.com and one of our Specialist Advisers will be in touch. Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor – here you will have access to frequent blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions regarding relocating to the UK and working within the NHS with professional answers and the chance to meet others IMGs! References JOB PLANNING FOR YOUR FIRST CONSULTANT POST. (2014). British Medical Association. https://www.bma.org.uk/-/media/files/pdfs/practical%20advice%20at%20work/contracts/conscotjobplanningfeb2014.pdf

Voicing your concerns within the NHS

By Gabrielle Richardson
August 30, 2018

As an employee of a large organisation, you may at some point in your career encounter some worries or stresses with other members of staff, perhaps with the way they speak to you or you may disagree with their medical practices. This can lead to you feeling lonely or stressful. So, in today’s article, we outline the different options available to you which will let you voice your concerns. Speak to your recruitment agent Speak to your line manager Raise your concern with your Trusts National Guardian Contact other independent bodies Speak to your recruitment agent If you are experiencing some troubles at work, and you can contact your recruitment agent who helped you find your position, then please inform them first. We understand that approaching your line manager or HR department may be an awkward task for you. Therefore, we would happily speak to them on behalf of you, raise your concerns and will then help find a solution to your problem. However, if you applied directly via NHS jobs then you will have to follow the below steps: Speak to your line manager If you are experiencing worries at work the first piece of advice to you is to contact your line manager. It is important to do this in the first instance before the problem escalates and worsens. Your line manager will listen to your concerns and see if they can help you solve the issue, and in most cases, they will. However, if your manager feels it is outside of their realm of work then they may ask you to speak to the HR department. Once you have raised your concerns with your HR department they will refer to their grievance policy and follow the procedure to help solve your concerns. If it is another member of staff you are having an issue with, then typically, they will organise an informal meeting with the both of you to sit down, speak about your differences and you will leave the meeting with a solution. If, however, your concern is larger and refers to needing to protect your rights then the HR department will follow an alternative procedure. These characteristics include: Age Disability Gender reassignment Marriage and civil partnership Pregnancy and maternity Race Religion or belief Sex Sexual Orientation Raise your concern with your Trusts National Guardian If your concerns are unable to be solved with your line manager or the HR department, or you feel that the outcome of meetings are unfair, and you are still unhappy then you may want to raise your troubles with the National Guardian. What is the National Guardian? Following a Public Inquiry at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust the Francis Report revealed that NHS employees had tried to speak up about patient safety concerns but had been ignored. In the succeeding Freedom to Speak Up Report, Sir Robert Francis made recommendations for the changes needed to improve the NHS, leading to an open and transparent culture for the benefit of patient care. The question raised was – who do you turn to if you want to speak up? Its purpose – to protect you as an individual   It can often be challenging for new employees to speak up, especially those who are from another country and are new to the NHS system and this can leave staff feeling vulnerable about being offered work or having their training signed off. So, the purpose of the independent body is to allow NHS employees who are having troubles with their professional relationships, worries about their future employment and any concerns over patient safety, probity or conduct concern. National Guardian’s Office For this reason, the National Guardian’s Office was set up as a key recommendation of the Francis Report to support NHS employees who want to speak up. The overarching principle is that every organisation needs to foster a culture of safety in which all workers feel safe to raise a concern. In March 2017, all NHS Trusts had appointed either a single or multiple individuals to the role. Remember, that before approaching your Trust’s National Guardian appointee, it is important that you have approached your line manager and your HR department. Contacting other independent bodies If you feel that patient safety, dignity or comfort is being comprised you can also contact other independent bodies such as: The General Medicine Council British Doctors Association If you are an IMG who is interested in relocating to the UK and working within the NHS send your CV to apply@bdiresourcing.com and one of our Specialist Advisers will be in touch. Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor! If you would like to have access to frequent blog posts, the opportunity to ask relocation questions and receive professional answers and meet other IMGs then come and join our big IMG community.

Pakistani Protector Stamp

By Gabrielle Richardson
August 15, 2018

What is a protector stamp? It is mandatory for every Pakistani (with a valid abroad work visa) to get their Passport stamped from Protectorate of Emigrants in order to leave Pakistan. Whilst Pakistani’s travelling abroad for a holiday are exempt from this, it is extremely important to understand that for those relocating to another country for work, without a protected passport, the Pakistani airport personnel will not allow one to board their international flight. What is its purpose? The original purpose of this protection is to receive the appropriate data of the emigrant, cover the emigrant through life insurance, and to eliminate illegal international travel. The process of passport protection is complicated and can last for a whole day, sometimes more. So, this article aims to help IMGs better understand and follow the procedure. Step 1: To apply for your protector stamp you will need the following documents: NICOP (National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis) – This is the first requirement of the process. NICOP is a computerised card for identification of a single person visiting a country. The card is issued by the National Database and Registration Authority and typically takes 15 days to arrive after you have submitted your application. To apply for a NICOP you can visit your nearest NADRA centre. Please note that only a NICOP receipt is necessary for Protectorate of Emigrants department and the plastic card is not needed to receive your protector stamp. Valid Visa Work Permit – An original visa or photocopy of your valid visa is required Employment Offer/Contract – The original or scanned copy of your NHS Hospital Employment Offer/Contract should be attached to your application. Pakistani Passport Pakistani CNIC (Computerised National Identity Card) Next of Kin Information Medical Report Bank Challan Receipts Life Insurance An Undertaking Form Passport Photograph Step 2: Once you have collated the above documents you can visit your nearest Protectorate of Emigrants office. When you arrive go to the window and show the officer your CNIC, NICOP or its receipt, your passport and the photocopy of your UK visa to the officer. The officer is likely to sign to sign your visa photocopy and then ask you to take it to another window. At the second window, you will be asked to submit the rest of your documents. Step 3: After you have submitted all your forms, you will need to wait for a few hours to get your passport stamped. The office typically asks people to return after 3pm. Notes: If you do not have an original visa, meaning that you only have a photocopy, faxed copy or a scanned copy of your visa, the protector may ask you to write an AFFIDAVIT and get it stamped from a public notary official. You can find a public notary official at any court. Make sure to get photocopies of all your forms and documents. You can photocopy them at the office, but this will be time-consuming. When you collect your stamp, make sure it contains the correct details. Questions and Answers If I am from Pakistan and I am relocating abroad for work, do I need a protector stamp? Yes, you are legally required by the Government of Pakistan to have a protector stamp before you travel. How long will the protectorate stamp remain valid? The stamp will expire with your visa, so look for the validity of your visa to find the expiration date. Do I need a protectorate stamp for my PLAB 2 visa? No, a protector stamp is only necessary for work visas only. If I am not from Pakistan, do I need a protector stamp? Each country will have different emigration rules, so it is important to check this information before you travel. If you are an IMG who wants to relocate to the UK and work within the NHS send your CV to apply@bdiresourcing.com and one of our Specialist Advisers will be in touch. Come and say hello! Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor. Here you will have access to frequent relocation to the UK blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and to meet other IMGs! References wikiHow. (2018). How to Get Your Passport Stamped from Protectorate of Emigrants in Pakistan. [online] Available at: https://www.wikihow.com/Get-Your-Passport-Stamped-from-Protectorate-of-Emigrants-in-Pakistan [Accessed 15 Aug. 2018].

NHS Interview Questions with Answers

By Gabrielle Richardson
August 13, 2018

We are frequently asked what questions you will be asked during your NHS interviews, and often, for most, they do not know the right answer. When interviewing, there is never a “right” answer, but remember to be honest, remain calm, confident and interested in the position. In this article, we provide you with frequently asked questions in an NHS interview – and example answers that will impress your prospective employer. Typically, the NHS prefers to interview IMG candidates via Skype as often they are located across the world and cannot get to the UK easily. Remember to prepare for your interview in the following ways: Understand and know the job/person specification 2. Carry out research on the recruiting hospital and the interviewing department and knowledge of the interviews academic/professional background 3. Practice frequently asked interview questions 4. Prepare questions to ask the interviewing panel First Impression Tips: Dress Professionally Be Punctual to your interview slot Have a positive attitude Frequently Asked NHS Interview Questions Tell me about yourself This question will be asked at the beginning of the interview and is queried because the hospital want to hear about your employment history, training, education, your dreams (let them know they are in line with the position you are interviewing for) and any ties to the hospital or location you are applying to. Tip: Try and convey your message in a few brief sentences. Where do you see yourself in five years? This can often feel like a trick question, but it is important to be honest, while still providing the answers your interviewers want to know. Questions you should ask yourself before answering this question are: -Do you have realistic expectations for your career? -Are you ambitious? -Does the position you are interviewing for align with your growth and goals overall Our tip when answering this question is: Think about where this job role could realistically take you and then think about how that aligns with your professional goals. Example Answer: “I am really excited about this Clinical Fellow Paediatrics position because, in five years, I want to acclimatise to the NHS system and work in a supportive department that will enable me to, in the future, either complete my specialist registration via CESR or apply for a deanery training post. My long-term plan is to stay in the UK and hopefully become a consultant.” If there was a misunderstanding between two colleagues what should you do? In group settings, at some point, you will encounter conflict. As an individual who works with the general public, it is important that you mediate conflict quickly and efficiently. Example Answer: If I noticed a hostile environment between two colleagues, I would suggest for them to both meet privately with me. I would ask them to summarise the situation from their own viewpoint and I would reinforce that this can only be resolved through discussion and negotiation. Why do you want to work in the UK? The NHS is one of the largest healthcare systems in the world and the largest employer in the UK and Europe. Therefore, for many doctors across the globe working in the NHS will allow you to join a team of skilled, devoted and passionate team of people whose priority is to provide the best healthcare and treatment to their patients. Example Answer: Training - One of the principal reasons I want to work within the NHS is because the healthcare system prides themselves on giving their employees the opportunity to advance their skills and develop their careers. Job Stability – It is important for me and my family to have job stability, and as most hospitals and healthcare centres in the UK are open 24/7 this means that I will always have full-time hours – allowing me to provide for my family. Improved Quality of Life – The UK has one of the largest economies in the world, provides an excellent opportunity for education and offers a good quality of life. Clinical Scenario Question Please note that you will also be asked a clinical scenario question in relation to your specialty. We cannot tell you what the clinical question will be, but the scenario will be set in a hypothetical doctor-patient context. You will be informed of the facts and then asked to diagnose the patient or state what further action is needed. If you would like speciality specific clinical scenario examples contact us at apply@bdiresourcing.com - and we will be happy to provide these for you. A useful website/smartphone app ‘Geeky Medics’ provides free medical student revision resources, including OSCE guides, clinical skills videos, clinical cases and MCQ / SBA quizzes. Popular NHS Interview Questions by Skill Communication Skills How do you know you are a good communicator? How would you like to develop your skills further? Describe a time when you found it difficult to communicate with a colleague or patient. What did you do and how did you feel? Problem Solving and Decision Making Do you always know the right thing to do in any given situation? What is your strategy dealing with difficult problems at work? Describe a time when you felt you made the wrong decision. How did you feel and what has happened as a result? Managing Others and Team Involvement Describe a time when you led a team successfully Describe a time when you have supported a colleague with a work-related issue Outline a situation where you have had to motivate work colleagues to do something that they did not agree with? Which do you prefer, leading a team, or being a team member? Empathy and Sensitivity Why is it important for doctors to demonstrate empathy and sensitivity? Do you really need to show sensitivity and empathy to be a good doctor or are clinical skills and knowledge more important? Organisation and Planning How do you keep yourself organised at work? What strategies do you use to plan your work effectively? How do you cope when unexpected and unplanned work is added to your workload? Vigilance and Situational Awareness Why is vigilance an important attribute to have for this specialty? Describe an example of when your awareness of a developing situation at work, enabled you to avoid a problem Coping with Pressure How do you cope with pressure? What do you do when you can no longer cope with pressures of your workload? Professional Integrity Give an example of a clinical scenario where you made a mistake. What did you do about it? Is it ever justifiable to bend or break the rules at work? Have you ever done so? Clinical Knowledge and Expertise Describe a difficult clinical scenario you have been involved in. How did you contribute? You will be asked a range of questions about particular clinical scenarios relevant to your specialty. Research Skills Why is research important? Describe your last audit? Which is more important – research or teaching? Which do you prefer? Other Questions Why do you want to train in this specialty? What do you want from your career? Looking over your CV, could you pick two or three achievements which you are most proud of? We are interviewing many high calibre candidates today, why should we appoint you? If you are an IMG who wants to relocate to the UK and work for the NHS then send your CV to apply@bdiresourcing.com – and one of our Specialist Advisers will be happy to guide and support you through your journey to the UK. We look forward to hearing from you! Alternatively, head over to our Facebook Group: IMG Advisor for an online support network of IMG’s who want to relocate to the UK.

Things you should know before moving to London

By Gabrielle Richardson
August 09, 2018

Things you should know before moving to London… Moving to another country is a big move and moving to London is an even bigger move. You might have found your first job within the NHS or you are the spouse of a doctor who is relocating – this guide aims to provide you with all the information people wish they knew before making the move to the Big Smoke. If this article does not cover something that is of interest to you – comment below and we will be happy to answer. Quick London Facts: Population:6 million (2018 estimate) of which 37% were born outside of the UK Official Language: English but over 300 other languages are also spoken Consists of: 32 boroughs, plus the City of London London is a big city­­ London is a sprawling metropolis. Whilst Central London and all the main tourist attractions are fairly close to each other, the surrounding areas are large and confusing for those who are not familiar with the city. Knowing in-depth information on the different areas and particularly the area you will be living, and working is vital before you move. The basics – London is a city made up of many smaller towns. There are 32 boroughs of London, each with their own identity, local government, council and infrastructure. Each London Borough is then broken down into ‘postcodes’. Depending on whether the area is North, East, South or West – the postcode will begin with N, E, S or W. Please visit the London Town website for more in-depth information on each Borough. Living in London – General Rules of Thumb Prices to rent and buy generally decline the further out of Central London you go. The closer a flat or house is to a station, the more expensive it is. Underground stations command an additional premium over stations served only by the Overground, DLR, and/or National Rail. London’s property market is changing very rapidly – with formerly unfashionable/affordable areas becoming fashionable/unaffordable in as little as twelve months. Bonus Tips for Choosing Housing Keeping it Affordable - Flat Shares It is very common in London to share a flat with other people. Typically, you will have your own bedroom and then share communal areas such as the kitchen, bathroom and the garden. Whilst flat shares are significantly cheaper than renting your own flat, you do lose out on privacy. Websites such as Spare Room, Easy Room-mate and Ideal Flatmate will make your search to find accommodation easier with filters such as a required garden or to live with non-smokers. Advice - Never agree to rent a room before viewing it in person. Often pictures posted online of properties can be deceitful and so it is always best to go and view the property before you agree to live there. Furthermore, you will not be able to agree to rent a flat before viewing it in person. So whilst it is good to look at what is on the market – wait until you are in the city. Once you view a property that you like, and you can afford to get it – get it. The competition for London properties is very high so do not take too long deciding. Keeping it accessible – The right location for those Night Shifts Although it may be difficult to find the perfect flat, we do advise for you to try and find a place close to your hospital or at the very least close to a Night service tube station (Victoria, Jubilee, and most of the Central, Northern and Piccadilly lines.) This will make it easier during night shifts and on-calls. When you get to London – don’t panic When you arrive in the city you may feel overwhelmed at its size and in the beginning, you will find it challenging to get your bearings. But do not worry! Technology will save the day. There are great Smartphone apps such as City Mapper. This app will inform you of nearby tube or rail stations, provide you with the best route to get to your required location and it will even inform you of how many calories you will burn if you decide to walk the journey. Don’t bring your whole house with you! London is a large city and so you will find absolutely everything you need when you arrive. For example, there is no need to bring your duvet and pillows as they will just take up space in your luggage and you can buy them in the city fairly cheaply. London is not the UK Of course, London is in the UK, but it is very different from the rest of the UK. London is like a mini country within a country, often with its own politics. Life in the city can be a world away from other places in the UK. So, if you find London too busy for you – you might enjoy somewhere else in the UK. Tips for when you first move to the city Stand on top of Primrose Hill at sunset Find a nearby park and familiarise yourself with it, especially if you work in Central London. The park will act as a great escape from your busy lifestyle. Don’t walk while using your phone, you will slow down the pace of the crowds. Look at the yellow lines on the underground and stand where the paint has faded – that is where the doors open. If you are an international doctor who is interested in relocating to London or any other part of the UK send your CV to apply@bdiresourcing.com and one of our Specialist Advisers will be in touch. Come and say hello! Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor - this will give you access to frequent relocation blog posts, the ability to ask relocation questions and receive advice and support, and to meet other IMG's! References Randomly London. (2018). Moving to London? Ultimate 2017 Living & Working Guide. [online] Available at: http://randomlylondon.com/moving/ [Accessed 6 Aug. 2018]. Little Miss Spaghetti. (2018). 16 things you need to know before moving to London - Little Miss Spaghetti. [online] Available at: https://littlemissspaghetti.com/16-things-to-know-before-moving-to-london/ [Accessed 6 Aug. 2018].

Surgery Training Pathway

By Gabrielle Richardson
August 09, 2018

As your career progresses from a medical school student through to a Surgeon, you will go through a number of different stages that will all have a competitive entry. In today’s post we outline the ways in which you can enter and follow a surgical career specifically mentioning the: The training pathway Career grades The Training Pathway The training pathway is the most direct route through surgical training. Please note that following each training stage, particularly in the early years, you will need to be selected into the next stage. We advise for you to always make a contingency plan throughout your career, so you are prepared for the unexpected. Below are the stages you will pass during your training: Step 1: Foundation Training Duration: 2 years Content: A paid training job within a hospital which will cover a range of medical specialties, including surgery. Application Method: You can apply via the Foundation Programme. Medical students will be matched to places based on their application form. Entry Requirements: Successful completion of approved medical degree Our advice for Foundation Trainees to succeed and go onto Core Surgical Training: Attend courses such as those offered by the Royal College of Surgeons and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh – topics include surgical skills, interview skills for core surgical training and career planning. Ensure your e-portfolio has plenty of surgery evidence that this is kept properly up-to-date Try and gain teaching and management experience Step 2: Core Surgical Training Once you have completed your FY1 and FY2 training you can then go on to begin your Core Surgical Training = ST1/ST2/CT1/CT2. During this time, you must sit various examinations to give your membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS). Duration: 2 years Content: A paid training job within a hospital which will cover a range of surgical specialties. Your Core Surgical Training may be themed towards one Surgery specialty. Application Method: Applications will need to be made directly to deaneries, via forms and interview/assessment etc. Entry Requirements: 1) GMC Registration 2) Complete foundation competencies Our advice for Core Surgical Trainees to succeed and go onto Specialty Training: Study for the examinations for the membership of the Royal College of Surgeons Continue to develop your practical and academic expertise Undertake a surgical research project Try and get some of your work published and present at national and international meetings Teach junior colleagues Take on any management opportunities you are offered Step 3: Specialty Training Duration: 6 years Content: A paid training job within a hospital focusing on one of ten surgical specialties (a list of specialties can be found below) Application Method: Applications will have to be made via Health Education England via forms and interviews/assessments etc. Entry Requirements: You must have completed your core training competencies, passed MRCS Part A&B, and other mandatory courses. The courses will vary by specialty.  Specialty surgical training from ST3-8 will last for six years. During higher training, you must take examinations which leads to the fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS). The NHS persona specification states that applicants with prior surgical experience are more likely to be offered a training place at ST3 than those who apply from core training. At ST3 level you will need at least two years’ experience in surgery (excluding foundation modules). At least 12 months of this experience must have been in elective general surgery and at least 12 months on-call for emergency general surgery. This experience can be gained in any country. Completion of other training courses such as Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS), Basic Surgical Skills and Care of the Critically Ill Surgical Patient (CCrISP) is essential for your application for specialist general surgery training at ST3 level. During your ST3-8 training, you will be employed as a Specialty Trainee.  At the end of this stage of training, you will then be eligible to apply for Consultant posts. However, before you can do this you must pass the Intercollegiate Specialty Examination (FRCS (SN)). You will also need a portfolio of experience which includes formal teaching, leadership, management, research and audit. Once you have passed the above you will receive a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT)) and you will be eligible to be on the GMC Specialist Register. Please note that entry is highly competitive, so you will need achievements relevant to general surgery. Completion of an elective in general surgery will demonstrate your commitment to the selection panel. Step 4: Senior Medical Appointment Once you are on the GMC’s Specialist Register you will then be eligible to apply for Consultant level posts. Please note that if you are an international doctor who is working as a Consultant in your home country – you will not have to go through all UK training to become a Consultant in the UK. The most popular route for IMG’s to become a Consultant in the UK is to join at a Speciality Doctor level (ST3-ST8) and use the CESR programme route. Please click here for more information on CESR. Please click here for more information on FRCR. Surgical Specialties General Surgery Neurosurgery Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Cardiothoracic Surgery Otolaryngology (ENT) Paediatric Surgery Plastic Surgery Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery Urology Vascular Surgery Academic Surgery If you are an IMG who is interested in relocating to the UK and working within the NHS send your CV to apply@bdiresourcing.com - and one of our Specialist Advisers will be happy to help you. References Royal College of Surgeons. (2018). Surgery Career Paths — Royal College of Surgeons. [online] Available at: https://www.rcseng.ac.uk/careers-in-surgery/trainees/foundation-and-core-trainees/surgery-career-paths/ [Accessed 7 Aug. 2018]. Health Careers. (2018). Training and development (general surgery). [online] Available at: https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/doctors/roles-doctors/surgery/general-surgery/training-and-development [Accessed 7 Aug. 2018].

Life as a working parent within the NHS

By Gabrielle Richardson
July 23, 2018

Life as a working parent within the NHS | BDI Resourcing If you become pregnant whilst working for the NHS or any other employer in the UK for that matter – you are entitled to 52 weeks Statutory Maternity Leave if you give the correct notice. However, you do not have to take the full 52 weeks if you do not want to. But the first 2 weeks following the birth must be taken. Please note that to qualify for Maternity leave within the NHS you will have to have worked a minimum of a years’ service. In today’s post, we provide you with a guide to maternity leave in the UK: the different forms of pay, paternity leave, your rights as a parent working within the NHS, and top tips on going back to work after maternity leave. The UK offers three types of paternity pay: Statutory maternity pay: the standard type of maternity pay – if you are entitled to this it is the legal minimum your employer can pay you Contractual maternity pay: some employers offer this instead of statutory maternity pay – your employment contract or company maternity policy should tell you if yours does Maternity Allowance: You might get this from the government if you cannot get statutory maternity pay from your employer You should also see what other help and benefits you are entitled to – such as Child Tax Credit, Healthy Start Vouchers, and a Sure Start grant. You can claim some benefits before you give birth. Statutory Maternity Pay This is the main type of maternity pay that most women get. Your employer must pay this if: You work for your employer in the 15th week before your baby is due and have worked for them for at least 26 weeks before that Your average pay, before tax, is at least £116 a week Telling your employer, you are pregnant Pregnant employees have the right to 52 weeks of maternity leave. The first 26 weeks is known as ordinary maternity leave and the second 26 weeks as additional maternity leave. Whilst there is no minimum length of service required to take maternity leave, if you are pregnant you must tell your employer at least 15 weeks before the baby is due: That you are pregnant When the expected week of childbirth is (please note an employer can request a medical certificate that confirms this) The date you intend to start maternity leave (normally no date which is earlier than the beginning of the 11th week before the baby is due) If you want to change the start date of your maternity leave you must give your employer 28 days’ notice or mutually agree on a new date. Once you are happy to tell your employer you are pregnant (for example, after your 12-week scan) it is best to let them know in writing and to keep a copy. After you tell your employer you are pregnant, you are entitled to rights whilst you are pregnant at work. These rights include protection from discrimination and paid time off for antenatal appointments. Don’t worry about telling your employer you are pregnant. It is discrimination to dismiss you, cut your hours or treat you unfairly in any other way because of your pregnancy. Contractual Maternity Pay Some jobs give you contractual maternity pay as a benefit of working there. What you get will depend on your employer, but you should never be worse off than if you just got statutory maternity pay. Check your contract or ask HR whether you get contractual maternity pay. You might get contractual maternity pay even if you wouldn’t be able to get statutory maternity pay. In this case, you might be able to get Maternity Allowance as well. You should note that the NHS is notorious for generous employee benefits, and this usually includes maternity policy – so have a read of your contract to find out what you are entitled to. Maternity Allowance If you cannot get statutory maternity pay you might be able to get Maternity Allowance. This pay comes from the government rather than your employer. Women who get Maternity Allowance are typically employed or self-employed for 26 weeks in the 66 weeks before their due date. To receive this pay, you will need to have earned at least £30 a week for at least 13 of those weeks. Exemplar Maternity Pay within the NHS: For the first eight weeks of absence, you will receive full pay, less any Statutory Maternity Pay or Maternity Allowance (including any dependents’ allowances) For the next 18 weeks, you will receive half of your full pay, plus any Statutory Maternity Pay or Maternity Allowance (including any dependents’ allowances), providing the total receivable does not exceed full pay For the next 13 weeks, you will receive any Statutory Maternity Pay or Maternity Allowance that you are entitled to under the Statutory Scheme. Paternity Leave If you are a father-to-be or a pregnant woman’s partner you might be eligible for: 1 or 2 weeks paid Paternity Leave Paternity Pay Shared Parental Leave and Pay Please note you may not get both leave and pay, and there are rules on how to claim and when your leave can start. Shared Parental Leave You can share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay between you and your partner. You will need to share the pay and leave in the first year after your child is born. For Shared Parental Leave to start: The mother must either: Return to work, which ends any maternity or adoption leave Give their employer “binding notice” of the date when the mother plans to end their leave Your rights as a parent Parental Leave NHS hospitals and other employers offer parental leave which allows you to care for your child. Caring for your child does not mean being with them for 24 hours a day, however, often parents may wish to take parental leave to spend more time with their children in the early years or a more specific reason such as to accompany their child during a stay in hospital. To qualify for parental leave, you must have worked for your employer continuously for a year by the time you want to take leave. You will be entitled to 18 weeks unpaid parental leave for each child who is under the age of 18 (pro-rata entitlement for part-time employees). The leave can commence once the child is born, or as soon as the employee has completed a years’ service, whichever is later. Each parent can take up to four weeks of parental leave for each child in a year, but individual employers may agree to increase that.  It must be taken in whole weeks rather than in individual days unless the employer agrees otherwise or if the child is disabled.  A week for these purposes equals the length of time an employee normally works over seven days, e.g. if an employee works four days a week, one week of parental leave equals four days. Requesting flexible working hours Furthermore, if you are parents of children aged 16 and under, or of disabled children aged 18 and under, you will be entitled to request a flexible working pattern. You should ask your trust about their policy on flexible working.   Tips for returning to work after maternity leave Fill the confidence gap Transitioning back into the workplace after having a baby can be difficult and many women find their confidence takes a dip when they go back to work. Some tips that can help avoid that confidence dip: Consider staying in touch with work – this does not have to be every week, but whatever feels comfortable to you. If possible, meet with colleagues for lunch or have a coffee with your boss a few weeks before going back – it can make that first day far less daunting. Give yourself time to settle back in – leave your out-of-office response switched on for the first day or two so that you have a chance to read e-mails and re-acquaint yourself with the world of work. Ask for help – you have been out of the office for months and so it is no wonder you will feel out of the loop. Ask for people to update you and you will feel more at ease. Supersize your lunchtime When you go back to work, there are lots of things you can get done at lunchtime to free up time at home: Do your online grocery shopping, online banking or any shopping in town you may need to do Book the kids’ medical appointments Do something for yourself – get your nails done, take an exercise class or go for a walk or run Be good to yourself Going back to work after maternity leave can be exciting but also tiring. So, in the first few weeks be sure to look after yourself in the midst of taking care of your children and doing your job. Sleep – ensure you get enough of it. Trying to function on minimal sleep will not help you, your family or work Relax – Keep your weekends free to do some organising and relaxing Talk – connect with friends or colleagues in the same situation – try and find a balance between work and home by listening to your friends’ Please note that we have taken this information from Citizens Advice Bureau– if you want personal information on what to expect on your maternity leave please contact your HR department from your hospital as every Trust is different. If you are an international doctor who is interested in relocating to the UK and working within the NHS send your CV to apply@bdiresourcing.com – and we will be happy to help you. Come and say hello! Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor. Here you will have access to frequent blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and meet other IMGs!   References Citizensadvice.org.uk. (2018). Maternity pay - what you're entitled to. [online] Available at: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/rights-at-work/parental-rights/maternity-pay-what-youre-entitled-to/ [Accessed 16 Jul. 2018]. The Royal College of Nursing. (2018). Agenda for Change | Advice guides | Royal College of Nursing. [online] Available at: https://www.rcn.org.uk/get-help/rcn-advice/agenda-for-change [Accessed 16 Jul. 2018].

NHS Training Jobs | August Rotations

By Gabrielle Richardson
July 23, 2018

Every August an average of over 50,000 medical students across the UK move into new positions in new specialities and often new hospitals. This is known as the August rotation period. When do rotations start? Newly qualified doctors will start their posts in NHS hospitals on the first Wednesday in August. What is the purpose of Clinical Rotations? Clinical rotations allow medical students to apply their knowledge learnt over the five years to real-life medical scenarios. Clinical rotations comprise of the last two years of medical education. During rotations, students shadow their clinical supervisor and other clinicians at teaching hospitals, have access to patients and gain valuable hands-on experience. The August rotation period does not only allow junior doctors to gain practical experience but also provides them with the opportunity to improve their leadership skills by supporting more junior medics as they start their training posts. The Success of August Rotations At the start of a junior doctors training post, some doctors feel under pressure to know for certain which area of medicine they want to specialise in. The August rotation allows doctors to experience another area of medicine and by the end of the rotation, it should allow doctors to find the speciality they are better suited to their talents and interests and ultimately job satisfaction. Useful Advice Please note that during this period the HR departments in NHS hospitals will be very unresponsive as a result of the high levels of junior doctor inductions and orientations. If you do not have a training position through a deanery – you may have a better chance of getting one in September when the hospitals know where there are gaps in the rota. If you have come to the end of your rotations and you are now at the stage of applying for a new speciality or post – we can help. We understand that this is an overwhelming time and the decision you make will be pivotal to your career. But with our advice and guidance, along with those from family and friends – you can feel a lot more at ease. By letting us know your personal needs and career aspirations we can help you find the perfect position. If you would like to take advantage of our help email your CV to apply@bdiresourcing.com and one of our Specialist Advisers will be in touch. Come and say hello! Join our Facebook group IMG Advisor for frequent access to relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and to meet other IMGs! References American University of Antigua Caribbean medical school. (2018). Clinical Rotations: What They Are and Why They’re Necessary. [online] Available at: https://www.auamed.org/blog/clinical-rotations-theyre-necessary/ [Accessed 31 Jul. 2018]. Mynewsdesk. (2018). Everything a doctor needs to know about August Rotation. [online] Available at: http://www.mynewsdesk.com/uk/blog_posts/everything-a-doctor-needs-to-know-about-august-rotation-37157 [Accessed 31 Jul. 2018].

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