RCGP guide helps overseas doctors adapt to UK general practice

The RCGP has launched a guide to support doctors from overseas moving into work as a GP in the UK, offering 'constructive advice and practical support' to prospective applicants.

RCGP chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard
RCGP chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard

The RCGP said the guide showcases the UK ‘as a great place to work as a GP’, and signposts applicants to in-depth information.

The web-based resource, called A Guide for Overseas Doctors, was developed in partnership with the NHS, the GMC and the BMA and is designed for doctors who have never worked in the UK as a GP.

The guide's publication follows a recent announcement from NHS England that it would recruit 2,000-3,000 GPs from overseas by 2020, although development of the resource began before the overseas recruitment drive was revealed.

The guide is divided into sections including ‘life in the UK’, ‘the National Health Service’, ‘routes into general practice’ and ‘professional organisations’.

It includes information on the British landscape, and also practical advice for someone moving to another country, such as how to go about opening a UK bank account or obtaining a driving license.

It also contains a series of fact sheets and case studies to help make the process of applying to work in the UK easier.

Overseas doctors

RCGP chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard said: ‘Workload in general practice has increased 16% over the last seven years, but investment in our service has declined over the last decade, and our workforce has not risen at pace with demand.

‘We already have a huge number of GPs working in NHS general practice from overseas, and we’re incredibly grateful for their work. But we’re still desperately short of GPs – and it is crucial that we tackle this, including through recruiting more GPs.

‘This guide will help to support this important work, and I hope it will be an invaluable resource for doctors looking to live and work in the UK to support us to deliver care to over one million patients a day.’

GMC chair Professor Terence Stephenson said: ‘The many overseas doctors who work as GPs in the UK make a hugely valuable contribution to frontline healthcare. Moving to a new country to work – and in many cases relocating their family as well – is a huge decision.

‘This informative guide helps doctors and their families learn more about life in the UK, and provides them a wealth of support to help them make the move as smooth as possible.

‘More broadly we are doing all we can as a regulator to minimise barriers to recruitment and support good doctors who wish to practise in the UK.’

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