International Healthcare Workers
If you are looking to relocate to the UK, we can find you your ideal role. We have opportunities with NHS Trusts and private healthcare organisations throughout the country. So, whether you want to live and work in a city or prefer the countryside, we’ve got it covered. We make it our mission to help you every step of the way. With global offices offering end-to-end support, including assistance in preparation for English language proficiency testing, we can help you find a permanent position.
As one of the UK’s largest health and social care recruiters, we can help you secure your ideal role.
Discover more about the English language tests you will need to pass and how we can help.
Enjoy a smooth and seamless relocation to the UK with our wraparound support service.
Simply upload your CV and relax as we find you a role and guide you through the process.
Who does the NMC regulate?
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is the regulator for nursing and midwifery in the UK. But what is NMC registration? It maintains a register of all nurses, midwives, specialist community public health nurses and nursing associates who practice in the UK. It works to ensure staff in these professions have the skills to deliver consistent, quality care that keeps patients safe. It supports professionals to acquire the knowledge and behaviours required to join the NMC register, whilst also shaping practice by developing and promoting standards with its NMC Code. The Code is structured around four themes; prioritise people, practice effectively, preserve safety and promote professionalism and trust. It’s not just a tool to support professional development but should be used to guide daily practice for all nurses and midwives. The NMC also follows up on serious concerns raised about a nurses, midwives, or nursing associates fitness to practice. It will investigate the situation, and if needed, take action. The NMC’s 2020-2025 strategy is based around three key roles that underpin their purpose: Regulate: It upholds high standards, maintains the register of professionals who are eligible to practice in the UK and will step in on rare occasions when care goes wrong. Support: To ensure it regulates as progressively as possible, the NMC proactively supports its professions, allowing a balance between investigating rare cases of poor practice and promoting excellent practice. Influence: Regulating and supporting its professions puts the NMC is a unique position to influence the development of health and social care policies and drive improvement across the sectors. Joining the registerIf you have a nursing degree, and a minimum of six months’ experience (within the last two years), there are a few different ways to register with the NMC. This depends on which part of the register you want to join (either as a nurse or midwife, or as a nursing associate) and where you trained. Here’s some additional information on joining the NMC register. To find out more about the NMC and how it regulates the nursing and midwifery professions in the UK, get in touch with Paul Hayward, our Head of Nursing (International).
Immigration Health Surcharge dropped for health and social care workers, and it’s about time
Boris Johnson has ordered for the removal of the Immigration Health Surcharge for health and social care workers. This has come after enormous pressure on the prime minister over the controversial charge, which is currently £400, and was set to rise to £624 for adults and £470 for children as of this October. It’s due to be removed for all NHS staff including nurses, doctors and paramedics. We believe this is a big step in the right direction, and shows a promising level of commitment from the government towards our international health and social care workforce, and the recruitment process behind it. The Immigration Health Surcharge currently raises £900 million a year towards the NHS. However Downing Street has revealed, and we at Sanctuary International know first-hand, that some NHS trusts are covering the cost of the charge for staff, meaning the health service is effectively paying to fund itself. There are no figures on the numbers of trusts making these payments, however the prime minister’s official spokesman has said, “If NHS trusts choose to do that, that’s of course a matter for them. But the money raised does go into the NHS.” NHS trusts are recruiting more overseas staff than ever before, and positive, legislative changes like this will only increase their ability to do so. It is a shame that it’s taken something a tragic as the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic for the government to remove these charges. We are seeing overseas frontline workers making huge sacrifices during the pandemic. As a country, we need to be thinking differently about how we can help them during this challenging time; ditching the surcharge is a way to do this, and will make a big difference to many workers that we support. It is after all these people, along with other amazing frontline workers such as supermarket staff who have kept the country going during lockdown. If anything good can come out of COVID-19, it’s the relentless focus we must continue with, on how we can do more to help and support those working for our much-loved NHS. To find out more about working for the NHS, please read our collection of blogs, or get in touch.
What are OSCE skills?
Following the latest advice from the UK government, all OSCE tests have been suspended until further notice due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Overseas nurses will be required to prepare for, and take, an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE); a practical exam designed to assess your ability to competently apply your skills and knowledge in a clinical setting in the UK. What will your OSCE test you on?It’s currently made up of six stations. You will be asked to complete three clinical skill stations that you’re likely to experience whilst working in the UK. Then, there will be three stations based on a scenario, during which you’ll be asked to consider ongoing assessment, implementing care and ongoing care for a patient. Booking your OSCEYou’ll only be able to book your OSCE once the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has told you that you need to take the test of competence – which is both the Computer Based Test (CBT) and the OSCE. Preparing for the OSCERemember, the exam is in place to test your ability to apply knowledge to the care of patients. This includes communication skills and the ability to handle unpredictable patient behaviour. There’s online support and reading material designed to help you prepare for the OSCE. The OSCE is designed against the Standards of Proficiency for Nursing Associates and the Code, which presents the professional standards that all nursing associates must maintain in order to be registered to practice in England. Your OSCE resultsYou’ll receive your OSCE results via email, which should be within five working days. You can sit the exam a maximum of three times as part of your application but will need to wait a minimum of 10 working days between each sitting. If you’re unable to pass on your third attempt, your application will close, and you’ll need to start a new application if you’d still like to register with the NMC. For more information on the OSCE process, get in touch with Keith Pilkington, Operations Manager.
What is NMC registration?
Following the latest advice from the UK government, all OSCE tests have been suspended until further notice. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) regulates nurses and midwives in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Its role is to protect the public by setting standards for education, ensuring nurses and midwives have the right skills when they begin work. It has over 600,000 nurses and midwives on its books and if you want to practice in the UK, you must register with them: here’s how… Joining the NMC registerOnce you have a nursing degree, and a minimum of six months’ experience (within the last two years), there are a few different ways to apply to register with the NMC. This depends on which part of the register you want to join (either as a nurse or midwife, or as a nursing associate) and where you trained. The UK has now left the European Union and entered a transition period until 31 December 2020. During this time, there’ll be no change to the way that EU/EEA/Swiss applicants apply for registration. Your qualifications will need to be checked to ensure they meet the NMC requirements before you can register. Here’s more information on how to do this. If you trained outside the EU/EEA, you’ll need to follow the NMC’s overseas two-part registration process; The Computer Based Test (CBT) and an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). Following the latest advice from the UK government, all OSCE tests have been suspended until further notice. More information on the registration process, here. What’s the cost of being on the NMC register?The initial NMC registration fee is £76. To stay on the register, you’ll need to pay a yearly fee (£120) and prove that you fulfill the NMC requirements for keeping your skills and knowledge up-to-date. For more information on registering with the NMC as an international candidate, get in touch with Paul Hayward, Head of Nursing.
How is the NHS funded?
The NHS is mainly funded through general tax and supplemented by National Insurance contributions (NICs). But how is NHS funding broken down? And, how is it spent across the UK?Breakdown of fundingIn April 2003, NICs were increased to boost NHS funding. This enhanced the share of NHS funding coming from NICs (in 2017/18, NICs were estimated to be just under £24 billion), but general tax still accounts for the vast majority of NHS funding (approx. 80%). In addition to this, a small portion of NHS funding comes from patient charges, including prescriptions and dental treatment. In 2018/19, income from patients fees was £1.4 billion, 1.1% of the total Department of Health and Social Care budget. Individual NHS hospital trusts can generate income too, through parking charges and treating private patients.Spending Review processThe amount of funding allocated to the NHS each year is decided by the government through the Spending Review process, which estimates how much income the NHS will get from user patient charges, NICs and general tax. If the level of funding raised from NICs and patient charges is less than what was predicted, funds from general tax are used to make sure the NHS receives the level of funding it was originally allocated.How health spending differs between countries in the UKHistorically, health spending per head in the UK has been lowest in England and highest in Scotland. In all four countries, the amount has risen each year until 2009/10, after which patterns changed, reflecting different political decisions made by the governments in each country. In 2014/15, health spending per head across the four UK countries was:Scotland: £2,208Northern Ireland: £2,177Wales: £2,129England: £2,112Find out about how the NHS was set up and how many NHS hospitals there are. For more information on NHS careers, read our collection of blogs.
How many patients are treated by the NHS?
The NHS is the 5th biggest employer in the world and around 10% of government spending in the UK is allocated to it. The scale of operation is huge, with millions being treated every year. So, what are the statistics and how much does it cost the NHS for treatments?NHS patient activityThe NHS deals with over 1 million patients every 36 hours. In 2016/17, there were a total of 16.3 million hospital admissions, 28% more than a decade earlier, and 23.4 million attendances to A&E departments, 23.5% higher than 10 years previous. Read more about the NHS hospitals.The cost of going to A&EMany patients who attend hospital go through the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department, with Monday being the busiest day for admissions. The cost varies depending on the type of A&E a person goes to (from a major, consultant-led department to an urgent care centre) and the type of treatment they receive. If someone attends an urgent care centre and gets the lowest level of treatment, the average cost is around £45. However, if a person visits a major A&E department and receives a more complex investigation and treatment, the average cost will jump up to approximately £400.The cost of an operationAgain, this varies depending on a few factors, such as the type of procedure and how long the patient stays in hospital afterwards to recover. For example, in 2018/19 the cost of a hip replacement varied from £6,068 to £11,632 depending on the complexity of the operation and the condition of the patient. Take a look at the national tariff payment system for the average cost of NHS procedures. The cost of a GP appointmentA study estimated that, in 2017/18, the average 9-minute GP consultation costs £37.40.Find out who has to pay for NHS treatment.For more information on NHS careers, read our collection of blogs.
Relocating to the UK to start a new life and healthcare career is a big move for anyone. But it’s an exciting one. Sanctuary International Healthcare will help you every step of the way. We’ll find you a job, help you apply, assist you with your VISA application, explore your housing options and even meet you at the airport!
Working in the United Kingdom
The UK is one of the most appealing countries to practice as an international healthcare professional. With attractive rates of pay and many learning opportunities, moving to the UK for work is exciting. The start of a new journey. Why Sanctuary International?Placing people first, we offer a free service to assist international healthcare professionals in relocating.Working with NHS Trusts and private healthcare organisations since 2006, we can find you a role anywhere in the UK. We also make sure you're supported throughout the process. Not just with securing a job but with the entire relocation process. Complete UK coverage With over 190 employers relying on us to fill nursing, medical, GP and mental health vacancies, we're one of the biggest healthcare recruitment agencies in the UK. English language trainingWhat’s more, with global recruitment offices and English language training centres as far away as the Philippines and India, we can help make sure language is not a barrier for you. Your dedicated consultant A consultant from our International team will help you throughout the entire process. This includes assisting you with obtaining the right English language skills required to practice as a healthcare professional in the UK. As a promise to you, you’ll only ever be presented with suitable employment opportunities.Let us help you make the move, register today.
Moving to the UK for work is a major life decision, but one that you’ve likely been thinking about for some time. We understand that you'll be excited and nervous. This is exactly why we offer a wraparound relocation support service. Every day, we help international candidates, just like you, with relocating to the UK. A tailored service designed around your needs; we can offer you as much support as you need. RegistrationThere are many registration bodies in the UK for specific healthcare professions. We understand this can be confusing. Your Sanctuary International consultant will inform you which body you'll need to register with, and the process involved. We can guide you through each step of the registration process to make it as straightforward as possible. Visa applicationMost of the candidates we place come to the UK on an initial 2 year working visa. Wherever we can, we will guide you through the visa application process. TravelWhilst we are not a tour operator, we can assist you with finding the best and least expensive transport options to the UK. If you're travelling by plane, we will meet you at the airport and organise your airport transfer to take you to where you will be staying. Finding accommodation Most people, unless they have relatives to stay with, will require accommodation. Many of our candidates are offered hospital accommodation, but if you're looking for alternative places to stay, we can help. We have great contacts with local housing providers. Find out more about renting a property in the UK.FinancialsHaving a bank account is essential to make sure you are paid as quickly as possible, as is having a National Insurance Number. We’ll guide you through establishing both. Find out how to open a UK bank account.Registering with a GP and dentistWhilst you’re unlikely to need a GP or dentist straight away, it’s always best to register at a practice as soon as you have secured accommodation. Our consultants will inform you how you can do this. Schools and childcareIf you are relocating with your young family, we can help. All children aged 5-16 living in the UK are entitled to a free place at a state school. Free education is also extended to those aged 16-19. There’s also nursery provision for children aged 3-4 to prepare them for school. Find out more about applying for a school place.There are specific deadlines for applying for primary and secondary school places in the UK. It is best to visit your council’s website for more information once you know where you will be living. Supporting you throughout your employmentWe’re always here for you. Once you start your new job, we’ll keep in touch to make sure you are happy.For more relocation help, visit our blog.
UK Living Costs
Living costs in the UK are generally straightforward to manage and predict. To help you understand what they are likely to be, we’ve included a short overview of each main outgoing. National Insurance and Income Tax You will need to pay both National Insurance and Income Tax. These will be automatically deducted from your pay each month. To find out what your likely payments will be and how to set them up, you can ask your Sanctuary International consultant who will provide you with advice based on your role. Council TaxCouncil tax is a tax levied on households by local authorities in the UK. It is based on the estimated value of the property you reside in and the number of people living there. Your council tax costs will depend on the size and location of the property you intend to rent or buy. It’s impossible to give an exact amount since each Council in the UK is responsible for setting its own rates. When you’ve found a property, it’s best to ask the local council for information about the tax band you'll be on and the associated cost each month. ChildcareChildcare costs can be expensive, but there is plenty of support available for working parents. If your child is aged 3-4 you could be entitled to send them to nursery for a specified number of hours each week. RentDepending on where in the UK you want to work, rent can vary. If the rent is high in one area it might be less a short distance away. You could consider a slightly longer travel to work to pay less rent. For example, there are some great places outside cities that offer excellent accommodation and convenient travel links. Find out more about renting a property in the UK.PensionIn the UK, it is a legal requirement for employers to enrol employees into a workplace pension. Unless you opt out of the scheme, a percentage of your pay will automatically be put into a pension scheme. The employer may also add money to the scheme. Find out more about pensions and how they work.Property running costsEnergy and water bills all need to be considered. The cost will largely depend on how much you consume and the size of your property. Get an idea of how much your energy bills are likely to be and how to compare utility prices.TV LicenceWhilst not a huge cost, you must pay for a TV licence if you watch or record programmes on a TV, computer or other device. A colour TV licence costs £154.50 per year, and a black and white licence costs £52. You can choose to pay monthly or yearly. Running a carIf you're working in a city, the chances are you might not need a car. But if you do, you will need to consider three main costs. These are insurance, road tax, and MOT. All are a legal requirement. It is a criminal offence to not have these in place whilst driving a car.Find out which countries' driving licenses are valid in the UK.Public transportMost places in the UK have great public transport links. You’ll want to fully explore your options. Most people in London travel on the Underground and into the city via National Rail. There are numerous bus routes too. For more local public transport, visit your local council website. Mobile phone and internetStaying connected to family and friends will be a top priority for you. Many mobile phone providers offer competitive international call deals. Likewise, the same applies to the internet. There are some great deals available. For many of our candidates, the cheapest and most personable way to stay connected is on Skype or Google Hangout. Want to find out more? Register with Sanctuary today!
Requirements of working in the UK
The information that Sanctuary International requires from you depends on where you currently live and the type of job you wish to apply for. We successfully place both EU and non-EU candidates into a variety of professional healthcare roles. Depending on your practice area, you will need to be registered with the following professional councils:Doctors – GMC registrationNurses – NMC registrationAllied Health Professionals – HCPC registrationYou can apply for a position before registering with the relevant professional council if you hold specific professional degree level qualifications. Please ask your Sanctuary International consultant who will provide you with further information. We can even act on your behalf to complete the registration process, provided the relevant forms have been completed. Police checksLegally, you will need to obtain a police check from any country where you have spent 12 months or more living in over the past 10 years. Tier 2 visa candidatesAs a healthcare professional from outside the EU, you will require a Tier 2 visa to work in the UK, which will require sponsorship. The certificate of sponsorship (COS) is granted by the employer; the hospital or trust where you've been offered a position. Once the visa is issued, you have 28 days to arrive in the UK. Once you receive your COS, you can start your digital Tier 2 visa application. The process is straightforward. In terms of costs, some employers may offer to cover the expense of obtaining a visa. Your consultant will be able to advise you on whether this is an option. It’s impossible to give an exact time frame, but you’ll usually receive your visa within four weeks. English Language Proficiency (UKVI IELTS)As part of your visa application, you are required, by law, to sit the IELTS exam at a UKVI testing facility. That is, if you have not already taken the exam for NMC/GMC/HCPC registration and that it is still valid.Why is this so important? Because it tests your English Language Proficiency for entering the UK. If you have any concerns over your ability to pass the IELTS, we can help. We even have several international English language training schools you could access. To find out more, visit our English language page.
English Language Tests
As a doctor or nurse relocating to the UK, having the right English language skills is just as important as having the correct qualifications and experience. There are many ways to ensure this, but the most common is passing the IELTS with the expected score for your profession; we have just the right structure in place to support you.We run two English language training schools; one in Manila, the Philippines and another in Mumbai, India to help our international candidates gain the English language skills they need. What is the IELTS?IELTS is the International English Language Testing System. It tests the English language proficiency of non-native English language speakers. If you are from a non-native English-speaking country, you will need to pass it to be able to work in the UK. That’s why it’s important you work towards achieving the expected score as soon as possible. English language testing for doctorsTo register as a doctor with the GMC, you must complete and pass the ‘academic version’ of the IELTS to be able to register with the GMC. You must achieve a score of at least:7.0 within the listening and reading elements7.0 within the writing and speaking sectionsAnd, an overall score of 7.5 (out of a possible 9). English language testing for nursesIf you trained as a nurse in a non-native English-speaking country, you will need to either complete the IELTS or the Occupational English Test (OET). The NMC will require evidence of an IELTS score of at least 7 in all areas and a recent pre-registration nursing qualification that was taught and examined in English. For the OET, you will need a least a grade B in all areas. Countries exempt from taking the IELTS/OETIf you live in a country considered to be majority English speaking, you may not need to take the IELTS or OET. Your Sanctuary International consultant will be able to advise you.For more information about English language testing, email our team your CV.