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.
Why the NHS is worlds apart
The National Health Service is world-renowned for being at the forefront of patient care and cutting edge technology. It’s a service where patients can receive free healthcare at the point of delivery, and it covers a variety of healthcare facets including comprehensive medical treatment (preventative, reactive and emergency care), allied health services, biomedical services, and even dental care.As a global ‘brand’, the NHS is held in high esteem across the world, which is why so many doctors and nurses are keen to relocate to the UK and work for the NHS. Last summer, the NHS celebrated its 70th anniversary – a celebration which highlighted the impact that it has had upon national and international healthcare. The NHS is so beloved that in a survey commissioned to mark its anniversary, more than two-thirds of respondents stated that the NHS is Britain’s greatest ever achievement.Currently, approximately 153,000 out of 1.2 million NHS staff report a non-British nationality. This accounts for over one in eight workers, representing 200 different nationalities. To explain why the NHS is such a popular employer for international doctors and nurses, we’ve collated a list of five reasons why the NHS is worlds apart from other global healthcare services.World-renowned brand name on your CVOver its 70-year history, the NHS has gained a reputation for combining high standards with first-class patient care.The addition of the NHS as an employer on your CV shows a level of credibility and professionalism which will stand you in good stead if you wish to work in other countries in the future.The adoption of cutting edge technology to improve medical careThe NHS is renowned for being at the forefront of advanced medical treatment. Throughout its long esteemed history, the NHS has been heavily involved in technology. In 1972, it introduced CT scanners just five years after they were invented by Godfrey Newbold Hounsfield. In 2007, the NHS made headlines around the world when a robotic arm was used at St Mary’s Hospital in London to treat patients for a fast or irregular heartbeat.And this dedicated to pioneering treatment continues. The NHS Innovation and Technology Payment Programme (ITP) 2019/20 is enabling new technological advances to roll out across the UK. The latest innovations include a new blood test which can detect changes in protein levels in the blood, allowing emergency doctors to rule out a heart attack within just three hours. NHS England is also funding an advanced image analysis software that creates a 3D model of the heart which will assess heart conditions and reduce the need for invasive procedures.Leading research centresThe NHS is home to world leaders in medical research. The 100,000 Genomes Project is one example of how the structure of the NHS is best placed to position the UK as a world leader in ground-breaking genetic research into cancer and rare diseases.But the NHS’ expertise isn’t just limited to the UK. Centres such as Kings College Hospital, Moorfields, Guy's & St Thomas’ and Great Ormond Street Hospital are linking up with international organisations to help develop hospital and healthcare services around the world.A different type of patient careMany of our international community often express surprise that they can specialise in individual elements of patient care as part of their NHS role. Unlike other countries where doctors and nurses must take full responsibility for all aspects of patient care, within the UK, you can expect to work cohesively as part of a large team.We recommend reading this interesting article from The Guardian which discusses the experiences of different healthcare workers from across the world as they moved to the UK to work for the NHS.Impressive financial contributionsFinally, we know that a big reason why many doctors and nurses choose to relocate to the UK is because of the financial implications.If you’re working for the NHS, you can not only expect a generous salary package (for example, an average salary for a band 5 nurse is between £24,000 - £30,000) but you can enjoy a pension and holiday entitlement of 27 paid days every year, plus bank holidays. This will allow you the opportunity to return to your home country to visit family and friends.To begin the application process or discover what job opportunities are available within the NHS, get in touch.
Registration for overseas nurses
We’re thrilled that you’re considering a move to the UK! If you are in search of a little more information, you’ve come to the right place! We are on-hand to make this process as smooth and stress-free as possible.How do you know if you’re eligible? What tests do you need to pass? How much does it cost? The following process details everything you need to know if you trained outside the EU/EEA.Why is professional registration so important?You may have already heard of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC); they are the professional regulator for nurses and midwives in the UK and are responsible for upholding standards of practice. You will need a valid NMC registration in order to work in either of these roles.What requirements are needed to join the NMC register?They have recently changed their requirements making it easier for overseas applicants to join the register; you can now apply immediately after qualifying! Qualifications need to match the UK equivalent so to give you an idea, for nursing roles, your training should be at least a UK Level 1.“In the UK, a Level 1 nurse is a nurse who has completed a three-year programme of education leading to a nursing qualification and an academic qualification (a degree or diploma).” - NMCYou will be tested on your English language skills with either an International English Language Test System (IELTS) or Occupational English Test (OET). There are set scores or grades you are required to achieve, which are outlined on the NMC website.The application processIf you’re confident with the points mentioned above, how do you begin the application process?Self-assessment. The first stage is an online self-assessment of your eligibility. Test of competence part 1. Once you have passed the eligibility assessment, you’ll sit a multiple choice computer-based test (CBT) which will look at your theoretical knowledge. If you don’t pass first time, don’t worry! You can sit this, and the OSCE, up to three times before your application is closed.Test of competence part 2. The objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) is a test of your clinical knowledge and can only be completed here in the UK. The test simulates a clinical environment and acts out the scenarios which nurses are likely to encounter. The OSCE can be sat at the approved centres; University of Northampton, Oxford Brookes University and Ulster University.ID Check and final registration. You will need to bring all your original supporting documentation with you to the OSCE test as you will also attend an identification check. Once this is complete, you will sign a final declaration and receive your NMC pin number upon final payment.How Sanctuary can help youOur international consultants will offer you support and guidance throughout the entire process – from advising on visa applications and professional registration enquiries right through to helping you to find the perfect place to live.To find out more about the application process, please get in touch!
FAQ's: Working in the UK
Moving to the UK is a big adjustment. You may have always known that you wanted to work here and may have directed your training accordingly, or you may have only recently realised that it was an option for you. Whatever the case, we’re sure that you will have thousands of questions that need answering before you step onto a plane and fly over here. We want to make the process as seamless as possible. This is why we are sharing some of our most frequently asked questions. This list isn’t exhaustive, and we know that you’ll still have plenty more questions to come, but it should give you a brief insight into what to expect if you chose to relocate so that you can work in the UK.Do I need to be registered with a professional body to work? Yes. In the UK our healthcare professions are heavily regulated, and rightly so. The professional bodies are responsible for maintaining standards of practice and without registration, you will not be able to gain employment.If you are a doctor, you will need to have registration with both the General Medical Council (GMC) and the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB)If you are a nurse, you will need to have registration for the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).You may be able to start the job application process prior to confirming your registration if you have a specific professional degree-level qualification. If you need help registering with the relevant professional council, then please speak with your Sanctuary consultant. If you complete some forms, we can act on your behalf to finalise the registration process, allowing you to focus on other matters. Do you undertake any background checks?Yes. We are extremely stringent with our background checks because we know that our community is working directly with people at their most vulnerable. Legally, we need to have a police check from any country where you have spent 12 months or more living in over the past 10 years. From a recruitment perspective, we will also require previous employer references and right to work documentation. We are committed to safe recruitment practices and our background checks are taken extremely seriously. Do I need a visa to work in the UK?This depends upon your nationality. Moving to the UK from the EU - Currently in the UK, if you live in an EU member state you are welcome to live and work here without any visa. However, this is subject to change in October 2019 as a result of the UK’s anticipated withdrawal from the EU. As the situation becomes clearer, we will be better placed to communicate any additional visa requirements with our community.Moving to the UK from outside the EU - In this instance, you will need a Tier 2 visa which will require sponsorship from your forthcoming employer (usually the hospital or the NHS Trust). When your employer grants you sponsorship, you will receive a certificate of sponsorship which will allow you to start your digital Tier 2 visa application. Whilst the application is relatively straightforward you do need to be aware that your certificate of sponsorship will expire within 90 days, so time is of the essence. You will need to have completed your relocation within this time. You may find that your new employer will be able to cover the expense of obtaining a visa. If this is the case, then your Sanctuary consultant will be able to advise accordingly. English is not my first language. Will this be a problem?Whilst speaking multiple languages is a great asset, particularly in large multi-cultural cities such as London or Birmingham, you will need to be able to be fluent in English. As a doctor or a nurse, you’ll understand that communication is just as important as qualifications or experience. It’s vital that you can converse with patients in an understandable way. In order to check your language proficiency, you will have to pass an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam. This is the only test approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and there are different requirements for doctors and nurses. If you need help with your English language skills, we run two English language training schools; one in Manila in the Philippines and another in Mumbai in India to help our international candidates gain the English language skills they need. If you are relocating to the UK from a majority English-speaking country (perhaps Australia, New Zealand or the United States of America) you may not need to take this exam. Your Sanctuary consultant will be able to confirm your status during the application stage of the process. Requirements for DoctorsIf you wish to work as a doctor in the UK, the General Medical Council require that you pass an ‘academic’ version of the IELTS. To pass you mush 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). Requirements for NursesIf you wish to work as a nurse and you completed your training in a non-native English-speaking country, you have two options. You can either complete the IELTS or you can take the Occupational English Test (OET). If you take the IELTS, the Nursing and Midwifery Council require that you score at least a 7.0 in all areas and they will need to see 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. What tax will I be expected to pay in the UK?In the UK, tax is relatively straight-forward and as a paid employee you will be required to pay tax on your earnings. Each month, Income Tax and National Insurance will be automatically deducted from your pay. Information is available on the gov.uk website which will give you an insight into how much you this will likely be. You will also need to pay council tax, which is a payment amount determined by local authorities. This tax helps to pay for services such as waste collection and maintenance of public services such as roads and parks. Your council tax costs will depend on the size and location of the property you intend to live in. Rates will differ depending on where you choose to live in the UK.What support will Sanctuary offer once I’m in the UK?We know that our international community needs a bit more care and attention – after all, moving to a new country is a big deal! That’s why we go above and beyond to help you feel settled. We’ll help you with all the nitty-gritty, from visa applications and registration requirements through to supporting you with accommodation or travel requests. We’ll even greet you at the airport and help you find your way to your new home.And our support doesn’t end there. Once you’re settled, we’ll help you register with your local doctor and dentist and give you support if you are relocating with your family. We’ll do whatever it takes to help you feel like you’re at home. This FAQ is just a short insight into what requirements you need to work in the UK. If you do have any further questions that you would like answered, please get in touch with us.
Life in the UK – what to expect
You may be considering a career move to the UK to further your nursing or medical career. After all, the NHS is highly regarded around the world, and pioneering work takes place daily in cities such as London, Liverpool, and Cambridge. But moving to an entirely new country can bring about its own challenges. As well as considering if you have the right qualifications to work in the UK, you may need to consider any potential language or cultural barriers. At Sanctuary, we like to take care of our community. If you are arriving from another country, we’ll support you to ease the transition into UK life. After all, we know what a big adjustment relocating can be. To help make the transition process easier, here’s a quick breakdown of what you can expect upon arrival to the UK.You can expect a variety of languages and dialectsOne of the great things about the UK is the exposure to a wide array of languages and cultures. Due to its proximity to neighbouring European countries, the UK is home to many different nationalities. This means that it’s not uncommon to hear languages such as English, Polish, Romanian, Italian, French, German and Spanish being spoken, particularly in multi-cultural cities such as London.Of course, the UK also has its own languages and dialects. The Welsh are particularly proud of their own language and if you travel through Wales, you’ll be likely to see plenty of signs written in Welsh along with its English translation.You can enjoy beautiful countrysideThe UK is home to some of the most beautiful countryside’s in the world. As well as vibrant cities and bustling towns, we have some of the most beautiful beaches and landscapes which are always of interest to international workers. The traditional English seaside may sound quaint, but here in the UK, you can find stunning shorelines with sandy beaches which can rival any Mediterranean coast. We also have some dramatic backdrops which are worthy of a visit. Places such as the Lake District or Ben Nevis in Scotland offer wonderful views and hiking trails, allowing visitors to explore local areas at their leisure. You can explore a rich historyVisitors to the UK are impressed by our rich culture and our historical landmarks. The UK takes its traditions very seriously and visitors love to see our heritage come to life in places such as Buckingham Palace. As a historical nation, we have plenty of places of interest for those who want to explore our culture. You may wish to visit old buildings in cities such as Cambridge, explore the history of the Romans at Hadrian’s Wall or even see a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, thanks to Stonehenge.You can benefit from affordable living costsLife in the UK offers affordable living costs, making relocation an attractive option for many doctors and nurses. Like many countries, you may find that it’s more expensive to live directly in the centre of big cities but thanks to the NHS, there are opportunities to live and work in smaller, more affordable areas across the UK.Of course, if your job opportunities are based upon big cities, it’s easy to adjust your living arrangements to offer greater affordability. Most places have great public transport links allowing you to commute to work easily and effectively.Life in the UK is relatively simple, and we have provided a breakdown of your expected living costs which should make it easier to anticipate what you may need to pay for. If you would like any guidance on what qualifications or visas you may need to move to the UK, please get in touch with one of our dedicated consultants.
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. 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. 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.Want to find out more? Register with Sanctuary today.
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. 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. 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. 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.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 registrationSocial Work – HCPC registration (soon to be replaced by Social Work England)Allied 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. Crucially, it's the only test approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). 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.