Celebrating innovative work to help refugee medics return to patient care

THE challenges facing refugee health professionals wanting to return to medical practice was the hot topic at a special event.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust hosted a conference about its programme to retrain and employ doctors who have fled their homeland.

Supporting Refugee and Asylum Seeker Healthcare Professionals into Employment was held in Durham.

A partnership between the trust, the Investing in People and Culture charity in Middlesbrough and Health Education England (North East) set the scheme up in 2015.

Since then, three participants have passed their medical and English language exams and are working as doctors at the University Hospital of North Tees and several others are in clinical attachments working towards professional exams.

Professor Jane Metcalf, the trust’s deputy medical director who leads the programme, said: “The event was a fantastic opportunity to share our experience and best practice, as well as details around the establishment and extension of similar schemes and developing and influencing national policy. We very much welcome input from those interested in working with us.

“It was an opportunity to highlight this work, as well for people to take part in workshops to discuss the many challenges facing refugee and asylum seeker healthcare professionals returning to practice in this country.

“We are delighted with how well this project has been progressing. We already have three doctors who have completed the programme and have successfully secured full time roles at the trust. People who were frustrated at not being able to do the jobs they loved and whose skills were not being used.”

Keynote speakers included Fahira Mulamehic from the Refugee Council, professor Namita Kumar from Health Education England North East and a podcast from Paul Williams, MP for Stockton South.

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