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Information for Doctors
Working in the UK
So you’re thinking about coming to the U.K and you have some questions? Not quite sure what to expect and how to prepare? Well worry no further, because this guide was written especially for you! And, like so many of your predecessors, you will find that you will cope just fine here.
Doctors from all over the world come to the UK for employment and training. We provide both short term and long-term work. We also provide substantive posts, usually 6 months or one-year contracts and permanent positions. All services rendered to doctors by Capital are free of charge. Here's some information about working and living in the UK which you might find helpful.
Working for the NHS
The National Health Service (NHS) was set up in 1948 and although it is regarded as one of the best health services in the world by the World Health Organisation, it is generally recognised that there need to be certain improvements in the system. To achieve this, changes have been made to the structure of the NHS to ensure that patients always come first. There has never been a better time to consider careers in the NHS. Services are being modernised and expanded and there is a need for more staff to provide excellent care. When working for the NHS, you have the advantage of a great salary and having a Consultant nearby to ask for help.
Registration with the British General Medical Council
The General Medical Council (GMC) is the regulator of the medical profession in the United Kingdom. Doctors who wish to practice in the UK must be registered. They have the power to revoke the licence, or place restrictions, in cases of questions about a doctor's fitness to practice.
The purpose of the GMC is to protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of the community by ensuring proper standards in the practice of medicine. They liaise with other nations' medical and university regulatory bodies over medical schools overseas, leading to some qualifications being mutually recognised. The Council is funded by annual fees required from those wishing to remain registered and fees for examinations.
Permission to Work in the UK
Non European Doctors can work in the UK by obtaining a Visa. If you have to get a visa, you'll need to be cleared by officials at a British Overseas Mission in your country of origin. Once cleared, the entry clearance certificate, or visa, will be put into your passport or travel document.
British or EU Member Passport: If you have a British Passport, Dual Citizenship or a Passport of any EU member country, you are eligible to work in the UK. If you were born in Britain or any EU member country, or your parents were, you MAY be eligible to apply for citizenship of that country and receive a passport, check with the applicable embassy in your country of residence.
Highly skilled migrants: The Highly Skilled Migrant programme (HSMP) is designed to let highly skilled and qualified workers such as doctors come to the UK to work or become self-employed. The HSMP is the most commonly used routes amongst senior doctors as this way you don’t need a specific job offer. Under this scheme you are issued entry clearance for 12 months, after which you can apply to stay for longer, but must remain in work/self-employment.
Working Holiday Visa: If you are not yet 31 years old, you can apply to enter the UK on a working holiday visa and this can be for a period of up to two years. In order to be eligible for this type of UK work visa, applicants must be able to fulfil the requirements set out below.
You must be aged between 17 and 30 years (inclusive).
Applicants must be either a commonwealth citizen, a citizen of a British Dependent territory or a British overseas citizen.
You must be either single, or married to a person who qualifies for the scheme in their own right and will be joining you on the holiday. You do not have any dependant children who are either over the age of five years, or will be before the holiday ends.
Like the HSMP (Highly Skilled Migrant Visa), UK visas of this kind require you to be able to support yourself throughout the duration of your holiday and for your return trip, without recourse to public funding.
You must intend to leave the country at the end of the duration of your visa
UK Ancestry Entry Clearance: A UK Ancestry Entry Clearance often referred to as an "Ancestry Visa" is a United Kingdom Entry Clearance for Commonwealth citizens with a grandparent born in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands or Isle of Man who wish to work in the United Kingdom. It is used mainly by Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians and South Africans coming to UK and currently allows you to work in the UK for up to 4 years.
Spouse Visa: If your spouse is a British Citizen, or has an Ancestry Visa or Right to Abode in the UK, or is sponsored to work in the UK, then you are eligible to apply for a UK Spouse Entry Visa. This also entitles you to work in the UK and should be applied for and granted prior to entry into the UK.
Useful ‘Immigration’ Web Links"
Payments and Bank Accounts
Upon receipt of your time sheet, signed and authorised by the hospital, we will pay you weekly, directly into your bank account. We are legally required to deduct the current rate of National Insurance and Tax contributions. If you already have a Tax Code or National Insurance number - we’ll guide you through the process making it as straight forward as possible.
Capital has a special relationship with Barclays bank and we will provide you with a letter, enabling you to open a bank account in the U.K. However you must bring the necessary documentation.
National Insurance Contributions
You pay National Insurance contributions (NICs) to build up your entitlement to certain social security benefits, including the State Pension. The type and level of NIC you pay depends on how much you earn and whether you're employed or self employed. You stop paying NICs when you reach State Pension age.
The following amounts apply for the 2008-2009 tax year: if you earn above £105 a week (the 'earnings threshold') and up to £770 per week you pay 11 per cent of this amount as 'Class 1' NICs youalso pay one per cent of earnings above £770 a week as Class 1 NICs.
The vast majority of locum doctors work through their own limited company. When working in the UK as a temporary contractor or locum doctor you are able to utilise the tax benefits of a limited company structure saving you up to 20% in post tax income (take home pay).
- Your salary is paid gross i.e. no deductions.
- You do not have to pay National Insurance Contributions
- Your will receive an uplift in your hourly rate
- You are entitled to claim company expenses, which are tax deductible
- You only have to declare your income and pay the relevant tax annually
- If your thinking about maximising your 'take home' pay contact Capital and we can advise you on the best service to suite your needs.
Most hospitals pay for your return journey using London as a base or any UK airport or port of entry. It is best to claim your travel expenses direct from the hospital by filling in a travel claim form while you are still working there.
Capital offer mail forwarding services to doctors. This service is free of charge - Please ask for details.
The hospital where you will be placed provides free or heavily subsidised accommodation and meals. It’s difficult to describe what the accommodation looks like. Usually it will be a separate flat from the hospital, with living room, kitchen, bathroom, and two or three bedrooms. You might have to share with other doctors. These doctors are usually also young, and could be from any country in the world.
Capital will help you in securing private accommodation if you wish to do so and can provide you with character reference as supporting evidence for a landlord if you wish to rent private sector accommodation. Capital will also support your application for a loan or mortgage if you decide to buy you own property.
Taking along a Spouse/Child
Hospitals very rarely provide married accommodation. This is understandable however Hospitals are wary of a situation where an entire family moves in, because of insurance reasons. In our experience, taking a spouse or child along is easier said than done. It might be a better idea to find a longer-term post, get separate private accommodation close to the hospital and get them settled in. This is an exceptional case and you will need our help here.
Finding your way around London
The UK’s public transport system is very well developed and easy to use. Travelling on the London Underground system is also quite easy, once you get the hang of it. There are train stations in most of the rural towns as well as the cities, this means that you can travel around easily and explore much more of the UK than just where you are living. Trains tend to be more expensive than travelling by coach, but are usually quicker.
For 24hr information on Buses and Tubes in London you can call the London Transport Information line on 0207 222 1234 or visit www.tfl.gov.uk. For information, timetables and the cost of tickets on over ground Trains anywhere in the UK you can call National Rail Enquiries on 08457 48 49 50 or visit www.nationalrail.co.uk.
Whether your driving licence is valid depends on which country issued it. Please check with the DVLA (0870 240 0009 or www.dvla.gov.uk.
Remember that if you plan to drive you must also have insurance and your car must have road tax and MOT.
You can also hire cars, but different companies have different requirements, so always check that your licence is valid and that you have insurance.
There are many car hire companies to choose from. Two of the best known are Avis (08705 900 500) and Hertz (020 8679 1799).