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Why employ a refugee healthcare professional? 

19/02/2009 
There are many ways in which employers across the NHS can benefit from supporting and employing refugee healthcare professionals. This section describes these benefits and provides information and advice on how to get invovled with the projects.

What are the benefits to employers?

 

Supporting and employing refugee healthcare professionals can deliver benefits for employers as well as the local community through:

 

  • filling workforce gaps in a fluctating labour market
  • resourcing new ways of working by utilising the skills and experience of refugees
  • supporting strategies to address health inequalities through access to a talent pool with experience, skills, knowledge and links in the local community
  • increase workforce diverty by encouraging local employment from diverse communities
  • refugee healthcare professionals are typically leaders in their communities and enabling their success raises aspirations and can be a highly effective way to combat social and economic exclusion
  • the social and economic cost of high unemployment amongst refugee healthcare professionals is significant to both the individual refugee and their families, local communities and the UK in its international context

How can employers get involved?

There are many ways employers can get involved in the projects NHS Employers are delivering:

  • ensuring that the projects meet the current and future needs of employers through joining project boards and/or any task groups or being part of an email employer reference group to design and deliver projects
  • providing placement opportunities ranging from clinical apprenticeships, clinical attachments, supervised practice to more general work placements
  • contributing to the teaching programmes by providing lecturers or people to delivery sessions with refugee healthcare professionals
  • providing mentors or contribute to advice and guidance sessions.

 Refugee healthcare professional engagement in practice

 

There are a number of highly successful projects assisting refugee healthcare professionals dotted all around the country. For example, Reache North West, based at Salford Royal Foundation Trust, recently celebrated its fifth anniversary and in this short time has helped over 100 refugee healthcare professionals enter paid employment.

A number of trusts are delivering a Clinical Attachment Placements Scheme (CAPS) where refugee healthcare professionals undertake a three month placement in a supernumerary role in an NHS organisation. CAPS is being delivered in the North West by Reache North West and in London by the London Deanery.

Thirty-five refugee doctors are now working as GPs having been trained through the London Deanery.

Tower Hamlets PCT trained 32 refugee and overseas health professionals to work as healthcare assistants in primary care, most of whom were subsequently employed by local practices. The community dental service at Tower Hamlets PCT also employed eight refugee dentists as dental link workers.

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