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Providing support to refugee healthcare workers

Post date: 08/03/2022 | Time to read article: 2 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 06/04/2022

Medical Protection is proud to support the excellent work of a not-for-profit organisation in the north-west of England. Find out about REACHE North West and its work to help refugee and asylum-seeking healthcare professionals get ready for the NHS

An educational not-for-profit organisation that assists refugee and asylum-seeking healthcare professionals in their training and transition into NHS work is to benefit from a special membership arrangement with Medical Protection.

REACHE North West is the only comprehensive hospital-based healthcare professionals training programme that supports its members from when they first seek asylum or refuge, right through to GMC registration and finally into a secured NHS job. Established in 2003, REACHE is funded by Health Education England and is based at Salford Royal Hospital.

REACHE has trained over 500 healthcare professionals, many now practising as consultants, GPs, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, lab technicians, physiotherapists and scientists.

Medical Protection was pleased to support REACHE by agreeing a special arrangement where members receive a discounted membership for the year 2021/22. This will then be reviewed annually.

Why we are helping

Medical Protection has always been a strong advocate for patient safety and REACHE plays a vital role in ensuring its members are safely prepared for working in the NHS. Because newly-registered members first complete a three-month post at FY1 level, which is heavily supervised, REACHE members are working in a very low risk role.

In addition, the years of financial hardship that many members have faced means the cost of indemnity can be difficult to afford.

How does REACHE help its members?

REACHE offers dedicated in-house Occupational English training, clinical supervision, professional standards training, hospital and community clinical placements and, importantly, dedicated pastoral and mental health support.

Many members of REACHE can find it difficult to start work in the NHS, due to long career gaps, loss of confidence, and unfamiliarity with UK practice. REACHE has developed the Clinical Practical Training Scheme (which has a 100% success rate of getting members back into work), offers weekly tutorial and educational supervision, and collaborates with Salford Royal Hospital to offer three-month FY1 posts on one of the Trust’s units.

Dr Aisha Awan, Director of REACHE Northwest, GP and Clinical Lecturer at University of Manchester, said: “I am grateful for Medical Protection’s kind offer of support to our refugee and asylum seeker members.

“These extraordinary individuals have endured great challenges in regaining their professional identities alongside adapting to a new culture, language and healthcare environment. This is one less hurdle they have to contend with. We hope to share their successes with you at over the coming months and years.”

Dr Rob Hendry, Medical Director at Medical Protection, said: “The REACHE programme is a great example of how to support a medic to transition to a new country of practice safely, even in the most challenging circumstances. At Medical Protection we are proud to be able to play our part in supporting this excellent initiative.”

Medical Protection is always open to supporting charitable organisations and welcomes enquiries – contact us at [email protected]

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