Refugee healthcare professionals

Ear examination

From 1 April 2010, NHS Employers no longer hosts the Refugee Healthcare Professionals programme.

Although the national programme has discontinued, the regional projects and organisations involved in the programme will continue to support refugee healthcare professionals back into employment.

Further information about continuing regional work

Reache North West was set up to assist refugee and asylum seeking healthcare professionals in the North West to register their qualification in the UK. Based at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, it provides advice and guidance, job search support, PLAB courses, support in finding supervised practise/adaptation and access to resources.

NHS Employers' work

NHS Employers has produced the following materials to support NHS trusts in employing refugee healthcare professionals.

Employing refugee healthcare professionals

The employment of refugee healthcare professionals has many benefits for employers and helps NHS organisations to meet their requirements in a number of areas, including workforce supply, equality and diversity and corporate social responsibility.

A refugee is a person who has had a positive decision on their claim for asylum under the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (the Refugee Convention) and has been granted leave to remain in the UK. Refugees are forced to leave their countries due to fear of persecution, often as a result of direct state action.

Refugees should be considered differently to economic migrants. They are not part of the points-based immigration system, where migrants are required to meet a particular level of skills and experience and employers are given sponsorship duties. They are able to work in the UK without any restrictions or the need for work permits, and are legally protected from discrimination.

Guidance for employers on preventing illegal working, asylum seekers and refugees can be found on the UK Visas and Immigration website. The Refugee Council and the Equality and Human Rights Commission have also produced the Employing Refugees guide which provides employers with important information about employing a refugee and what documents need to be checked to demonstrate their entitlement to work in the UK.

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