A Lincolnshire non-profit organisation has started an urgent crowdfunding call to recruit and train foreign doctors to help fill the UK’s skills gap.
The Lincolnshire Refugee Doctor Project helps qualified doctors get up to speed on procedures so they can work in the UK.
It is appealing for £10,000 in donations before the project recruits its first cohort of doctors in the next two months.
Vince Ion, Director of the Lincolnshire Refugee Doctor Project, said: “Across the country there is an urgent need for more doctors to support our NHS.
“Ours is the first project of its kind in a rural location and is due to launch this autumn with the support of Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust and North East Lincolnshire CCG.
“We have secured set up funding from Health Education England Yorkshire & Humber and our plan is to initially recruit ten refugee doctors before widening the remit to support more doctors and other healthcare professionals.”
In the three months to June 2018 more than 500 GPs left the workforce in England.
The first phase of the projects helps doctors get through the first part of their language exam as well as an introduction to clinical practice.
The second phase will include observation placements in clinical settings and guidance from mentors and tutors from primary care and hospital care backgrounds.
Mentors also help the doctors with CV writing as they prepare for interviews.
In addition to the doctors themselves, the project will work collaboratively alongside a range of community groups and organisations to help the doctors’ families integrate into the local area.
The British Medical Association has approximately 750 doctors registered with its refugee doctors’ initiative, only around 100 of which have gone on to work in the NHS.
Vince added: “In addition to the cost of retraining, funding is needed to support the social integration of the doctors and their families.
“We’re hoping to be able to call on community groups and organisations such as Compassionate Lincoln and Home-Start as well as members of the public.
“If the community would like to help us support these doctors, who just want to get back to doing what they love, then I’d urge them to donate.
“Whether it’s money or a donation in kind, it will go a long way towards helping the doctors and their families as they settle in Greater Lincolnshire.”