Part One: Nursing in the UK - Why Make the Move?
<p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Britannia Healthcare</a> is a Partner and part of the leading recruitment group, <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Sharp BH Global Manpower</a>, headquartered in the Philippines. Britannia Healthcare facilitates the connection of Filipino nurses and healthcare workers directly with life-changing professional opportunities from international healthcare employers. The UK has one of the most progressive healthcare systems in the world but at the moment, the country needs to fill a shortage of almost <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">90,000 registered nurse vacancies</a>.</p> <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="alignleft size-large is-resized"><img loading="lazy" src="" alt="" class="wp-image-11982" width="172" height="241" srcset=" 711w, 213w" sizes="(max-width: 172px) 100vw, 172px" /><figcaption>Colin Pettifer, Managing Director of Britannia Healthcare and Founder of Sharp BH Global Manpower</figcaption></figure></div> <p>In part one of this two-part interview series, we speak to Colin Pettifer, Managing Director of Britannia Healthcare and founder of Sharp BH Global Manpower, about what nurses need to know to get a job in the UK either privately or with the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). Pettifer discusses topics around the benefits of a healthcare career in the UK, Britannia and Sharp BH’s incredible support and welfare services for their candidates and nurses, the occupation shortage list and the requirements and preparation needed to begin a career in nursing in the UK.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <h2>Interview Participants</h2> <h3>Colin Pettifer</h3> <p>Managing Director of Britannia Healthcare and Founder of Sharp BH Global Manpower</p> <h3>Stephanie McKee (SM)</h3> <p>Interviewer</p> <h2>SM: How do healthcare professionals benefit from bringing their skills and knowledge to the UK over other countries?</h2> <p></p> <h5><strong>Colin Pettifer</strong></h5> <p>‘‘The driving force for many who make the move to the UK is for financial reasons. The UK offers a new life for many healthcare professionals from under-developed countries as well as market-rate salaries which are well above what they would expect to receive in their home countries or the middle east. In the public sector, all nurses are paid the same. However, the benefits that healthcare professionals receive in the UK, on top of their salary, are of significant value:</p> <ul><li>Excellent professional development and career options</li><li>Free healthcare</li><li>Change of lifestyle</li><li>Improved quality of life</li><li>Dynamic cultural experience</li><li>Relocate their family to the UK&nbsp;</li><li>Free education and healthcare for their families in the UK</li><li>Well-equipped hospitals and modern facilities</li><li>Safeguards in place to ensure a work/life balance</li></ul> <p></p> <p>The NHS typically offers new international employees between 2-3 months of accommodation on arrival to the UK and pays for the visa and the travel costs. Care home nurses have a similar arrangement, however sometimes the accommodation is only for one month, but there is financial support available and usually private care home operators offer higher starting salaries than the NHS. The NHS also reimburses certain elements of the employees’ costs. For example, most of the NHS will reimburse the cost of the IELTS exam, which can cost around US$250.”</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large is-resized"><img loading="lazy" src="" alt="" class="wp-image-11958" width="610" height="318" srcset=" 1024w, 300w, 768w, 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" /><figcaption>&#8220;Our pastoral care provides support to candidates and to all our deployed nurses via our global community.&#8221;</figcaption></figure> <h2>SM: What support and welfare services does Britannia Healthcare/Sharp BH Global Manpower offer candidates? Is this support continued once employment is secured in the UK?</h2> <p></p> <h5><strong>Colin Pettifer</strong></h5> <p>“Britannia Healthcare is our UK company, whereas our sister company in Manila, Sharp BH Global Manpower, helps our nurses in the Philippines with overseas employment.&nbsp;</p> <p>One of our main focuses is nurses’ support and welfare, which goes beyond deployment. We are liable by Philippine law to look after the candidates throughout their contract period and that’s precisely what we do. Our pastoral care provides support to candidates and to all our deployed nurses via our global community. For any troubleshooting issues &#8211; social or otherwise &#8211; we will always be there for our applicants.&nbsp; Our UK presence enables us to provide this quality assurance to nurses and employers”.</p> <p><strong>We also provide:</strong></p> <ul><li>IELTS training programs and review</li><li>OSCE Training and Preparation in the Philippines</li><li>Document screening to ensure we only deploy credible candidates</li><li>Pre-deployment training for individuals ensuring that candidates are fully prepared to start work immediately in the UK with minimal disruption</li><li>In-house training to improve induction effectiveness and reduce the risk of unsuitable candidates being deployed</li><li>We also help them with regulatory compliance and the overall process, including giving information on what documents they need or what exams they need to take.&nbsp;</li></ul> <p></p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img loading="lazy" width="1024" height="535" src="" alt="The occupation shortage list in the UK includes most healthcare specialties" class="wp-image-11954" srcset=" 1024w, 300w, 768w, 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /><figcaption>The occupation shortage list in the UK includes most healthcare specialties</figcaption></figure> <h2>SM: What professions are on the occupation shortage list?</h2> <p></p> <h5><strong>Colin Pettifer</strong></h5> <p>“The occupation shortage list includes most healthcare specialties:</p> <ul><li>All Registered Nurse categories</li><li>Dental Nurses</li><li>Nursing Assistants</li><li>Mental Health Nurses</li><li>Operating Room Nurses</li><li>Medical-Surgical Nurses</li><li>Doctors&nbsp;</li><li>Physiotherapists</li><li>Occupational Therapists</li></ul> <p></p> <p>Some healthcare roles don’t necessarily require formal university/diploma qualifications but do require experience. For example, the criteria for nursing assistants have been lowered, where they are looking for senior nursing assistants who have had several years of experience working at a ‘senior’ care level.”</p> <h2>SM: Where do healthcare professionals register for their license to work in the UK as a nurse/doctor?</h2> <p></p> <ul><li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)</a></li></ul> <p>Nurses have to be licensed with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)&nbsp;</p> <ul><li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">General Medical Council (GMC)</a></li></ul> <p>Doctors need to register with the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">GMC</a> and there is a process around that. It’s actually easier for doctors in the Philippines to gain employment in the US because of how their training is recognized. Whereas doctors in India and Pakistan find it easier to get a job in the UK purely because their training is more geared towards the UK.&nbsp;</p> <ul><li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)</a></li></ul> <p>The HCPC licenses healthcare specialties like radiography and physiotherapy.</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img loading="lazy" width="1024" height="535" src="" alt="" class="wp-image-11956" srcset=" 1024w, 300w, 768w, 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /><figcaption>&#8220;Britannia Healthcare and Sharp BH Global Manpower offer IELTS training programs and reviews to our candidates.&#8221;</figcaption></figure> <h2>SM: Are there specific English language requirements to work in the UK?</h2> <p></p> <h5><strong>Colin Pettifer</strong></h5> <p>“Yes. For the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) registration, there is a section on language requirements. The UK set the English language requirements bar very high. It’s not so easy to pass this exam and tends to be the biggest barrier for individuals. That said, it is getting easier as the NMC slightly reduced its threshold and more nurses are passing, possibly as a consequence of a younger generation who are more exposed to English language.&nbsp; All Filipino nurses are educated in English language. Britannia Healthcare and Sharp BH Global Manpower offer IELTS training programs and reviews to our candidates.”&nbsp;</p> <h2>SM: What are the steps healthcare professionals need to take when preparing to move to the UK?</h2> <p></p> <h5><strong>Colin Pettifer</strong></h5> <p>“Moving to the UK does entail significant costs for nurses who are typically paid a monthly salary of circa. £180/month.&nbsp; Nurses always have to save for the move or take a loan from their family. However, it’s a career objective and investment for healthcare professionals, as they look to come to the UK for their whole working career, not just for a few years like in other parts of the world. Half of these healthcare professionals will go back to retire with significantly more money, to the extent that they are almost in a different class. They will be very well set up for retired life.”&nbsp;</p> <p>As part of the processing and mobilization process, candidates also go through these necessary regulatory checks:</p> <ul><li>National Bureau of Investigation</li><li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">POEA &#8211; Philippine Overseas Employment Administration</a></li><li>NMC Registration (includes Primary Source Verification)</li><li>Medical checks</li><li>Embassy clearance&nbsp;</li><li>Travel documentation</li></ul> <p></p> <h2>SM: How is TrueProfile helping you to source skilled healthcare professionals?</h2> <p></p> <h5><strong>Colin Pettifer</strong></h5> <p>“With such a demand in the UK for healthcare professionals, gives us access to a big pipeline of pre-verified nurses who’ve <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">made their myTrueProfile page accessible</a> to recruiters like us. is part of the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">DataFlow Group</a>, which is valuable for us to source and hire nurses quickly and at scale, provided the nurses honor their existing contracts if they are already based, for example, in the Middle East.”&nbsp;</p> <p>To let international healthcare recruiters like Britannia Healthcare get in touch with you about exciting jobs in the UK:&nbsp;</p> <ol><li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Sign up as a Member</a></li><li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Build your myTrueProfile page</a></li><li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Set your Contact Settings to ‘Recommended’</a></li></ol> <p></p> <h3>Read part two of our two-part interview series with Colin Pettifer, Managing Director of Britannia Healthcare, here: </h3> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Part Two: Nursing in the UK &#8211; Preparation, Application, Costs and Visas</a></p>