Working in the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is made up of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Each has their own unique culture and history.

There is something to suit everyone, from the bustling world class cities including London, Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh, to name a few. The UK also provides a huge variety of landscapes from mountains and ranges of majestic hills, rolling farmland, wild heaths and moors, exquisite lakes and lochs, stunning valleys and streams. The UK also has some great beaches. No one in the UK is ever more than two hours away from the sea.

The UK offers a wide mix of cultures. There is a diverse population and a huge variety of characters. British people are welcoming, friendly and hospitable.

It is also extremely easy to travel around the UK. Britain has a wide network of transport links and it is not always necessary to own a car. The UK also boasts many airports, where travel to Europe and other parts of the world is easily accessible.

The UK is also the home of The NHS, one of the most developed health systems in the world. It has a reputation for delivering a high quality of service and excellence in research, training and development.

There are a number of potential benefits to working in the UK for doctors and dentists from overseas:

  • Gaining experience of working in the national healthcare system
  • Training and development
  • Access to research
  • Good standards of pay and working conditions
  • Opportunity to experience living and working in the UK
  • Acquiring new skills
  • A diverse population and health needs in which to gain experience.

The UK Healthcare System

NHS – Nation Health Service

The NHS stands for the National Health Service, which provides healthcare for all UK citizens based on their need for healthcare rather than their ability to pay for it. It is funded by the government through taxation.

The NHS employs more than 1.6 million people, putting it in the top five of the world’s largest workforces.

The NHS in England is the biggest part of the system by far, catering to a population of 53.9 million and employing more than 1.3 million people.

With the exception of some charges, such as prescriptions and optical and dental services, the NHS in England remains free at the point of use for anyone who is a UK resident. www.nhs.uk

The NHS is made up of a wide range of organisations specialising in different types of services for patients. Together, these services deal with over 1 million patients every 36 hours. Providers of ‘primary care’ are the first point of contact for physical and mental health and wellbeing concerns, in non-urgent cases. These include general practitioners (GPs), but also dentists, opticians, and pharmacists (for medicines and medical advice). There are over 36,000 GPs in England, working in over 8,300 practices. For urgent cases, patients can visit a provider of urgent care, such as an accident and emergency department. www.gov.uk

Private Healthcare Providers
Private healthcare in the UK is dominated by the NHS (which has the largest number of private beds in its private patient units) and the five largest private companies. There are also small groups that run private hospitals that operate regionally in the UK.

Most of the staff working in the private sector will in fact have some degree of experience of working in the NHS and many of them will continue to work in both. They will have all trained to the recognised level of education and these certificates and training experiences will be checked when they are considered for employment by the establishment as they would do if working in the NHS.


Medical Registration in the UK

To work as a doctor in the in the UK you must be registered with the GMC.
General Medical Council (GMC) www.gmc-uk.org

For information on medical registration in the UK please get in touch with one of our team members who will be able to refer you to our London based agency – Julie Warner Health UK.

Language Requirements:

All overseas applicants without English as their first language are usually required to sit an examination with the international English language testing system (IELTS).

For more information on the IELTS examinations please visit: www.ielts.org


There are a wide range of visas available dependant on the type of job position you are looking to take.

Click here for more information on UK visas.

For information on UK healthcare career opportunities, please contact our team at Julie Warner Health UK