Theme: International Dimensions
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Reache North West, 10 years of supporting refugee healthcare professionals
Authors: Duncan Cross
Maeve Keaney
Ann Smalldridge
Mick Sykes
Institutions: Salford Royal Foundation NHS Trust
Reache North West
 
Background

Reache North West is a hospital based unit which provides education and training for refugee and asylum seeking healthcare professionals. A multi-disciplinary team ( including clinicians and linguists) provides input at all levels from English language training to clinical requalification and professional registration with the General Medical Council and other professional registration bodies.

Summary of Work

Reache North West currently offers rolling enrolment to potential members with a personalised approach to membership depending on where they are on their return to work and qualification pathway.

 

Summary of Results

Reache North West has helped:

  • 193 refugee healthcare professionals return to their original professional role.
  • 6 refugee healthcare professionals undertake funded placements for alternative careers in the NHS. All have gained substantive/permanent employment in the NHS.
  • Over 30  refugee healthcare professionals seek alternative careers outside of the NHS.

Reache North West also supports asylum seeking and refugee healthcare professionals in a myriad of ways including; social support, advice and guidance, housing, signposting, integration activities, volunteering opportunities

From our work we have also developed a safe and effective clinical communications programme that can  and has been used to assist with International Medical Graduates with their career progression in the UK. 

Take-home Messages

 Reache NOReRRReache North West uses a multi-disciplinary team to provide a cost effective education, training and support service for refugee healthcare professionals.

Experience from working with refugee healthcare professionals can also be used for the training of international medical graduates (IMGs). interninIWork aWork and weam gain eam. wow.. . in a s os 

Conclusion

Reache North West has been an effective resource for the NHS; training an under-utilised workforce and helping integration in the UK. NHS staff also gain a greater understanding of the issues that asylum seekers and refugees face when in the UK and have opportunities to provide educational support.  Further benefits include the increased skill set of  Reache North West's staff for supporting international medical graduates. The financial outlay is returned  as refugee healthcare professionals return to work, removing the need for state support e.g. housing, benefits etc., and by paying taxes. Refugee healthcare professionals also provide value to the National Health Service.

Acknowledgement

Reache North West would like to thank; all of the staff at Reache North West, our volunteers, the refugee healthcare professionals, our host organisation (Salford Royal Foundation NHS Trust), our past funders and current funder (Health Education England), the trusts, organisations, and all the individuals who have supported us.

Background

Reache North West was established in 2003 and is hosted by Salford Royal Foundation NHS Trust. Initial core funding was provided by the regional strategic health authority in the North West of England. Funding is now provided by  Health Education North West a local education and training board of Health Education England.

Ethos

Pastoral support and career advice is offered throughout the process. Reache North West focuses on the development of safe practitioners as well as examination success to ensure that members adapt safely to UK practice and enjoy their UK careers with minimal difficulties. This ethos is in line with national policies regarding the NHS managers’ code of conduct ensuring the care and safety of patients and protecting them from risk.

 

Reache North West 10 Year Brochure

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Foreword - David Dalton, Chief Executive Salford Royal Foundation NHS Trust http://ieposter.com/eposter_manager/upload/registration/194/images/10yr%20bk2.JPG

 

Countries of origin and Languages spoken by Reache StudentsForeword

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Reache North West Timeline page 1

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Reache North West Timeline page 2

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Reache Students' comments

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Support Provided by Reache

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Thanks to Supporters

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Summary of Work

Courses include; English language training, medical knowledge and skills training, safe and effective clinical communication skills, preparing for work in the UK, clinical reasoning, and employability skills. We also provide a range of supervised work placements to help transition into the UK workforce.

 

English

Most members come to us prior to attaining the GMC language requirements, a minimum of band 7 in each of the four skills; reading, writing, listening and speaking of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination. Currently, there are five days of English language teaching which include; General English, Professional English, and IELTS examination techniques, some of this teaching is performed via video conferencing with an international expert. Communication skills training is also provided on a regular basis to ensure that members are using appropriate English in social and clinical situations.

 

Clinical Skills

The medical equivalency examination, Professional Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB), so called because it previously included a language assessment alongside the medical theory (PLAB 1) and clinical practice element (PLAB 2) of the test. Reache North West provides weekly PLAB lectures usually from a wide range of volunteer consultants ensuring that the members are exposed to a variety of clinical practice for consideration not only in the examination but also for safe practice in the UK. This is currently also supported by essential clinical knowledge (ECK) teaching, which explores UK practice further and ensures that the membership are familiar with clinical reasoning processes, ethics and professional behaviour in the UK.

 

Communication Skills

Further communication skills training is provided on a weekly basis; Patients, Listen to and Negotiate with (PLAN), allows members to explore clinical scenarios with support from volunteers and medical students who guide them in identifying miscommunications and developing a British consultation style with a more patient centred focus then they may be used to.

 

 

A variety of short courses are provided on areas such as; safe and effective clinical communication, ethics, preparing for work in the NHS, and safe prescribing. Some of this work has been presented at international conferences in poster, presentation and workshop format.

 

 

A combined linguistic and medical approach to improve written and verbal communication skills for International Medical Graduates (IMGS)

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Summary of Results

Of that number, 148 completed the Reache programme of training (136 Doctors, 5 Dentists, 4 Pharmacists, 2 Allied Healthcare Professionals and 1 Nurse). The other 45 refugee healthcare professionals attended Reache but did not complete our full course of training before returning to their roles (35 doctors, 3 nurses, 7 dental professionals).

 The alternative NHS careers Reache North West has helped refugee healthcare professionals access include; medical support workers, pharmacy assistants, and pharmacy technicians.

 The Salford Communication and Language Assessment Resource (SCoLAR) was created in 2010 to use our experience in further supporting IMGS. In recent years we have run courses for final year general practioners (GP) specialist registrars on communication and consulation skills and we have also provided a significant contribution to a comprehensive induction for IMGs entering the UK workforce.

Courses have been presented at a variety of conferences, such as Safe Communication Skills for International Doctors http://ieposter.com/eposter_manager/upload/registration/194/images/SCoLAR%20PSC%202012.JPG

Take-home Messages
Conclusion

Approximate cost to train a refugee doctor £25,000

Approximate tax paid per annum  £772,000; by 193 Refugee Healthcare professionals earning at least £20,000 per annum

 

 

 


 

Acknowledgement
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