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Supporting Refugee AHP Healthcare Workers

Significant numbers of refugee healthcare workers are resident in the UK and in 2021-22, HEE partnered with RefuAid to look at the practical steps to support AHP trained refugees into meaningful work within our healthcare system.

HEE AHP Refugee Programme

This pilot programme grew our understanding of the specific issues for these AHP allied healthcare workers and followed on from early work led by NHSE focused on medical staff and nurses. Achieving employment helps to ensures that the skills of people who have been granted asylum in the UK are not wasted, and helps new refugees to move on with their lives.

In this specific AHP programme, HEE supported candidates to registration, and through work-based contacts helped initiate bespoke development plans to transition into work within their specialist field. RefuAid provided extensive pastoral support for the refugees, along with financial aid and language development support.

Below are two of the stories from the refugees supported during the HEE AHP Refugee Programme, both illustrating the difficulties in achieving their goal of meaningful health-related work.

Refugee Dietitian 

This case study documents the challenges and personal cost of a 24-year-old Turkish refugee with a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. Seeking asylum in the UK in 2019, it took over 2 years to gain the right to work. Supported by RefuAid and HEE we read about her journey getting to a point of work experience and a part-time role within a Dietetic department within an NHS Trust.

Read the full case study

Refugee Clinical Scientist

Working as a radiographer with a background of medical physics, MT was forced to leave her home with her daughter back in 2018 to come to the UK seeking asylum. This case study documents the struggle to find opportunities to gain experience or meaningful work related to her professional background. Through the joint AHP refugee programme with RefuAid and HEE she was finally able to demonstrate to a prospective employer her skills and talent in a specialist field of radiation protection.

Read the full case study.

NHSE Refugee Nurse Support Pilot Programme

The NHSE Refugee Nurse Support Pilot programme developed through collaboration between RefuAid, Liverpool John Moores University and the Department of Health and Social Care. This innovative work aimed to support refugees who were qualified as nurses in their home country to resume their nursing careers in the NHS. The programme provided education and awareness of our health system to the refugees partnered as paid assistants staff with NHS Trusts, through to their OSCE examination and full UK registration. This programme continues and is broadening its acceptance criteria to include displaced workers that are still abroad.