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Home > News > July 2004 > 21-Jul-2004

New moves to support refugee nurses and doctors

A new boost to help refugees with healthcare skills bring their expertise to the NHS has been announced by Health Minister John Hutton.

Speaking at the Employability Forum conference on Monday, Hutton announced £500,000 extra funding for the Refugee Health Professional Steering Group, which was set up in 2001 to support refugees with health professional skills.

Since 2001, the Department of Health has already provided £1.5m funding, which has gone to over 30 projects providing training and support for refugee health professionals. The extra £500,000 will fund the group for 2004/05.

Examples of the projects include:

  • language courses
  • clinical skills courses to help refugee doctors and dentists prepare for regulatory exams
  • job clubs giving interview practice
  • attachments and work shadowing schemes

"Refugee nurses and doctors have a great deal to offer the NHS and we want to help them use their skills", said Hutton. "Refugees are not like other international health professionals - most did not choose to come to this country, and may come unprepared for life in the UK. They need help getting up to the standards needed to pass the necessary English language tests and clinical exams, and they also need a proper induction into the workings of the NHS. Being able to access the right training and support is crucially important for refugee health professionals, so that everyone can benefit from their skills."

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