University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) has become the first Trust in the country to establish a successful Clinical Radiology Global Fellows Programme – which has seen the recruitment of four radiologists from India.
Radiologists are doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating disease and injury using medical imaging techniques such as X rays and scans.
The Clinical Radiology Global Fellows Programme is a collaborative development between the Trust, The Royal College of Radiologists (RCR), Health Education England (HEE) and Apollo Radiology International, India and is part of the HEE wider cancer programme international training scheme.
The three-year programme offers healthcare professionals from India (who have around five years’ experience) an-earn-learn -return scheme.
This means that the radiologists who have been recruited will get the opportunity to earn a salary, while also benefitting from the specialist learning opportunities that working at the Trust will bring.
The Trust will benefit, as the new recruits, who are fully trained, will help to boost its numbers of radiologists.
The Trust’s radiology service sees over 300,000 patients every year, but in common with much of the NHS, it has struggled with the recruitment of radiologists.
Robin Proctor, Consultant Radiologist and Clinical Director, who has spearheaded the Global Fellows Programme at the Trust, said: “Our team has aspirations to deliver the best possible radiology care and experience to the population in Lancashire and South Cumbria, and we are delighted to welcome our new colleagues from India.” .
Ged Byrne, Director of Global Engagement at HEE, said: “Working alongside key partners we aim to attract and recruit experienced radiologists from other countries to come and work for three years in trusts across England on a learn, earn and return basis. The success of the scheme in Morecambe Bay shows that there are clear benefits for patients and we urge other NHS trusts to come forward and talk to us about how they too can get involved.”
RCR President, Dr Nicola Strickland, said: “The RCR is delighted to welcome the first four radiology Global Fellows to Morecambe Bay. The NHS is struggling with well-documented radiologist shortages and hospitals need to pioneer new solutions – Morecambe Bay has shown tremendous innovation in piloting the scheme, which it is jointly leading with the RCR, HEE and Apollo Radiology International.
“This ‘earn-learn-return’ scheme is win-win for the overseas Global Fellows, who gain some subspecialty experience in radiology not easily available to them in their own country, as well as the NHS which benefits from their skills as fully-trained general radiologists.
We hope to encourage many more international FRCR-qualified radiologists to take up Global Fellow opportunities throughout the United Kingdom.”
The Global Fellows attended a welcome event today (Monday 3 June) in Lancaster where they met members of the radiology team and representatives from the Health Education England, RCR and Apollo Radiology International.
Global Fellow, Silpa Kadiyala, Consultant Radiologist, started with the Trust in May. She said: “My experience so far has been fantastic and all of the staff have been very welcoming. I would definitely recommend this programme to others.”
David Wilkinson, Director of Workforce and Organisational Development, UHMBT, added: “We are delighted to welcome the four new highly qualified radiologists from India who will bring with them necessary skills to ensure our radiology service remains of the highest standard. We are
delighted that these four individuals have shown great interest in working in the UK and the NHS and we are dedicated to supporting the speciality interests of our new colleagues and offering further learning and training opportunities”
You can find out more about the Global Fellows Programme at https://www.rcr.ac.uk/clinical-radiology/being-consultant/working-uk/global-fellows-earn-learn-and-return-scheme.