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LCHS supports Syrian doctor to practice in Lincolnshire

Posted on: 3rd March 2023

Judy Saker came to the UK from Syria to study for a master’s degree in health care operational management and was then supported by The Lincolnshire Refugee Doctor Project with courses to prepare to be a doctor in the UK. 

Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) is a partner in the project and runs Boston Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC). Judy gained the position of medical support worker at Boston UTC, in March 2022, which enabled her to work under other doctors and gain experience, whilst she studied for her exams.  

A medical support worker is a new role for overseas doctors who are not registered in the UK. This role allows them to be fast-tracked into the health service and be supported to become registered NHS doctors, while working under supervision. For example, Judy was able to see all patients coming into Boston UTC to give initial diagnosis and management plans and would discuss these with a GP before making the final decision on treatment. Patients ranged from newborn babies to elderly people.  

She successfully passed her exams in November 2022, which means she can now work as a doctor in the UK after completing the General Medical Council (GMC) registration.  

Judy, who lives in Boston said: “It has been lovely working for LCHS, I worked under great doctors, some of which had gone through the same journey of becoming qualified in the UK, so they guided me.  

“The whole team was very supportive too. I am extremely grateful for their help and now look forward to working as an NHS doctor in the UK.”  

The Lincolnshire Refugee Doctor Project (LRDP) supports people who are medically qualified in their home country to achieve General Medical Council (GMC) registration. This allows them to continue their career in the UK and support our local NHS workforce. Judy undertook online courses through the project, delivered by international doctors who had gone through the process to learn from their experiences.  

Emma Riley, Teaching Programme Lead at LRDP, said: “A number of our members have been employed as medical support workers in Lincolnshire, thanks to our partnership with LCHS. 

“This role is mutually beneficial for hospitals and the members of our programme. It’s a fantastic way for overseas-trained doctors to be introduced to the NHS, and under supervision improve language and clinical skills.”  

Doctor Thomas Cheung from Boston UTC added: “It has been a pleasure to work with Judy. She has shown commitment and dedication since joining us. 

“Passing her exams was well deserved and we hope Judy will continue to work with us and contribute to the NHS.”