Journey of a Nurse Series: Part 1 Moving to the UK

Dr Subodh Dave, Consultant at Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust discusses the NHS and Moving to the UK.


National Health Service

National Health Service – NHS is one of the largest healthcare systems in the world. Fully publicly funded, NHS is a free at the point of use service providing high quality healthcare to ALL the 66 million legal residents in the United Kingdom. It is the 5th largest employer in the world and employs nearly 400,000 nurses and 150,000 doctors. The Commonwealth Fund has rated NHS as the best healthcare system in the world particularly leading in the care process and equity of care. Universal health coverage is the founding principle of the NHS since its inception in 1948 and it remains the duty of the Government to provide free healthcare to its citizens. 


Moving to the UK

Moving countries is a major decision and one that involves weighing up of a range of factors – from family commitments, financial considerations, academic and professional opportunities and even the weather. People move to the UK for a variety of reasons – but working in a world-class health system such as the NHS is often the lure as is the relatively high quality of education at both school and University level. Speaking to colleagues who have been residing in the UK can offer a useful perspective and colleagues who have migrated back can provide both sides of the story. Economic factors can be a draw for some though it needs to be acknowledged that the cost of living in the UK is relatively quite high. Whether you are considering a short-term or a more longer-term migration, the experience of working in a different health care system can be quite enlightening. 

However, moving countries is stressful enough especially if migrating with dependents (see Living in the UK below) but moving to working in a different healthcare system adds its own challenges. Ultimately, it needs to be a personal decision based on your own individual circumstances and getting good advice is always helpful in deciding whether migrating is the right decision for you.