Moving to the UK to work in the NHS is a big, and daunting, decision. It can be difficult to tell what life in different cities, or hospitals, is like, especially for overseas doctors who may not have had the chance to visit before accepting a role in the NHS– so it is difficult to know which areas may suit you. In this blog, we outline what life is like in London, and what you need to know before relocating to London to work in the NHS.
London is very popular with international doctors relocating to the UK due to its wide variety of things to do, places to live and hospitals to work in. London is famous for its tourist attractions, food and nightlife- but what is day-to-day life in the city actually like for doctors?
Working as an NHS Doctor in London
London has an incredibly diverse population, so you will be working with a wide range of patients from different backgrounds. London is a very diverse and inclusive city, so you will be working with a lot of colleagues who have also relocated to the UK!
Doctors working in the NHS are encouraged to specialise- and there is plenty of opportunity when working in London, as each trust has its own specialty area and there are several specialist hospitals- for example, the Royal London Hospital has a wide range of local and specialist services including one of the largest children’s hospitals in the UK. If you are looking to work in psychiatry, there are several trusts that specialise in mental health, such as Barnet, Enfield and Harringey Mental Heath Trust, South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust and Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust. There are several specialist paediatrics hospitals, the most famous of which is Great Ormond Street. There are also several hospitals that are renowned for their research facilities, such as University College London Hospitals NHS, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and King’s College Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. London is a great place for doctors to focus on their career progression as there are several opportunities to specialise and research.
Living in London as an NHS Doctor
There are many different areas to choose from in London. It is the biggest city in the UK, both geographically and in terms of its population, so there are plenty of areas to choose from. Each area has unique characteristics, and no two areas are the same. It may be wise to choose accommodation close to your chosen hospital- though transport in London is excellent, it is a big city and traveling from one end to another can take a long time.
More information about finding accommodation in London can be found on Rightmove, Zoopla and SpareRoom.
Cost of Living in London
Many doctors we work with want to find out more about the cost of living in the UK, especially in London. While it is true that London is more expensive than some other cities, wages are also higher in the city. While London is more expensive than other areas, it more than makes up for the cost of living with its wide variety of things to do, opportunities for career progression and state-of-the-art research facilities.
Urban and Rural Life in London
London has a great balance of both urban and rural life. Though it is a city, there are plenty of parks, nature reserves and walking trail for when you need a break from the city- for example, Hyde Park, one of the Royal Parks, often hosts family and well-being events as well as music and festivals.
There is always something to do in London- from the theater, to sporting events, to sightseeing, there is something going on every weekend. Eventbrite is a great way to find events going on near you. There are several groups on FaceBook that can help you find a community and build a network. Remedium’s Red Carpet platform can also help you navigate the city, from finding somewhere to live, to finding schools or places of worship, to finding and connecting you to other doctors in your area.
Though London is a very big city, it’s great transport system makes getting around easy. You will never need a car in London- there is an excellent network of tubes, buses, cycle routes and even boats to get around!
Schools and Education in London
Many clinicians making the move to the UK will need to consider schooling or childcare for their children. Many state funded schools allow admission based on ‘catchment areas’, so it is important to consider this when looking for accommodation.
There is a great choice of both public and private schools to choose from in London- to find more information on them, you can look at Ofsted reports that give more information on the teaching quality and facilities of different schools.
Things to do in London
Whether you are relocating with family or friends or alone, moving overseas can be daunting. However, there are plenty of things to do in London, and plenty of ways to meet new people! There is a great choice of activities to suit almost any interest- from museums, to shopping, to parks and nights out, there is something to suit everyone. There are also a wide range of cultures and religions represented in London, so finding places of worship and a community is easy.
London is well known for its several football teams, as well as rugby. Cycling is also a popular mode of transport in the city, and there are several cycling clubs. There is a great range of private and public sport facilities, as well as sports clubs where you can meet new people.
Transport to and from London
London has great connections to the whole country via train, as well as to the rest of the world via its network of airports.
The city has a great transport system, making every area easily reachable by tube, bus, bike or Uber. Most people in London do not need a car.
Relocating to London
If you are looking to work in the NHS, we have great opportunities in hospitals and trusts in and around London, across several specialties including psychiatry, theatres, medicine, radiology, women and children, and accident and emergency.
We know relocating overseas can be challenging- which is why we support you every step of the way. Our expert recruiters will support you with applications, interviews, and securing offers. Our award-winning relocation platform, Red Carpet, can help with finding accommodation, setting up a bank account, securing visas and so much more.
If you are interested in a role in the NHS, in London or elsewhere in the UK, please register your details here and one of our expert team will be in touch to see how we can help!