Relocating to the UK to work in the NHS is a difficult decision- as is which area of the UK you would like to live in. It can be difficult to know what different areas in the UK are like, especially if you have not had a chance to visit. In this blog, we will outline what life is like for doctors who relocate to Wales.
Wales is famous for its idyllic coastline and numerous national parks- with 26% of the country being designated a national park or an area of outstanding beauty. There are plenty of areas to choose from in Wales – for example, its capital, Cardiff which is based along the countries coastline and is home to several NHS trusts.
Working as an NHS doctor in Wales
Healthcare in Wales is provided through the NHS. Doctors working in Wales can expect the same level of professional and career development as their peers in the UK, with NHS Wales offering several training and progression routes. Around 16% of staff employed by the NHS are from overseas, so you will be working with a diverse clinical and patient community.
There are several hospitals in Wales, the biggest of which is University Hospital Wales. This hospital specializes in Cardiothoracic Services, Critical Care, Haematology and clinical Immunology, as well as Medical Genetics and Neurosciences. Other large hospitals in Wales include University Hospital Llandough, specialising in adult mental health, and St David’s Hospital, which specialises in community mental health.
Doctors working in Wales may also find a slight difference in pay compared to those working in Britain- information on Welsh pay scales can be found here.
Living in Wales
There are many areas to choose from to live in Wales, and there is something to suit everyone. If you would like to live near the sea, you could consider Cardiff or Swansea– both large coastal cities that offer a variety of things to do. There are several hospitals in and around Cardiff and Swansea, as well as Snowdonia. Snowdonia is a town in the North of Wales, offering both stunning views and low housing costs.
More information about finding accommodation can be found on Rightmove, Zoopla and SpareRoom.
Cost of living in Wales
Though the cost of living has risen across the UK, the cost of living in Wales is still one of the lowest in the country. The estimated cost of living is 1.33x cheaper than England, with the average rent for a two-bed flat in Cardiff being £866.
Urban and rural life in Wales
Wales has a large rural environment, with one in three currently living in an area defined as rural. There are plenty of idyllic rural places to live in Wales- such as Snowdonia and Pembrokeshire.
Though Wales is a broadly rural country, the country still has a great mix of urban and rural life. There are plenty of bigger cities to choose from if you prefer a busier environment- such as Cardiff, which has a population of 362,000 and offers great museums, restaurants, shops and cafes.
Schools and Education in Wales
Many doctors looking to relocate to the to the UK will need to make sure they find the right school or childcare for their children. Many state funded schools allow admission based on whether you live in specific ‘catchment areas’, so it is important to consider schooling when you are looking at accommodation.
There are plenty of both state-funded and private schools to choose from in Wales. To find more information on local schools, you can look at Ofsted reports that detail the teaching quality and facilities of the schools you are interested in.
Things to do in Wales
Relocating anywhere can be daunting, whether you are moving with family or alone. Wales is famous for its friendly population, and there are plenty of things to do and lots of ways to meet new people. Large cities in Wales, such as Cardiff, are home to great nightlife, restaurants and entertainment.
Wales is also known for its numerous walking trails and hikes, as well as several historical sites. It is also famous for its rugby, and there are plenty of local teams you can join to keep active and meet new people.
Transport in Wales
Wales is home to a well-connected railway service, with regular trains to and from London. There are also local railway lines which make travelling in the country easy. There are some local bus routes, though in some more rural areas it may be advisable to have a car.
Relocating to Wales
If you are looking to relocate to the UK to work in the NHS, we have great opportunities in hospitals and trusts in Wales, across several specialties including psychiatry, theatres, medicine, radiology, women and children, and accident and emergency.
We understand the process of relocation can be daunting- which is why we are here are to support you throughout the whole process. In addition to tailored application and interview support, our award-winning platform Red Carpet can help with finding accommodation, setting up a bank account and much more.
If you are looking for a new role within an NHS trust in Wales, or in the rest of the UK, please register your details here and we will be in touch to see how we can help.