Changes to Tier 4 (General) Affecting Medical Students

The Home Office of the UK published a Statement of Changes to the Immigrations Rules (HC 877) on March 11, 2016. The new statements have some changes that will affect the Tier 4 applications made from the 6th of April. Here we have listed the key changes that will affect the students studying medicine in the UK. 1.     Tier 4 students who are currently sponsored by an independent school are allowed to apply for a new Tier 4 visa from within the UK and do not need to go back to home country to apply. 2.     Any medical student applying for a new Tier 4 visa for Foundation Programmes only have to show a maximum of two months worth of funds for their living cost rather than nine months which is still applicable for other Tier 4 applications. 3.     The new immigration rules will clarify caps on study by calculating the time limits, period of leave that have been granted previously for course studies or for any other different level of course. The Home Office have yet to decide whether they will include those leaves that have been cancelled or curtailed in the calculations. 4.     USA students who are studying a degree level course at a higher education institution, and who as a part of their course in the USA apply for Tier 4 visa to study abroad program in the UK for up to six months, will be exempt from the English language requirements. 5.     Tier 4 (general and child) students will be prohibited from engaging in any kind of business activity so far. Tier 4-visa application from 6th of April will have additional work restriction. This restriction is to stop Tier 4 students from setting up businesses in the UK. 6.     The Tier 4 applications from 6th of April can change course at the same institution if:      a.     You have not completed the course for which your CAS was assigned      b.     The course is degree level or above      c.     The new course is not lower level than the previous granted leave course      d.     The course was taught by UK recognise body or HEI that has Tier 4 sponsor status      e.     You will be able to complete the new course within the current leave period 7.     If you have previously been granted Tier 4 leave, your sponsor must confirm      a.     The new course is related to the previous one for which you are granted leave (the course must be connected to the previous one or subject group or deeper specialisation) Or      b.     You previous course and new course is a combination support for genuine career inspirations 8.     Application for Tier 4 child visa from 6th April cannot change course at the same institution for foundation course as an entry to a higher education institution. 9.     Your visa application can be refused if you have outstanding debts for NHS treatment of £500 or more, or if you have legal case with the Home Office and as a result you are instructed to pay the legal costs to the Home Office and have failed to do so. If you are applying for Tier 4 general or child and have concerns on the changes feel free to contact a student adviser at your institution or call us on our advice line.


New GMC Guidance to help medical students

A new guidance for UK medical students has been published by the Medical Schools Council (MSC) and the General Medical Council (GMC). The new guidance will helps medical students understand what is necessary for them to be a good doctor while they graduate from the university. The GMC new guidance is based on the GMC’s core ethical guidance for doctors, Good medical practice. It provides help with practical guidelines for medical students in applying the professional values to their studies, settlements and time outside of medical school. Some of the professional standards described in new guidance are about the patient privacy and behaving appropriately on social media by the medical students. Medical students are requested to: Identify the parameters of their capability and inquire for help if needed Be straightforward for unknown things Show anxieties about the security, dignity and wellbeing of patient Safeguard patient recognizable information Provide information about any health condition that can disturb their studies and request for help from their medical school. Make use of social media only to show their opinion, not to act in an insulting manner to other users. For medical students, the GMC and MSC want the new guidance to be a companion while they study. In 2017, an e-book version of the guidance will be available for the medical students. To help medical school and university staff the GMC and MSC also published an additional piece of guidance to administer and assist students whose professional performance or health becomes a reason for worry. From 1st September 2016 when the new academic year starts, both sets of guidance will come into force. Chairman of the GMC, Professor Terence Stephenson said that student life is an exciting time and GMC wants medical students to enjoy themselves while becoming doctor. He further added that studies and placements of medical students are different from other students. They will have interaction with patients and publics who can be physically and psychologically vulnerable. Due to this and also to maintain trusts with public, medical students have to show superior standards of professional performance inside and outside of medical school. He also said that medical schools plays an important role in providing opportunities to learn, understand and practise the standards expected from medical students. The GMC new guidance will support them in providing supervision, pastoral care and extra help which student may need. For more latest update on healthcare system and medical recruitment of the UK, visit our blog page. 


NHS England Assigns Three Senior IT Leads

On 7th July 2016, NHS England has assigned three senior healthcare IT leaders to advance digital technology in the health service of the UK. In the replacement of chief information and technology officer role they hired: Chief Clinical Information Officer (CICO) Chief Information Officer (CIO) Director of Digital Experience As a first NHS CCIO, Professor Keith McNeil has been appointed. Earlier, he was a CEO of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust where he managed the execution of an e-hospital programme. He has also performed in many senior roles in healthcare management across the world including Chief Executive Officer at the Royal Brisbane, Chief Executive Officer at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and Women’s Hospital in Australia. Present CIO of the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, Will Smart has been appointed as the new CIO for NHS England. He has had a broad career in IT across the NHS and in the private sector. The role of CCIO and CIO are: Jointly lead the National Information Board Act as “commissioning client for the relevant programmes being delivered by NHS Digital” The responsibilities are founded at NHS England and they reports to National Director of Operations and Information, Matthew Swindells. They will be responsible to NHS Improvement with obligation for its technology work with NHS providers. And as a director of digital experience, Juliet Bauer has been appointed. She is the lead of Times Newspapers’ transition to online. The responsibilities of Juliet Bauer are: Drive the “NHS digital product roadmap” Supervise the makeover of the NHS Choices website Administer the improvement and implementation of digital technology for patients ‘supported self-management’, which include patients with long term condition like diabetes or asthma. After the national director of patients and information, Tim Kelsey discharged from the NHS England, NHS has been trying to recruit a chief information and technology officer (CI&TO). Though the organization has resisted finding an appropriate replacement, NHS England decided to appoint a set of digital leaders instead of just one. Commenting on the appointments, Matthew Swindells said that this outstanding team should make sure that NHS advanced on national IT approach and concentrate on providing improved results for patients care. He further added NHS will receive shared leadership from these new appointments and NHS will not talk only about ‘IT projects’ in the future. It will specify ‘patient improvements supported by information and technology’. Visit our blog page for latest update on healthcare system and contact us for any query on medical recruitment of the UK. 


GMC Plans to Revamp Medical Register

Online Medical Register also known as the List of Registered Medical Practitioners (LRMP) is planning to renovate by professional regulator to make it more relevant to the public. They want publics and medical professionals advice on how to do this in best way.  The General Medical Council (GMC) register contains information’s of more than 270,000 doctors. It is the only updated and publicly accessible database which provides information about doctor registration and licence such as qualification date and place, doctors subject to any restriction etc. In 2015 only, more than seven millions including doctors, employers and patients searched for content on the register. GMC consultation paper suggests a revamp of the online medical register, which allow doctors to add more information about their practice to their available profiles. The suggestions includes Higher qualifications Scope of practice Languages spoken Declaration of competing professional interests Practice location and A photograph to verify identity The modification of the GMC register, which initiated as a hardback book in 1859 targets to meet the patient’s expectations about info that they wish to know and request about medical professionals. The paper advises 2 types of information which would be made online for public. First type includes information that the register previously compels by law such as doctor’s name, qualifications, gender and medical licence status and second type includes information voluntarily delivered. Chief Executive of the GMC, Niall Dickson said that the existing GMC register had changed little since first hardback version 1859 but the medical practice and patient expectations have transformed drastically. He added that this plan will be a chance for medical professional to provide a broader picture of their practice. Mark Porter, BMA council chair said that the GMC should be aware of not breaking the privacy and confidentiality of medical professional for which they are allowed. The GMC Consultation runs till 7th October 2016 and the GMC will consider the responds in December. For more information about healthcare system of the UK, visit our blog page.


Junior Doctors Reject Renegotiated Contract Offer

The new contract proposed by government for junior doctors has been voted to reject by junior doctors and medical students across England. In May 2016, the detail of offered new terms and conditions for junior doctors was summarized after ACAS talks between the government and the British Medical Association (BMA).  Junior doctors, final and penultimate year medical students are members of the BMA. So, the BMA voted in a referendum in order to decide whether to accept the contract or not. In the referendum, 58 per cent voted against the new contract for junior doctors and 42 per cent voted for accepting them. The referendum had attendance of 68%- about 37,000 eligible junior doctors and medical students for the voting. After the result of the referendum, Dr Johann Malawana, BMA junior doctor committee chair announced that he will stand down from his position and describe his position was "untenable". He thanked BMA members and colleagues for supporting junior doctors in his resignation letter. A new chair for BMA junior doctor committee will be elected soon. Dr Johann said that vote result is clear and the government must respect the decision made by junior doctors. Every new contract will affect a generation of doctors employed in England for the National Health Service (NHS). He added it was clear by taking to many junior doctors across the country that some doctors felt the new contract denoted an enhanced offer; others had uncertainties about what it would mean for their working lives, patients and future delivery of care in the NHS. These anxieties need to be completely concentrated before any new contract comes into effect. He also said that in order to rebuild trust there are many things to do. Now the government must do the right thing, support the result of this vote and work positively with the BMA to tackle junior doctors’ concerns with the new contract. Visit our blog page for latest update on healthcare system and medical recruitment of the UK. 


GMC to Toughen Tests for Overseas Doctors

The General Medical Council (GMC) announced that an international doctor who wants to work in the UK will face more tougher test before applying to register with the GMC. Following the recommendations prepared from an independent review as commissioned by the GMC, a number of changes are being made to the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test. PLAB test is taken to determine whether the International Medical Graduates (IMGs) have the knowledge and skills for medical practise in the UK. The PLAB test includes a written knowledge test and a practical assessment of clinical skills. The changes made in PLAB test are Limitation on the number of times applicant can sit in the exam. After passing the test, only within 2 years of time, applicants are allowed to apply for a licence to practice in the UK. A broader general knowledge test Completely modified practical assessment containing more scenarios, which will disclose real life discussions in the healthcare system of the UK. The scenario will evaluate applicant professionalism, understanding of ethics and clinical skills. From September 2016, a new assessment will be introduced in instead of PLAB test. ‘‘Medical Licensing Assessment’ or ‘MLA’ will be working title given to the new test format which will replace the traditional PLAB test at some point in the future. It must be taken by all medical professional who want to practice in the UK. It will give a reassurance that UK trained doctors and overseas doctors have been inspected and assessed to the same high level. Chief Executive of the GMC, Niall Dickson spoke on the changes of the PLAB examination. He said that medical professional employed in the UK must have the knowledge and practical skills to practice securely and effectively. And they must exhibit the professionalism patients expect. He further added that to ensure medical professional are at the GMC utmost level the new changes are added to the entry test for overseas doctors. In the UK healthcare, the contribution given by overseas doctor is precious and these new changes will deliver extra assurance to the patients that they have conceded a tough assessment and have exhibited high standards of care and knowledge. For more information about healthcare system of the UK, visit our blog page.