Pramod Selkar outlines some of the guidance and sources of support that the CSP offers to physios who qualified overseas.
Physiotherapists who qualified overseas face an uphill battle to find work in the NHS or other settings in the UK.
Although many UK-qualified physios face their own struggles, the situation for the overseas qualified is exacerbated by the fact that they may have to undergo a period of adaptation required for Health and Care Professions Council registration and many jobs require applicants to have prior experience of the NHS.
Despite this, there are sources of support for overseas-qualified members.
A recent CSP Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Network event for overseas-qualified physios provided a setting whereby creative solutions to the current squeeze on jobs were discussed in depth by more than 40 physios who qualified in a range of African, Asian, South American and European countries.
The CSP’s resources include two information papers titled Working in the UK and Survival guide in obtaining your first physiotherapy post.
It also offers professional advice on topics related to the profession, access to professional networks (for physios working in palliative care and older people, for example).
Other networking opportunities include the iCSP network, regional networks and Physiotherapy UK, access to the jobs escalator on the CSP website and the Continuing Professional Development ePortfolio tool, Pebble Pad 3.
Both the BME Network and the Overseas-Qualified member iCSP Network support members, the latter includes access to an online discussion forum holding information for overseas-qualified physios.
I urge all overseas-qualified members to join these networks.
Having qualified in India, I know what it’s like to start out as a new band 6 in the NHS. I have now progressed to being a physiotherapy service manager with responsibility for 100 staff.
Networking with colleagues in other professions is crucial, I believe.
The CSP is setting up a mentoring scheme so that experienced overseas-qualified physios can advise and support newly-qualified overseas members.
Contact CSP professional adviser Birgit Mueller-Winkler. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pramod Selkar is co-convenor, CSP BME Network, and MSK physiotherapy service manager, Kent Community Health NHS Trust
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