Overseas radiographers should look to work in the UK now!

6 February 2022  •  Locum
Overseas radiographers should look to work in the UK now!

Written by Ross Havercroft

Radiographers in the United Kingdom are highly-respected, highly-valued medical practitioners who play a key role in ensuring accurate, fast and insightful diagnosis of a range of diseases. There are a variety of specialities within the field and these highly-skilled professionals are tasked with detailed analysis and care planning for patients, often leading complete procedures within imaging or radiotherapy.

In 2021 there were over 37,000 medical radiographers in employment in the United Kingdom. That figure has almost doubled since 2010, showing this is a growth industry with huge potential for career development and job security for ambitious professionals. These highly-qualified medical practitioners take either employed or self-employed positions and radiographer jobs, enjoying the flexibility and enormous professional opportunities in the UK system. In this article, I will discuss why it’s never been a better time for overseas radiographers to look to work in the UK.

Radiography opportunities in the UK

Due to its obvious links with advanced medical technologies, radiography is highly innovative - harnessing the insights gained from complex medical imaging to understand the extent and origins of illness. Radiographers are a key part of medical teams, consulting with colleagues on diagnosis and treatment plans to offer the highest-quality, patient-centred care. There is currently a national shortage of radiographers in the UK, making it a very accessible field for overseas-trained medical professionals looking to expand their experience. Posts are currently available in both diagnostic radiography and therapeutic radiography areas, in a range of different settings, on either a temporary or permanent basis.

Radiography jobs in the UK

Broadly, there are two types of radiographer jobs that those interested in working in the UK can consider:

Diagnostic Radiographers

This role focuses on generating and analysing images of the body taken from a variety of procedures, screening for abnormalities and playing a role in surgical procedures. These medical experts work closely with patients and have roles across a wide variety of hospital departments, including Emergency Departments, operating theatres, and offering support on general medical wards.

Therapeutic Radiographers

This more specialised role is closely linked to the work of oncology teams, delivering treatment using x-rays and other radioactive sources to diagnose and treat cancers or other metastatic conditions. These treatments are planned on a multi-disciplinary basis, taking advice from other senior staff on treatments and management plans. This can mean radiographers take responsibility for building a care pathway for a patient all the way from the discovery of a tumour, through complex treatment regimens, and on to post-treatment care.

What are radiographer jobs UK based like?

There are many reasons why healthcare jobs and a career in medical imaging in Great Britain can be an exciting opportunity for qualified medical professionals:

  • Technology-led healthcare facilities with a strong reputation for medical research.
  • Simpler and faster visa application systems allow for long-term career stability and a wide range of opportunities.
  • A welcoming and supportive approach to new staff coming from overseas, adding to already diverse teams from a range of backgrounds.
  • Health professionals in the UK come from a very diverse range of backgrounds and from all over the world and have a reputation for being welcoming and supportive of each other.

With many roles to fill, the UK government has made it easier for those with overseas qualifications to join the healthcare workforce and support the National Health Service. It’s now cheaper and easier to get sponsorship than it ever has been and skilled worker visas have been extended to three years where they were previously two years long.

There are job opportunities the length and breadth of the UK, across the diverse geography of a country that offers everything from big city living, to quiet beaches to the fresh air of bracing mountain communities. This can be a fresh approach in a world where travel is not what it once was, taking on new professional opportunities internationally is a safe and enriching way to expand your horizons and see the world. This means that those taking up the call to work in the UK have more time to travel and enjoy the benefits of the top-class facilities and training within the UK system.

The UK also offers an excellent base to explore the delights of northern Europe. That's everything from the powder of the French ski slopes to the hot springs of Iceland. Britain has an excellent rail and air transport network, making it simple to enjoy a travel break at the end of a busy working week. Radiographers working in Britain have the opportunity for the best of both worlds and extensive professional development.

What qualifications are needed to work as a radiographer in the UK?

The UK authorities recognise qualifications in radiography from a range of other countries but there are stringent checks on the quality of training to ensure it meets UK standards. Applicants that want clearance to work in the UK will need to have an appropriate degree and provide all the appropriate details to the. There are also criminal and professional checks to complete to ensure the applicant is suitable to work in a healthcare environment.

There are a number of grades at which you can work in the UK, from permanent NHS consultants to flexible locum work, or as a speciality trainee in certain areas. All of these will need registration with the General Medical Council, the UK's professional body for qualified doctors. To ensure patient safety there are also stringent standards around English language proficiency and any applicants for UK posts must pass standard testing which evidences their language skills.

If you're ready to take up the challenge of working in one of the world's best healthcare services then Globe can assist you in finding the best possible opportunities. As an experienced recruitment service with an international view, we're perfectly placed to find radiography jobs or locum jobs if you're interested in working abroad.

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