Helping refugee health professionals to join the NHS - Refugee Council

Helping refugee health professionals to join the NHS

Building Bridges is an NHS funded partnership that supports refugee health professionals living in London to restart their careers.

The UK urgently needs more health professionals to meet growing demand for healthcare. Refugee health professionals have a lot to offer – but the return to practicing can be a long and complicated process.


The total cost of a training a refugee doctor to work in the NHS is just 12% that of training a new doctor for one year


the cost to train one foundation year 2 doctor in the UK


the total cost of retraining a refugee doctor into work

Building Bridges helps people who were health professionals in their home countries to reconnect with their professional careers and work within the NHS. We provide specialist advice, language training, work placements, employability workshops, clinical exam preparation, and clinical attachments.

Between March 2020 and April 2021, 23 refugee doctors supported by the programme joined the NHS workforce. It was just in time to help with the unprecedented demand for healthcare caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. They worked alongside their colleagues, bringing in the wealth of experience and skills, eager to give back to the society that provided them with sanctuary when they needed it.


refugee doctors were supported by Building Bridges from 2009-2021


got a job in the NHS


were employed in other health care roles
“I do feel proud to be part of the NHS to be able to serve the public…These people share your dreams with you – they want you to get where you want to get.” Dr Saad Maida

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