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International nursing recruitment: FAQ

Welcome to all our international recruits.

You are key to Essex Partnership University’s Partnerships Trust’s workforce plans and we’re honoured to have you as part of the NHS family.

We recognise that coming into a new country is daunting and it can be difficult at times to know where to go for information. Here you will find some information to help you in your role.

These FAQ’s have been provided to reassure you that your health, wellbeing and safety at work is a priority. Alongside national guidance, the Trust have implemented a range of training, support and safeguarding to protect your health and wellbeing.

This is a summary of information on our frequently asked questions. If you can’t find the answer to your question please download the brochures with more detailed information about different specialities or use the contact form to message us.

Disclaimer: Please note that this information will be regularly updated, but things change fast so it could be behind the very last update. If you find something that seems not right, please let us know at epunft.international@nhs.net

About EPUT

Learn more about EPUT and its services in Essex. 

EPUT stands for Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust. We provide community health, mental health and learning disability services for a population of approximately 3.2 million people throughout Luton and Bedfordshire, Essex and Suffolk.

We are a large employer in the East of England with more than 9,300 staff working across more than 200 sites. We also provide services in people’s homes and community settings.

We are mainly located in Essex + an English county close to London, and it’s made up of over 200 villages and towns and 9 cities. See map for details.

EPUT provides community health, mental health and learning disability services to support more than 3.2 million people living across Luton and Bedfordshire, Essex and Suffolk.

We are a large employer in the East of England with more than 9.300 staff working across more than 200 sites. We also provide services in people’s home and community settings.

Mental health services
We provide a wide range of treatment and support for young people, adults and older people experiencing mental illness both as inpatients and within the community. This includes treatment in secure and specialised settings.


Community health services
Our diverse range of community health services provide support and treatment to both adults and children. We deliver this care in community hospitals, health centres, GP surgeries and in people’s homes.


Learning disability services
We provide crisis support and inpatient services, and our community teams work in partnership with local councils to provide assessment and support for adults with learning disabilities.


Social care
We provide personalised social care support to people with a range of needs, including people with learning disabilities and/or mental illness, supporting people to live independently.

Applying for a job at EPUT

What are the criteria and how to apply for EPUT International Recruitment nursing positions. 

We have multiple recruitment campaigns through the year. If you are interested in applying for position at EPUT please check out current vacancies here Vacancies | Essex Partnership University NHS Trust (eput.nhs.uk). If you find suitable position create an account here Welcome | Trac and apply using the ‘Apply Online Now’ button. Before sending the application make sure you read carefully required qualifications and essential criteria for the oppositions.

You can also follow us on Facebook to keep up with the news first hand. If you still need more information please message us at epunft.international@nhs.net 

There is a list of countries we do not recruit from due to government regulations. You can find the list here.

If your country is not in the list there is a good chance your application will be successful, but we cannot guarantee as it changes daily.

International candidates who want to join EPUT must have:
- IELTS or OET certificate with minimum grade in English as follows:

Section:

IELTS OET
Writing  6.5 C+
Reading  7 B
Listening  7 B
Speaking  7 B

- Prove of been employed staff nurse for at least 12 months

- Started their registration at Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

- Passed Computer Based Test (CBT)

Message epunft.international@nhs.net if you need more information.

These tests aim to evaluate your occupational English skills. Both courses and exams are widely available in most countries worldwide so you may want to search online for the one that suits you best.

The Nursing & Midwifery Council are the regulator body for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. You can find a lot of detailed information about the process of registration here including all the requirements to join and documents you will need to provide.

The CBT exam is a computer-based exam made up of theoretical practice-based knowledge. It is all multiple-choice questions and it will take place in a testing centre or can be completed online, depending on the country you are applying from. To take CBT you need to register with NMC and prove your eligibility to get authorisation to book a CBT exam. Read more about the process here.

Working for EPUT

What is it working for EPUT as an international recruit?

When you arrive in the country you will be given keys to your accommodation which will have Wi-Fi, a supply of food and sanitary products for the first few weeks. In some cases, you could be provided with salary advance to cover any unforeseen expenses and other amendments. 

We have Pastoral Support Care team who will provide you with comprehensive support, guidance and care. You will be given information on how to register for a local GP and dentist, open a UK bank account, get a SIM card, and you will be told where to pick up your Biometric Residence Permit from. Contact the Pastoral team at epunft.pastoralsupport@nhs.net

Our Employee experience team will help you during the adaptation process, support your professional growth and guide you through the different stages of your journey. Contact the Employee Experience team at epunft.talktous@nhs.net 

Dedicated EPUT Education team will train, guide and support you to pass the Objective Structured Clinical Examination test (OSCE) to become a PIN registered Nurse. Contact the Training & Education team at epunft.irtraining@nhs.net 

The salary of everyone in the NHS is defined by their Banding. Every job position posted on our jobs website comes with information about the Band. You can find the compensation table by NHS Bands here.

For International nurses in the beginning of their training they will be a Band 4, but after successfully completing the OSCE exam move to a Band 5 with opportunity to progress in their career further.

The salary that will be mentioned in your offer letter is the gross salary.  In the UK the Income tax, National insurance and pension contributions are automatically deducted from your gross salary.  The salary that is paid into your bank account is the net salary

Read more about the UK Income Tax and National insurance contributions.

Yes, if you are part of our programme you will have the opportunity to start working during your 12 week training as a Band 4 Healthcare Assistant.  Following the successful completion of the examination, admission to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), and PIN attainment, you will become a Band 5 Nurse.

When you arrive we will provide you with fully furnished accommodation based on your work location in EPUT’s area free of charge for the first 12 weeks. You can opt to extend your stay in the same accommodation for a further 12 weeks at your own expense where the cost of rent will be deducted from your salary.  

All members of EPUT will have to undergo mandatory training and will have an annual appraisal where any personal or professional development goals can be talked through, monitored and completed. These developmental goals can be met through a wide range of training opportunities and can be structured at various levels of learning and time scales. Speak to your manager to learn what are your training opportunities.

After running the relevant pre-employment checks, EPUT applies for visa under own Certificate of sponsorship on behalf of the nurses who received and accepted our job offer.

Currently it is not mandatory to have a COVID vaccination when applying for a job at EPUT.

At EPUT Nurses are placed in one of our Essex, Bedfordshire or Luton based units depending on demand and what skills and qualifications they possess at the time.

Text to come 

We can facilitate dependant visas for partners / spouses if they are married or in a recognised civil partnership. The accommodation provided is solely for you however.

Yes, but not immediately. After successfully taking your PIN, you will be in period of Preceptorship from six to twelve months and can't work Bank. This is a mandatory process of structured transition to guide and support all newly qualified practitioners. 

Living in the UK

Everything important about living in Essex and the UK in general.

The rental price varies depending of the area and type of property you require. Living in shared accommodation is usually cheaper than living in a one or two bedroom property and big cities are typically more expensive than towns and villages.

Browse to see more about the cost of rent in Essex here and here.

The UK has a number of very large online and offline food supermarket chains including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrison’s, ASDA, LIDL, Ocado (online only) who provide a wide variety of local and international foods with home delivery (with minimum spend £40).

Following any of the links you can see the prices of all key foods in the menu. Besides the large supermarkets, every neighbourhood offers smaller convenience stores and corner shops including Tesco Express, Sainsburys Local, Coop, and specialised shops for foods from around the world.

UK cities boast huge food diversity and offer restaurants and shops from every culinary region globally.

The UK has a highly developed transportation network with good roads, fast trains and convenient buses. You can learn more about the transportation in the UK from websites such as Trainline or in Essex specifically from here Essex Highways

The UK is a relatively safe country with low crime rates. It has strong institutions as an efficient Police service, reliable Firefighting service, respectable Court system and many open public services aiming to protect and support citizens. Everyday life is well regulated and offers high level of security and comfort.

Yes, UK has a free publicly-funded healthcare system – the National Health System (NHS) and you may be part of it. There is also a smaller private healthcare sector that people can choose if they wish at a cost payable by you. To be able to use the free NHS service you must register with a local GP. To be seen by doctor or get prescription medications patients need to proactively make appointments and bookings.

If you feel unwell you may need to visit the GP and speak to a doctor. 

To do that, you must be registered with local GP practice. Call the practice, explain your situation and ask for an appointment. 

As treatment by the NHS is free, you will not be charged for seeing a doctor in the UK but you may need to wait longer than anticipated. 

Not registered with GP? Read more about this in the questions below. 

Toddlers and children under school age may go to Nursery where they will learn the language with many friends their age. Every child has access to free education. In the UK students start school in Reception in the September after their 4th birthday.  The law now requires all young people in the UK to continue in education or training until at least their 18th birthday.  Check the available information about the many schools and colleges in Essex.

You’re never stuck for things to do and see in Essex. From museums, historic sites, stately homes and nature reserves to coffee shops, shopping, gigs, and theatres. Great quality of life makes Essex a big draw for families – the open space and coast make a great natural playground, with parkland, country trails and sandy beaches to enjoy. To find out more here are some relevant links:
Country parks
Outdoor activities
Sports and fitness 
Local shopping and dining 

Vehicles in the UK drive on the left side of the road and the driver sits on the right. If you come from a non-EU country you can drive in Great Britain on your country’s full, valid driving licence for 12 months from when you became resident. After that you will need to obtain an UK Driving license.

The UK has strict road regulations and violating these may lead to penalties including fines and points on your license, and most severely disqualification. The maximum speed on motorways and dual carriageways is 70 mph (112 km/h), 60 mph on single main roads and 30 mph (48 km/h) on inner village, town and city roads. Speed limits change frequently so it is important to always keep an eye out for speed limit signs.

Me & My Family 

Questions about your personal wellbeing. 

Yes, you may, however we strongly recommend that your family relocate with you after you have successfully completed your Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). Again the accommodation being supported by the Trust is just for you for the first three months.

Yes, you can live with close relatives in the UK but please ensure that the distance to and from your home and workplace has good transport links to ensure you are attending work punctually. For further information, please contact the EPUT Pastoral team at epunft.pastoralsupport@nhs.net for a copy of the Trusts step-by-step guide to renting in the UK.

In accordance with the Trust’s special leave policy and procedure, compassionate/bereavement leave will be granted to all staff up to and including 5 days (pro rata’d if part time). The leave also includes long term or terminal illness of a dependent. For further information, please get in touch with the EPUT Pastoral team at epunft.pastoralsupport@nhs.net

Yes. In the UK you will have the freedom to practise your religion and be part of your religious community. There are multiple different Churches, Mosques, Temples etc. across Essex and you will probably find one appropriate for your needs.

At many EPUT facilities we have dedicated spiritual spaces and staff members who will support you to find the best way to practise your religion or spirituality during work hours.

We are committed to ensuring that our services and employment practices are fair, accessible and appropriate for the diverse community we serve and the workforce we employ. Our networks are open to all and allow members of a protected characteristic group to have their say in the decisions made by the Trust, share their experiences with peers and help us develop improvements with our Equality & Inclusion Sub-Committee.

If you want to find out more, please visit Equality and inclusion (eput.nhs.uk)

We are committed to maintaining a culture where employees feel safe raising concerns in the public interest and about patient care and the whole of the organisation is working together to achieving this goal. Visit the The Report (freedomtospeakup.org.uk) website for more details.

Support will be provided in accordance with the Trust’s maternity adoption paternity and parental leave and shared parental leave procedure. You must take a minimum of 2 weeks maternity leave after birth. If you have any questions related to this, please contact the EPUT Employee Experience team at epunft.talktous@nhs.net

No - To qualify for SMP and/or OMP, you must have been earning on average an amount which at least equals the lower earnings limit which applies on the Saturday at the end of your qualifying week. The lower earnings limit (LEL) is the amount you have to earn before you are treated as paying National Insurance contributions.

No – this will depend on your circumstance via risk assessment and the conditions set by the ward and service in accordance with the Trust’s maternity adoption paternity and parental leave and shared parental leave procedure.

Support will be provided in accordance with the Trust’s management of sickness and ill-health policy and procedure. If you feel unwell, contact your GP and arrange an appointment or visit the nearest A&E Department in case of emergency. For further information, please contact the EPUT Employee Experience team at epunft.talktous@nhs.net

The provisions of Section 14 of the of the NHS Terms and Conditions of Service Handbook on sickness leave and the Trust’s policy “Sickness Absence Policy” as amended from time-to-time, apply to this post. Your entitlement to the following is therefore subject to these conditions.

Length of continuous reckonable service

Full pay entitlement

Half pay entitlement

First year of service

1 months

2 months

2nd year of service

2 months

2 months

3rd year of service

3 months

4 months

4th and 5th year of service

5 months

5 months

After 5 years service

6 months

6 months

 

Trust occupational sick pay is inclusive of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) (provided an employee is entitled to SSP). SSP is not payable if an employee is:

  • On maternity leave
  • Taking part in industrial action
  • Already in receipt of the full SSP entitlement
  • In legal custody i.e. prison, remand or in custody
  • In receipt of state benefit during the previous eight weeks (employment and support, severe disability allowance, maternity allowance).

Depending on the risk assessment outcome it may be necessary to identify other accommodation if available. It’s important that you work together with us to provide what additional care and support needed during the interview stage or before the certificate of sponsorship is applied for.

The Trust has a legal duty of care to protect their staff from harm, injury and illness, and to carry out assessments to measure the level of risk to their workforce. You will be asked to take part in a workforce risk assessment process. You will have opportunities to discuss with your line manager or occupational health team about any concerns or anxiety you may have, and they will work with you to ensure you are supported to work safely. Please refer to the Trust’s guidance on risk assessments.

At times in the Trust, including during the COVID-19 pandemic, some redeployment has been required. Depending on the risk assessment outcome it may be necessary to deploy you elsewhere within the Trust until the risk is averted. It’s important that nurses, midwives and healthcare professionals work together and flexibly to provide care and skills where they are most needed. If you are asked to volunteer to redeploy to another ward, department or role, talk to your line manager or team leader about any concerns you may have, and to find out what training, if required, will be provided.

Under the Equality Act 2010 disability related ill-health (supported by medical advice) will be considered separately from other sickness ill-health, and will not be counted for the purposes of any sickness absence indicators. Managers are expected to manage any disability related ill health sickness (or ability to fulfil duties) in accordance with this procedure in a manner that is sensitive and gives due regard for the application of reasonable adjustments.

As detailed in above, pregnancy, disability or COVID-19 related absences and miscarriages will be monitored and support provided.

When you just arrived 

The first mandatory steps when you arrive in the UK

If you applied for your immigration status (for example, your visa) from outside the UK, you’ll need to collect your BRP once you’re in the UK.
You must usually do this before the vignette sticker in your travel document expires or within 10 days of arriving in the UK, whichever is later.

Check your decision letter. It will tell you to collect your BRP from either:
• A named Post Office branch
• Your sponsor, if you chose this option when you applied
Find the branch here:


A biometric residence permit (BRP) can be used to confirm your:
• Identity
• Right to study, rent property or work in the UK
• Right to any public services or benefits you’re entitled to
From 6 April 2022 you will not be able to use your BRP to confirm your right to work or rent. You’ll need to prove your right to work online or prove your right to rent online instead.


Your BRP will include:
• your name, date and place of birth;
• your fingerprints and a photo of your face (this is your biometric information);
• your immigration status and any conditions of your stay;
• whether you can access public funds, for example benefits and health services.

You may have a National Insurance (NI) number printed on the back of your BRP. Not all BRPs have this - it depends on factors like the date it was issued and your visa status. You can report your BRP lost or stolen from inside or outside the UK. You can only apply for a replacement from inside the UK. If your lost or stolen BRP was valid for 3 months or more, report it and apply for a replacement. You must do this within 3 months of losing it.

You can be fined up to £1,000 and made to leave the UK if you do not apply for a replacement within 3 months. This website provides useful information about the BRP. 

The National Insurance Number (NIN) is like your own personal account number. It is unique to you and you keep the same one all your life. It makes sure that the National Insurance contributions and tax you pay are properly recorded against your name. It also acts as a reference number when communicating with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
You can only apply for a National Insurance number once you live in the UK and have the right to work. If you have a Biometric Residents Permit (BRP), you might have a National Insurance number already - it will be printed on the back of your BRP if you do.


To get a National Insurance number you need to apply online and prove your identity. Follow this link to apply www.gov.uk/apply-national-insurance-number 
After you apply you’ll get an email with your application reference number. The email will tell you if you need to provide more proof of your identity. It can take up to 16 weeks for you to get your National Insurance number after you have proven your identity.


Further assistance available via the National Insurance number application helpline(England, Scotland and Wales)
Telephone: 0800 141 2079
Textphone: 0800 141 2438
Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm

In order for you to be paid you will need to set up a UK bank account. Follow this link for an explanation the type of bank accounts available and the documents you will need to open one. 

Most personal current accounts in the UK are free to operate. It will become invaluable for you to check that the account comes with a debit card (preferably contactless as this will allow you to make small purchases in most places with a tap of the card).
Depending on the bank you choose and the type of account you want, you will either need to visit your local branch to book an appointment or some banks now offer online only accounts.

You will usually have to fill out an application form and provide proof of your identity including your full name, date of birth and address. You will have to show the bank two separate documents that prove who you are, for example, your passport, and where you live, such as, a recent bill or letter from HMRC. A letter of introduction from the EPUT recruitment team detailing your arranged accommodation should also be sufficient. Some of the UKs largest banks and building societies are listed below and their branches can be found in most towns and cities across the country.

Metro Bank 
Halifax
HSBC
Nationwide
Lloyds Bank
Barclays
Santander

GPs look after the health of people in their local community and deal with a wide range of health problems. To be seen by doctor you need to register with a GP practice of your choice, as long as you live within its catchment area and it is accepting new patients. They will ask you to complete a GMS1 registration form, along with your name, address and date of birth. If the surgery of your choice is not accepting new patients, you will have to choose alternative one. 

Follow this helpful link on how to get registered with a GP
www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/gps/how-to-register-with-a-gp-surgery/


To find a GP near you, please visit 
www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-gp and enter your post code 

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