Considerations before coming to the UK
Why come to the UK?
Before setting off it is important to consider carefully why you want to come to the UK. Is it for a short time to study for a postgraduate degree or are you planning to remain in the UK? Only base these decisions on your own personal circumstances and not on the recommendation of friends and family members. Remember employment opportunities have varied considerably over the last few years. Immigration rules have changed and there are also increased numbers of dentists qualifying from UK dental schools in addition to increased numbers of EEA qualified dentists arriving in the UK from the expanded European Union. All of these factors will influence the availability of vacant posts.
Career in secondary (hospital)/primary care (general dental practice)
What career opportunity are you hoping to find in the UK? Have you researched the employment situation? Are you building on experience you already possess from your home country? Can any of your existing experience/training be taken into consideration in the UK? Are you on a specialist list in your home country or do you require further training or exams before coming to the UK.
The healthcare system in the UK has changed. It is no longer possible to start an NHS practice in any part of the UK. Local services are managed by LETBEs. Opportunities for employment may be greater in parts of the country away from the south east and where there are no dental teaching hospitals.
Financial considerations on arrival
How long are you going to give yourself in order to find a post or pass exams? You need to be very realistic and work out how long you can afford to be without any income. You are likely to be asked if you have sufficient funds to support yourself when applying for a visa. It may be better to come initially to the UK by yourself rather than arriving with a family which puts increased strain on finances. If you cannot find a job don’t underestimate the effect of becoming de-skilled, and the effects of depression at not being able to work in the profession for which you trained.
Check what happens if you or a member of your family falls ill while in the UK. Access to free NHS treatment is not automatically available. Different rules apply to residents, non-residents and whether you have come to the UK to study, live or train.
If you are not staying with relatives, this can be a major expense. Hospital residence accommodation may be available after you have been appointed to a post. Please remember that unauthorized living with a friend in hospital accommodation is not legal. It is very important that you have a mobile phone and email address so that you are easy to contact in the event that you are offered a job.
Contact the NACPDE for assistance in preparing your CV as there are many cultural variations which can become apparent.