These programmes give a healthcare professional the opportunity to observe clinical work in our hospitals.

 Due to Covid-19, clinical observerships and elective placements are currently not taking place at the Trust. Applications will not be accepted or processed during this time. Our inbox is monitored for refund purposes only.

These programmes give a healthcare professional the opportunity to observe clinical work in our hospitals for a maximum of eight – 12 weeks.

Each clinical observer is paired with a supervisor, who acts as a mentor throughout the programme. The supervisor will work with the observer to create a tailored experience, ensuring that our visitors make the most of this unique opportunity.

What does the placement involve?

During the placements, healthcare professionals will observe and participate in a range of tailored activities including but not limited to:

  • multi-disciplinary team (MDTs) meetings: specialist teams of health professionals who together with the patient and the specialist doctor decide diagnosis, care and treatment
  • clinics and ward rounds
  • management meetings
  • quality improvement activities
  • teaching sessions
  • observing surgery in theatres
  • Corporate Induction
  • Local Induction

Who is eligible?

Candidates for medical observership placements must be qualified and registered in their home country. UK professional registration is not required. No hands-on activities are allowed.

In order to apply for observership programmes candidates will complete an application form and provide the following documentation:

  1. Passport

  2. National ID or driving licence (and translation)

  3. Visa (if Non-EU)

  4. Proof of qualification and professional registration (and translation)

  5. DBS / CRB / Criminal Records check from home country (and translation)

  6. Completed Fitness to practice and criminal investigations declaration

  7. One proof of address in the UK

  8. Evidence of immunity to:

    1. Hepatitis B (antibodies)

    2. Measles and Rubella or evidence of having had two MMR vaccinations

    3. BCG vaccination or evidence of immunity to tuberculosis (TB)

    4. Immunity to chicken pox.

  9. Occupational Health Clearance

  10. Personal information form

  11. Two professional reference letters

  12. Passport size photo

Language requirements

Candidates must achieve IELTS level 7 or above (in each part). Candidates must allow a minimum of 3 months in order to process their request.

Letter of authority

A letter of authority is issued for a maximum of three months. In order the letter of authority to be issued:

  • the candidate must pass all the relevant Occupational Health checks
  • the candidate must provide the necessary documentation
  • the candidate must meet the agreed payment schedule
  • supervisors and their Clinical Directors need to sign off a supervision agreement form

At arrival, observers must complete corporate and local induction, original documents are checked and Non-Disclosure and Confidentiality Agreement completed and signed off. According to the Trust Policy, observers cannot be given access to the Trust’s IT systems.

Guidelines for applicants

  1. Observers are not authorised by the Trust to provide services of any kind either in an employed or honorary capacity and observers are not entitled to remuneration or expenses.
  2. While on clinical attachment, observers are not permitted under any circumstances to:
    • prescribe
    • order diagnostic tests or radiological examinations
    • take specimens
    • initiate, advise, order or stop the treatment of patients
    • undertake clinical procedures
    • teach clinical procedures
    • take any part in obtaining or witnessing the signature by or on behalf of a patient on a form of consent to treatment
    • assist with laboratory work
  3. Observers under strict supervision by the designated clinical supervisor can observe in theatre, take a clinical history under supervision, contribute to discussion on diagnosis with the team post treatment (but not diagnose or advise treatment).
  4. It is the observer’s responsibility and that of the designated supervisor to ensure that the observer is identified to the patient and the observer’s status is obtained. In order to improve security all observers are required to wear a photo identification badge when in hospital premises.
  5. The observer must not question or examine a patient.
  6. All attendance in hospital clinical areas must be supervised. Observers are not normally permitted to visit intensive therapy units or visit areas other than their base department without the express permission of the head of department or supervising consultant.
  7. While on attachment observers are subject to the same checks and obligations as Trust staff with respect to the following:
    • Immigration status
    • Occupational Health requirements
    • Criminal Records
    • Protection of Children
    • Certification under the Ionising Radiation Regulations
  8. Observers are required at all times to behave in accordance with departmental policies and protocols, and the policies and procedures established by the Trust. In particular — Health and Safety regulations; confidentiality of patient information; alcohol at work; harassment policy; equal opportunities; no smoking policy; standards of business conduct. Copies of these policies are available for inspection in the Trust’s Human Resources department.
  9. The clinical attachment may be withdrawn at any time if the observers is found to be in breach of any Trust policies, procedures or the terms of this agreement. It may also be withdrawn for any other reason at the discretion of the Medical Director.
  10. During the clinical attachment, observers are not and must not present themselves as an employee of the Trust.
  11. The observer accepts that the Trust shall not incur any legal liability upon termination of this appointment or offer any indemnity for NHS work.
  12. Observers must maintain a minimum of attendance.
  13. The Trust is responsible for the health and safety of each observer whilst on site on the Trust’s premises during the programme; provided that each observer complies with all Trust requirements.
  14. The Trust accepts no responsibility for damage to or loss of observers’ personal property.

Find out more

If you would like to know more about our observership programmes, please contact the international education team.