Established since 2004

Month: January 2017

Allied Health Professionals’ Wing

APPS UK recognises that in order to provide  good patient care all health care professionals need to work together as a team.

We set up a common platform in 2011 for all health care professionals where Pakistani doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, paramedics, dieticians, radiographers, healthcare assistants and all other allied health professionals can work together in order to provide a better healthcare facilities in Pakistan.

If you would like to join this forum please fill our online membership form.

Junior Doctors’ Wing

The aim of APPS UK Junior Doctors’ Wing is to support medical students both in the UK and in Pakistan. Please become part of a dynamic, productive and supportive environment to advance lives and healthcare.

Medical Education: As British junior doctors, we have a great privilege of being taught by people at the forefront of their profession. The curriculum and teaching we get equips us with the relevant skills knowledge and attributes as defined in the charter of tomorrows doctors. As such we are expected to be leaders of the medical profession in the future.  We strongly desire to bring together medics of Pakistani origin and exchange our experience and understanding of Medicine. Students from different backgrounds bring a unique diversity and flair when united under one flag for common purpose.

Career development:  The post graduate training has been evolving continuously for the past few years and we aim to keep our peers updated with the developments to include the requirements of the foundation training programme, core run through surgical and medical training.

Research and Collaboration: We hope to be able to organise national medical conferences where we can present our research in the form of audits, clinical case reports or laboratory based projects. This would allow exchange of knowledge within a wider community of Pakistani Medical students from across the country.

Promoting education and development in local communities:  We represent not only a great profession, but also our identity as a Pakistani as well a role model for wider Pakistani communities in the country. We aim to educate the people on the themes of Healthy living, Risk factors of common diseases of prevalent in particular areas, mental health, Sexual health, Domestic violence and Woman’s health.

Development and promotion of health in Pakistan: We aim to set up a platform where medical students can come together and organise charity fundraisers, awareness sessions and social events. We believe such work is a very rewarding experience for the volunteers and the outcomes can have lasting impact on bringing a change in the society. With the help of APPS UK networking between Pakistani and UK hospitals can be a wonderful opportunity for students to isolate an area of problem, undertake research and produce well informed findings which can be used to improve the healthcare.

In Conclusion: The aim of APPS UK is to promote quality, virtue and excellence in healthcare, society and advancing lives. This has to be based on highest levels of professional demeanour without any discrimination on grounds of race, culture or religion. As junior doctors we have enthusiasm, drive and ability to contribute and the best thing the youth can offer is their time and dedication. We believe we as the youth represent not only the medical profession but the wider society we are part of. With dedication and determination we can develop the most appropriate skills, knowledge and personal attributes and materialise high quality of healthcare delivery.

Doctors in Difficulty

According to statistics many more overseas doctors face disciplinary action by their employers and the General Medical Council (GMC).

APPS UK is committed to help any Pakistani doctor or medical student who face disciplinary action.

We have sent our representatives to accompany the doctor on  disciplinary hearings and provided support and guidance throughout the process. Many of these doctors were not even our members at the time.

Inappropriate referrals to GMC or unfair local investigations:

Statistics show that the BME doctors are more likely to be referred to GMC by their employers. It is also evident that there are some unfair referrals with significant consequences to the doctors referred.

APPS UK has become aware of these practices in the last few years and has noted some referrals which seemed inappropriate and probably were intended to target some clinicians with excellent track records. This is important to mention here that General Medical Council maintains very high standards and after careful consideration cleared these clinicians of any wrong doing.

Though the procedure of referring a clinician to GMC is straight forward, however there is a perception that the individuals or organisations making unfair referrals are not reprimanded and held responsible for their irresponsible behavior in making vexatious referrals.

APPS UK believes that the overall assessment of the whole process, its cost implications and the suffering of the individuals does need to be appropriately monitored and recorded.

This is well known that the clinicians keen on service improvements and patient safety are likely to raise concerns about poor practices and standards. These whistle blowers if from BME background are more likely to suffer and entangled in some investigation in their work place and get referred to GMC.

This is important for the BME doctors to join relevant associations and organisations and get information and advice from appropriate sources.

We are encouraged by positive response and acknowledgement from all involved in BME forum in GMC.

We would also like to ask the individuals who might have been victims of inappropriate treatment at their work place or unfair referral to GMC, to get in touch with APPS UK for advice and support via:

New to the UK?

APPS provide support and guidance to medical students and young doctors from the UK as well as those coming from Pakistan.  We can help write CVs, provide general advice and guidance on clinical attachments. We are looking for more specialist doctors in all specialities to expand upon this project.

Many International medical graduates are required to sit PLAB. An exam that is conducted by the General Medical Council to obtain registration and become eligable for jobs in the UK.

The following books are recommended For PLAB1 preparation:

1. Oxford Handbook of Medicine

2. Oxford Handbook of Clinical Specialities

3. Psychiatry Chapter from any text books of medicine

4. EMQ and SBA PLAB question books

PLAB 2 is an OSCE exam and there are several good preparatory books available inmedical bookshops. However, if you wish to attend a preparatory course, there are not many conducted in the UK.  Paragon Precise run PLAB courses which include manikin practise.

Those who have completed house jobs in Pakistan can apply directly for FY2 or specialist training jobs. Hospitals can arrange work permits.  Jobs are advertised in the British Medical Journal( and websites.  

There are some exemptions to obtaining PLAB and more information is available from the links below for all overseas doctors who wish to work in the UK.

GMC BME Doctors’ Forum

APPS UK is as part of General Medical Council’s BME Doctor’s Forum. In these meetings we have opportunities to raise any concerns directly with their top management.

Here is  summary report of our last meeting that took place in November 2018:

The Chief Executive of General Medical Council, Charlie Massey, is aware of the enormous  challenges faced by the medical profession in the UK:

A BME doctor may be earning up to £5K less than their counterpart whilst doing the same job.

33% of doctors in the NHS want to reduce their working hours and nearly half of 45-55 years olds plan to retire early.

A female BME doctor is twice as likely to be referred to the GMC.

Doctors are human beings and human beings make mistakes. The general public expectations from the NHS are too high who want every doctor to be 100% perfect.

Though GMC does not use reflective notes against any doctor in their investigations but as per Medical Act of 1983 any doctor can be compelled to disclose their reflections by a court, in case of an investigation, which may be used against them.

There is an urgent need to develop a culture of learn not blame:
> There should be higher bar for prosecution of gross negligence manslaughter. ?Reckless or wilful.
> Human factor training for all investigators
> Forma appraisal of all expert witnesses

GMC should take serious steps to ensure well being of doctors who are subject to investigations as suicide rates are very high in this group.

MPTS: There are 297 tribunal members: 157 lay (including legally qualified) and 140 medical tribunal members. 48% of tribunal members are females and 20% BME. GMC is planning further appointments during next year.

An audit of the fairness of GMC FtP decision making will be conducted during next year.

Barriers to reporting serious incidents:
> Blame culture
> Being new to the team
> Fear of implications (e.g. trainees educational progression)
> Workload Pressures
> Lack of feedback

There have been 18 recorded cases of Gross Negligence Manslaughter in last 20 years.

Improving Healthcare

We are all well aware of the current state of affairs of the health system of Pakistan. APPS UK believes every individual has a right to be treated with respect and dignity by a competent doctor in a safe environment.

We continuously strive to transfer our skills to transform the health services back home. If you have any ideas / suggestions and would like to be part of our team please contact us.

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