Information About the Writers

Dr Khalid Hamid, Co-writer: Dr Ahmed Karar

~~These are few things that you might find useful when you come to the UK for your first job~~

Before you depart!!

  • Plan ahead for your stay before departure from your place of residence (before applying for the visa). To arrange accommodation and transportation from the airport
  • Get cash sterling pounds, as much as you can, it might take a while before you get your first salary (from 1 week to 3 weeks sometimes.

When you arrive:

  • Collect your biometric residence permit (BRP), if you receive a letter from Home Office with such an instruction, within 10 days of arrival, it also works as a second ID for the bank for example. Some people will need to have a police registration; you will receive such information IN WRITING if it is required from you when you receive your visa.
  • Report to the hospital as soon as you arrive, the first person to contact is your Human Resource representative, The Medical Personnel Officer (MPO), he/she will be your contact person throughout the process of getting into the hospital
  • Get an accommodation quickly!

Getting an accommodation is needed to:

  • Feel settled before starting working (no one will give you an excuse to not go and do your duties)
  • Getting a bank account
  • HR needs your address to fill your payroll application and many other following steps!
  • Usually, hospital accommodation is easier, and save you a lot of time and headache. Beware that in some hospitals does not provide accommodation for doctors, or it might be full and you will be placed on a waiting list. Make sure to get this issue sorted before departure from Sudan. Contact your MPO and get in touch with Sudanese people you know in the UK/ Sudanese doctors association like SJDA and they will try to help as well.
  • Based on your address, HR will issue you a letter to the bank and will start you insurance process

When you first arrive at the hospital:

  • Get in touch with your MPO (Medical Personnel Officer).
  • Fill all important forms and organise for mandatory checks: this includes the occupational health check, payroll application, bank account letter and proof of residence (through HR personnel). DBS online update is recommended when you get the letter in your post.
  • Do the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service), previously known as BRP. You will be asked to provide a police clearance form Sudan( فيش). It might take few weeks to get the checks completed, please note in most places you cannot start working before getting the DBS certificate. Speak to your MPO about the possibility of starting the DBS process while in Sudan, it will save you time when you arrive here. The certificate has to be renewed yearly, do not forget to subscribe to the DBS update service within approximately 10 days from receiving your DBS certificate.
  • Apply to the national insurance number (through HR)
  • Open the bank account
  • HR personnel will take you to your department (do not rush to work before fixing out everything as you will not get more free time to sort things out, note: you are not paid until you start working so nobody will ask you to be in work. You decide!) you cannot officially start working before you receive the mandatory clearances, namely, the occupational health clearance and your DBS certificate.

When you settle down and start your work think of:

  • Getting a GP and dental registration. To find more about your nearest GPs and their ratings visit this website:
  • Register to an indemnity agent such as Medical Defence Unit (MDU) or Medical Protection Service (MPS), it is now a legal requirement by the GMC to have an indemnity.
  • British Medical Association (BMA ) membership is not mandatory, feel free to speak to us about benefits/drawbacks of joining this association.
  • Join your hospital library +/- a nearby library if you prefer to study outside your residence.
  • Create an official work email to access it in the hospital, all other emails are blocked in hospitals computers. Options are
  • Create a professional email:
  1. A email (recommended) by contacting the IT department in the hospital or
  2. Create a account, this is the link:

It will serve as a second ID and a proof of residence. It is more important than what you think !! literally, it only requires the application form completed and posted along with your passport and a passport photo to the address provided in the form. It will be posted to your address in few days.

  • Create an account in your relevant royal college E-portfolio and E-logbook system
  • Move around where you live, get to know the place. Some useful stores to visit:
  • Wilko/staples: for stationary
  • Primark, TK Max, TJ Hughs: reasonable priced clothes and shoes
  • Sportsdirect: for all sport related stuff, you may find it useful for sport shoes
  • ALDI, ASDA, TESCO, ALDI, Morrisons, LIDDLE: large stores for everything basically.
  • Home Bargains and all one pound stores sell cheap things
  • All large stores including WHSmith and TESCO express sell top-up vouchers for mobiles, you will need this in your first days before getting your phone/sim only contract.
  • Know where is your nearest outlet store, it might be out of town, you will get MANY GREAT VALUE DEALS
  • Make a list of all courses, post-graduate and exams you would like to do and create your schedule/plan. Plan ahead for your training. SJDA provides a useful career planning guidance.
  • Try to get involved in the culture, know more about the country and follow the news
  • Take your time to get to the system, and do not be afraid to ask for help whenever you need
  • Get in contact with someone to provide you with financial backup if you need
  • NHS Advantages:
  • NHS technology scheme
  • NHS discounts to Gym, restaurants
Getting around different cities:

  1. Via bus: for national- intercity travel the two main options are: National Express ( and Megabus For travelling inside the towns and cities there are bus services operating around the clock and there are many options for paying the bus fare including cash in the bus or online or via a prepaid card. Please check the website of the bus service operator you use the most
  2. Or via trains: tickets can be issued online or in a train station, generally they are of two types: advance tickets or anytime tickets, check this website for train times and bookings: and you can install the national rail application in your smartphone, it is tremendous. Try to book your tickets early at a cheaper price.
  3. Metro/tube: many cities have an underground train service: tickets are available in all stations via automated machines or teller service. You can also get a prepaid card that will save you a lot if you wish to use the service regularly. Some trusts offer these cards at a subsidised price-  pleases check with staff office.
  4. Taxi services are also available and can be ordered via the phone. Once you settle down you might want to check Uber and other similar apps.

  • I cannot emphasise on how important to you to use google maps application
  • An external battery charger is a useful tool when you are outside your residence for a long time (e.g. travel)

Money transfer to Sudan:

Sensitive issue, discuss with other Sudanese people you know and choose the best for you. Generally speaking, Altras international provides good, fast and secure money transfer to Sudan. To create an account with them follow this link: You will need to create an account and it has to be verified before you will be able to perform your first transaction.

To call Sudan or any other international destination:

You have some options alongside the well-known free calls applications as WhatsApp, Messenger, Skype and Viber. These options include:

  1. Cheap calls applications like Rebtel, Nymgo and TalkHome: these are mobile applications that enable you to call landlines and mobile phones in Sudan at a cheaper rate. You will have to have a reliable internet connection to perform the call. The recipient does not need internet to receive the call!!
  2. Lica: sim card
  3. Enjoy your stay in the UK, and welcome onboard

Future thinking:

  • Are planning to get a car?
  • Long term stay? Plan for mortgage and know how to increase your credit score