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Refugee and Asylum Seeking health professionals face significant barriers when attempting to revalidate their medical qualifications to practice in the UK. The WARD group supports doctors and dentists to restart their medical career and helps maintain future doctors’ numbers within the NHS in Wales.

What is the project?

The goal of WARD is to help doctors and dentists across Wales to revalidate their medical qualifications and achieve a career within the NHS. Without this kind of support, it is hard to independently overcome the financial, logistical and mental barriers and restart a career within the NHS.

Amongst other things, the support that we offer includes:

  • Weekly IELTS/OET lessons
  • PLAB resources, course and support group
  • Exam payments for IELTS/OET, PLAB 1 and PLAB 2
  • Assistance with GMC registration
  • 6 month paid supernumerary placement once GMC registered


When was it set up and who pays for it?

 WARD group was created in 2002, after we recognised the unused potential of refugee and asylum seeking doctors. WARD was the first scheme of its kind in the UK, and remains the only one that provides paid supernumerary posts to help introduce doctors into the NHS.

WARD is currently funded by Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW). In addition to this funding, HEIW also provides WARD with professional support.

What has WARD achieved?

Since 2002, WARD has helped over 340 healthcare professionals. On average WARD doctors a year achieve GMC registration and begin work in the NHS.

Over 170 healthcare professionals have passed their language exam with WARD’s tuition and funding. Over 130 doctors have passed both their PLAB1 and PLAB2 exams with the help of WARD.

So far over 130 WARD doctors have completed the program and are now employed in the NHS, some of which are now GPs and consultants on the specialist register. These individuals are each fulfilling essential roles which take years of experience and training to reach.

How can I join WARD? 

The first step is to get in touch with Sam, our WARD group manager, who will discuss your needs and sign you up to the project.

Although WARD is primarily for doctors and dentists, we can provide other health professionals with IELTS/OET tuition when there is space available.

Transport and access costs are provided. If you will need level access, large print, or have any other accessibility needs, please do not hesitate to get in touch

To join or find out more please contact:

Sam Allen | WARD group manager | | 07496 840 479