Refugee Health Professionals - Building Bridges Programme

PLAB and Clinical Attachment Project for Refugee Doctors

HE North Central and East London small

The Building Bridges programme is an NHS funded partnership for Refugee Health Professionals living in London.

Refugee Council, the lead partner, is focused on supporting refugee doctors. We assist refugee doctors to re-qualify to UK standards and secure employment appropriate to their professional qualifications. 

We help refugee doctors to:

  • Refresh medical knowledge and skills before taking PLAB Part 1 and Part 2 exams
  • Improve their  language and communication skills
    Prepare for working in the NHS and providing patient centered  care
  • Familiarise themselves with UK medical procedures and systems through clinical attachments*
    Understand recruitment processes in the UK and develop the necessary skills
  • Find employment through the CAPS (Clinical Apprenticeship Scheme) or  other routes
  • Develop and maintain a strong peer-to-peer network to share experience and provide emotional, social or practical help to each other

More information about our services

Success stories of refugee health professionals


We have also produced a short video aimed at refugee health professionals on recognising and dealing with communication and cross cultural issues within the NHS as part of their training.




Below you will find links to our most recent Impact Reports:

Building Bridges Impact Report 2015-16

2015-16 Impact report


Telephone: 020 7346 1047


Below is a link to a speech delivered by Helal Attayee, a doctor from Afghanistan, supported through our Refugee Healthcare Professionals Programme.  He was helped to requalify, obtain licence to practice in the UK and start his first NHS job. Helal is now working at Queen’s Hospital in Romford.

(Filmed at the Royal Society of Medicine) in London for the event 'The challenges of child refugee health: everyone’s responsibility', October 2017).

Here's what our clients say about their experiences of our project:

Refugee Doctors

I want to inform you that I recently had an interview… 13 doctors attended the interview on that day and I became one of the five successful candidates who had been offered the job!
I would like to thank you deep down from my heart  for all your support and advice throughout the years I had been struggling to pursue my career as a medical doctor, and I really appreciate all those efforts to make my dreams come true now”

The programmes and preparations you are running are absolutely essential to the refugee doctors which I believe that without your professional guidance, I would not be in this position today. I will keep you informed my progress.
Many thanks and regards”

I can't thank you enough for your endless help and support,
I don't think we would be able to do it without your help so thank you again”

There is no such words enough to express my gratitude to all of you for your enormous support and help throughout these years”.

 Refugee Dentists

I am delighted to let you know that I did pass the ORE exam. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for trusting me and giving me a huge moral and financial support.
I did work really hard and I am very pleased that I didn't let down anyone.
Thank you, thank you, thank you”

I would like to tell you that I passed ORE 2 thanks to you and all your help, I will never forget what you done for me, thanks a lot”