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The Medical Support Worker Scheme for Refugee Doctors (MSW scheme) is a partnership initiative, set up in 2021, seeking to support experienced doctors with refugee status who have been ‘out of practice’ and are wishing to pursue a future medical career within the NHS.

The MSW scheme is able to support doctors while they secure their GMC registration by offering them paid roles, where they can learn about the NHS and continue to develop their clinical skills in preparation to enter the workforce in roles as senior clinicians. In their medical support worker role they can, while supervised, carry out a number of clinical tasks that help boost much needed workforce capacity to care for patients.

More than 400 doctors joined the NHS as part of the scheme before the funding expired in March 2023, and despite the current lack of funding, interest still remains high among many NHS Trusts. 

This webinar looked at how the MSW scheme is working, showcased learning from some NHS Trusts who have already taken part, shared how it has worked in practice and the benefits they’ve seen, and explored the current opportunities for the scheme and how interested NHS Trusts can get involved. The aim was to encourage more Trusts to take part.


Consultant Anaesthetist at Barts Health since 2004.

Born and trained in Germany, I joined the NHS in 1994 for one year only. I have never left and am more committed than ever to NHS values. I was responsible for redeployment of medical staff during the pandemic, and very quickly realised the untapped resource of international graduates, especially refugee doctors. We are proud to have guided over 100 doctors through conversion exams and into the NHS workforce.

Headshot of Heike Bojahr MD FRCA

John is an independent health and education policy adviser.

Previously, he led Universities UK’s policy work on health education, health research and innovation and the health and wellbeing of students and staff. 

Prior to UUK, he led the Research and Innovation desk at NHS Confederation. He has a background in political consultancy, with excursions into Asian contemporary art and leading expeditions, working across east, south east and central Asia.

John de Pury

Craig is NHS England’s director of workforce supply and responsible for recruitment improvement, temporary staffing and widening access and participation amongst other profiles. He was previous director of workforce training for the COVID-19 vaccine deployment programme leading the largest mobilisation of staff and volunteers. 

Prior to working at NHS England he has held a number of director and senior level human resources and organisational development roles across a range NHS providers. With over two decades of experience across the NHS he brings expertise from national roles, acute, specialist acute, community and mental health settings.

Craig De Sousa

Dr. Massoud Fouladi is a consultant Ophthalmologist, Co-founder of Circle Health Group, and trustee of HelpForce charity. Massoud has special interests in supporting refugees to contribute to UK healthcare.

Headshot of Dr. Massoud Fouladi

Johnas is a Medical Workforce Analyst working at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Holding Diploma in Health Care Management and Associate CIPD, Johan has 12 years of recruitment experience, including international recruitment. He started his career as Human Resources Generalist, and then moved into a specialised area of recruitment. Having worked into the Hospitality and Healthcare sector, he has touched on projects that include talent acquisition, compliances, and employee engagement. During the tenure, he supported the team with various recruitment strategies and improvement processes and was also a key member of the team supporting a GP practice with CQC inspection. Johan has also worked in learning and development and undertaken projects in this area. He held many achiever awards including executive employee of the year award in 2016.

Johan D Silva

Has worked for the NHS for over 15 years, delivering various programmes including population health, business intelligence, workforce planning and QIPP across Acute, Community and Commissioning organisations. Holds an MBA from University of Leicester. He is very happy to be leading this pioneering and challenging refugee employment programme. It is quite satisfying to know that every job offered through this programme has the potential to improve the livelihoods of not only the individual we recruit but also numerous other people from their countries of origin.   

Anthony Sembyata

Dr. Inna Soldatenko is a Consultant Rheumatologist who previously resided in Kharkiv, Ukraine, where she dedicated herself to serving the medical community before the onset of the war. With nearly 15 years of experience, she held the esteemed positions of PhD and Associate Professor at Kharkiv National University by V.N. Karazin, one of Ukraine's prestigious institutions.

Since May 2022, Dr. Soldatenko has been based in London, where she has obtained GMC registration. In her role as the Medical Coordinator for the Ukrainian Medical Charity and Ukrainian Medical Association for the UK, she represents the interests of all Ukrainian doctors who have sought refuge in the UK due to the ongoing war.

Inna Soldatenko


Dr Jennifer Dixon joined the Health Foundation as Chief Executive in October 2013.

Jennifer was Chief Executive of the Nuffield Trust from 2008 to 2013. Prior to this, she was Director of Policy at The King’s Fund and was the policy advisor to the Chief Executive of the National Health Service between 1998 and 2000. Jennifer has undertaken research and published widely on health care reform both in the UK and internationally.

Originally trained in medicine, Jennifer practised mainly paediatric medicine, prior to a career in policy analysis. She has a Master’s in public health and a PhD in health services research from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In 1990–91, Jennifer was a Harkness Fellow in New York.

Jennifer was appointed as a non-executive board member of the UK Health Security Agency in April 2022. She has served as a Board member of the Health Care Commission 2004–2009; the Audit Commission 2003–2012; and the Care Quality Commission 2013–2016. She has led two national inquiries for government: on the setting up of published ratings of quality of NHS and social care providers in England (2013); and on the setting up of ratings for general practices (2015). She was also a member of the Parliamentary Review Panel for the Welsh Assembly Government advising on the future strategy for the NHS and social care in Wales (2017–2018).

Jennifer was elected a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 2009 and a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2019, and she was awarded a doctorate of science from Bristol University in 2016. She is a visiting professor at the London School of Economics, and has held similar positions at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Imperial College Business School. In January 2024 Jennifer was awarded a damehood in the New Years Honours.

Dr Jennifer Dixon, Chief Executive of the Health Foundation

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