"Christopher Hawgood has been very supportive and provided me with a lot of help and advice throughout the whole recruitment process, even after I started my new job. They helped to find a house, put me in touch with other Polish doctors in the area, and arranged a clinical attachment for my husband at a local hospital."
Dr. Anna Kucharska, Consultant Psychiatrist.
Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland Mental Health NHS Trust.
“I am a Polish doctor working in the UK since August 2005, in Genitourinary Medicine (Venerologia) for East Lancashire Hospitals. I was recruited by Christopher Hawgood.
What I would like to tell about the Hawgood Recruitment Team, is really my experience as a Polish doctor who decided to work in the UK.
They gave me full support by guiding me step by step through all the recruitment process, keeping me up to date with all new information about the coming post, they arranged the interview with the Trust, offered me free travel ticket and accommodation. I did not pay anything! Really everything it was done with professionalism! Now I am working with one of the biggest Trusts in North West England, with a very nice friendly team in Genitourinary Medicine (Venerologia) and good salary in a beautiful city. So thank you to all recruitment team in Christopher Hawgood especially to Clem Luxford for your help and support.”
East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust.
"Dear Christopher Hawgood, I'd like to express my gratitude to you and your staff for helping me to get a job in Newcastle, England. Until I had spotted your advertisement, I felt a little bit helpless in my search for a job in UK. Since the day you responded from my application, I was sure we would be able to succeed. I had a strong feeling that you were professional, convincing and eager to achieve our common goal. Very soon this feeling started to gain real shape when I was offered a consultant post in Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle. All arrangements regarding my interview in Newcastle were done with perfection, so I could constantly feel your friendly and comforting support.
Now I am happy with my work in RVI and I am looking forward to having my family join me , which I'm sure will be possible very soon , knowing your ability and how keen you are on helping my husband Andrzej also to get a job in or as close as possible to Newcastle.
I have no hesitation to recommend your company to anybody looking for a job in the UK or any other country."
Dr. Ewa Warmuz – Uhma, Consultant Paediatric Radiologist.
The Newcastle Upon Tyne NHS Trust.
"We are all very, very well, and settling down in a very friendly practice. Mr. Plummer and the other partners did everything to help us - so we were lucky! I can remember - you were the one encouraging me to come for the first meeting with the Plummers - thank you!!! "
Dr. Katarzyna Nowacka, Dentist. John G Plummer & Associates, Great Yarmouth, England.
"I first got in touch with Christopher Hawgood at the end of September 2005. Then, in October, I was invited for an interview with a prospective employer resulting in being offered a job of a Consultant Psychiatrist in Northumberland.
During all stages of the recruitment process, and even now – when I have already been working in England for over two months, I have always received professional assistance and advice. I have been very grateful to Christopher Hawgood and his team for all their support and reassurance."
Dr. Agnieszka Bajcer, Consultant Psychiatrist. Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland Mental Health NHS Trust.
"I was looking for a job in UK as a general/colorectal surgery consultant. I found an advert in Gazeta Lekarska from CH and sent them an initial e-mail. They answered promptly and after a few months I met Chris Hawgood and his staff at one of the meetings organised by them in Warsaw for the Polish doctors seeking jobs abroad. On that meeting all the requirements and conditions necessary for the successful job application were explained.
It took another few months for me to complete my application properly by e-mail to make it more attractive for UK hospitals - I was fully instructed by CH step-by-step how to do it. Finally one of the hospitals found my CV interesting. I confirmed my interest as well. The job description was very similar to one I was looking for. Then I was short listed and dates of my interview in UK were confirmed at least a few weeks in advance.
The interview was perfectly organised. We spent 3 days in Sunderland in a very friendly atmosphere and had a good chance to get familiar with the hospital and the neighbourhood. We also met some other Polish doctors already working in Sunderland Royal Hospital - so CH gave us an opportunity to exchange remarks and doubts in our own language! We met them and some others working in Newcastle during a very nice evening meal in one of Newcastle's restaurants. The interview itself was not that stressful as one could expect. Just a day or two after the interview I was informed about an employment offer.
I was given as much time as I needed to close my activities in Poland and move to Sunderland. I was fully instructed step-by-step about the GMC registration process - that was very easy with the documents translated by CH's staff. And finally I found myself working in Sunderland Royal Hospital - everything was prepared at my arrival according to what I was told before - a flat, job plan, even a taxi at the Newcastle airport."
Anonymous, Consultant General Surgeon.
City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.
"I obtained very strong support from CH, very helpful information about the hospital and town where I would be moving to, and about the country. It was much easier for me to "pass" the interview after advice I received from Chris Hawgood, who controlled and assessed my interviewing process. That experience helped me very much to undergo the second interview for a substantive post, which I've already successfully completed. Another thought is that CH chose a Trust, which is very good for me, because it gives me the possibility for further development and I know that I can build my future here. The hospital where I work in has an excellent star ranking. Its urology service covers a huge region of northern England, where it is famous as well as its orthopaedic service. It also strongly develops vascular surgery. We're going to start a stent graft implantation service and I'll be in the team doing this. I feel my efforts are spent in a proper place and my work is appreciated.
What can I say about moving to UK and living there? It's much easier to live here; I've got more time for my family and for myself. Even, if I'm on call, I stay at home enjoying my time with my son, from time to time going to the hospital. I have long annual leave (30 days a year) and I've got money if I wish to go somewhere to have a nice time. This is a much better life than I used to have before I came here. I would recommend everyone, who is frustrated and intends to change their life to go."
Dr Maciej Karasek, Consultant Radiologist.
City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.
My contact with CH was essentially, accidental. An ad in a newspaper and the contact caught on. It was a surprise to me when CH called me in late autumn 2004 and said there was a vacancy for a consultant post in England. The post was for a cardiologist with interventional cardiology experience. It came quite surprisingly on the day that I passed my board examinations in my old country. You know two good things in a row. First, politely but firmly I rejected that offer. The main reason was it was in the unknown and in the far North East of England. London, fine, but an unknown city somewhere on the English-Scottish border - Oh NO! My family was also against that. So my decision was a negative one. Then, after few days Christopher called again - come and have a look at the hospital he said, so I decided to go.
Christopher Hawgood picked me up from Newcastle airport and we went to the Marriot hotel in Sunderland, just by the seaside. Next day there was an interview at the hospital. From the start I knew it was me who had to get the job because you can feel these kinds of emotions. I must also say, other doctors who came for the interview were very good ones and I do know they have found jobs later on. So the interview was smooth sailing and Christopher was present during it. He must have been sitting hundreds of times at the interviews as I was feeling very, very secure with him present at my side. When the hospital management had a technical question about my GMC registration (I did not have at that time, I did not know what it was) Christopher immediately replied we are dealing with that, it will be ready within a week and it was. One thing I can say if Christopher tells you please come for the interview it means you are very close to get the job and never refuse coming.
The hospital was much bigger than I expected. The Cardiology department had state of the art equipment and though I had been previously working in a tertiary referral centre it was not as well equipped as here. In fact, the cathlab was the newest digital model. All the catheters, contrast materials, all the kits were pristine. Three new ECHO machines, pacemakers, state of the art Cardiac Care Unit - all that was much more modern that everything that I have seen before. 5 other cardiologists, of whom some trained at the best cardiac centres in the world, were at that time in the department and my arrival was very warmly welcomed. From the first moment I felt accepted and everyone was very helpful. I did not expect that level of friendliness and my prejudices on English indifference were once and forever gone. I was given an office with air conditioning, a (nice) secretary and all other things that belong to consultants. The trust gave me a small but very comfortable accommodation at a rent price of a good dinner in a restaurant. Slowly but surely I started ploughing into the everyday work.
3. After one year
Professionally I am years forward as compared to my old job, which, though at a respectable institution, would never offer me the level of development that I am facing now. I started admiring other doctors who are working in my old country in terrible settings for that microscopic amount of money and yet they do a good job. Professionally, I have much more responsibilities than in the past, all consultants’ duties are equal and there is no hierarchical system which is rotting medicine in some post-communist countries and making almost all graduates think about emigrating. Whatever conference, professional training in any field, new skills training program - all the doors are now open for me. If you keep the right schedule you can organize the work in the way that during a year you might even have one month of training outside the hospital and 6 weeks of annual leave. Everyday job is sometimes hard; however, in this hospital you always have the assistance of other consultants and hospital management. A whole team is taking part in doing the duties, you are a leader, you do not have to do all the troublesome details such as paperwork etc. It was a surprise for me that a doctor can have so much assistance from the hospital, they take care of you and help you with everything.
One more thing, English medicine is amongst the best in the world and the NHS, which is so much unjustly criticised, offers a good quality of care to everyone. It has to be said, that, emergencies are treated immediately and if someone needed an urgent operation they would get it.
A little on the North East; it is a very attractive area located on the seaside and offers splendid views of the North Sea. The air is crystal clear and there is a lot of sun and sunny days which is hard to believe when you look at the meteorology reports. All these clouds are dispersed during the day and the sun is shining through. The people are friendly and straightforward. In fact, I found friends here. For the children the area is fabulous- lots of playing grounds, castles, and parks. It is Good Old England and you can be sure you will feel like you are at home here.
The last thing, you can always rely on CH. They are very effective in finding good jobs and you can trust them. The only one thing that I do regret is that I did not come to England earlier.”
Dr Cezary Olszewski, PhD, Consultant Cardiologist.
City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.
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