The UK-Med Register is a group of health and humanitarian professionals who are trained and ready to respond in emergencies.
When emergencies happen we get there fast. We build teams with the specialist skills needed to deliver lifesaving healthcare, responding to whatever challenges a situation presents.
From nurses, doctors, midwives and paramedics, to specialists in logistics, WASH and community engagement, our emergency response register is made up of health and humanitarian professionals with a huge range of expertise.
UK-Med is a key partner in the UK Emergency Medical Team (UK EMT), the Government’s rapid response to crises overseas. Joining the UK-Med Register is the first step to being considered for a UK EMT placement.
People on the UK-Med Register usually need to be available for six weeks or longer, but we have a special arrangement that enables shorter three-week placements for NHS staff joining a UK Emergency Medical Team response. To join the register, you’ll need to make an application and complete an assessment, training and vetting process.
When you’re part of the UK-Med Register, you could be deployed wherever there’s a need for emergency humanitarian medical support. Right now, we’re supporting the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 response.
In the past, we’ve sent teams to:
UK-Med is only effective because of the passion, expertise and professionalism of the people who work with us.
The particular skills and specialisms we’re looking for change all the time depending on the emergency contexts we’re working in. But for health professional roles, we usually ask that you have at least two years of post-qualification experience in your field.
Your application will be assessed against six core competencies:
You’ll also need to be committed to UK-Med’s humanitarian mandate, and to putting patients at the heart of everything we do.
Photos (L-R): Dr Freda Newlands treats a patient during a diphtheria outbreak in Bangladesh (credit: Russell Watkins). Midwife nurse Sophia Otieno does on-job training on documentation and quality checklists, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. UK EMT team members run a simulation training for staff at Bouar Governmental Hospital, Lebanon (nurse Katy Drillsma-Millgrom, logistician Rocco Massad and Dr Ram Vadi).
No. UK-Med aims to send teams where they’re needed to respond to health emergencies. We can’t guarantee that each individual member will have a chance to join a response.
Due to the emergency nature of our work, we can’t confirm how likely it is that you’ll be asked to join a response. To increase your chances, please keep an eye out for communications inviting you to apply for upcoming postings.
We usually ask UK-Med Register members to be available for deployments of six weeks minimum. But for clinicians who have a substantive contract with the NHS, we can often arrange shorter three-week placements as part of UK EMT responses.
As part of this special arrangement, many NHS staff who are register members spend two months a year on call with the UK EMT. This commitment is agreed in advance with employers. During the on-call period, clinicians need to be ready to be deployed overseas with 12-24 hours’ notice, on a three-week placement.
At any time, non-NHS staff and those who are not currently on call may be invited to be part of an emergency response, or take over from returning members, if they’re available.
Yes. For UK-Med responses we would look to arrange a temporary contract for work direct with UK-Med. For UK EMT responses, if you have a substantive NHS contract then special arrangements can usually be made in advance for you to receive your normal basic pay and benefits from your employer during a deployment. (The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) would then reimburse your employers for this cost via UK-Med.) If you don’t have a substantive NHS contract (e.g. locums and bank staff), we would arrange a temporary work contract, as in the case of UK-Med responses.
Please note: the UK EMT cannot fund the cost of backfill for a role. Arrangements can only cover the direct cost of salary, National Insurance and pension contributions for the employee who joins a response for the period the employee is away from their normal job.
The amount of experience required is dependent on the needs of each response. As a general guideline, we would require a minimum of two years’ experience post qualification. Member selection for responses is based on experience outlined on your CV.
Members of the UK-Med Register follow a training pathway that has two overall phases:
a capability strengthening and preparedness phase which focuses on ensuring you are well prepared to respond to a health emergency with UK-Med.
See our Training Pathway page for more information. Once you have completed core training you will be able to apply for places on our other specialist training courses.
The process for joining the UK-Med Register has three main strands: assessment, training, and vetting and screening. Some elements of these may happen at the same time. Our priority is to make sure we have the teams we need trained, vetted and ready to staff our responses.
We’ll find out more about your skills, experience, attributes and expectations. This enables us to make sure you’re right for UK-Med, and match you with the most suitable opportunities as they arise. We’ll also keep in touch on an ongoing basis to check you’re still available and remain a good match for our responses. We use the UK-Med Core Humanitarian Competencies as our assessment framework.
You’ll receive core training to help you understand our contexts, procedures and expectations, plus specialist training related to the type of response you’re signing up for. This will give you the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to thrive as part of our emergency teams. It will also enable you to act safely, effectively and efficiently in the event of a response.
We’ll take steps to make sure you meet certain medical and suitability requirements to be part of our responses. This is part of actively managing risks to you, our patients, and other members.