NHS launches virtual reality app to help international recruits

NHS England and the GMC have launched a joint app that will help international GPs to prepare for general practice in the UK.

The app, called ‘patient journey to GP practice’, shows foreign doctors what GP practices look like in an immersive way and present users with various ethical scenarios.

The app, shown below, is a 360-degree interactive video, following a patient through their experience of a GP practice. Users are asked to listen to the patient and respond with appropriate answers to ethical questions along their journey.

The consensus from international GP testimonials is that the app is a useful tool to ‘understand better how a GP practice is organised.’

One GP said: ‘It is a very useful tool for an international doctor to understand better how a GP practice is organized and it is very interesting to see this as if you were there.’

Another said: ’I could understand how the patient feels and how I should approach him/her. The example of how to manage the confidentiality was really nice also.’

Dr Mehreen Tahir, clinical lead for the International GP Recruitment Programme at NHS England and NHS Improvement London said the app is ‘vital’ for GPs new to UK general practice.

She said: ‘It has been great working in partnership with the GMC to develop this virtual app that was filmed at the practice where I work in Raynes Park, South London.

‘I am proud of being a GP in the NHS and it has been exciting to use this technology to promote the importance of the patient journey, something I feel is vital for GPs who are new to UK practice.’

GMC International GP Recruitment Programme training and development manager Kim Tolley said: ‘The NHS is a world-renowned employer which continues to attract talented staff from across the globe. We hope this app will help international doctors understand the important role of GPs in the UK and how beneficial it can be to work in a supportive multidisciplinary team’.

The app developer GMC e-learning consultant Nick Moseley said it was beneficial for doctors to see what its like and learn in a different way.

He said: ‘It’s been exciting to see doctors engage with this technology and get immersed in this new type of learning experience.

‘You can tell a doctor about good practice, but it’s far more beneficial if we can show them. By using this app, doctors not only hear the theory, they see it modelled.’

NHS England is expected to announce the latest figures of the international GP recruitment scheme this month.

A recruitment agency recently told Pulse that Brexit was the one thing slowing down international recruitment.

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