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15 May 2024

Tune In !

Every day this week, one of the members of the Refugee Support Devon ‘Refugees as Medical Professionals’ (RAMP) team will be covering the project on BBC Radio Devon.

So far, we’ve heard from Dr Claire Haskins, one of our Teaching Doctors; Denise Parker, our inspiring teacher; and Anna, a cardiac Doctor from Ukraine. So, we thought we’d take this opportunity to explain a little bit more about RAMP.

Reflecting on the strains on the NHS, and the wealth of medical experience many of our Refugee clients have, Denise - RSD’s education and employment coordinator – saw an opportunity.

“It seemed quite logical to use the skills of the people who are here, often not by their own choice, to fill what we [in the UK] need.”

The RAMP team at RSD support Refugees and Asylum seekers in Devon with a medical background while they study for exams they need to make qualifications from their home country valid in the UK.

Claire, one of our teaching Doctors said, “I love the NHS. I’ve worked in the NHS for 25 years, but it’s struggling. There is no doubt that we’re under staffed, very understaffed.”

“It seemed like putting the two together was a no brainer.”

Yes, RAMP makes sense, but it is also part of our commitment at RSD. We don’t just want our clients to survive, we want to see them flourish. For many, the journey to the UK was under difficult circumstances. Going back to school after potentially years of working in the medical industry was tough, says Anna a Doctor from Ukraine.

“It was very frustrating for me. Because having 15 years’ experience, it was really difficult to become a student again, and realise that you don’t have any permission [to work in the medical field].”

This is why, as Denise says “RAMP is a point of stability in a time of tremendous change.” In an environment of new-ness, challenges and stress, our RAMP team support clients to strive for careers they love.

In many ways, RAMP is about humanity working together. “I’m forever impressed by how hardworking, how keen they all are – to learn English so that they can practice here and become involved in society and get a job and contribute."

"It’s amazing, really amazing.”

[All quotations are taken from interviews on BBC Radio Devon, links to each episode can be found here: https://linktr.ee/rsdevon]

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