The NHS is helping medical staff from overseas relocate to the UK by teaming up with flexible-living accommodation providers who play a key role in helping them settle in.
Flexible-living brand Gravity Co is home to several members of NHS staff who have travelled from abroad to work for the NHS.
Skilled overseas workers play a vital role in filling NHS staff shortages. The British Medical Association calculates that there were 112,498 vacancies in secondary care in England in March this year.
In response, the NHS is actively recruiting doctors, nurses and other medical professionals from overseas. NHS Trusts are working with accommodation partners to smooth the path of successful recruits - some of whom have never been to the UK before - by helping them find a comfortable and welcoming place to live.
One such partner is Gravity Co, which provides self-contained studio apartments to new NHS staff. Many of these workers use Gravity Co as a short-term accommodation solution when they first arrive in the UK.
Uche Japhet, a physiotherapist, has moved to London from Nigeria and has enjoyed his stay at Gravity Co so much that he is considering extending the contract.
He said: “When I was offered the job, the NHS asked me what my greatest challenge would be — I said finding accommodation. They said they would help sort that out and found Gravity for me. It is a lovely place to live, with good facilities.
“The people here are really friendly and always ready to support you. It is a good environment with a good atmosphere.”
Richa Roy is an occupational therapist who moved to the UK from India in June to take up her first job in the NHS. She will be joining her husband in a permanent home later this summer, but Gravity Co has played a big role in helping her settle in.
She said: “The UK is my dream country to work in and we really wanted to settle here.
“Staying at Gravity has been great, as we have so many facilities. Some of my NHS colleagues also live here, and this has helped me get to know them on a personal level and make some firm friends. It is only five minutes away from work, so I can easily come back for a break and to have lunch.”
Gravity Co is a flexible living and PRS brand focused on community, wellbeing and professional growth.
Riccardo Tessaro, Co-Founder & CEO of Gravity Co, said, “It’s great to be able to support the NHS in providing some of their recruits with a welcoming and fun place to live while they settle into their new life in London.”
“Moving home can be a stressful experience, but even more so when you’re relocating from a different country.
“At Gravity Co, our goal is to provide a flexible accommodation option to support corporate relocation from one to 12 months, not just to the NHS, but to organisations everywhere.
“We include utility bills in monthly rents, offer communal spaces for residents who work from home and host weekly member social events that help those who are new to the city to create a real social network.”
“With plans already in motion to launch Gravity Co in mainland Europe in 2024, we’ll be able to further support our corporate partners outside of London in key European cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Milan and Paris.”