A 27-year-old British doctor, who was told he would not get into UK medical schools after failing his A-levels, has created a scheme to ease the UK’s doctor crisis and is already saving the NHS hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Dr Prash Ladva is a British Indian from Bolton who faced prejudice and inequalities to qualify as a doctor by studying in Bulgaria. He is now a front-line doctor in the UK and has been made an NHS Clinical Entrepreneur for his digital platform to provide NHS-ready British doctors. Prash has been paving way to support overseas doctors for over 4-years, and founded LinkMedics as a medical student.

LinkMedics is a “one-stop-shop” for British-overseas-trained doctors, providing everything from clinical training and education, pastoral care, supported NHS employment and professional development. For the NHS, LinkMedics handles everything from doctor sourcing, compliance training and integration with technology.

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Since its NHS pilots started in September 2022, LinkMedics:

  • Have supported 6 NHS Trusts, across multiple hospital sites
  • Are estimated to deliver NHS savings of over £2M
  • Have supported over 150 young doctors into the NHS

Many of the doctors are from non-traditional backgrounds and are often the first in their family to go to university. As the doctors are British, the scheme is not depriving less developed countries of trained medics where their skills are equally needed. LinkMedics provides a sustainable source of qualified doctors to fulfil a demand which UK medical schools cannot currently fill.

To leave the UK as an 18-year-old and move abroad away from family and learn a new language was a huge step for Prash, but one he seized as an opportunity to fulfil his passion to become a doctor. He realised that there were many other people like him doing the same thing and that not all of them had the experience to get jobs in the NHS, which is how LinkMedics was born.

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There are real benefits for those individuals going through the programme: they get trained in a different health system, they learn a new language, they mature and they are independent. They have an understanding of a different culture and different European health care systems and it is adding capacity to the system.

Gemma Morris, the Head of Resourcing at Mid & South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, says working with LinkMedics has been an excellent experience: “those that have chosen to train abroad, we really help them to return back to the UK and land those kind of jobs that they want in the NHS.”

Nicholas Chappells, the Head of People at University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust said, “It gives us a new introduction into a cohort of staff that we could then support and develop to address future shortage issues.”

Prash became one of the first overseas medical students to be appointed as an NHS Clinical Entrepreneur whilst studying in Bulgaria. He now sits on the Application Assessment Panel and actively mentors entrepreneurs.

Through his lived-experiences, he has just taken up a new role as Associate Non-executive Director at Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, and he also joins the newly formed Workforce, Training and Education Directorate at NHS England nationally as Clinical Fellow to Professor Sir Stephen Powis - the NHS National Medical Director.

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Alongside his entrepreneurial and clinical roles, he is a governor at his previous primary school and acts as a mentor for young people with a similar background to his own who have high aspirations but who do not have solid educational foundations, know-how or access to the support they might need.

Prash has just won Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2023 in his hometown Bolton. He said, “It’s important for me to show other young people, that you can do it too! There’s so much to be learnt from hearing the voices of younger generations, who have such diverse lived experiences. I’m hoping in my new role at NHS England I can create a way for more younger voices to be heard and make national impact.”

He is also remarkably finding time to study for a postgraduate law degree.

Prash is very happy to connect and share his experiences and you can follow him across all social media platforms using the handle @DrPrashLadva. For more information about LinkMedics please visit www.thelinkmedics.com