Consultant Medical Adviser

Kingston Upon Thames (City/Town), London (Greater)
10 Jul 2019
23 Jul 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Contract
Part Time

VSO employs the services of consultant Medical Advisers, to work as an integral part of VSO’s International Medical Team. The aims of this team are to:

  • carry out the medical aspects of VSO’s duty of care to volunteers and employees 
  • provide health support to volunteers, employees and their dependants when they are working away from their home country or travelling on VSO business

As a result of InterHealth Worldwide ceasing to trade earlier this month, VSO medical team is expanding to take on extra tasks associated with health screening International Citizen Service (ICS) volunteers on behalf of some other ICS agencies.

Consultants will join the whole team to share work described in the job description below but will primarily focus on ICS clearance as part of pre-departure support. It is envisaged that only a small proportion of the work will involve overseas health support, travel health policy etc

Pre-departure health support

  • As part of the team share responsibility for health screening decisions for ICS volunteers, long term volunteers and international employees, 
  • In coming to a clearance decision, consider individual applicant's current and previous medical history, including both physical and mental health issues. Also take into consideration features of the proposed locations when making recommendations on suitability and/or what reasonable adjustments can be provided to support individuals and their health issues.
  • Discuss risks and restrictions which may be significant to the work placement with individual volunteers/employees. 
  • Responsible for re-clearance after a medical incident. 
  • Supervise the medical clearance work carried out according to guidelines by the International Nurse Advisers
  • Support VSO with information where there are appeals against clearance decisions
  • Oversee the content and contribute to VSO’s health briefing and preparation materials 

Overseas health support

  • Give medical advice to individual employees their dependants and volunteers working or travelling away from home on VSO business especially in regard to mental health issues.
  • Act as secondary source of medical advice on treatment/management of medical conditions whether these are being managed locally or by the medical assistance company. 
  • Provide medical direction to International Nurse Advisers and other VSO employees on the management of medical cases, speaking directly to volunteers or employees or to those actively supporting them 
  • Act as medical back-up to emergency on call phone holder on a rota basis to help supply 24/7 medical support to VSO
  • Support country offices and other staff with general medical advice 
  • Build strong relationships with VSO’s regional and local sources of medical advice 
  • Support all VSO offices to find appropriate medical, dental and counselling support locally 

Professional oversight

  • Medically supervise work of International Nurse Advisers 
  • Have doctor-doctor conversations on VSO’s behalf with in-country medical adviser, treating doctors and  assistance company’s medical team as required
  • Abide by GMC recommendations of confidentiality and medical records

Health Policy

  • Advise and contribute to VSO’s corporate health related policy in the light of international best travel medicine practice.
  • Advise and contribute to health policy and guidance documents for employees and volunteers and their managers
  • Support VSO’s country offices with health advice for example in a situation of outbreaks

Travel health network

  • Stay informed and up to date with current travel medicine best practice.
  • Maintain access to the appropriate information channels and networks to assist VSO to manage outbreaks and health scares

Person Specification 


Medical Doctor with qualification and at least 2 years’ experience in UK General Practice and special interest/focus and experience in mental health 


Work with young adults 
Lived and worked in a resource poor environment
Understanding of the limitations of local health service delivery and facilities in either Africa or Asia


  • Demonstrates ability to work effectively as part a multi-disciplinary team  
  • Good judgement on question of when to be decisive and when to consult 
  • Relationship building skills to work and collaborate effectively with employees throughout VSO
  • Patience and ability to withstand frustration of VSO’s developing systems and processes
  • Demonstrates ability to manage a heavy, varied and rapidly changing workload, including finding a balance between urgent tasks and implementing longer term agreed action
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills to talk about health and medical problems with non-medical colleagues 
  • Ability to communicate clearly and calmly to assist staff and volunteers to act in the best interests of the patient 
  • Administratively self-supporting and information technology literate (Microsoft packages)  
  • Willing and able to offer some back up to 24 hour on-call emergency phone holder on rota basis
  • Willing and able to attend occasional volunteer training sessions around the country 
  • Commitment to VSO’s values


Licensed to work in the UK 
GMC registered

Other relevant experience 

Occupational health
Travel medicine
Adolescent health
Women’s health

VSO’s Medical Malpractice insurance covers Medical Advisers for work with volunteers and employees of all nationalities excluding North Americans

Medical Advisers will be self employed, paid on a consultancy basis and require their own public liability insurance

To apply, please click the apply button.

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