Organisation of accommodation, transport and visa might be up to visitors only, so I would recommend planning well in advance before coming to the UK; Preparation and research on information on these topics, as well as about the UK healthcare system is needed.
The most important thing is to decide which team you will be attached to, as the basic one, and then to plan other activities and possible visits to the other departments in coordination with Chief of your basic department. Considering that there is no guarantee that you will be placed at your top priority MHS, it is very useful to make the list of priorities –areas of psychiatry you are interested in, and with the help of the exchange organising team to try to get in contact with the staff of departments you want to visit in order to organise your time better. The list of the priorities could be very helpful because you should have in mind that King’s and Maudsley Hospital has very high frequency of visitors, trainees, postgraduates, researchers and clinicians.
If you plan to be present while the consultant is interviewing the patient, it is useful to be aware of the fact that only one person beside the interviewer is allowed to be present during the interview. It would be very useful to ask the interviewer for permission in advance. Keep in mind that patients are not obliged to accept presence of a visitor during the interview.
The crucial thing is to try to precisely define and clarify the limitations of visitor-observer status with exchange team in advance in order to have realistic expectations of this exchange program.
Suggestions to strengthening application to the UK:
Please list information relevant to the programme that you are applying to. Applicants with relevant previous experience rank more highly. Exceptions to this are where the applicant is applying to programme that is not available to the trainee in their country of origin e.g. child and adolescent, eating disorders.
Please state your goals and objectives relevant to the programme you are applying to. Detail how you plan to meet these goals. Along with writing about what you hope to gain, also discuss what contribution you think you can make to the host programme, e.g. give a presentation or meet with other colleagues to discuss own training programme, differences observed between national programmes. Also outline other areas of interest that might be relevant, e.g. involvement in EFPT, national psychiatric associations, own training programme, other non clinical psychiatric interests.