An NHS doctor from Iraq has overcome language constraints to work in a critical care unit in Southampton.

Northern Iraq native, Dr Daban Abdulla, overcame language constraints and is now an essential part of Southampton Hospital's critical care team.

Upon arriving in the UK, the 34-year-old GP feared her medical English was insufficient.

However, through free training and testing from RefuAid and English language tester, OET, she attained the necessary expertise and confidence.

Her husband, Dana, and their two kids live with her in Southampton.

Dr Abdulla said: "When I came to the UK I wanted to be able to carry on my work but it isn’t always easy.

"I had been working as a GP but I came here completely blind, I didn’t know where to start.

"I wasn’t sure that my English skills were good enough and it was going to be really expensive to take the training or tests.

"We didn’t have the spare funds needed or any family who could help us.

"But a friend who told me about RefuAid and OET and the free testing. I was able to take part for free, doing online lessons and joining free, OET classes.

"Being supported to take and pass the tests has made a big difference to my life.

"It has made our new life possible. It was like having an angel in my life - I’m so grateful.

"I really enjoy my work, It’s an amazing hospital, a great team.

"The NHS still needs a lot of doctors so I am glad I can play my part. RefuAid and OET helped me get past what seemed like big barriers. I wish I’d known about them sooner."

“It meant I was on a pathway. There was great support and I felt really well prepared.”

Dr Abdulla has shared her story to mark Refugee Week - the world's largest arts and culture festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary.

It was first established in teh UK in 1998, and aligns with World Refugee Day which is celebrated globally on June 20.