The important question regarding eligibility for jobs in the UK is whether you have an EU passport. If the answer is yes, you are in luck, since EU candidates are eligible to work in the UK without the need to apply for a visa and they can apply for any post in the UK. If you do not have an EU passport, you need a visa to work within the UK.
Non-EU Applicants: Tier 2
A non-EU applicant, who does not have any other form of visa, may be allowed to apply for certain posts, if that post falls under the shortage occupation list. These shortage occupations are equivalent to ‘areas of need’. Currently non-consultant, non-training posts in ITU fall within this list. Of particular note, as described in ‘Postgraduate training in the UK’, a non-training post will not be a post within a specialty training programme, but instead a vacancy within a particular hospital. Of note, non-training posts in anaesthetics and acute medicine are also on the list.
Given that ITU posts are on shortage occupation list, once a candidate is successful after interview, a hospital would be able to apply for a Tier 2 COS (Certificate of Sponsorship). This certificate will enable the candidate to apply for leave to remain in the UK and work. It generally takes 3-4 weeks for the hospital to apply for a COS and an additional 3-4 weeks to then obtain leave to remain.
With Tier 2 sponsorship, under the points-based system, you will get all the points they need to apply, with the exception of points for English language and maintenance. The points of English language are easy if you are a national of Australia or New Zealand, since both are considered to be majority English language speaking countries. The points for maintenance are awarded by proving that you have £800 in your bank account for three months before the date when you apply for your visa.
Non-EU Applicants: Tier 1
This tier enables highly skilled migrants to apply for permission to work in the UK without a job offer. In this circumstance, you need to gain points via different criteria. Even if successful in obtaining a Tier 1(General) visa, you will have restrictions placed upon your visa, such that you cannot apply for specialty training programmes. A Tier 1 visa would however mean that you could apply for jobs not on the shortage occupation list. Of note however, very few people would qualify for a Tier 1 (General) visa, meaning that you will most likely need a job offer to apply via Tier 2.