Foreign doctor language checks

Foreign doctors who want to work for the NHS in England will have to prove they can speak English well enough to treat patients, the Government has confirmed.

Central

Son of foreign doctor victim welcomes new measures

Dr Stuart Gray Credit: ITV News Central

The son of a man who died from a fatal overdose given by a foreign doctor, has told ITV News that he welcomes new language measures.

Dr Stuart Gray's father died in 2008, after a German doctor – who had already failed an English test – gave him ten times the required amount of painkillers for kidney pain.

"It's common sense. This is five years too late, but at least action is now being taken," said Dr Stuart Gray.

Those coming to the UK from outside the EU already face strict language tests. However, new measures will mean all doctors wanting to practice in the UK will now need to pass a language assessment.

The new checks were announced after cases in which foreign doctors were said to have provided sub-standard care.

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Govt: Doctor language checks will protect patients

Patients should be able to understand and be understood by their doctor if we are to give them the best care they deserve. These new checks will ensure that all doctors who want to work in the NHS can speak proficient English and to prevent those who can't from treating patients.

There are lots of excellent doctors from around the world working in the NHS - this is simply about protecting patients and having proper checks on a doctor's ability to speak English.

By introducing these steps we will be able to put an end to doctors treating patients without proper checks on their language.

– Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter

NHS language plans will 'strengthen patient safety'

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the GMC, has welcomed the government's plans that require foreign doctors who want to work for the NHS in England to prove they can speak English well enough to treat patients.

This is good news for patients.

The Health Minister's announcement today will help strengthen patient safety across the UK.

Our position is clear - patients must be confident that the doctor who treats them has the right communications skills to do the job.

If doctors cannot speak English to a safe standard then the GMC must be able to protect patients by preventing them from practising in the UK.

We will continue to work with the Department of Health to make these changes as quickly as possible.

– Niall Dickson, GMC

Foreign NHS doctors to undergo language checks

Foreign doctors who want to work for the NHS in England will have to prove they can speak English well enough to treat patients, the Government has confirmed.

The new checks were announced after cases in which foreign doctors were said to have provided sub-standard care.

Foreign doctors who want to work for the NHS in England will have to prove they can speak English well
Foreign doctors who want to work for the NHS in England will have to prove they can speak English well Credit: Hugh Macknight/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Those coming to the UK from outside the EU already face strict language tests. But doctors from within the European Economic Area are said to have registered to work in the NHS without being asked if they can speak English properly.

The General Medical Council (GMC) pushed for stronger language testing following the case of David Gray, who died in Cambridgeshire in 2008.

He was killed by German doctor Daniel Ubani who administered 10 times the normal dose of diamorphine.

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