Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 11°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Suffolk/UK: Poulter outlines new language tests for EU doctors

13:41 24 February 2013

Dr Dan Poulter

Dr Dan Poulter

Archant

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.

shares

The move was confirmed by health minister and Central Suffolk MP Dr Daniel Poulter – and comes five years after a Suffolk-based out of hours service employed a German locum GP who prescribed an overdose which led to the death of a Cambridgeshire pensioner.

Doctors coming to the UK from outside the EU already face strict language tests.

But those 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 died after German doctor Daniel Ubani administered 10 times the normal dose of diamorphine.

Dr Ubani admitted being exhausted after getting only a couple of hours sleep before starting his shift in the UK, and said he was confused about the difference between drugs used here and in Germany.

His poor English meant he was refused work by the NHS in one part of the country but was later accepted.

The Government is proposing to give the GMC new powers to prevent doctors from being granted a licence to practise medicine in the UK where concerns arise about their ability to speak English.

Ministers are also introducing a single national list which every GP will have to be on before treating NHS patients. Previously every Primary Care Trust held a list of GPs.

Dr Poulter said: “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.”

He added: “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.”

shares

1 comment

  • 5 years for a politician to make a decision that doctors can speak English, How about using British doctors ?

    Report this comment

    this is what we pay tax for

    Monday, February 25, 2013

Allison Heathcote and son James Heathcote at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, where she was treated after being shot five times in the Tunisia terror attacks.

A Felixstowe woman who was fighting for her life after the Tunisia beach attack in which her husband was killed has said she can only “vaguely recall” the massacre.

Cars for sale at the roadside

Trading Standards experts have revealed the top 10 most frequent consumer complaints.

Police called to a collision between a car and motorcycle.

A motorcycle and a car have collided on the A12 at Melton.

Mars

A physicist who worked on a high-resolution camera that sent images back from Mars has turned his hand to writing.

Doeke Dobma of Clinks Care Farm, Toft Monks, Beccles.

An East Anglian care farmer has invited a group of refugees based around Ipswich to pay a visit next week and pick produce grown on his land.

East of England Ambulance Trust attended the scene.

Two cars have collided just prior to the Barnby Bends in Beccles.

The new building for Thomas Gainsborough School in Great Cornard. Headteacher, Wayne Lloyd is pictured.

Students beginning the new school year in west Suffolk next Monday will return to a brand new multi-million pound state-of-the-art building.

Colchester General Hospital

A woman believed to be in her 70s was taken to hospital following a collision in Essex.

From left to right: Moira Ely, Leah Fuller and Colin Ely presenting the cheque for £2,000 to St Elizabeth Hospice after Colin's bungee jump in July

An Ipswich landlady has vowed to follow in the footsteps of her extraordinary dad – and tackle a charity bungee jump for St Elizabeth Hospice.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages