Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 3°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.

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.”

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

The road is currently closed

The A143 is closed currently near Rickinghall after a serious crash involving a car and a motorbike.

Fire in student accommodation block in Grimwade Street in Ipswich - photo copyright Anglia Picture Agency

University students were evacuated from their accommodation block in Ipswich tonight after a fire broke out.

Christmas extravaganza: Festive fair in Lavenham at the weekend during the three day Christmas Fayre on the Market Place

The “wonderful spirit” of Lavenham was demonstrated once again at the village’s Christmas Fayre over the weekend.

Corrie McKeague with his puppy

Thirteen out of 23 people pictured on CCTV in Bury St Edmunds near the time of RAF airman Corrie McKeague’s disappearance have now been identified, according to the 23-year-old’s family.

Christmas Street Fair at Woodbridge on Sunday.Claire Mew.

Bobble hats, festive wreaths and teapot cosies were just some of the treats on offer at Woodbridge’s Christmas street fair this weekend.

Heave ho: Powerhouse performances from powerlifters from across the country taking part in the Charity Deadlift in aid of Help for Heroes in the Carnhill Walk Shopping Centre in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday

A top weight of 360kg was picked up during a deadlift competition in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday, which raised more than £200 for the Help for Heroes charity.

Colchester Hospital Santa Run from Colchester Castle Park on Sunday. Pic: Seanna Hughes.

Hundreds of festive fundraisers entered a Santa Fun Run in Colchester’s Castle Park to help a hospital charity.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24