Better Support Needed For Foreign Doctors

New doctors entering the UK health service from different countries need better support, according to a report published on Friday.

The report from the General Medical Council (GMC) recommended the introduction of an induction programme for all doctors new to the UK health service to deal with cultural and language differences, and to help understanding of the ethical and professional standards they will be expected to meet.

According to the report, there are some good local schemes for supporting doctors who are new to practice, but there was evidence of new doctors undertaking clinical practice with little or no preparation for working in the UK, or locum doctors taking on duties for which they have not been appropriately trained.

The Chief Executive of the General Medical Council Niall Dickson said: "While there is much to celebrate about medical practice in the UK, the challenges are also clear - we must do more to make sure that all doctors understand the standards expected of them.

"Developing an induction programme for all doctors new to our register will give them the support they need to practise safely and to conform to UK standards. This will provide greater assurance to patients that the doctor treating them is ready to start work on day one."

A GMC spokesman speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme revealed on Friday morning that almost a third of doctors in the UK came to practice medicine from other countries.

"They are some of our most dedicated and best doctors," he said.

However, the GMC report concluded more needed to be done to ensure consistency of induction for all doctors.

"For the first time we have begun to use our data to try to understand more about the nature of medical practice today and the pressures facing front-line health services. This fits with our focus on becoming more responsive to the needs of patients, while supporting the profession and the healthcare system in raising standards of medical practice."


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

08 March 2011
Doctors Fear Reporting Colleagues

Almost one in five UK doctors has had direct experience of an incompetent or poorly performing colleague in the past three years, finds a survey of professional values, published online in British Medical Journal (BMJ) Quality and Safety.
13 May 2014
Caroline Aherne Recovering From Lung Cancer
Former Royle Family star Caroline Aherne is recovering after undergoing treatment for lung cancer. She is also campaigning for better cancer care at her home town of Manchester. This is the third time the 50-year-old actress has battled the illness. She previously has bladder and eye cancer.
22 July 2013
Audit Finds Faults In Fitness-For-Work Programme
French-run firm Atos healthcare, which carries out fitness-for-work tests on disabled people, has been told it needs to improve its service, following a government audit.
04 November 2010
New Doctors 'Not To Work Beyond Training', Says BMA
The Co-Chair of the British Medical Association's Junior Doctors Committee has spoken out regarding Professor John Collins’ evaluation of the first two years of junior doctor training on The Foundation Programme.
29 September 2003
Ballots issued to BMA consultants over new contracts
Twenty-six thousand consultants and 8,000 specialist registrars in England will be sent their ballot papers tomorrow to see if the proposed new consultant contract is acceptable to them. The ballot will be run by ERS (Electoral Reform Services). The closing date for the ballot is 10am Monday 20 October 2003.