Overseas Doctors Must Face Competency Checks, Lawyer Urges

New Research Raises Concerns

13.10.2010

NHS trusts must do more to ensure that overseas doctors who come to work in the UK are fully equipped with the skills they need to provide the right level of care, a top lawyer has demanded.

Lisa Jordan of Irwin Mitchell, who specialises in personal injury cases linked to clinical negligence, said new research by the Pulse newspaper needs to be taken seriously by healthcare authorities.

The study revealed that less than one in four doctors from other countries are verified through checks before they start work in the UK, while it is also believed that many trusts lack records on whether practitioners have been assessed.

Commenting on the report, medical negligence expert Lisa Jordan said: “I am hugely concerned by the findings of Pulse’s latest research, as it raises a number of questions about the skill levels of many overseas doctors now working on these shores.

“So many of the cases I have dealt with in the past have arisen from avoidable errors which have a devastating, often life-changing, impact on both victims and their loved ones.

“It is vital that everyone working within the sector is fully assessed in terms of both their skills and ability to communicate if such incidents are to be avoided in the future.”