Foreign doctors must speak English, MP Steve Barclay tells Prime Minister David Cameron

FOREIGN doctors must be able to speak English, NE Cambs MP Steve Barclay told the House of Commons today.

The Conservative MP welcomed a Government consultation on the issue at Prime Minister’s Questions this morning.

He said: “Following the unlawful killing of my constituent, David Gray, as a result of his out of hours foreign qualified GP’s inability to speak English, could I welcome today’s consultation on strengthening controls regarding foreign doctors.

“Does my Rt Hon Friend agree with me that GPs working in England should be able to speak English, and that the legitimate desire for freedom of movement within the EU should not be an excuse for compromising patient safety?”

Prime Minister David Cameron agreed and noted the importance of language skills.


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The issue was thrust into the public eye in 2008, when David Gray, from Manea, was unlawfully killed by Daniel Ubani, a German out of hours GP.

Dr Ubani was on his first shift in the UK when he injected Mr Gray with 10 times the recommended dose of painkiller diamorphine.

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Mr Barclay has campaigned on the issue since his election in 2010.

In March 2011, he took Mr Gray’s sons Rory and Stuart to meet the Secretary of State for Health.

Details of a consultation on the issue were released yesterday.

It proposes that senior doctors who evaluate other doctors’ fitness to practice will have extra powers.

They will be able to ensure that any doctor working in their organisation can speak English and that they understand NHS processes and medicines.

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