Overseas Doctor Safety Standards

The Ubani case has brought calls for stricter rules on the hiring of doctors from within the European Economic Area (EEA) who do not face the same requirements as those of Non EEA Nationals. The case has also prompted the Government to reassess the safety checks by which local Primary Care Trusts (PCT) determine whether a doctor is fit for a post.

The 10 day hearing currently taking place in Wisbeach, Cambridgeshire follows Dr Ubani’s conviction in Germany for negligently causing Mr Gray’s death, which disappointed Mr Gray’s family as it prevented him from being extradited to the UK under a European arrest warrant and possibly facing manslaughter charges. Dr Ubani has been suspended from practising in the United Kingdom by the General Medical Council (GMC) however he is still working in Germany.

Commenting on the hearing, Tom Hadley, Director of External Relations for the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) said “The healthcare sector has always had an international dimension and overseas doctors play an important role in delivering front-line services. However, we need to ensure that the right vetting and assessment procedures are in place. Specialised recruitment agencies have a key role to play within this context but more clarity is needed with regards to the constraints that EU freedom of movement regulations place on language and competency checks. The Government, Trusts and specialised agencies to continue working together to ensure that recruitment within the NHS meets the highest safety standards.”

Documents Required by Specialist Agencies working in the Healthcare Sector

UK Healthcare Agencies  normally conduct rigorous assessments of Doctors being placed on locum assignments. Agencies normally request the following documents on top of an original General Medical Council Certificate & License to Practise;

CV, Completed Registration Forms (including Health Declaration Forms), 2 Current References, CRB Check Certificate, Primary Medical Certificate(s), Child Protection Training Certificate, Fire and Safety Certificate, Health & Safety Certificate, COSHH Certificate, RIDDOR Certificate, Complaints Handling Certificate, Lone Worker Training Certificate, Caldicott Protocols Certificate, Handling Violence & Aggression Certificate, Basic Life Support Certificate, Infection Control Certificate, Risk Incident Reporting Certificate.

What are ‘Out of Hours’ Services?

General Practitioners (GPs) choose whether or not to provide 24 hour medical care to their patients. The Out of Hours (OOH) period is from 6.30pm to 8.00am on weekdays and all day at weekends and on bank holidays. GP Surgery’s either:

  • Deal with Out of Hours service themselves on top of working normal surgery hours
  • Partner with other local GP Surgery’s and then take it in turns to provide care
  • Pay private companies (such as Take Care Now Limited) to provide care on their behalf

Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) are the local organisations responsible for ensuring that all patients get adequate OOH care.


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