[lg policy] UK: Easier language tests for foreign nurses?

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Tue May 23 11:00:14 EDT 2017

Easier language tests for foreign nurses may be introduced to overcome the
NHS' staffing shortage crisis

   - *Managers are lobbying for the pass grade to be lowered from seven to
   6.5 points*
   - *Some are concerned strong candidates will favour the US' lower
   - *They also say requirements are 'unjustified' and put people off the
   - *Yet, others argue strong communication is paramount to effective
   patient care*
   - *The Nursing and Midwifery Council will discuss the topic at a meeting
   next week*

By Alexandra Thompson Health Reporter For Mailonline

Published: 09:39 EDT, 22 May 2017 | Updated: 21:04 EDT, 22 May 2017

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[image: Dr Daniel Ubani killed David Gray in 2008 after giving him ten
times the correct amount of diamorphine at his home in Cambridgeshire while
he worked as a locum]


Dr Daniel Ubani killed David Gray in 2008 after giving him ten times the
correct amount of diamorphine at his home in Cambridgeshire while he worked
as a locum

Easier language tests may be given to foreign nurses as hospital managers
warn too many are being turned away on their basis of their English.

Senior managers and recruitment agencies are campaigning for regulators to
reduce the pass rate.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which regulates more than 680,000
nurses and midwives, is gathering information concerning whether the tests
should be changed, which will be discussed at a board meeting later this

Yet, some are concerned compromising standards could hinder patient safety.

One in 10 NHS nursing positions is unfilled, with 13 per cent of the
workforce coming from overseas, according to statistics from the Institute
of Employment Studies published last year.

A petition to reduce the pass rate from seven to 6.5, out of a possible
nine, has been signed by more than 3,600 nurses.

The importance of fluency in English was exposed by the 2008 death of David
Gray, 70, at the hands of German GP Daniel Ubani, who had flown in to do
his first locum shift.

He had not faced any checks on his competence or ability to speak English
and gave the pensioner from Cambridgeshire ten times the safe dose of

The laws have since been tightened, but repeated cases have shown mistakes
still happen.

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