It appears British Nurse Katherine Broadbent who was brought up in Cambridge and boasts a degree in Latin has been caught up in the politics of the stupid, returning to work in this country from Australia has been told she must sit a costly series of exams to prove her fluency in English before she can work for the NHS and be allowed on to the wards!
This is despite the fact that, thanks to a European ruling in 2006 that nurses who qualify in EU countries are exempt from the tests – even if they can barely speak, the reason they are compelling Mrs Broadbent to take the English exams is because she did her training in Australia but she spent the first 26 years of her life in the UK so you would expect her English to be fine, especially as Australia is English-speaking!
The European Union (EU) ruling exempting nurses who qualify in EU countries from taking these tests must be rescinded and applied retrospectively, I have met doctors and nurses who have very poor English and they are a danger to patients who most of the time, particularly the elderly, do not understand what they are being told.
The National Medical Council (NMC) has said all nurses from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and the USA would have to pass an IELT exam before registering. A spokesman said that all applicants must meet the same standard in a system that is equitable, fair and non-discriminatory.
That is all well and good but it is only equitable, fair and non-discriminatory when it is applied to everyone including people who have done their training in other EU countries, it is the nurses and doctors who have done their training in other EU countries but have very poor English who are putting our patients at risk, nothing wrong with checking communication skills but it must also apply to those who have trained elsewhere and in many cases obviously can’t communicate!