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Concern about doctors trained overseas

17 February 2011

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Doctors trained outside the UK are more likely to cause concerns or face sanctions than UK graduates, a new report suggests.

They are twice as likely to generate complaints and are more likely to be banned or suspended, data analysed by the National Clinical Assessment Services shows.

GPs who qualified outside Europe are six times more likely to be suspended than those who graduated in the UK and are four times more likely to generate concerns.

GPs who trained in Europe, but outside the UK, are nearly three times more likely to be suspended compared with those who qualified in the UK.

NCAS, which is NHS-funded, investigates concerns about professional practice. Referrals to NCAS have risen 17% over the past year although this could be down to new rules meaning doctors face a reassessment on their fitness to practise.

The experts analysed around 5,600 referrals over the past nine years.

They found some of the highest rates of concern related to non-white doctors who were trained overseas. There was no difference in the rate of referrals for white and non-white doctors trained in the UK.

They also said the proportion of referrals for overseas doctors was not rising, according to the figures.

Complaints about GPs made up about 40% of referrals.

The report said: “This new finding reinforces the case for stronger induction and support for doctors working for the NHS after qualifying outside the UK.”

Copyright © Press Association 2011

National Clinical Assessment Service

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

“Overseas trained doctors have contributed tremendously to the NHS. Without their contribution the NHS would not have been what it is today. Overseas doctors’ work in inner city, single handed GPs with poor resource and this may be one of the reasons why they do not perform very well. NHS has to understand the reasons as to why doctors fail and how these doctors can be helped, supported and guided. Proper induction, mentoring, training is softer skills of being doctors like communication, team working, leadership and organisation skills are all important. It is equally important to see whether overseas trained doctors are disciplined beause of ‘institutional racism and victimisation. The most important thing is to protect patients but doctors also need help and support” – Dr Umesh Prabhu, Rochdale