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EU creates ‘alert system’ for clinicians

10 October 2013

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A virtual professional qualifications card will make it easier for doctors and pharmacists to move to other EU countries to work. 

The new draft law introduced in the European Parliament will also create an alert system to make it harder for those barred from a profession at home to move to another EU country and continue to work. 

Doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals who have been convicted of a crime which would make them unsuitable to practice will be prevented, with all EU member states informed of the convictions within three days. 

The European Parliament’s directive also includes language checks. European member states will be required to actively support continuing professional development for clinicians. 

Elisabetta Zanon, director of the NHS Confederation’s European Office, said: “The NHS needs to ensure the right checks and balances are in place to protect patients from dangerous care by health professionals. We have worked hard to ensure that patients are safeguarded, and are pleased that the revised directive has taken account of many of the concerns we raised.

“We need health professionals to be able to move around Europe freely and use their expertise in other countries, but patient safety must be our first priority. NHS organisations must be confident that European staff who come to work in the UK have been properly checked and that their qualifications, experience and other credentials are up to date and meet minimum standards.”