Campaigners should applaud and long awaited move on the issue of communication between hospital staff and patients.
Using foreign staff to bolster the NHS has been a reality for the last decade but only now will nurses from both within the EU now have to show competency in English to communicate with UK patients.
This will hopefully reduce incidents where patient safety is compromised due to communication failures.
Nurses and midwives coming to Britain from the EU will now need to prove they are fluent in English, under new rules. Until now, checks have only been applied to nurses outside the EU. It means any nurse who is unable to show they have sufficient language skills will need to have an English language assessment.The move by the Nursing and Midwifery Council brings the profession in line with doctors, who are already vetted in this way for patient safety. The risk of a doctor not being fluent in English was highlighted by a lethal mistake made by Dr Daniel Ubani, a German doctor doing an out-of-hours shift who gave a lethal dose of a painkiller to patient David Gray in 2008.