Clients consulting solicitors about potential medical negligence claims will often complain of an inability to communicate properly with nurses and doctors as a result of language barriers, and language difficulties can result in avoidable mistakes being made.
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.