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English Training for Medical Purposes:  What to Know

The GMC (General Medical Council) has agreed that doctors from inside the European Union who wish to work in the United Kingdom will need to have a sufficient standard of English to work here.  It has been noted that nearly half of all doctors from the European Union have failed to reach a sufficient standard of English, partly because they only visited substandard schools of English for their tuition.


Unique's London School of Medical English is presently trying to ascertain in greater detail what these checks will include.  As far as we understand, doctors from the EU will be asked to provide evidence of their English language skills   (Since writing this article, this has now been clarified on this website).  



Doctors from outside the EU will need to have obtained a score of 9 in the IELTS test, which is far higher than the 7.5 that they must achieve at the moment.  


General Medical Council Guidance

The Chief Executive of the GMC stated:-


"Doctors who want to practise in the UK must be able to communicate effectively in English to ensure the safety of their patients.


These new measures to ensure doctors from other European countries can communicate in English, combined with the higher test score requirements, will help us strengthen protection for patients. They will also bring about a greater degree of fairness between our requirements for European doctors and for those from outside Europe.


These are important steps to tighten up our procedures. But, while we welcome the Government’s support for our determination to achieve reform in this area, there is more to do. This is part of a package of measures that will further increase our scope to make sure that doctors coming to the UK from the European Union are able to communicate safely. Employers, including locum agencies, must also play their part, and ensure that all doctors for whom they are responsible can communicate and practise safely."


Medical English Language Lessons

Unique Languages welcomed the move.  A spokesman said that this was a great day for English learning and will "be of enormous benefit to patients across the National Health Service."  Unique Language Training already runs language courses for several hospitals in London and Surrey.  


Unique Language Training Solutions is a boutique language training provider running classes in Medical English and IELTS across London, Surrey and Kent as well as on-line.  For further information, please telephone 020 3566 0145, e-mail us or fill out the form on this screen.  





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