Nurses: Foreign Workers

Department of Health written question – answered on 16th December 2014.

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Photo of Christopher Chope Christopher Chope Conservative, Christchurch

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many nurses employed in the NHS do not have the necessary English language skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing required by the Nursing and Midwifery Council for nurses from outside the EU.

Photo of Daniel Poulter Daniel Poulter The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The information requested is not centrally held or collected.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is the independent regulator of nurses and midwives in the United Kingdom and is responsible for operational matters concerning the discharge of its statutory duties, including registration of nurses. The Department expects the NMC’s registration processes and associated checks to be appropriate, robust, fit for purpose and effective, and verify that a nursing applicant is who they claim to be, is appropriately qualified, is competent and fit-to-practise.

This Government is firmly committed to improving public protection by ensuring that only healthcare professionals who have a sufficient knowledge of the English language are able to work in the UK. Accordingly, we have consulted the public on amending legislation to enable the NMC to apply language controls, where appropriate, for nursing applicants from within the European Economic Area. This consultation ended on the 15 December 2014 and a Government response will be published in due course.

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