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The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) has responded to the recent discussions in the press on the potential risks posed by overseas doctors brought over to work 'out of hours' in the NHS.
Commenting on the current inquest into the deaths of two patients in Cambridgeshire treated by a German doctor, Tom Hadley, the REC's Director of External Relations said "the healthcare sector has always had an international dimension and overseas doctors play an important role in delivering front-line services. However, we need to ensure that the right vetting and assessment procedures are in place."
"Specialised recruitment agencies have a key role to play within this context but more clarity is needed with regards to the constraints that EU freedom of movement regulations place on language and competency checks. The Government, Trusts and specialised agencies to continue working together to ensure that recruitment within the NHS meets the highest safety standards."
The REC Medical Sector Group is made up of specialised agencies supplying locum doctors and other healthcare professionals into the NHS. All members sign up to the Code of Professional Practice which includes specific provisions on carrying out checks on workers.