16/09/2011 02:45 BST | Updated 15/11/2011 10:12 GMT

GMC: New Doctors 'Need UK Induction'

Newly-qualified and foreign doctors need to go on a basic induction course before they start working in the UK amid fears they may be underprepared to start treating patients, a regulator has said.

Those entering the UK health service for the first time should be given a basic induction, the General Medical Council said.

It made the suggestion after a new report found some new doctors start clinical practice with little or no preparation for working in the UK, while some locums are taking on duties without appropriate training.

Last year a government-ordered review into out-of-hours healthcare called for proper inductions for all doctors who had never worked out-of-hours or in the NHS before.

It came after a coroner ruled 70-year-old David Gray was unlawfully killed by German Dr Daniel Ubani in February 2008 when he injected him with 10 times the recommended dose of painkiller diamorphine. An inquest heard Dr Ubani, 67, was providing cover for GPs in and around Newmarket, Suffolk, when called to treat Mr Gray at his home in Manea, Cambridgeshire.

The GMC report found doctors going into the health service for the first time - including those from abroad, as well as newly-registered doctors, need better support to practise safely.

Its recommendations include an induction programme for all doctors new to the UK health service. Plans for the induction are due to go to the GMC council before the end of the year.

According to the regulator, every year roughly 12,000 doctors from the UK, Europe and countries around the world start working in the UK for the first time.

The report, which uses GMC and other data, said more needs to be done to make sure induction is consistent for all doctors, especially those from outside the UK.

A Department of Health spokesman said: "We welcome the GMC's report which raises some important issues. We agree that medical training needs to be sufficiently flexible to adapt to changing healthcare needs and that doctors who are new to the NHS need to be properly inducted, including having language skills that are of a high enough standard."