The story of a West Midlands General Practitioner who faced the fearsome prospect of deportation and severance from her young family due to expiry of her English proficiency test after 2 years- highlights the lack of consultation, awareness, empathy and dignity that is perceived by international medical graduates in the UK. What is most alarming is that evidence of working as a GP in the UK for 8 years, communicating with patients and colleagues in English - and passing all the standardised professional examinations set by the medical royal colleges was not considered sufficient for her to be assessed to have the minimum requirements for her permit/ leave to remain to be renewed. The mental anguish and stress that a frontline GP has to face is totally avoidable.
The NHS, GMC and Department of Health and Social Care need to have robust consultation with the Home Office department on making the rules sensitive and meaningful and applied with awareness, understanding and compassion that is critical for the wellbeing of the healthcare workforce- and the benefit of our patients.
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