More has to be done to ensure that overseas applicants are fit to practice in the UK, according to Jacque Gerrard, director for England at the Royal College of Midwives.
Commenting on the Nursing & Midwifery Council announcement on a consultation on the introduction of a test of competence for overseas applicants to the UK register - those trained outside the European Economic Area – Dr Gerrard said: "At the heart of any system of regulation is the protection of the public.
“There is a need for a more robust and thorough system to ensure that those wishing to practice as midwives or nurses in the UK are safe, fit for practice and meet current NMC standards for competence. We would also support a thorough system of identity checking.
"However, there is a need to ensure that any system does not become overly bureaucratic and time-consuming, so that overseas nurses and midwives can get through the process in an efficient and timely manner and into the NHS. The RCM will be contributing to the consultation."