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, published today, 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 doctor 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.
An induction programme would make sure they get an early understanding of ethical and professional standards they will be expected to meet, and become familiar with how medicine is practised across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The report found while there were some good local schemes for doctors new to practice, there was evidence of new doctors undertaking clinical practice with little or no preparation for working in the UK, or locum doctors taking on duties without appropriate training.