Language Controls for Doctors - proposed amendments to the Medical Act 1983

Closed 2 Dec 2013

Opened 7 Sep 2013


The Department of Health has been working with the General Medical Council (GMC) to look at ways to ensure that the language capability of doctors working in the UK is sufficient.

The Department is seeking views on its proposals to amend the Medical Act 1983 to give the GMC more explicit powers to take action where concerns arise about a doctor's English language capability.  The proposals are designed to complement and further strengthen existing language controls imposed through the Responsible Officer Regulations, Performers List Regulations and other checks undertaken at a local level.

The GMC are consulting on how they will implement these strengthened powers. They are seeking views on the draft regulations that will enable them to seek evidence and confirmation of a European doctor's ability to communicate in English, should concerns emerge about their language capability during the GMC registration process. They are also seeking views on the draft rules and changes to legislation that deal with complaints that doctors already on the GMC register do not have the necessary knowledge of English. A link to their website can be found below.



  • GPs
  • Clinicians
  • Managers
  • Commissioners
  • Doctors
  • Responsible Officers
  • Regulatory body
  • Employer representatives
  • Employee representatives
  • Trade union
  • Royal Colleges
  • Members of the public
  • Patients
  • Service users


  • Regulation