Bloody typical of our country, a qualified English Nurse who speaks and reads and writes in English perfectly has to undergo an English Test whilst we have Nurses already here who cannot speak English decently, how many of you have had to endure an Atos assessment by someone who cannot speak English properly? Christ this country is in the S###… Paul Smith – Atos Victims Group
Brought up in Cambridge and boasting a degree in Latin and history, Katherine Broadbent could be forgiven for thinking her ability to speak English would be beyond question.
That was, however, until she tried to get a job with the NHS.
Despite being British, because she did her medical training outside of Europe, Mrs Broadbent will have to take an International English Language Test to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
By contrast, thanks to a European ruling in 2006, nurses who qualify in EU countries are exempt from the same tests to work here – even if they can barely speak English.
Mrs Broadbent spent the first 26 years of her life in the UK before moving to Canberra shortly after graduating.
She completed a nursing degree before working in intensive care and cancer wards of a hospital for nine years.
But earlier this year she decided to return home, settling with her husband Robert, 44, and two-year-old daughter Elke near the Cotswold town of Lechlade.
After being told she must pay £125 to sit the day-long IELT exam – which tests English reading, writing, speaking and listening – Mrs Broadbent, 40, wrote to the Department of Health and the NMC to appeal.
Their response was that there can be ‘no individual dispensations’.
She said: ‘There’s been a real lack of common sense and that has been really frustrating.
‘We lived for a long time in Australia and the systems over there were much simpler.
‘I would understand if I did my training in a non English-speaking country, but to include Australia is ridiculous.
‘We decided to come back to the UK before our daughter was at school age to decide where we wanted to live.