AN Italian doctor has been banned indefinitely from practising medicine in the UK due to his poor English.

Back in 2015 Alessandro Teppa received a nine month ban after a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service hearing deemed he posed a risk to patients due to his linguistic deficiency.

He had been referred to the General Medical Council on this basis after a period of five months working as a urologist at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

At a hearing on August 2 this year a further tribunal heard Dr Teppa, now living in France, was still interested in working in the UK.

In an email to the GMC he said: "I would like to pass the exam (I saw that now there is another possibility with another test OTS) as soon as possible despite now I am living in France and I am speaking more in French, but I really want to achieve the possibility to restart again with the General Medical Council."

However, Dr Teppa did not attend the hearing and the tribunal heard no evidence had been submitted that he had improved his English skills since failing International English Language Testing System exams in 2014 and early the following year.

At the hearing "[the GMC] submitted that the requirement to communicate effectively was a duty under the Good Medical Practice guidance, and not being able to do so meant Dr Teppa was liable to act so as to put patients at unwarranted risk of harm".

Dr Teppa faced 12 month bans during 2016 and 2017, and the tribunal agreed on an indefinite suspension which it said "as Dr Teppa is living and working abroad, would not be onerous because he remains in work elsewhere". He has 28 days to appeal the decision, and otherwise may ask for the ban to be reviewed in two years time.

The tribunal also said the suspension "may serve to assist Dr Teppa by taking away any pressure on him arising from periodic MPTS review hearings, while allowing him to address his English language concerns, should he wish to do so".

Dr Teppa was one of the first EU doctors to face disciplinary action over language skills following a change in the law in 2014.

From Brescia, he worked at Royal Bournemouth Hospital between March and August 2014. He qualified in 1998 in Italy and was granted a licence to practise in the UK in 2012.

During his time in the UK he also worked at Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield.