A FORMER Morecambe Bay NHS Trust doctor failed to disclose a conviction of death by negligence when applying to work in the UK.

A tribunal heard Italian Dr Giovanni Ussia was convicted and given a one-year suspended prison sentence in Italy in March 2013 after being convicted of death by negligence and reckless behaviour.

In January 2013, while the Italian investigation was ongoing, Dr. Ussia applied for and obtained registration with the General Medical Council (GMC) in the UK.

His employer at that time, the University Hospitals Morecambe Bay Trust (UHMBT) then referred Dr Ussia to the GMC on 2 October 2015, when it became aware of his conviction in Italy.

Now a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) hearing, which has just been made public, found Dr Ussia' "fitness to practise is no longer impaired" after a June 2021 tribunal handed him a four-month suspension.

The June 2021 tribunal found that Dr Ussia dishonestly answered "no" to several questions on his application in the UK, including:

"Are there, or do you know of, any current or future proceedings or other matters that might lead to your registration or licence to practise in any country being removed, suspended or restricted in any way?"

Dr Ussia was a Professor of Surgery and Consultant in General Surgery at the medical school of the University of Bologna from 1989 to 2013, and his Italian conviction stems from the circumstances surrounding a patient who had complained of stomach pain and later died.

The Tribunal stated: "Dr Ussia was subsequently charged with the crime of negligence and reckless behaviour for not having provided appropriate post-operative care."

His suspension in the UK in June 2021 was due to his dishonesty upon application, not his Italian conviction, and so the November Tribunal stated:

"The Tribunal is of the view that Dr Ussia could do no more to demonstrate his insight, remorse or remediation, and that he has done enough to satisfy any member of the public or profession that he is a safe clinician who should be allowed to return to unrestricted practise."

It also stated: "Dr Ussia has continued to practise medicine in Italy and supported the public and profession during the global pandemic.

"The Tribunal considered that Dr Ussia has kept his medical knowledge and skills up to date and has no concerns whether he is a safe, competent and skilled clinician".

David Wilkinson, UHMBT Director of People and Organisational Development, said "In line with our responsibilities as a healthcare provider, Dr Ussia was referred to the GMC by the Trust when we became aware of a conviction in Italy.

"He has not worked for the Trust since that time."