Doctor without necessary knowledge of English given another chance to remedy language impairment in MPTS case dating back to 2014.
Dr Tomasz Fryzlewicz moved to the UK in 2006 from Krakow and has worked at various NHS hospitals as a locum as well as a non-clinical role analysing echocardiogram data for clinical trials.
Dr Fryzlewicz, who qualified in medicine 35 years ago, was reported to the General Medical Council in 2014 after repeatedly failing English language tests which evaluated his speaking, listening, reading and writing. He has since appeared before practice medicine panels on an annual basis:
- In 2014 concerns were raised about Dr Fryzlewicz’s knowledge of the English language by way of a referral to the General Medical Council (GMC). Between July 2014 and February 2015, Dr Fryzlewicz undertook International English Language Testing System (IELTS) tests, in which he failed to achieve the minimum standard required. The GMC referred Dr Fryzlewicz’s case to the MPTS.
- The 2015 MPTS panel determined that Dr Fryzlewicz’s fitness to practise was impaired by reason of his lack of knowledge of English. The Panel imposed conditions.
- The 2016 Tribunal found that Dr Fryzlewicz had undertaken the IELTS but failed to achieve the required overall score and that he breached a condition by his failure to inform potential employers and his Responsible Officer of the conditions upon his registration but that he had not done so wilfully. The 2016 Tribunal imposed a further period of conditions for twelve months, including direct supervision.
- The 2017 Tribunal was informed of further concerns from two employers relating to Dr Fryzlewicz’s clinical skills, medical knowledge and communication skills, which had led to situations where patients were placed at risk of harm.
- Dr Fryzlewicz’s case was reviewed between 7, 8 June 2018 and 11 July 2018 (the 2018 Tribunal) concluded that Dr Fryzlewicz’s fitness to practise remained impaired by reason of him not having the necessary knowledge of English and imposed conditions, including close supervision, for a period of 9 months.
- The 2019 Tribunal was of the opinion that Dr Fryzlewicz was distracted from gaining full insight into his lack of the necessary knowledge of English by his belief that he was being persecuted for religious and political reasons. The Tribunal determined that a further period of conditions was necessary to protect patients and maintain public confidence in the profession. It determined to maintain the conditions imposed by the 2018 Tribunal.
- Dr Fryzlewicz’s case was reviewed on 25 March 2020 (the 2020 Tribunal). It found that Dr Fryzlewicz did not appear to understand the importance of successive GMC requests for him to undertake an authorised test to demonstrate the necessary knowledge of English Language to practise medicine safely. The 2020 determined that Dr Fryzlewicz’s fitness to practise remained impaired. The 2020 Tribunal went on to suspend Dr Fryzlewicz for a period of 12 months.
The 2020 Tribunal found that it would assist this review Tribunal if Dr Fryzlewicz provided:
- Evidence that he has a good command of the English language. This should be in the form of satisfactory IELTS or OET test scores (medical profession version) unless there are truly exceptional circumstances justifying other evidence; and
- Evidence of up to date Continuing Professional Development (CPD) specific to his area of practice
The 2021 tribunal had to decide whether Dr Fryzlewicz’s fitness to practise is impaired by reason of not having the necessary knowledge of English to practise medicine safely.
The 2021 Tribunal determined that Dr Fryzlewicz’s fitness to practise remained impaired by reason of not having demonstrated the necessary knowledge of English to practise medicine safely. The 2021 Tribunal considered that a period of 10 months suspension would be appropriate, to give Dr Fryzlewicz the time to complete an OET or IELTS test; this would ensure patient safety and uphold professional standards, as well as maintaining public trust in the medical profession.
The Tribunal determined to direct a review of DrFryzlewicz’s case. A review hearing will convene shortly before the end of the period of suspension, unless an early review is sought.