Former vet’s register restoration rejected for sixth time

A former Kent-based veterinary surgeon has had his application to be restored on the register rejected by The Disciplinary Committee of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) for the sixth time.

Warwick Seymour-Hamilton was removed from the register in 1994.

The restoration hearing for Seymour-Hamilton took place on Monday 23 April 2018 and was originally removed for reasons which related to the condition of his practice premises and his record-keeping following an inspection by the RCVS. His most recent restoration hearing took place in May 2017.

In his application Seymour-Hamilton said that he wanted to be restored to the register to aid his research into herbal medicines and, during the course of the hearing, he also challenged some of the evidence given to the committee in the June 1994 hearing.

In particular he challenged the claim that his practice was open when it was inspected by the RCVS as, he submitted that, he had retired three weeks’ prior to the inspection due to ill-health.

Seymour-Hamilton told the committee that he did not wish to return to clinical practice but wished to restore his membership of the RCVS in order to prescribe his own herbal treatments and to obtain peer review that would allow his treatments to be licensed. Furthermore, he produced a continuing professional development (CPD) record card in which he had logged 1,438 hours of CPD in 2017.

The committee dismissed his challenge to the details of his original hearing in June 1994. Judith Way, who chaired the committee said the details of his first hearing were “ancient” and were not for the current committee to consider. She then pointed out that the hearing was not appealed nor did Seymour-Hamilton attend it.

With regard to Seymour-Hamilton’s intention to use his RCVS registered status to further his research into herbal treatments, Way said: “The committee accepted there were no direct public protection issues which caused it concern, although it did retain some anxiety that the applicant’s commitment to herbal medicine could govern the way in which he would wish to care for an animal.

“A more rounded veterinary approach, which involved a full evaluation of an animal’s condition, a coherent diagnosis and a subsequent discussion about treatment with the client is called for.”

She added: “His CPD now has a bias for herbal medicine as does his extensive reading. The committee was not satisfied that his skills are up-to-date and that he could practise veterinary medicine safely. The committee was not satisfied that he would approach a sick animal with the full and rounded approach required of a veterinary surgeon. Nor did his confidence in this regard allay the concerns of the committee. He expressed belief in himself on the basis of his practice which came to an end some 24 years ago.”

The committee did acknowledge that Seymour-Hamilton’s removal from the register had a considerable impact on him and that, not only is he ashamed of it, but he believes it is frustrating his ability to advance the cause of herbal medicine.

The committee concluded that his application was refused.

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