Government & LegislationVeterinary

RCVS disciplinary committee tells college to remove ‘dishonest’ vet

The disciplinary committee of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has told the registrar to remove a Suffolk-based veterinary surgeon from the register for “dishonesty, clinical failings and poor record keeping”.

Dr Horia Elefterescu appeared before the committee from Tuesday 8 to Thursday 17 May 2018 with seven charges against him. Charges include failing to undertake an adequate examination prior to surgery, making misleading entries in clinical records and falsely claiming he had undertaken surgery.

Having heard evidence from complainants, expert witnesses and the respondent himself, the committee determined that the facts of all the charges were proven, with the exception of a charge regarding his keeping of inadequate clinical records in relation to a male cat called Dax Parham.

The committee then considered whether the proven charges amounted to serious professional misconduct. In relation to the first and fifth charges the committee found that, while Dr Elefterescu’s conduct fell below what was expected of a professional veterinary surgeon, they did not constitute serious professional misconduct.

In relation to the parts of the second, third, fourth, sixth and seventh charges that were found proven, the committee determined that each constituted serious professional misconduct.

Ian Arundale, committee chair, said: “The respondent’s clinical failures are very serious, amounting as they do to failures in the basics of animal care and resulting in suffering to the animal. They involve widespread breaches of the code, including not only the obligation in relation to animal health and welfare but also the specific obligations of the Code in relation to record keeping.

“In addition to his clinical and record keeping failures the respondent has been found to have acted dishonestly. This dishonesty would have impacted upon professional colleagues and any owner who viewed the records. It has the potential to undermine public confidence in the profession. The respondent was also dishonest in a letter written in August 2017 to his regulator.”

The committee found that despite his troubles with language and the fact he had taken steps to avoid further misconduct, the only sufficient sanction was to direct the registrar to remove Dr Elefterescu’s name from the Register.

Dr Elefterescu has 28 days in which he can lodge an appeal with the privy council regarding the disciplinary committee’s decision.

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