Vet surgeon who worked under the influence given second chance

A Dyfed-based veterinary surgeon has been allowed to continue practising and had her sanction decision postponed for 12 months after she was charged with alcohol-related offences.

The decision to delay her sanction was made by the Disciplinary Committee of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) at a hearing held on Monday 30 July.

Lynn Jo Ann Davies MRCVS first appeared before the committee on Monday 22 and Tuesday 23 January 2018 in respect of a number of separate charges related to two drink driving offences, breaching the terms of her undertakings to the college as part of its health protocol, and being under the influence of alcohol on three occasions while she was on duty as a veterinary surgeon in December 2016.

Davies admitted all five charges against her and admitted that this meant she was unfit to practise veterinary surgery and that she was guilty of disgraceful conduct in a professional respect. The committee accepted her admissions and found, with the exception of one allegation, that her conduct was disgraceful in a professional respect.

At its first hearing, the committee decided to postpone the hearing for six months on the basis of Dr Davies’ entering into a new set of undertakings, including one not to practise veterinary surgery and to remain abstinent from alcohol during the postponement.

On Monday 30 July 2018 the Disciplinary Committee resumed its sanction inquiry decision. Davies’ counsel submitted on her behalf that she wished to return to practise.

Stuart Drummond, chairing the committee and speaking on its behalf, said: “Having had the opportunity to see and hear from the respondent when she gave evidence and when she answered the questions put to her, the view formed of her current state of health was favourable. All members of the committee considered that the account she gave of herself in the witness box was confident and they were reassured by her evidence as to how she now sets about managing her levels of stress and how she reacted to stressful incidents.

“Such concerns as the committee had about her return to practice concerned her ability to receive support from a third party who would act as a mentor… the committee therefore requires the respondent to identify, within a period of one month of today’s date, a veterinary surgeon who would agree to act as her mentor. That mentor would have to be a veterinary surgeon acceptable to the college as someone suitable to act in that capacity and that mentor would have to be approved before the respondent could resume practice.

He added: “A further requirement of the committee would be that the respondent should make a disclosure to any new employer of the fact of her appearances before this committee in January 2018 and in July 2018 and of the decisions of the committee in relation to both such hearings. The final requirement of the committee in this respect is that the respondent should not accept a ‘sole charge position’ at any time during her employment during this next period of postponement of sanction.”

The committee directed that the hearing be postponed for a further 12 months.

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