Disciplinary committee refuses to restore vet to register

The Disciplinary Committee of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has rejected an application to be restored to the register from a former Kent-based veterinary surgeon.

The hearing took place on 20 May 2019 and was Seymour-Hamilton’s seventh application, with previous applications being heard but refused in July 1995, June 2010, February 2015, March 2016, May 2017 and April 2018. However, as the committee makes its decision on the merits of the case before it, those previous applications were not considered as relevant to its current decision.

The committee heard oral evidence from the applicant and were shown clear bottles with liquid, a container with tablets and petri dishes with grown cultures as detailed documentary evidence. In respect of any concerns regarding keeping his veterinary practice up to date, Seymour-Hamilton said “you never lose that skill” and explained that he kept up to date through extensive reading and conversations with veterinary surgeons in Europe.

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Concerns were raised as to his fitness to practise safely as a veterinary surgeon, the committee pointed out the 25 years Seymour-Hamilton had spent out of the industry, and he had shown “very little evidence, if any, of him keeping up to date with the knowledge and skills required to practise as a veterinary surgeon.”

Ian Green, chairing the committee added: “The applicant worryingly did not accept that he was in any way deskilled by the passage of time. The evidence that the applicant has provided showed limited interaction with other veterinary surgeons and there is no documented evidence of the discussions or structure of the meetings he had with veterinary surgeons in Europe.

“There is no evidence of a prolonged and intense period of re-training by way of relevant study to demonstrate that a sufficient level of competence to return to practise has been achieved. In the absence of such evidence the committee was of the view that there would be a serious risk to the welfare of animals if the applicant was restored to the register.

“Further, it was a grave concern to this committee that the applicant demonstrated worrying attitudinal issues towards individuals of a different religion and his attitude to employing a minor when he knew it to be against the law. Such attitudes are incompatible with professional standards the public would expect of a veterinary surgeon.”

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