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Disciplinary Committee refuses restoration of former veterinary surgeon to the Register

RCVS | Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

3 min read Partner content

A former veterinary surgeon who was struck off in 1994, had his third application for restoration to the Register refused by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Disciplinary Committee this week.

The Disciplinary Committee met on Wednesday 11 February to hear the application from Warwick Seymour-Hamilton whose name was removed from the Register following an inspection of his premises in Orpington, Kent. The condition of his premises, equipment and facilities was so poor that it constituted a risk to the health and welfare of animals brought to the practice and brought the profession into disrepute.

Mr Seymour-Hamilton made two previous restoration applications in July 1995 and June 2010. Both of these were refused on the grounds of poor preparation for re-entering practice life as, in both cases, he had made no attempt to engage in continuing professional development or visit and observe other veterinary practices.

Representing himself at this week’s hearing, Mr Seymour-Hamilton said that, since the 2010 hearing, he had further developed an interest in herbal medicine and, after visiting a number of veterinary practices in continental Europe, had attended the College of Naturopathic Medicine in Dublin, gaining a qualification in herbal and naturopathic medicine. He told the Committee that he currently worked as a herbalist and naturopath with human patients but wanted to widen his work and research to include animal patients.

The Committee was concerned by his answers to a number of questions, Mr Seymour-Hamilton having described the hearing as an ‘exploratory meeting’ and indicating a lack of knowledge in a number of areas to do with veterinary practice and its regulation. The Committee felt that this demonstrated a fundamental lack of understanding as to its function and terms of reference.

Professor Noreen Burrows, chairing the Committee and speaking on its behalf, said:

“The Committee expresses its surprise and concern at the lack of preparation for this hearing by the applicant, given that these issues have arisen at his previous restoration hearings, and that the result of a positive finding in favour of him would be his ability to practise unfettered as a veterinary surgeon forthwith.”

In particular the Committee highlighted Mr Seymour-Hamilton’s lack of understanding of the regulatory framework for veterinary practice as set out in the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct, the requirements of continuing professional development and what ‘fitness to practise’ meant, beyond the practical issues of his physical and mental capacity.

Professor Burrows added:

“Based on all of the evidence available to the Committee it is very clear that he has failed to satisfy... that he is fit to be restored to the Register and this application is therefore dismissed.”

The Committee’s full findings and decision are available on the RCVS website (www.rcvs.org.uk/disciplinary).

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