A former veterinary surgeon who was struck off in 1994 had his third application for restoration to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) register refused by the college’s disciplinary committee this week.

Warwick Seymour-Hamilton’s name was removed from the register following an inspection of his premises in Orpington, Kent.

The condition of the building, equipment and facilities was so poor 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 (CPD) or visit and observe other veterinary practices.

Representing himself at the hearing of the disciplinary committee on Wednesday, February 11, Mr Seymour-Hamilton said since the 2010 hearing he had further developed an interest in herbal medicine. He said after visiting a number of veterinary practices in continental Europe he had attended the College of Naturopathic Medicine in Dublin, gaining a qualification in herbal and naturopathic medicine.

He told the committee he worked as a herbalist and naturopath with human patients, but wanted to widen his work and research to include animal patients.

However, committee members raised a number of concerns. Mr Seymour-Hamilton described the hearing as an “exploratory meeting” and showed a lack of knowledge in a number of areas to do with veterinary practice and its regulation.

In particular the committee highlighted his failure to understand the regulatory framework for practice as set out in the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct, the requirements of CPD and what “fitness to practise” meant, beyond the practical issues of his physical and mental capacity.

Chairman Noreen Burrows said the committee was both surprised and concerned at Mr Seymour-Hamilton’s lack of preparation for the hearing, given  that the issues had arisen at his previous restoration hearings and that the result of a positive finding in favour of him would have been his ability to “practise unfettered as a veterinary surgeon”.

Prof Burrows added: “Based on all the evidence available to the committee it is very clear he has failed to satisfy… he is fit to be restored to the register and this application is therefore dismissed.”

The committee’s full findings and decision are available at www.rcvs.org.uk/disciplinary

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