The RCVS disciplinary committee has directed that the name of Grimsby vet Joseph Lennox Holmes be removed from the RCVS register, having found him guilty of serious professional misconduct.

The RCVS disciplinary committee has directed that the name of Grimsby vet Joseph Lennox Holmes be removed from the RCVS register, having found him guilty of serious professional misconduct.

Mr Holmes, of Waltham Veterinary Clinic, Grimsby, faced nine charges relating to two separate complaints, at a two-week hearing in October which resumed on January 10.

Grimsby vet struck offThese complaints concerned four consecutive staphylectomies and a tracheostomy that Mr Holmes performed on a cavalier King Charles spaniel, and the dental treatment he gave to three Persian cats, together with the advice he gave to their owner.

The committee found many aggravating factors in both cases, including actual injury to animals from unnecessary surgery, and a serious breach of the trust in which Mr Holmes’ clients had placed in him.

Further, his repeated misconduct had been sustained over a period of time in the face of a previous adverse finding of the committee in 2006.

The committee found him guilty of serious professional misconduct for:

  • Advising and undertaking surgical procedures without sufficient clinical grounds or considering alternative treatment options;
  • Failing to obtain the informed consent of his clients;
  • Undertaking procedures outside his area of competence;
  • Failing to refer or discuss the option of referral to a specialist; and
  • Failing to provide his patients with adequate pain relief.

Disciplinary committee chairman Caroline Freedman said: “We are mindful that the sanction which we apply must be proportionate to the nature and extent of the misconduct found proved and must balance the public interests against the interests of the respondent.

“We are, however, also mindful of Mr Holmes’ conduct during the previous 11½ days of the hearing, during which time his every action was vigorously defended and no insight whatsoever was shown.”

She continued: “In view of the serious and long-term nature of the conduct found proved in the charges, we do not feel that it is appropriate that Mr Holmes should be permitted to return to the register without further assessment of his efforts to update his knowledge.

“The only appropriate sanction in each case is that the registrar be directed to remove Mr Holmes’ name from the register.”

  • Further information, including the charges against Mr Holmes and the committee’s findings and decision on sanction, can be found at www.rcvs.org.uk/disciplinary.

 

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