A vet found guilty of serious professional misconduct has received a year’s reprieve after the RCVS disciplinary committee postponed judgement on further sanctions while he undertakes CPD.

A vet found guilty of serious professional misconduct has received a year’s reprieve after the RCVS disciplinary committee (DC) postponed judgement on further sanctions while he undertakes CPD.

RCVS disciplinary committee  postpones judgement on Hampshire vetThe DC found Peter MacMahon guilty of professional misconduct for failing to provide adequate professional care and having insufficient regard for animal welfare, in relation to the treatment of a cocker spaniel.

The hearing, which concluded this month, heard that MacMahon failed to remove a piece of glass from the dog’s stomach, which it had ingested along with raw mince. He treated the patient, Wilfred, on the night of July 14 2009, while working as a locum for Vets Now in Portsmouth.

The DC found that MacMahon operated on the dog but did not remove glass identified on a radiograph. The committee also found that he did not search the stomach contents he had evacuated in order to check that a piece of glass had been removed.

MacMahon admitted he knew there had been spillage of stomach contents into Wilfred’s abdomen and the committee found that, as he was aware of the spillage, 250ml of fluid used by MacMahon to lavage the abdomen was inadequate. This, according to the committee, contributed to the dog developing chemical peritonitis, which might have developed into septic peritonitis if it was not for an operation the following morning under the care of the patient’s usual veterinary practice. The committee expressed concern that MacMahon failed to adequately communicate the abdominal contamination to Wilfred’s usual vets when handing the case over.
 
However, the DC heard mitigating evidence that MacMahon and the VN assisting him were unfamiliar with the clinic, which resulted in difficulty locating equipment. The DC also heard that there were several other urgent cases during the night.
 
Commenting on the postponement of a decision about sanctions, DC chairman Caroline Freedman said: “A postponement of judgment, with suitable undertakings from the respondent, is the correct course of action.”
 
MacMahon has agreed to undertake CPD in relation to both surgical and medical disciplines.
 
More details about the case are available on the RCVS website.

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