Joseph Holmes – who was struck off for serious professional misconduct in 2011 – has application refused by disciplinary committee after demonstrating lack of knowledge and providing limited testimonials.

The disciplinary committee (DC) of the RCVS has refused to restore a vet to the register two years after he was struck off for serious professional misconduct.

The RCVS' disciplinary committee has refused Mr Holmes' application to be restored to the register after he was struck off in 2011 for serious professional misconduct.Joseph Holmes, formerly of Waltham Veterinary Clinic in Grimsby, was struck off in January 2011 after a two-week hearing at the DC, during which – in relation to surgery he had carried out on a dog and two cats – he was found to have:

  • advised on and undertaken surgical procedures without sufficient clinical grounds or consideration of alternative treatment options
  • failed to obtain the informed consent of his clients
  • undertaken procedures outside his area of competence
  • failed to refer or discuss the option of referral to a specialist
  • failed to provide his patients with adequate pain relief

Following the DC’s decision, Mr Holmes – who has had to sell his practice since – appealed to privy council, which dismissed the appeal in December 2011.

At a hearing last week (February 21-22, 2013) the DC considered Mr Holmes’ renewed wishes for restoration, where he insisted he had accepted the findings of the 2011 hearing. However, the DC said this “contrasted completely” to the robust way in which he had challenged them at the original hearing and throughout his appeal.

The DC also said that, following questions from the committee, that Mr Holmes showed “deficiencies” in his knowledge, such as not knowing all of the constituents of the human drug, Anadin Extra, in spite of having produced a record of CPD on analgesia and having prescribed it to a dog in the original complaint.

Mr Holmes also failed to provide records of CPD for 2010, 2011 and 2012, and made what the DC called “very limited efforts” to observe first opinion practice.

It was also agreed by the DC that testimonials produced by Mr Holmes – which had been previously submitted to privy council – were of “limited scope“. The DC therefore refused Mr Holmes application.

DC chairman Peter Lees said: “Having regard to all the factors, the committee regrets that it is not satisfied that the applicant is fit to be restored to the register.

“Accordingly, the application is refused.”

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