Kent-Based Former Vet's Application for Restoration to RCVS Register Refused

By Royal College Of Veterinary Surgeons, PRNE
Sunday, June 20, 2010

LONDON, June 21, 2010 - The Disciplinary Committee of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
has refused an application for restoration to the RCVS Register from a
Kent-based former veterinary surgeon struck off in 1994 for disregarding
basic hygiene at his professional premises and failing to properly maintain a
Controlled Drugs Register or patient records.

In June 1994, the Committee found that Mr Warwick John Seymour-Hamilton,
at that time the only veterinary surgeon practising at premises at 9 Orchard
Grove, Orpington, Kent, was guilty of disgraceful professional conduct and
should have his name removed from the Register. The state and condition of
the premises were found to be such as to risk the health and welfare of
animals taken to the premises, and bring the profession into disrepute. An
application made by Mr Seymour-Hamilton for restoration made in 1995 was

At a restoration hearing on 18 June 2010, Mr Seymour-Hamilton told the
Committee that he sought restoration to the Register because he wished to
further his research work into plants with potential medicinal properties.
Restoration, he said, would improve his professional status by giving him
more credibility, particularly in terms of recognition by the medical and
veterinary professions.

Mr Seymour-Hamilton said that he had no intention of returning to
clinical practice immediately, and neither the Committee nor the College had
heard of any adverse conduct by the applicant since his removal. However,
Caroline Freedman, Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee, noted that if Mr
Seymour-Hamilton were to be restored, the Committee would have no power to
prevent him from returning to general practice.

Mr Seymour-Hamilton's response to questioning by the Committee raised a
number of concerns with respect to the future welfare of animals should
restoration be granted. He told the Committee that he had not undertaken any
relevant Continuing Professional Development in the past 15 years, and said
he lacked knowledge of current relevant legislation, for example, the Animals
(Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and basic 'Cascade' prescribing
requirements. He also said that he had not read the RCVS Guide to
Professional Conduct in the past 15 years and that it would not be
satisfactory for him immediately to return to general practice.

"If the Committee were to reinstate the Applicant to the Register, it
would have to be satisfied that he is competent and safe to practise
immediately," said Ms Freedman. "The Committee has an obligation to protect
the public and animal welfare and cannot simply accept his assurances that he
would take steps to rectify his self-confessed shortcomings at some point in
the future."

Having taken all the evidence presented into account, the Committee was
not satisfied that Mr Seymour-Hamilton was fit to be restored to the Register
and dismissed his application.


1. The RCVS is the regulatory body for veterinary surgeons in the UK and
deals with issues of professional misconduct, maintaining the register of
veterinary surgeons eligible to practise in the UK and assuring standards of
veterinary education.

2. RCVS disciplinary powers are exercised through the Preliminary
Investigation and Disciplinary Committees, established in accordance with
Schedule 2 to the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 (the 1966 Act). The RCVS has
authority to deal with three types of case:

a) Fraudulent registration b) Criminal convictions c) Allegations of
disgraceful professional conduct

3. The Disciplinary Committee is a constituted judicial tribunal under
the 1966 Act and follows rules of evidence similar to those used in a court
of law.

4. The burden of proving an allegation falls upon the RCVS, and the RCVS
must prove to the standard that the Committee is sure.

5. A respondent veterinary surgeon may appeal a Disciplinary Committee
decision to the Privy Council within 28 days of the date of the decision. If
no appeal is received, the Committee's judgment takes effect after this

6. Further information, including the DC's latest findings, can be viewed

Contact details: Claire Millington Communications Officer Tel: +44(0)20-7202-0783 c.millington at

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