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Factors to be taken into account in appropriate cases

The test for treatment that falls far short is higher than the test for negligence. In addition, the test for treatment that falls far short relates primarily to the work carried out, not the outcome. (For negligence, the outcome – the loss or damage – is of primary importance.)

The following may be taken into account in appropriate cases because they reduce the risk of similar problems occurring:

  1. The veterinary surgeon has accepted his/her mistake and is likely to learn from the incident;
  2. The veterinary surgeon is likely to adhere to advice from the RCVS;
  3. The veterinary surgeon has taken steps or has agreed to take steps to prevent similar situations arising; and/or
  4. The veterinary surgeon has undertaken or is willing to undertake further professional development to improve his/her skills in specific areas including communication skills courses.

The Case Examiner Group may at any time seek direction from the PIC Chairman or the Head of Professional Conduct.

If in doubt, the Case Examiner Group will refer a case to Stage 2 for consideration. A case will be referred to Stage 2 unless all Group members decide the investigation should be concluded.

The Case Examiner Group may refer a case to Stage 2 as considered appropriate, for example, if the case is of wider significance to the profession.

The Case Examiner Group should give a brief, written explanation for its decision.

The Case Examiner Group may give advice to a veterinary surgeon when concluding an investigation.