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How would interim suspensions work?

The LWP recommends that the RCVS should have the power to impose interim orders, i.e. a temporary restriction on a veterinary surgeon or nurse’s right to practise pending a final decision by DC where a veterinary surgeon or nurse poses a significant risk to the public or to animals. Interim orders are already used by the regulators of other healthcare professions. The decision to impose an interim suspension would be determined by a panel. Typically, an interim orders tribunal hearing can choose to take no action, impose conditions to limit practise or behaviour, or suspend the individual while investigations are under way. Interim orders are reviewed regularly.

By design, the use of interim orders would be very rare. Interim orders would only be applicable where the risk to animal health and welfare was high and the case against the veterinary surgeon or nurse was overwhelming and particularly clear-cut. In these rare circumstances it is not acceptable, from an animal health and welfare or public interest perspective, for a veterinary surgeon to be able to continue to practise while awaiting the outcome of their case.