Disciplinary Committee rejects eighth application for restoration from former vet

13 July 2020

The RCVS Disciplinary Committee has rejected the eighth attempt of a former Kent-based veterinary surgeon to be restored to the Register after he was originally struck off in 1994.

Warwick Seymour-Hamilton was originally removed from the Register following a practice inspection in 1993 which found that his operating theatre “showed a total disregard of basic hygiene and care for animals and was such as to bring the profession into disrepute”.

Since being removed from the Register, Mr Seymour-Hamilton has made applications for restoration in 1995, 2010, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Each of these has been rejected.

In his latest restoration application, the hearing for which took place on Tuesday 30 June and Wednesday 1 July, Mr Seymour-Hamilton said that he did not want to re-join the Register in order to practise but, instead, to facilitate his research in the area of herbal medicine.

In considering Mr Seymour-Hamilton’s application for restoration, the Committee had to take into account a number of factors such as his acceptance of the findings of the original hearing and their seriousness, protection of the public, the future welfare of animals should he be restored, length of time off the Register, his conduct since removal, efforts to keep up-to-date with veterinary medicine and impact on the individual of being off the Register.

The Committee found that, while Mr Seymour-Hamilton, had accepted some of the findings of the original case, he disagreed with key facts, such as whether or not his surgery was open at the time of the inspection, and showed ‘minimal insight’ into the seriousness of the findings. The Committee also voiced concerns over public protection and animal welfare should he be restored, saying that he had demonstrated little or no understanding of the purpose of regulation and had, furthermore, admitted to, in recent years, spaying two cats at a practice in Calais despite his long absence from the Register and unregistered status as a veterinary surgeon in the UK or France.

In considering his conduct since leaving the Register, the Committee found that Mr Seymour-Hamilton had admitted to a number of instances of conduct which it found ‘reprehensible’. This included carrying out spays; not self-isolating after testing positively for coronavirus and, in fact, travelling through France and Spain in breach of the lockdown put in place due to the pandemic; deliberately trying to re-infect himself with coronavirus and then visiting a vulnerable person without maintaining social distancing; treating his own animals with untested herbal remedies; and using his own remedies to treat people, which, in one case, included a nine-year-old boy in Greece.

In summing up Judith Way, who was chairing the Committee and speaking on its behalf, said: “The Committee has concluded that he has not satisfied it that he is fit to be restored to the Register. He has exhibited a disregard for regulation and compliance with the law. He lacks an understanding as to why he has not been restored in the past. He has not set about addressing any of his shortcomings. He relies wholeheartedly on his research, yet he does not support that research with any real peer-reviewed publications and he fails to acknowledge the consequences of being out-of-practice for so long. He has misplaced confidence in his own abilities and does not recognise that his approach and/or actions can represent a danger to animals and to the public. The Committee has therefore reached the conclusion that the applicant is not a fit person to be restored to the Register.”

The full findings of the restoration hearing for Mr Seymour-Hamilton can be found on our Disciplinary Hearings page

Read more news