Who we are
- RCVS Council
- VN Council
- Operational Board
- Statutory Committees
- Standing Committees
- Senior staff
- Work for us
How we work
- The role of the RCVS
- Royal Charter and legislation
- Honours & awards
- Our Service Promise
- Video Guides
- News & views
- Applications - Veterinary surgeons
- Applications - Veterinary nurses
- Applications - Veterinary premises
- Check our Registers
- Maintaining and amending your registration
- Working abroad
- Professional Development Phase (PDP)
- Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
- Professional Development Record
- CPD Champions blog
- Be strategic and make your CPD work for you
- Learning from reflection
- How to do CPD on a budget
- How clinical clubs can share best practice, in practice
- Integrating learning into everyday practice
- Squeezing it all in…work, family and 35 hours per year of CPD!
- What is mentoring and why it can be helpful (and fun!)
- Postgraduate qualifications
- Professional accreditation
- RCVS Leadership Initiative
- Practice Standards Scheme
- An overview of the Practice Standards Scheme
- Who runs the Scheme?
- Apply for accreditation
- Apply for awards
- Stanley Video Guides
- Promoting your accredited practice
- Advice & guidance
- Accrediting primary qualifications
- Riding Establishments
- Practice Standards Scheme
- Veterinary professionals: how to raise a concern
- I want to raise a concern about a veterinary surgeon
- I want to raise a concern about a registered veterinary nurse
- Confidential Reporting Line
- Animal owners: how to raise a concern
- A concern has been raised about me
- Disciplinary Committee hearings
- Veterinary Client Mediation Service (VCMS)
- Veterinary professionals: how to raise a concern
VN DC removes Northamptonshire nurse from the Register
3 April 2018
The RCVS Veterinary Nurse Disciplinary Committee has directed the Registrar to remove a Northamptonshire-based veterinary nurse from the Register for convictions and dishonesty.
The disciplinary case against Hannah Wilde RVN took place between Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 March 2018. Ms Wilde was not present, but she expressed a clear wish for the proceedings to continue in her absence.
There were five charges against Ms Wilde, the first three relating to criminal convictions and the rest concerning allegations that Ms Wilde had held herself out as an RVN whilst she was off the register for non-payment, and that she had failed to declare a conviction when applying to rejoin the register subsequently. In summary, these were:
- On 28 September 2015 she was convicted of stealing three packets of Tramadol to the value of £45 from Milton Keynes Veterinary Group.
- On 20 April 2017 she was convicted on two counts of issuing a false prescription with the intention of being dispensed Tramadol.
- On 15 June 2017 she was convicted of numerous counts of making false prescriptions, as well as stealing £108.47 worth of scratch cards and cigarettes from Premier Queensway Stores.
- Between 5 January 2015 and 25 August 2015 she held herself out as a registered veterinary nurse when she was in fact not on the Register, and worked at two separate veterinary practices during that time; and that she was therefore either (i) being dishonest, or (ii) ought to have known that she was not registered.
- That on or around 13 April 2016, she made a written representation on an application form for restoration to the Register that she had no criminal convictions, when on 28 September 2015 she had been convicted of burglary and that conviction was not spent; and that she was (i) either dishonest, or (ii) ought to have known that the representation was false.
Ms Wilde admitted charges 1-3, and the Committee were also provided with copies of the convictions. The Committee therefore found charges 1-3 proven.
"Ms Wilde’s criminal behaviour failed to maintain public confidence in the veterinary nursing profession and it failed to declare and uphold proper standards of conduct and behaviour."
In considering the fourth charge, they took into account Ms Wilde’s submission that she believed the submission of a cheque would be enough to restore her to the Register.
The Committee noted that she had restored herself to the Register in the past, however, and so would have been aware that a cheque alone was not sufficient, and she had also been sent a restoration form following a telephone call with the College on 2 January 2015. The Committee therefore found that Ms Wilde was being dishonest, and determined that charge 4(i) was proven.
In considering the fifth charge, the Committee considered Ms Wilde’s submission that a Probation Officer had told her that her conviction was spent and that she need not declare it. The Committee believed this to be highly unlikely, however, especially as Ms Wilde had provided no evidence from the probation service to support this assertion. The Committee therefore found her to be dishonest, and charge 5(i) to be proven.
The question of whether the facts amounted to serious professional misconduct was, however, solely a matter for the Committee’s judgement. It determined that Ms Wilde’s conduct in relation to charges 1-3 had fallen far short of the standard expected of an RVN and her conduct clearly renders her unfit to practise as an RVN.
Similarly, the Committee found that Ms Wilde’s conduct had fallen far short of the standard expected of an RVN in respect of charges 4-5, and found her conduct clearly amounted to disgraceful conduct in a professional respect.
The Committee then turned to the question of sanction, firstly in respect of charges 1-3. It considered some testimonials that spoke on Ms Wilde’s behalf, but noted that they were all unsigned and none made any reference to the charges against her. The Committee also bore in mind that Ms Wilde had no previous disciplinary history and was apologetic and remorseful, and that no harm had come to animals or humans by her actions.
It also considered, however, that her behaviour had been repeated and sustained, that she had used her knowledge as an RVN to forge prescriptions, and that she had breached the trust of her employers by stealing from them. The Committee therefore decided that removal from the Register was the only appropriate sanction.
“Ms Wilde was also dishonest with the RCVS when she completed the application for restoration of registered veterinary nurses’ form by stating that she had no convictions."
When considering sanction in respect of charges 4-5, the Committee took into account that Ms Wilde had difficult personal circumstances and was sincerely apologetic. Using her title of RVN to gain employment when she was not on the Register, however, and breaching the trust of the College by making a false declaration, were considered serious aggravating features. It therefore considered that removal from the Register was again the only appropriate sanction.
Judith Way, who chaired the Committee and spoke on its behalf, said: “Ms Wilde’s criminal behaviour failed to maintain public confidence in the veterinary nursing profession and it failed to declare and uphold proper standards of conduct and behaviour.
"She also knew that she was not registered as an RVN, yet she held herself out as being so and obtained employment in that capacity. In holding herself out in this manner she potentially put her colleagues at risk. She could have compromised the practices that employed her in the capacity of an RVN as their insurance had the potential to be invalidated.
"The Committee considered that such conduct falls far short of the standards expected of an RVN.”
“Ms Wilde was also dishonest with the RCVS when she completed the application for restoration of registered veterinary nurses’ form by stating that she had no convictions. Following this application, Ms Wilde went on to commit the seven further offences (from December 2016 to March 2017) for which she was later convicted in the Northampton and Leicester Magistrates’ Courts. The Committee considered that such conduct falls far short of the standards expected of an RVN.”
Ms Wilde may appeal the Committee’s decision within 28 days of being informed of it. If no appeal is received, the Committee’s judgment takes effect.