Disciplinary Committee refuses to restore former Wirral vet to the Register
The Disciplinary Committee of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons has dismissed an application to be restored to the Register of Veterinary Surgeons from former Wirral-based vet Ian Beveridge.
In May 2013 the Committee had asked the Registrar to remove Mr Beveridge from the Register following a four-day hearing in which he was found guilty of serious professional misconduct after finding that he had treated clients badly, kept inadequate clinical records, was dishonest in his dealings with the RCVS and that animals in his care were placed at risk.
In June 2013 Mr Beveridge, who was not present or represented at the original hearing, then appealed the decision. The appeal was withdrawn in May 2014 which was when Mr Beveridge was formally removed from the Register.
Then, in April 2015, Mr Beveridge applied to be restored to the Register. The Disciplinary Committee met to consider his application in June 2015, however, this hearing was adjourned after new evidence was served to the Committee concerning allegations that Mr Beveridge had ordered prescription-only veterinary medicines when he was not authorised to do so. He was subsequently interviewed by police who took no further action.
In deciding whether Mr Beveridge was fit to be restored to the Register, the Committee heard evidence in regards to the circumstances in which the prescription-only drugs were ordered using his account and delivered to his former practice address which had been taken over by Medivet after he sold the premises to the company.
During the course of the hearing, Mr Beveridge admitted that his account had been used to buy the drugs, but that a part-time member of his staff, who was neither a veterinary surgeon nor a veterinary nurse, had done so without his prior knowledge or approval.
In relation to this evidence Ian Green, chairing and speaking on behalf of the Committee, said: “The Committee takes the view that the unauthorised use of a veterinary surgeon’s drugs account for which he carries the ultimate responsibility is a very serious matter and, of itself, demonstrates that the applicant has at best a cavalier attitude to his work which of itself means that he remains unfit to be on the Register.
“This attitude is further demonstrated by the fact that, even after the first orders were placed in late April and early May 2014, the applicant did not seek clarification from the College of his status following the withdrawal of his appeal against the original Committee’s findings.”
In addition to this, the Committee also considered the seriousness of his original failings, the fact that Mr Beveridge’s acceptance of these failings was ‘qualified’, that he had been off the Register for 20 months and the fact that his efforts in terms of continuing professional development had been inadequate and not focused on those areas in need of improvement, among other factors. In mitigation it did consider that Mr Beveridge had demonstrated genuine remorse about previous actions and noted a petition and a large number of letters in support of him from former clients of his practice.
However, the Committee felt that this did not detract from the seriousness of the original failings and, in conjunction with the subsequent unauthorised ordering of veterinary drugs, that the application for restoration must be dismissed.