Wakefield vet suspended from Register

15 March 2004

Please note: This is an archived news story. Mr Owen Davies MRCVS was restored to the RCVS Register of Members following the suspension period and is currently entitled to practise as a veterinary surgeon in the UK.

The RCVS Disciplinary Committee has found a Wakefield veterinary surgeon guilty of disgraceful conduct in a professional respect and suspended him for eight weeks.

Mr Owen Davies, a veterinary surgeon of some eleven years’ standing was found to have deliberately failed to disclose important clinical information to the owners of one of his patients; he also omitted to record this information in the patient’s clinical notes.

The Committee heard how Mr Davies had spayed a Labrador Retriever puppy called Sacha in September 2002. Some six months later, Sacha returned with acute vomiting and diarrhoea. Bowel obstruction was suspected and Mr Davies performed an exploratory laparotomy at which a fibrous mass containing a surgical swab was discovered. Mr Davies removed the mass and the surgical swab and performed an enterectomy, but did not tell the owners about finding the surgical swab or record this in the clinical records.

Unfortunately, Sacha’s condition worsened postoperatively and she was put to sleep at another practice.

The Committee felt that the fact Mr Davies did not disclose or record this information was serious enough to warrant his suspension. However, the Committee did consider that the lack of clarity in the guidance available to Mr Davies in his workplace, as to the importance of full and accurate record keeping, might have contributed to what occurred.

Speaking at the conclusion of the disciplinary hearing last week, Vice-Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee, Professor Sheila Crispin, said, “It is essential that in order to ensure proper clinical care of animals, full and detailed records are maintained. Every veterinary surgeon also has the duty of keeping their clients fully and promptly informed as to matters of fact which relate to the animal in their care. This, Mr Davies failed to do.

“We decided that the appropriate sentence should therefore be to suspend Mr Davies from the Register for eight weeks.”

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