LONDON, October 8 /PRNewswire/ -- At a recently-resumed hearing, the Disciplinary Committee of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons has commended an Essex-based veterinary surgeon for his two-year efforts in improving his clinical competence, but reprimanded him for a charge involving false certification for insurance.
At hearings held during October and November 2006, Mr Lyndon Basha, of the Animal Ark Veterinary Clinic in Goodmayes, Essex faced four multi-part charges relating to his clinical competence, maintenance of clinical records and certification of insurance claim forms. He had been found guilty of disgraceful professional misconduct on parts of all of them.
Exceptionally, however, the Committee decided to postpone judgment for two years, pending Mr Basha's agreement to meet certain conditions. These included continuing to work in an RCVS-accredited veterinary practice, complying with a detailed plan to address his clinical, medical, surgical and diagnostic shortcomings (requiring independent verification of his attendance on CPD courses) and regular progress reports from a senior veterinary mentor - Colin Ellis MRCVS.
At last week's reconvened hearing (2 October 2008), the Committee needed to decide whether to make a final judgment on sanction or postpone it again. In the Committee's view, Mr Basha provided "a considerable body of evidence" which demonstrated that he had "complied completely" with the conditions agreed to in 2006. This included: continuing work in an RCVS-accredited veterinary practice; completing nearly 220 hours of CPD (RCVS normally requires practising members to complete an average of 35 hours CPD annually); receiving fifty-six 12-hour visits from his professional conduct mentor; and, making thirteen visits to an external practice.
The Committee was impressed by Mr Basha's openness to staff and clients that he was under postponed judgment, and was encouraged that Mr Basha acknowledged the seriousness of the findings against him and had done all in his power to address his shortcomings. It also acknowledged the good reports Mr Basha had received from both the external practice owner and Mr Ellis, and was encouraged that the latter would continue as consultant.
With regard to Mr Basha's involvement with false insurance certification, the Committee recognised that the incident had occurred some years before whilst employed in a different practice, and that no such incidents had occurred since the initial hearing, or, were likely to re-occur in the future. It remained an important matter, however, and the Committee was reassured that Mr Basha now employed a veterinary nurse with sole responsibility for processing insurance claims.
Disciplinary Committee Chairman, Mr Brian Jennings, said: "The Committee is satisfied that Mr Basha is now a clinically competent veterinary surgeon and has decided to take no further action against him. It was also very impressed that the appointment of a veterinary mentor, which was a key element of the Committee's decision to postpone judgement in 2006, has resulted in such a positive effect on Mr Bash's competence and on the practice as a whole. However, the Committee takes the issue of false certification very seriously and therefore has decided to issue a reprimand to Mr Basha in respect of this finding."
NOTES FOR EDITORS
1. The RCVS is the regulatory body for veterinary surgeons in the UK and deals with issues of professional misconduct, maintaining the register of veterinary surgeons eligible to practise in the UK and assuring standards of veterinary education.
2. RCVS disciplinary powers are exercised through the Preliminary Investigation and Disciplinary Committees, established in accordance with Schedule 2 to the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 (the 1966 Act). The RCVS has authority to deal with three types of case:
a) Fraudulent registration b) Criminal convictions c) Allegations of disgraceful professional conduct
3. The Disciplinary Committee is a constituted judicial tribunal under the 1966 Act and follows rules of evidence similar to those used in a court of law.
4. A respondent veterinary surgeon may appeal a Disciplinary Committee decision to the Privy Council within 28 days of the date of the decision. If no appeal is received, the Committee's judgment takes effect after this period.
5. Further information, including the original charges against Mr Basha, the Disciplinary Committee's findings and final decision sanction, and previous press releases, can be found via http://www.rcvs.org.uk/disciplinary.
Contact details: Ian Holloway Senior Communications Officer Belgravia House 62-64 Horseferry Road London SW1P 2AF Tel: +44(0)20-7202-0727 Fax: +44(0)20-7202-0740 firstname.lastname@example.org