LONDON, September 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
The Disciplinary Committee of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) this week [21 September 2011] directed that Kfir Segev be restored to the RCVS Register, having removed him over two years ago for dishonesty and misleading clients.
Mr Segev, formerly practising in Stanmore, Middlesex, was removed from the Register following an 11-day hearing ending on 19 May 2009 at which he had been proven guilty of deliberately concealing from his clients that their dog was terminally ill, whilst at the same time recommending that she undergo expensive and unnecessary procedures.
This was Mr Segev's first application for restoration to the Register. The Committee found that, during his period of removal, he had undergone "extensive personal and professional rehabilitation", which included attendance at a clinical psychologist and voluntary work in the local community.
From 2009 to September 2011, Mr Segev logged 420 hours of certificated continuing professional development, with particular emphasis on ethics, client relationships and animal welfare. The Committee noted he had also seen practice and taken the advice of mentors, including about 80 days at "a number of high quality practices with eminent members of the profession" [see Notes for details].
Professor Dick White MRCVS said that, since late 2009 when he was approached by Mr Segev for help in remedial training, continuing education and mentoring, he had subsequently had frequent dealings and conversations with him. "I formed the opinion that he invariably exercised professional clinical judgement that is, if anything, considerably deeper than many professional colleagues," Professor White said, adding: "I felt he demonstrated compassion for patients and empathy for owners in equal measure" and believed him to have come to understand fully the seriousness of his behaviour.
Mr Segev's efforts at rehabilitation were described as "exceptional" by Professor David Noakes FRCVS, who said he was "impressed by Mr Segev's genuine acceptance of the fact that he had committed a serious offence and deserved to be punished." Mr David Grant FRCVS, who had been in contact with Mr Segev since November 2010, told the hearing that, in his opinion, it was most evident that Mr Segev accepted his wrongdoing and, along with Professor Noakes, indicated that he was willing to offer continued support and help.
The College opposed the restoration of Mr Segev on three grounds, namely: the gravity of the matters found proved at the original hearing; that the length of time off the Register was insufficient to mark these and ensure that the reputation of the profession was not undermined in the eyes of the public; and, Mr Segev's conduct, relying on two matters arising from the footage in a BBC Panorama programme, which was filmed both before and after the 2009 hearing. The College also questioned whether Mr Segev genuinely accepted the original findings.
The Committee agreed that the findings of the original hearing were serious; it was, however, impressed by Mr Segev's complete and genuine written and public apologies for what he had done. It disagreed that the length of time off the Register was too short. It was mindful that the purpose of the sanction of erasure is not primarily of punishment and considered that no useful purpose would be served by delaying further Mr Segev's restoration.
Whilst the Committee found Mr Segev was wrong to have continued to display 'veterinary surgeon' on the practice nameplate (as shown in the television footage), it was satisfied that he did not intend to hold himself out as a practising veterinary surgeon and no harm to the public or animal welfare resulted from his mistake.
The footage also showed Mr Segev was in breach of RCVS guidance on the administration of anaesthesia by permitting a student veterinary nurse to induce anaesthesia by using incremental doses of intravenous propofol, with an unqualified assistant offering advice on the depth of anaesthesia during its incremental induction. The Committee considered Mr Segev's actions to be an error, now cured.
In conclusion, the Committee accepted Mr Segev "had made genuine and successful attempts to reform his previous attitude and failings". It noted that a large number of testimonials had been provided by colleagues, friends and clients, and that the impact of removal on Mr Segev had been severe. It concluded that his previous mistakes provided "no reason, relevant to animal welfare, to suggest that his restoration would be unwise." Speaking on behalf of the Committee, Chairman Beverley Cottrell said: "Restoration to the Register of a veterinary surgeon who has been guilty of disgraceful conduct in a professional respect of such seriousness is not something to be undertaken lightly ... But, in all the circumstances of this case, [we have] decided that Mr Segev is a fit person to restore to the Register, and so direct the Registrar."
NOTES FOR EDITORS
- Veterinary surgeons giving evidence at the hearing included: Professor Dick White, of Dick White Referrals, Professor David Noakes, Emeritus Professor of the Royal Veterinary College and David Grant MBE, Hospital Director at the RSPCA Sir Harold Harmsworth Memorial Hospital.
- 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.
- RCVS disciplinary powers are exercised through the Preliminary Investigation and Disciplinary Committees. The RCVS has authority to deal with three types of case:
- Fraudulent registration
- Criminal convictions
- Allegations of disgraceful professional conduct
- 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.
- Detailed documentation about this Inquiry can be found at http://www.rcvs.org.uk/disciplinary.
More information : Claire Millington (+44(0)20-7202-0783) firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons