Vet struck off for stealing and taking prescription drugs

Vet struck off for stealing and taking prescription drugs

A vet who stole prescription drugs from his practice and reported to work unfit has been struck off.

An RCVS disciplinary committee heard Stephen Prichard also ignored requests from the College to respond to the concerns raised against him and the hearing took place in his absence after he failed to respond to many attempts to contact him.

However, the Committee said it would not hold the Doncaster based vets’s non-attendance against him.

Mr Prichard was charged with taking quantities of Vetergesic from the practice’s stock which he then self-administered.

In another set of charges, it was alleged that on five separate occasions, Mr Prichard had attended the practice to work as a veterinary surgeon whilst unfit to do so.

The final charge related to Mr Prichard’s failure to respond adequately or at all to all reasonable requests from the RCVS for his response to concerns raised about his conduct.

At the beginning of the hearing Nicole Curtis, acting on behalf of the College, read the written evidence from 11 separate witnesses outlining the facts related to the charges against Mr Prichard, including the record of an investigative meeting held by the practice in which he admitted his theft and use of the controlled drug and following which, he was dismissed from his employment.

Overall, the Committee found he had breached aspects of the Code of Professional Conduct related to honesty and integrity, making animal health and welfare his first priority, appropriate use of veterinary medicines, taking steps to address physical and mental health conditions that could affect fitness to practise, responding to reasonable requests from the RCVS, and bringing the profession into disrepute.

Therefore, the Committee found him guilty of serious professional misconduct in relation to all of the charges charges.

The Committee felt that, considering the seriousness of the misconduct, removal from the Register was the most appropriate decision.

Austin Kirwan, chairing the Committee and speaking on its behalf, said: “Mr Prichard’s disgraceful conduct is so serious that removal from the Register is the only means of protecting animals and the wider public interest which includes the maintenance of public confidence in the profession and the upholding of standards.”