The committee considered 5 separate charges against Dr Radev, relating to his treatment of a Yorkshire Terrier and Shih Tzu cross called Pickles at a Vets4Pets veterinary practice in Oxford between 5 October 2015 and 1 November 2015. The charges related to Dr Radev failing to provide adequate and/or appropriate care to the animal and failure to keep detailed clinical records.
After hearing the evidence from Dr Radev and the complainant, the College submitted that it wished to withdraw charges 1(i) and 1(ii) on the basis of insufficient evidence. In addition, Dr Radev had already admitted charges: 1(iii)(b), 1(iv)(d), 1(v), 4(i)(a) and 4(ii)(a) but denied the remaining charges. Of these remaining charges the Committee found charges 1(iv)(a), 2(i), 2(iv), 3(i) and 3(ii) proven with the rest not being proven.
The charges admitted or found proven were that Dr Radev:
(1) On 5 October 2015, failed to provide adequate and/or appropriate care and/or treatment to Pickles, more particularly in that he:
(iii) Failed to offer and/or undertake adequate investigations into Pickles’ condition, more particularly in that he failed to offer and/or undertake:
(b) urine tests;
(iv) Failed to put in place and/or document an adequate management plan for Pickles, more particularly in relation to:
(a) adequate direction and/or advice regarding a review of Pickles’ condition within a clearly defined number of days;
(d) collection of urine at home for analysis on review at the practice;
(v) Having noted that he suspected renal disease, prescribed meloxicam when the same was contraindicated for dogs with renal disease;
(2) On 28 October 2015, failed to provide adequate and/or appropriate care and/or treatment to Pickles, more particularly in that he:
(i) Failed to take and/or record an adequate history from Mrs Pancott in relation to Pickles’ condition and/or clinical signs since 5 October 2015;
(iv) Failed to provide adequate direction and/or advice regarding a date for a review of Pickles’ condition within a clearly defined number of days;
(3) On 30 October 2015, having been informed that Mrs Pancott had telephoned the practice with concerns about Pickles, including blood in the faeces;
(i) Failed to note the matter in Pickles’ medical records;
(ii) Failed to take sufficient steps to obtain more information from Mrs Pancott or to ensure that Mrs Pancott was advised to seek veterinary attention for Pickles in relation to her concerns;
(4) On 1 November 2015, failed to provide adequate and/or appropriate care and/or treatment to Pickles, more particularly in that he:
(i) Failed to interpret the blood tests adequately and/or take appropriate and adequate action in relation to the results of those blood tests, more particularly with regards to:
(a) blood glucose;
(ii) Failed to offer and/or undertake adequate investigations into Pickles’ condition, more particularly in that he failed to:
(a) offer and/or undertake urine tests.
In considering these charges the Disciplinary Committee found that only charge 4(ii)(a) – namely the failure to correctly interpret and act upon the results of a blood glucose test – amounted to serious professional conduct with the rest not passing the threshold of disgraceful conduct in a professional respect. The Committee did not consider that in addition the cumulative effect of all the proven charges taken together amounted to serious professional misconduct.
In relation to the cumulative effect of all the proven charges Professor Alistair Barr, chairing the Committee and speaking on its behalf, said: "The Committee noted that Dr Radev had made errors in relation to one patient but on four separate occasions. These were, for the most part, individual failures at the lower end of the scale of seriousness. Taking into account all of the failings, the Committee in its judgement did not consider that the nature and number of errors and the period of time over which they took place justified a cumulative finding of disgraceful conduct."
In considering the sanction for Dr Radev the Committee took into account a number of mitigating circumstances including the fact that Dr Radev had undertaken suitable training and development in the areas in which he made mistakes, had demonstrated good insight into his conduct and had made some open and frank admissions early on in proceedings. It also considered that the one charge that was found to be serious professional misconduct was a single, isolated mistake linked to Dr Radev’s inexperience.
Professor Barr said: "The Committee considered that taking ‘no further action’ was appropriate and proportionate having considered the history of the case, the Committee’s overall findings and the good reports of Dr Radev’s performance in the two years since the matter which had led to the finding of disgraceful conduct in a professional respect."
The decision to take no further action was also influenced by the length of time it had taken the charges to be heard by the Committee, the positive character references about Dr Radev from professional colleagues and the fact he was unlikely to repeat such conduct in the future.
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