The RCVS veterinary nurse disciplinary committee has requested that a vet nurse is removed from the register after she admitted falsifying several clinical records and holding herself out as a vet nurse whilst not being registered.
It feels that this is “the only means of protecting animals and the wider public interest”.
The body drew the conclusion on the basis that the case involved “serious dishonesty over a period of time and conduct potentially detrimental to animal welfare”.
Chelsea Jade Strangeway’s hearing took place over the course of two days, from Tuesday, September 20th, to Wednesday, September 21st, to consider a total of eight charges against her.
The first five charges, the sitting heard, related to separate occasions in 2020.
Ms. Strangeway falsely claimed on hospitalisation records that she had attended the practice where she was employed to monitor hospitalised animals overnight when she had not, in fact, done so.
In two of the cases, she also recorded on the form that she had provided the prescribed medication.
The sixth charge was that between January 1st, 2022, and February 10th, 2020, she had held herself out and practised as a registered vet nurse, despite not being on the RCVS Register at the time.
The remaining two charges related to her conduct, as described in the previous charges, was “dishonest, misleading and potentially detrimental to animal welfare”.
Then, it considered whether the respondent’s conduct amounted to “serious” professional misconduct.
In doing so, the committee took account of the Code of Professional Conduct. It reviewed her circumstances in respect of a particular reference to the requirements for prioritising animal health and welfare, honesty, accurate clinical records, providing appropriate and adequate veterinary nursing care, and being properly registered.
The committee found that the respondent’s conduct amounted to “serious” professional misconduct based on her dishonesty.
It stated that the fact her conduct was sustained and repeated created a risk to animal health and welfare.
The committee found “serious” professional misconduct proven and then considered the most appropriate sanction for Ms. Strangeway.
It considered what it deemed to be the relevant aggravating and mitigating factors.
In terms of aggravating factors, the committee considered:
- There was a risk of injury to animals;
- The sustained nature of the misconduct;
- That there was actual or potential financial gain;
- An abuse of a position of trust and responsibility;
- A wilful disregard of the RCVS and the systems regulating the veterinary nursing profession.
In mitigation, the committee considered:
- No actual harm to animals;
- Admissions to the allegations had been made at an early stage;
- The respondent had displayed both remorse and insight regarding her conduct, including apologising to the practice;
- She was of previously good character;
- Was “ordinarily a good” vet nurse.
On deciding to remove her from the Register, Ms Cerys Jones, speaking on behalf of the committee, said:
“Regrettably, the committee has decided that, in this case, the respondent’s misconduct is so serious that removal from the register is the only means of protecting animals and the wider public interest.”
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