Vet struck off for stealing drugs and injecting while on duty
PUBLISHED: 07:00 03 January 2020
A vet practising in Clevedon has been struck off after stealing drugs from a practice and self-injecting while on duty.
The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) disciplinary committee ordered Mark Kombert to be removed from the register after he was found guilty of stealing ketamine and methadone from a practice.
Kombert's hearing took place on December 11, in relation to thefts of the controlled drugs between November 5 and 17 last year.
The committee heard how staff at the practice where Kombert was working as a locum had undertaken a check of the medicines kept in the practice's controlled drugs cabinet on November 12 and discovered 5.5ml of ketamine and 1.5ml of methadone was missing.
After the code to the controlled drugs cabinet was changed, Kombert was observed taking an additional 3ml of methadone, which he then administered to himself while on duty.
Dr Martin Whiting, chairing the committee, said: "The respondent's conduct was dishonest; it constituted both a breach of trust and an abuse of his position with regards to access to veterinary medicines; it risked animal welfare and jeopardised the reputation of colleagues. It fell far short of the conduct expected of a member of the profession and amounts to disgraceful conduct in a professional respect."
After Kombert was confronted with the evidence, he was given the details of the Vetlife charity for support and was asked not to return to the practice. He was arrested on January 4 and received a police caution on January 25, with conditions he should attend a drug-use awareness course.
At a meeting with the practice in April, Kombert admitted stealing the drugs and self-administering while on duty, which meant he was not in a fit state to see patients. He apologised and the matter was reported to the RCVS. When deciding on the sanction against Kombert, the committee took into account three previous matters of a similar nature.
Dr Whiting added: "The respondent has failed to uphold the requisite standards to be expected of him on multiple occasions."
Kombert has 28 days from being informed of the outcome of the hearing in which to make an appeal to the Privy Council.