October 3rd 2019

RCVS Announces Plan to Review ‘Under Care’

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has recently announced new plans for a wide-ranging review to its guidance to veterinary professions on ‘under care’ and out-of-hours emergency cover. 

On September 13th, the RCVS published further details in regards to its review of the guidance to the veterinary professions on ‘under care’ and out-of-hours emergency cover, including a broad timescale for the review’s three key phases of evidence gathering, policy drafting, as well as public consultation.

Recommended to the RCVS by its Standards Committee earlier this year, the review followed an extended and detailed exploration of the implications of new technologies for both animal health and welfare and veterinary regulations. The main areas under consideration include:

  • The provision of 24-hour emergency cover
  • The interpretation and application of an animal being under the care of a veterinary surgeon.

Commenting on its significance, Standards Committee Chair Melissa Donald, said:

‘This is set to become one of our most fundamental reviews of RCVS guidance in recent years.

‘Considering the complexity of the issues in question, and their importance to animal owners and the professions alike, it is vital that we allow ourselves enough time to ensure this review is as thorough and comprehensive as possible.

‘We have a clear responsibility to seek, understand and, where we can, accommodate the opinions and experiences of as many different people from within and around the professions and the public as possible. I would urge my fellow vets and vet nurses to please find some time to consider these issues very carefully over the coming weeks and months, and to send us their views.’

The review will take the form of several important stages and is expected to take around 12 months to complete. The provisional timescale is as follows:

  • October – January: Six-week call for evidence
  • February – March: Select committee-style meetings and independent analysis 
  • April – June: Consider all evidence and draft any new policies
  • July – August: Six-week public consultation on draft policy
  • September – October: Independent review of consultation responses, and production of any proposals for change
  • November: Finalise any proposals for change and publish any new guidance

To support and promote the various stages of the review the college is also planning a programme of stakeholder engagement, and will also provide regular updates on progress to both Counsel and the wider profession.

For more information visit the RCVS website.

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