We are regularly inspected by various veterinary bodies to ensure that we are meeting the rigorous standards for veterinary practice and training of our nurses. Following our last inspection in March 2017, the RCVS inspector commented that 'this was a lovely friendly family like practice. The paper work had been prepared to the very highest standard I have ever seen. This was a very well organised practice'. We feel that our ongoing efforts are worth highlighting so that clients are aware of some of the hard work that goes on behind the scenes.
RCVS Practice Standards Scheme
This is a voluntary scheme to accredit veterinary practices in the UK, which is supervised by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Through setting standards and carrying out regular inspections, the Scheme aims to promote and maintain the highest standards of veterinary care. Around half of the practices in the UK are accredited and further information of the extensive requirements can be found on the RCVS web site. The accreditations available within the scheme are to ‘Core Standards’, ‘General Practice’ and ‘Veterinary Hospital’ standards. The ‘Core Standards’ are relevant to all veterinary practices and mainly reflect legal requirements which must be met in running a veterinary practice, together with guidance as set out in the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct. Every practice premises within the Scheme must meet Core Standards for all species treated.
In addition, our practice has achieved the Small Animal General Practice standard, which reflects the requirements of a primary care practice but also aims to ensure high standards of clinical care, and includes many of the facilities required for veterinary nurse training. We joined this Scheme in 2008, having also been approved under the former BSAVA Practice Standard Scheme many years ago. We feel that the RCVS Scheme gives clients a reassurance that we continually strive to maintain high standards in our clinical approach and management of our practice.
Veterinary Nursing Inspections
Staff from two separate nursing colleges inspected our practice facilities and management systems to ensure that we fulfill all the requirements to train our veterinary nurses and enable them to pass their written and practical exams. This includes aspects already covered under the RCVS Practice Standards Scheme but also many that apply specifically to the training of veterinary nurses such as providing a trained clinical coach, extensive library facilities and supervised hands-on nursing opportunities.
These lengthy inspections are carried out annually and support the frequent monitoring of our student nurses’ work portfolios that goes on throughout the year. Our veterinary nurses provide expert nursing care for sick animals and play a significant role in educating owners about the health of their pets. They also carry out technical work and are skilled at performing some diagnostic tests and medical treatment under the direction of a veterinary surgeon.