The RCVS is inviting responses from veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses and animal owners to a call for evidence on the provision of 24-hour emergency veterinary care, in order to understand how best to meet the expectations of all those involved.
In an open letter to the profession and the public published on the RCVS website, the Chairman of the RCVS Standards Committee, Clare Tapsfield-Wright, said:
"Over the past two years, lay people working with the RCVS have raised questions about the veterinary profession's ability to provide 24/7 to the extent required by the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct, and said there is a disconnect between the public's expectations and the profession's capacity to meet those expectations."
Clare also refers to an RCVS Disciplinary Committee Inquiry in June 2013, which raised a number of issues on home visits by veterinary surgeons, including: speed of response; travelling time and distance; daytime versus out-of-hours obligations; individual versus corporate responsibility; and, staffing levels and contingency plans.
The letter is accompanied by a range of background information, including the reports of Lay Observers to the RCVS Preliminary Investigation Committee; Working Party reports from the College's 2009 consultation on 24-hour emergency cover; and, further details about the June 2013 DC Inquiry.
The College says additional feedback will be sought through next year's RCVS Survey of the Professions, and via focus group research for animal owners. Once all responses have been collated, a number of individuals and organisations will be invited to a Standards Committee meeting to present and discuss their views.
Responses in writing are invited by 5pm on Monday, 17 February 2014, and should be emailed to email@example.com or posted to the Professional Conduct Department, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, Belgravia House, 62-64 Horseferry Road, London SW1P 2AF.
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Having answered the phone to out of hours and attended emergency call outs since 1990 mostly on my own several things become very clear .
1.pre vetsnow some people were really crap at answering their phones and often left their clients without cover relying on other people to pick up the slack.They also got away with it for years .
2. Clients lie , they lie a lot and do it it regularly , they lie about being able to pay you, being already a registered client , the severity and seriousness of the injuries concerned .
They are also particularly good at being useless , and pathetic , especially those with low incomes and a poor level of academic achievement ( those living in rented accommodation are particularly guilty ).
Breeders ,often first contact , usually bulldogs etc wanting obstetric interventions out of hours are a nightmare , their dogs are a disaster and massive anaesthetic risk ,and they are expecting you to get them a litter of puppies for sale while working for next to nothing .
Drunks, drug addicts ringing at 2am wanting info on wormers and vaccines. None emergency enquiries out of hours ,the confusion over 24 hour emergency cover provision and 24 hour service AKA tesco .
The overal conclusion is that no one should be bullied into seeing and doing business with these shitty horrible people if they prefer not too . Attendance out of hours should be entirely at the discression of the individual at the shit end of the stick and not some bunch of has been sitting in horse ferry road .
Publishing Editor: Arlo Guthrie
Clinical Editor: Alasdair Hotston Moore MA VetMB CertSAC CertVR CertSAS FRCVS
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