The Practice Standards Group, which includes members from all of the key veterinary and veterinary nursing organisations, is currently very involved with the Review, which aims to relaunch the Scheme in 2015.
The review seeks to address some of the criticisms made of the Scheme, for example, that it concentrates on premises and equipment, so that in the future there will be a greater focus on behaviours which impact on clinical care.
In June 2013, Council agreed to a new modular framework for the Scheme, which would give it a greater amount of flexibility and allow practices signed up to the Scheme to focus on the areas that are important and relevant to them.
Since the framework was approved, the process of drafting 20 modules for the Scheme, covering many different aspects of clinical practice, has begun. These modules cover topics such as staff management, emergency and critical care, clinical governance, medical records, nursing, surgery, dentistry, diagnostic imaging and out-of-hours care.
Accompanying the shift to the modular approach will be an overhaul of the current IT system for the PSS, as well as a new training regime for PSS inspectors to ensure that the process is consistent and focused on inspecting behaviours and outcomes.
We are developing a video to explain these changes in more detail, which will be available from our YouTube channel soon.
Meanwhile, thank you for your patience while we prepare for the new Scheme. The work that it entails is having some impact on the day-to-day activities of the Scheme, and we are currently running around six to eight weeks behind in terms of allocating inspections and notifying practices of the outcome of their inspections.
We realise this is not ideal: please accept our apologies.
Catching up is a priority, and we are pleased to announce that we have hired a new Project Manager for the review, Natalie Jenkins, which should help improve the time it takes for the day-to-day team to process your emails and queries.
The Practice Standard (January 2014)