FAQs

01.

On 20 March 2020, we published a joint statement with the British Veterinary Association containing guidance on the status of veterinary surgeons as 'key workers' in relation to school closures as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

This follows lobbying of government by both the RCVS and BVA in recent days.

Read the full statement here

02.

Routine vaccinations, eg annual boosters in an otherwise healthy animal, are currently not considered urgent (see BVA guidance for veterinary practices in assessing emergency and urgent care), however there may be scenarios where, in your professional judgement, vaccines are being given to reduce a real and imminent risk of disease; this includes in the face of an animal disease outbreak, or in a scenario where part of a vaccine course has been given and the animal may be exposed to the disease.

In this case, as always, veterinary judgement is paramount and the risk of leaving an incomplete course must be weighed against the ability to see the animal whilst maximising social distancing.

NB if the Government’s social distancing restrictions last longer than the current review date of 13 April, this guidance may change further.

Contact the Advice Team: advice@rcvs.org.uk / 020 7202 0789

Last updated: 26 March 2020

03.

In light of the UK government’s announcement on Monday 23 March 2020 around reducing all non-essential contact, RCVS Veterinary Nurses Council has asked all veterinary nursing educators to defer their OSCE assessments for a period of three months.

Following consideration of a number of alternative methods of delivery for the OSCE assessment, it was concluded that none was possible under the current circumstances and the health and welfare of students and examiners are paramount.

In addition, VN Council is encouraging both further and higher education institutions to ensure students can continue to progress academically and has requested that institutions use secure systems to deliver any unseen assessments or defer these assessment until such time as they can be appropriately and safely delivered.

Read our full statement

NB We have also published advice about clinical placements - please read FAQ 9

Contact the VN team:  vetnursing@rcvs.org.uk / 020 7202 0788

Last updated: 27 March 2020

04.

We recognise that remote approval and quality monitoring activities will reduce the risk of Coronavirus transmission to college staff, training practice staff, students and the public.

Utilisation of desk-based activities and video-conferencing technology should be considered during this unique time.

Where remote centre or training practice approval has taken place, we would expect a follow-up visit in person once the coronavirus outbreak is under control, in line with the prevailing government advice.

Contact the VN team:  vetnursing@rcvs.org.uk / 020 7202 0788

Last updated: 27 March 2020

05.

In light of the UK Government’s advice on reducing transmission through social distancing measures, as well as a number of travel bans being put in place on an international level, we have made the decision to postpone the 2020 diet of the Statutory Membership Examination.

We are exploring options for running the written component of the examination remotely, whilst also ensuring that appropriate security measures are in place to ensure the integrity of the examination, with the aim of carrying this out during the summer of 2020. 

Due to the suspension of teaching at all UK veterinary schools, the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) component will also be postponed. We are working closely with the venue to secure new dates for the end of 2020.

Our Education Team is supporting all 2020 Statutory Examination candidates with regular updates, and can be contacted on rcvsexam@rcvs.org.uk or 020 7965 1104.

Last updated: 31 March 2020

06.

As is the case for all veterinary services, in order to comply with the most recent government requirements, you should keep to an absolute minimum the number of clients seen face-to-face.

This means that you should only see animals in emergencies or where, in the judgement of the referring veterinary surgeon, urgent referral is needed in order to reduce the risk of patient deterioration to the point where it may become an emergency in the near future, ie within the three-week time frame currently laid out by the Government for these initial measures).

For further guidance, please refer to the BVA guidance for veterinary practices in assessing emergency and urgent care.

If a face-to-face appointment is necessary, contact with the animal’s owner should be limited as much as possible and the government’s guidance on social distancing should be observed.

In a referral/specialist setting, you should also consider the following factors:

  • The urgency of any new referral, and whether it can be delayed with minimal risk to the patient
  • The location of the referral centre, ensuring that it is as close to the client as possible in order to avoid unnecessary travel
  • The extent to which remote means can be used to offer tailored advice and/or other services to veterinary colleagues and clients (for more information relating to remote prescribing, see FAQ 4)
  • The need for physical rechecks of ongoing referral patients; some physical rechecks may be necessary, eg for the administration of chemotherapy or management of orthopaedic apparatus, but these should be performed only having considered whether a remote or more local approach is possible

This guidance will be reviewed on a regular basis as the situation develops.

Contact the Advice Team: advice@rcvs.org.uk or 020 7202 0789

Last updated 31 March 2020

07.

Veterinary practices are not on the list of businesses and premises that need to close and, as such, may open where necessary.

However, in order to comply with government guidance, the number of clients seen face-to-face should be kept to an absolute minimum (see FAQ 2) and, where clients are seen, you should ensure you follow the relevant guidance on social distancing.

In terms of those working within the practice, vulnerable employees (eg those who are aged over 70, have underlying health conditions or are pregnant) should be encouraged to stay at home.

Other team members should only attend the practice when necessary.

You should also familiarise yourself with, and follow, the government’s guidance for employers and businesses to ensure you are following best practice to curb the spread of the virus and protect your team.

Contact the Advice Team: advice@rcvs.org.uk or 020 7202 0789

Last updated: 24 March 2020

08.

Although veterinary practices are not required to close, in order to comply with the most recent government requirements, they have been advised that the number of clients seen face-to-face should be kept to an absolute minimum for at least the next three weeks.

This means that they will only physically see your animal in an emergency, or where, in the judgement of the veterinary surgeon, urgent assessment and/or treatment is needed in order to reduce the risk of deterioration to the point where it may become an emergency in the near future (ie within the three-week time frame currently laid down by the Government for these measures).

By way of assistance, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) has issued guidance for veterinary practices on the types of things that are likely to be considered urgent or requiring emergency treatment.

In light of this, please do not attend your practice unannounced. Ensure you call ahead so that the practice can make an assessment of whether you need to attend in person or whether treatment can be delayed or dealt with via remote means.

Please note that some practices may be offering online or telephone services during this time, so please check to see whether these could be of assistance to you.

Last updated: 27 March 2020

09.

Your practice will be trying to avoid unnecessary risk to you, and to their staff.

As such, please maintain at least a two-metre distance between yourself and others and follow government guidance on hand hygiene before, during and after your visit to the practice.

In line with government guidance limiting contact with others, you should ensure that only one person attends the appointment with your animal.

You should also be prepared to wait outside the practice or even in your car while your animal is examined to ensure safe distances are maintained. The consultation with you may then take place over the telephone.

Last updated: 27 March 2020

10.

Although veterinary practices may remain open, in order to comply with the most recent government requirements, the number of clients  seen face-to-face should be kept to an absolute minimum.

Furthermore, clients and/or veterinary professionals should only travel to see animals if judged essential to do so. This means that animals should only be seen in emergencies or where, in the judgement of the veterinary surgeon, urgent assessment and/or treatment is needed in order to reduce the risk of patient deterioration to the point where it may become an emergency in the near future (ie within the three-week time frame currently laid out by the Government for these measures).

We are currently working with other relevant organisations to develop further guidance on what may and may not fall into these categories however, this will take time and so, in the meantime, we ask you to exercise your judgement as to when it is necessary for you to see an animal and/or their owner in person.

Further guidance will also be provided as the Government’s longer term position is clarified.

Routine treatments, other than those essential to maintaining the future food supply chain, should not be carried out until further notice.

You may, however, offer your clients advice and consultation services via remote means, including prescribing POM-V medicines where appropriate (see FAQ 3).

The same principles apply if you usually work in an ambulatory role, for example if you are an equine or farm vet.

Contact the Advice Team: advice@rcvs.org.uk or 020 7202 0789

Last updated: 25 March 2020

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. ...
  8. 16

Page 1 of 16