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HSE increases focus on veterinary practices

24 March 2005

Historically, veterinary practices have not been proactively inspected as a matter of course. However, in a timely reminder of the importance of the new RCVS Practice Standards Scheme to modern-day veterinary practice, the Health & Safety Executive has shown this may no longer be the case following its recent inspection of some 27 practices in North Yorkshire.

During the inspections, emphasis was placed on anaesthetics, autoclaves, electrics, firearms, lone working, medicines and x-ray equipment. Accreditation under the Practice Standards Scheme would help to ensure that sufficient standards in these areas had been met. 

While only one practice was served with an enforcement notice, four were notified of major shortfalls. Also, most practices fell short in relation to both COSHH and Manual Handling assessments. 

Practices should be aware that an HSE inspection is not just about having the correct paperwork, but having paperwork that is used and understood and put into action.

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