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24-hour emergency cover - your views sought

10 June 2004

The RCVS set up a working party in late 2003 to review guidance on the provision of 24-hour emergency cover. Advisory Committee considered draft proposals in April and Council has just given its approval for a wider consultation with the profession and members of the public.

The proposal is that veterinary surgeons in practice should continue to make provision for adequate 24-hour emergency cover, but in cooperation with colleagues in practice, and that there should be no unnecessary restrictions by the RCVS on sharing and outsourcing of cover.

Practices will be expected to provide comprehensive factual information about this 24-hour emergency cover, including who provides it and from where, and the initial cost of veterinary attention.

In addition, it is proposed that the scope of the requirement should be limited to species treated routinely by the practice or similar species; for species not treated routinely by the practice, the on-call veterinary surgeon will be expected to help the animal owner to find a source of appropriate veterinary attention.

Further information relating to the consultation may be viewed here.

Respondents are invited to email comments on the draft proposals to or post them, marked "24 hour cover", to the Professional Conduct Department at RCVS, Belgravia House, 62-64 Horseferry Road, London SW1P 2AF.

Deadline for comments is 31 August 2004.

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