First veterinary nurse to sit on RCVS Council

24 May 2010

Andrea Jeffery, the first veterinary nurse to sit on RCVS Council, will take up her place from July this year.

The move recognises the increasing importance of veterinary nursing as a profession, and the need for veterinary nurse input on decisions of governance that impact on the whole veterinary team.

The composition of RCVS Council is dictated by the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966: 24 elected veterinary surgeons, two appointees from each of the six approved veterinary schools and four members appointed by the Privy Council (usually three lay people and the Chief Veterinary Officer).

Within this mix, there has not thus far been a place for a veterinary nurse, however, the vet school appointees do not both have to be veterinary surgeons, and the University of Bristol has nominated Andrea, who will take up her place at RCVS Day on 2 July.

A past Chairman, and elected member, of the RCVS Veterinary Nurses Council, Andrea (pictured) is Programme Director of the Veterinary Nursing and Bioveterinary Science Programme at the University of Bristol.

Liz Branscombe will continue as Chairman of the Veterinary Nurses Council, and makes a report to RCVS Council each time it sits – in March, June and November.

“I am very grateful to Bristol for being forward-thinking and enabling a veterinary nurse to sit on RCVS Council in this way,” says Andrea.

“This opportunity gives veterinary nursing a voice on Council and recognises the growing maturity we have as a profession, and the contribution of veterinary nurses to the practice team. I look forward to supporting the work of Liz and the Veterinary Nurses Council."

“The legislation that defines the composition of RCVS Council was put in place when veterinary nursing was in its infancy,” adds RCVS President, Sandy Trees.

“However, I am delighted that the University of Bristol has been imaginative enough to choose Andrea as one if its appointees. It is the same spirit of doing as much as we can to modernise, in the absence of new legislation, which has led us to introduce the non-statutary regulation of veterinary nurses and the voluntary Practice Standards Scheme.”

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