Good turnout and lively discussions at April Regional Meetings
30 April 2004
Around a hundred people in total attended the RCVS Regional Meetings in Gatwick (20 April) and Glasgow (21 April) last week and engaged in lengthy discussions and fruitful debate on a range of issues affecting the future of the veterinary profession.
Following a brief overview of the RCVS role and responsibilities by the President, Richard Halliwell, the theme was set to look at the veterinary profession of the future and the initiatives the RCVS is currently pursuing.
Work on what RCVS and the profession would like to see in a new VSA were summarised by John Parker (Junior Vice-President). A reduced RCVS Council with increased lay representation, a "General Veterinary Council" separate from a Royal College, and a restricted Disciplinary Committee with a broader portfolio of sanctions were all debated.
Bob Moore (Treasurer) led the debate on Practice Standards. Following the pre-launch of the scheme at BSAVA Congress, work is ongoing to get the system up and running for 1 January 2005. Issues of concern centred around the inspection of practices and the perceived administrative burden and the marketing of the scheme to the general public.
Developments with regard to the "new veterinary graduate" and the PDP (professional development phase) were chaired by Richard Halliwell (President). Though attendees were generally supportive of the proposals, concerns were expressed at the costs to practices. It was agreed that these views would be relayed back to ESSG.
Stephen Ware (Senior Vice-President) reported on the follow-up from the OFT Enquiry on veterinary medicines. Hopes are that guidance included in the RCVS Guide to Professional Conduct would be sufficient to address the concerns of the Competition Commission. A response from the DTI on the draft Statutory Instrument was expected in October 2003, but is still not forthcoming.
A variety of other issues was debated including the perceived demise of large animal practice, VN training and the provision of 24-hour cover.