November Regional Meetings - future of the profession in focus
5 November 2002
On 26 and 27 November 2002, the RCVS hosted two Regional Meetings at Scotch Corner and in Grantham. Both meetings were reasonably well attended with around 30 vets and VNs at Scotch Corner and over 40 in Grantham.
Vets on Farms
At the Scotch Corner meeting, members expressed concern about the diminishing role of the veterinary surgeon on the farm and felt that DEFRA had showed a lack of interest in this matter. RCVS was urged to provide some input to DEFRA to highlight the importance of the vets' role on farm, for the benefit of general herd health and disease surveillance in particular. A representative from the Meat Hygiene Service was in attendance and advised that DEFRA would be consulting shortly on disease surveillance strategies and this would be an ideal opportunity to submit views.
Maintaining 24-Hour Cover
At both meetings vets voiced their concern about the practicalities of maintaining 24-hour cover. In some areas where there were few practices, such cover was proving to be a large resource commitment for practices that did not have the option of a cooperative call-out service. Nevertheless, a show of hands at both meetings confirmed the view that 24-hour cover in some form or another should be maintained. RCVS Officers said that the current guidelines would be reviewed next year in the light of these concerns and possible difficulties with new legal provisions relating to working time.
A full report of these meetings will be available online in due course and will be submitted to the relevant RCVS Committees.
The next round of Regional Meetings will be held in Bolton and Ipswich on the 14 and 15 January 2003 - more details available soon.