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Vets brave weather to attend RCVS Regional Meetings

4 February 2004

The RCVS Regional Meetings held in Sheffield and Romsey last week were characterised by Arctic weather conditions. After dropping a few inches of snow during the Sheffield meeting, the cold weather front accompanied the RCVS team south to Romsey for the second meeting where conditions were, if anything, worse.

This meant that the record numbers that had signed up to attend both meetings, exceeding 65 persons for both, were substantially reduced. Nevertheless, for all those who managed to beat the weather, there were some interesting discussions on issues affecting the future of the profession.

Following an update on the review of the Veterinary Surgeons Act from John Parker (Junior Vice-President), questions were asked about the likely proportion of lay representation on RCVS Council and how these members would be nominated, and whether there would be new powers for the Preliminary Investigation and Disciplinary Committees.

Progress with the new RCVS Practice Standards Scheme was reported by Bob Moore (RCVS Treasurer). There followed discussion about the amount of new terminology involved and how this was to be promoted to the profession and clients; about how practices were to be inspected and the likely costs of these inspections; and, whether all practices would have to strive to achieve higher standards than currently.

Richard Halliwell (President) gave an overview of progress with the Professional Training Phase trial for new veterinary graduates. There was support for these developments, although some concern about difficulty of managing PTP adequately in large animal practice and the potential for increased bureaucracy

Geoff Skerritt (Council Member) answered questions in Sheffield about the proposed changes to the RCVS Certificate and Diploma system. The modularisation of the Certificate system was, he said, designed to make these qualifications more accessible to those working full time in general practice without lowering standards. No final decisions had been made, however, so he would take the comments raised by members back to the Working Party for further discussion.

A variety of other subjects were debated, including VN training, provision of 24-hour emergency cover, vaccination and the latest developments regarding the Competition Commission's recommendations. A full report of both meetings is available to view below.

The next round of Regional Meetings will be held in West Sussex (20 April 2004) and Glasgow (21 April 2004).

Full meeting report (PDF file - 95Kb)


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