RCVS Practice Standards Scheme

What is the Practice Standards Scheme? RCVS Small Animal Hospital

The RCVS Practice Standards Scheme (PSS) is a voluntary initiative to accredit veterinary practices in the UK.  Through setting standards and carrying out regular inspections, the Scheme aims to promote and maintain the highest standards of veterinary care.

It offers peace of mind to clients of accredited practices and more informed choice to the animal-owning public.

To be a Hospital accredited under the Scheme, some of the standards we have to meet are:

  • We must have appropriately trained staff for work undertaken (Veterinary qualifications, insurance and ongoing training are checked).
  • We must make clients aware of arrangements for checking and monitoring patients if kept in overnight (A member of staff in onsite 24/7).
  • We must ensure clients are given estimates of costs of treatments and consent to procedures undertaken.
  • We have extensive diagnostic and surgical equipment.  This must be installed and maintained in accordance with health and safety requirements. All staff must be trained in the use of such equipment.
  • We must show ongoing commitment to education and training of staff. Our files are checked for evidence of courses undertaken which we call “Continued Professional Development”
  • We must have a policy for communicating with clients and looking at feedback.
  • We must have access to extensive laboratory facilities for diagnostic testing, both on and off site.
  • We must meet legal and health and safety requirements covering our premises, equipment, clients and employees.
  • Nursing staff must be present on the premises round the clock, and a veterinary surgeon available 24 hours a day to attend to in-patients if required.  This means that continual nursing and veterinary care for in-patients is available if needed.
  • Our clinical standards must be maintained and improved by monitoring performance and outcome treatments.
  • The availability and overall quality and range of equipment is checked. There must be specific diagnostic equipment such as ECG and Ultrasound. At Hollybank we also have digital x-ray and video endoscope equipment.
  • The standard of the premises and facilities is rigorously examined, with emphasis on cleanliness and sterility. Infection control procedures and cleaning schedules must be seen to be actioned by all members of staff.

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