Rachel Forster of Market Vets, David Charles, previously of Scarsdale Vets, and Leanne McLeod of Earlswood Veterinary, who were winners at the RCVS Knowledge Awards 2023
Hat Trick Of Wins For IVC Evidensia At RCVS Knowledge Awards
8th June, 2023 16h34
IVC Evidensia UK & IE
IVC Evidensia is celebrating its most successful year at the RCVS Knowledge Awards, with three winners and a number of other highly commended projects.
Now in their fifth year, the awards are open to everyone in the veterinary professions and celebrate achievements that use Quality Improvement methods to advance care.
Leanne McLeod, of Earlswood Veterinary, and David Charles, previously of Scarsdale Vets, were named as 2023 Quality Improvement Champions while Rachel Forster, of Market Vets, was a 2023 Antimicrobial Stewardship Champion.
“This is the first time we have had three winners and we are all absolutely delighted for everyone involved,” said Laura Playforth, IVC Evidensia Group Quality Improvement Director.
“It celebrates the tremendous efforts of our clinical teams in improving care and we want to help the teams in every way possible to do that.
“QI is absolutely fundamental, with everything geared to supporting our teams to deliver the very best care for our patients. We can then share QI approaches and resources right across the group.”
Leanne McLeod, a vet nurse at Earlswood in Belfast, introduced a hypothermia audit that focused on pre-warming patients before general anaesthesia. By implementing new warming protocols, her team reduced the incidence of hypothermia from 100% to 16%.
David Charles, previously of Midlands-based Scarsdale Vets, conducted an audit across multiple UK practices to gather data on ovine lambings and Caesareans, and implemented training and recommendations related to the use of analgesia, antibiotics, and adjunctive medications.
The practices saw a significant reduction in prophylactic antibiotic use and an improvement in the provision of analgesia.
“Being recognised by the RCVS is an honour as the audit and sheep medicine and surgery are things I am very passionate about,” said David.
“Running the audit across the IVC Evidensia farm practices (UK & Ireland) was a brilliant chance to make some ‘in-practice’ improvements, as well as increase the evidence base for an under-researched area.
“It's been great to hear about the impact these have had on practitioners across the group, to see them being implemented to improve the service we are offering, our responsible antimicrobial use and, ultimately, also improve ewe welfare during obstetrical intervention.”
And Rachel Forster, a senior farm vet at Market Vets in Devon, reduced neonatal antibiotic use by 75% by implementing the Farm Vet Champions mantra ‘Plan Prevent Protect’ and conducting CPD sessions and client awareness meetings.
“By providing training to our whole practice team, and our sheep farming clients, my aim for the project was to change prescribing behaviour within the practice whilst at the same time giving the farmers confidence to embrace this by assessing their management at lambing time. Data was collected from the practice management system and also from our Farm Assurance visits allowing us to track changes in antibiotic usage in lambs alongside neonatal disease incidence.
“The project was a success, leading to a 75 % reduction in antibiotic prescriptions for neonatal lambs in our practice between 2017 and 2022, with no evidence of increased lamb morbidity or mortality,” said Rachel.
The recognition for vets working in the farming sector was a real source of satisfaction.
“I am particularly pleased we have two farm-related QI project winners,” added Laura.
“The vast majority of projects recognised are small animal first opinion, so it’s really exciting to see these innovative projects that can make a difference to animal welfare.”
There was also further recognition for IVC Evidensia with three Highly Commended Runners-Up.
The Vets Now Sheffield initiative focused on reducing errors and improving customer service when dealing with individual cremations through a process and outcome audit of procedures for handling cremations.
QI coordinator Lesley Moore carried out an Ear cytology Pilot with the aim to increase proactive identification and treatment. The initiative saw a decrease of 70% in the use of antibiotics and an improvement in the use of cleaners and steroids.
And Tawny Kershaw, of Swift Referrals, carried out a hypothermia audit for peri-operative temperatures by looking at the processes in place and measuring updated protocols. Their numerous interventions created an improvement in all audit measures.
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