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RCVS Approves Compassionate Approach To Those With Health Problems

14 years ago

15th November, 2010 12h49

At its November meeting (4/11/10), the Council of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) approved a new Health Protocol, which formalises a more compassionate approach to veterinary surgeons with health problems. The Protocol will allow - in appropriate circumstances - vets (and, from next year, registered veterinary nurses) who suffer from health concerns affecting their ability to practise safely, to have the matter dealt with confidentially, without going to a full public Disciplinary Committee hearing. It will allow individuals to access appropriate support and help away from the public spotlight, while ensuring that they do not put animals or the public at risk. According to independent legal advice sought by the College, such an approach is appropriate and necessary in order for the College to fulfil its regulatory responsibilities – similar systems exist within other regulators. The draft Protocol was the subject of consultation amongst the profession and the public over summer. Proposed amendments to the RCVS Guide to Professional Conduct, to support the introduction of the Health Protocol, were also approved in the November meeting. “The Protocol encourages anyone coming into contact with veterinary surgeons – including other veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses, members of practice staff, clients and healthcare professionals – who have concerns about a veterinary surgeon’s health to report those concerns to the RCVS as soon as is reasonably practicable,” says RCVS Head of Professional Conduct, Gordon Hockey. “Veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses who are concerned about the health of a veterinary surgeon must also take steps to ensure that animals are not put at risk and that the interests of the public, including those of their colleagues, are protected.”

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