In response to the rapid changes in the veterinary environment, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) has launched a vision for effective teamwork between vets and allied professionals with the aim of improving animal health, animal welfare and public health.
BVA’s concept of the vet-led team calls on vets and appropriately trained and regulated allied professionals to use a ‘hub and spoke’ model that has the vet at its heart to coordinate services for clients and patients.
Vets should act as the hub for treatment, directing clients to an allied professional after examining an animal, making a diagnosis, and determining the best course of action. Allied professionals - who can include Registered Veterinary Nurses (RVNs), Official Auxiliaries/ Meat Hygiene Inspectors, embryo transfer technicians, equine dental technicians, foot trimmers, farriers, hydrotherapists, animal behaviourists and veterinary physiotherapists - operate as spokes surrounding the hub, returning cases back to the vet whenever further direction is necessary.
BVA’s timely recommendations recognise that the profession is operating within a rapidly changing environment, including an expansion in the range of allied professionals, concerns regarding veterinary workforce shortages, technological innovations, and changes in the expectations of pet owners, farmers, industry and other clients.
To address these changes and clarify where the responsibility for a patient sits and how it is shared between vets and allied professionals, the vet-led team position also calls for:
- The regulation of allied professionals to include mandatory veterinary diagnosis and oversight and appropriate access to veterinary records as pre-requisites before treatment;
- Clarity on the delegation of duties for RVNs under Schedule 3 of the Veterinary Surgeons Act and protection of the ‘veterinary nurse’ title in legislation;
- Consultation with the veterinary profession on any regulatory changes that may arise as a result of technological or other innovation. ...follow the link to read the article in full on the BVA website