British Veterinary Association President Simon DohertyThe BVA has published a new policy statement outlining its 'hub and spoke' vision for the future of patient care, whereby veterinary surgeons are at hub of treatment, directing patients to and coordinating treatment by allied professionals.

The allied professionals that the BVA says should be led by veterinary surgeons 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.

To clarify where the responsibility for a patient sits and how it is shared between veterinary surgeons and allied professionals, the new policy statement 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.

British Veterinary Association President Simon Doherty (pictured right) said: "Against an evolving landscape, it’s essential that the veterinary profession keeps pace with change and addresses the challenges and opportunities it presents.

"Vets across sectors have always worked closely with allied professionals. The hub and spoke model acknowledges and clarifies this working relationship with clear lines of accountability and responsibility for the animals under our care. It also emphasises that vets’ right to diagnose, prescribe, and undertake surgical procedures and medical treatments must not be undermined.

"An effective and efficient vet-led team can help deliver better animal health and welfare, improved client care, and more effective use of skills within the veterinary professions. Given the ongoing workforce shortages, a strengthened veterinary workforce also has the potential to ease recruitment and retention concerns for both vets and RVNs and offer improved wellbeing.

"BVA will continue working with professional bodies and organisations to formalise the hub and spoke model, promote the value of regulation, and drive up professional standards."

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