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Telemedicine debate prompts Code of Conduct review
Discussions on telemedicine, including remote prescribing, have prompted a review of the supporting guidance.

‘Anomalies’ found in supporting guidance, RCVS says

Discussions on the development of telemedicine services have prompted a wide-ranging review of the supporting guidance to the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct.

RCVS Council approved the review this week. It will cover several key provisions of the supporting guidance, including 24-hour emergency cover and the interpretation and application of an animal being ‘under the care’ of a veterinary surgeon.

The review was recommended by the Standards Committee, which explored the implications of new technology for animal health and welfare, as well as veterinary regulation.

Committee meetings, a public consultation and external legal advice revealed a number of anomalies in the existing guidance, which could affect how the code is applied across a range of scenarios.

Chair of the Standards Committee, Dr Kate Richards, said: “It became clear to us that we could not consider telemedicine and remote prescribing in isolation and that it raised broader questions around the appropriateness of, and justification for, certain elements of existing RCVS guidance.

"I’m therefore pleased that RCVS Council has decided that the right and responsible approach is first to conduct a full review of these provisions.”

The review is expected to require wide engagement from all relevant sectors and could include a select committee-style hearing in certain areas.

In the meantime, the college stressed that the current Code and guidance remain in full effect. 

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Veterinary Evidence Student Awards winners revealed

News Story 1
 The first winners of the RCVS Knowledge Veterinary Evidence Student Awards have been revealed.

Molly Vasanthakumar scooped first prize for her knowledge summary comparing the ecological impact of woven versus disposable drapes. She found that there is not enough evidence that disposable synthetics reduce the risk of surgical site.

Second prize went to Honoria Brown of the University of Cambridge, for her paper: ‘Can hoof wall temperature and digital pulse pressure be used as sensitive non-invasive diagnostic indicators of acute laminitis onset?’

Edinburgh’s Jacqueline Oi Ping Tong won third prize for critically appraising the evidence for whether a daily probiotic improved clinical outcomes in dogs with idiopathic diarrhoea. The papers have all achieved publication in RCVS Knowledge’s peer-reviewed journal, Veterinary Evidence.  

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News Shorts
Animal Welfare Foundation seeks new trustees

The Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) seeks three new trustees to help drive the charity’s mission to improve animal welfare through veterinary science, education and debate.

Veterinary and animal welfare professionals from across the UK may apply, particularly those with experience in equine and small animal practice and research management. Trustees must attend at least two meetings a year, as well as the annual AWF Discussion Forum in London.

For more information about the role, visit www.animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk. Applications close at midnight on 13 August 2019.