“We are far from being back to business as usual” - Mandisa Greene.
Temporary guidance that enables veterinary surgeons to remotely prescribe prescription-only veterinary medicines (POM-Vs) without first having to carry out a physical examination of the animal has been extended until the end of September.
The decision by the RCVS Council COVID-19 Taskforce includes a minor change to step three of its coronavirus guidance flowchart, removing the words: ‘in the first instance', to allow veterinary professionals more flexibility in deciding whether to consult remotely or face-to-face.
It comes after a recent meeting of the Taskforce, in which the group considered the pandemic's progress and latest government guidance. It also took into consideration results from a survey of practice experience of remote consulting, and additional third-party data from several veterinary practices.
“Whilst lockdown measures have been eased and matters have improved, we are far from being back to business as usual and the threat of returning to more severe lockdown measures, whether locally or nationally, is still very much alive," commented RCVS president and Taskforce chair, Mandisa Greene.
“Nevertheless, with practices currently able to return to more routine treatments, the Taskforce recognises the need for more flexibility in our temporary guidance, so that veterinary surgeons can use their professional judgement to decide what is the most suitable approach in each individual case.”
The Taskforce also discussed the need to continue to provide practices with flexibility in the face of possible local or national lockdowns, and the likelihood of quarantine of members of the team due to travel and/or Test and Trace.
The results from the survey of practice experience of remote consulting are expected to be published shortly.