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RCVS further extends remote prescribing guidance
The new temporary guidance includes additional safeguards concerning the physical examination of animals.
Updated guidance contains additional safeguards concerning physical examination.

Temporary guidance that currently allows veterinary surgeons to remotely prescribe prescription-only veterinary medicines (POM-Vs) has been extended to 1 November 2020 with additional safeguards.

The new motion, laid out at a recent meeting of RCVS Council, states that remote prescribing 'should only be carried out by veterinary surgeons who can provide a 24/7 follow-up service involving physical examination, plus or minus further investigation if required'.

It also states that such a follow-up service ‘can be provided personally by the veterinary surgeon or practice, or by written agreement with a veterinary services provider which is local to the client (as with the current situation for [out-of-hours] care provision)’.

Temporary guidance on remote prescribing was originally introduced in March in response to the Government's lockdown and social distancing restrictions. Since then, the guidance had been extended several times to reflect the changing circumstances and government guidance surrounding the pandemic.

On Thursday (8 October), a review of the temporary guidance took place at the request of RCVS Council. Council considered all of the evidence considered by the COVID-19 Taskforce, including an independent survey of veterinary practices into their experiences of remote consulting and feedback from different veterinary service providers.

After further discussion, Council voted to support the guidance but with additional safeguards concerning the physical examination of animals and the availability of follow-up care. The decision will be communicated to the profession as soon as possible and effective from 1 November 2020, to allow time for practices to make any necessary adaptations.

Council also agreed that the temporary derogation from the usual requirement to conduct a physical examination before an animal is regarded as ‘under care’ be reviewed as a standing item at each subsequent Standards Committee meeting until normal guidance provisions are restored.

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AWF Student Grant Scheme opens for applications

News Story 1
 The Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) is inviting applications to its 2021 Student Grant Scheme for innovative projects designed to impact animal welfare. The scheme welcomes proposals from undergraduates studying veterinary and animal welfare degrees, but students from other disciplines are also welcome to apply.

Grants will fund projects on animal welfare topics that are relevant to the veterinary profession and help develop the student's skills as a researcher. This year, the AWF is also accepting projects which are carried out alongside EMS so long as they are supervised. For more information and to apply, visit animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk 

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News Shorts
Bristol Vet School announces new PhD Studentship opportunities

Bristol Veterinary School has announced four new PhD Studentship opportunities with a focus on cattle welfare. The projects include:

Developing a novel approach to improve the welfare of dairy cows; The impact of early life programming on resistance to helminths in ruminant livestock; The impact of change and the ability to deal with it on an individual's affective state and welfare; Harnessing 3D cameras and deep learning for on-the-fly automated body condition and mobility analysis to improve cattle welfare.

For more details and how to apply, visit the University of Bristol's website.