Your data on MRCVSonline
The nature of the services provided by Vision Media means that we might obtain certain information about you.
Please read our Data Protection and Privacy Policy for details.

In addition, (with your consent) some parts of our website may store a 'cookie' in your browser for the purposes of
functionality or performance monitoring.
Click here to manage your settings.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
Send Cancel

BEVA publishes Schedule 3 guidelines to support eRVN skills
A survey discovered a lack of understanding of Schedule 3 procedures.

The advice describes how equine RVNs are permitted to work.

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) has provided new guidelines to better describe when equine registered veterinary nurses (eRVNs) are permitted to perform surgery.

The new advice is designed to better define the Veterinary Surgeons Act’s Schedule 3 amendment, which describes the circumstances in which an eRVN can give medical treatment or perform minor surgery.

The guidelines were launched earlier this month during a live webinar hosted by Marie Rippingale, the chair of the BEVA Equine Nurses Committee.

They were discussed at this year's BEVA Congress by panel including equine veterinary surgeons, equine veterinary nurses and RCVS representatives, who discussed the Schedule 3 amendments and the use of BEVA guidelines.

The guidelines were prompted by a survey from the BEVA, covering recruitment and retention in the industry, which discovered that a lack of understanding of Schedule 3 procedures, as well as a reluctance to pass appropriate procedures to eRVNs, may contribute to difficulties retaining them within the profession.

The Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 (Schedule 3 Amendment) Order 2002 allows veterinary surgeons to direct registered or student veterinary nurses who they employ to provide medical treatment or perform minor surgery which does not involve entry into a body cavity.

The exemption permits an RVN to carry out medical treatment or minor surgery under their employer’s direction on animals in their care, providing that the directing veterinary surgeon is satisfied that they are suitably qualified and trained.

Student veterinary nurses who have carried out medical treatment or minor surgery as part of their training can carry out treatment under the same circumstances, providing they are supervised by a veterinary surgeon or RVN. When carrying out minor surgery, this supervision must be direct, continuous and personal.

The BEVA has also published definitions of the key terms included in the Schedule 3 Amendment.

•    ‘Direction’ means that the veterinary surgeon instructs the veterinary nurse or student veterinary nurse as to the tasks to be performed, but is not necessarily present
•    ‘Supervision’ means that the veterinary surgeon or registered veterinary nurse is present on the premises and able to respond to a request for assistance if needed
•    ‘Direct, continuous and personal supervision’ means that the veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse is present and is giving the student veterinary nurse his/her undivided personal attention.

Marie Rippingale said: “We hope BEVA’s Schedule 3 guidelines will help with the delegation of Schedule 3 procedures to eRVNs, enabling them to have more fulfilling clinical careers, which will contribute positively to retention.

“We also hope the guidelines will help reduce the workload of equine veterinary surgeons, improving their wellbeing and positively affecting retention. Overall, we hope the use of the guidelines will lead to improved welfare for equine patients.”

There is more information about the guidance on the BEVA website.

Shutterstock © BEVA

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

VMG president joins House of Lords

News Story 1
 Miles Russell, president of the Veterinary Management Group (VMG), has been elected to the House of Lords as a crossbench hereditary peer.

He will join Lord Trees as a representative of the veterinary sector in the second chamber of the UK parliament.

Lord Russell said: "Those of us working in the animal health and veterinary sectors are only too aware of the importance of the work we do and the challenges we face.

"I will use my platform in the House of Lords to increase understanding of our sectors and to promote positive change." 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Sixth case of bluetongue confirmed

A sixth case of bluetongue virus serotype 3 has been confirmed in the UK.

The case was detected in an animal on a premises linked to one of the farms within the Temporary Control Zone (TCZ) currently in place near Canterbury, Kent.

In response, the Animal and Plant Health Agency has extended the TCZ. Investigations into the spread of the disease are ongoing.

The cases in Kent come at a time when a new strain of the virus has spread rapidly across farms in the Netherlands. Both the Government and the British Veterinary Association have urged livestock keepers to remain vigilant.

Bluetongue is a notifiable disease and suspected cases must be reported immediately on 03000 200 301 in England or 03003 038 268 in Wales. In Scotland, possible cases should be reported to the local field services office.