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RCVS Knowledge QI Champions announced
The awards recognise teams that have successfully implemented QI techniques.

The RCVS Knowledge Awards celebrate teams using quality improvement techniques.

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has revealed the veterinary teams which have won RCVS Knowledge awards for quality improvement in their practice.

The awards recognise professionals or practice teams which have implemented quality improvement (QI) techniques to improve the quality of their veterinary care, or promote antimicrobial stewardship.

Among this year’s Quality Improvement Champions is White Lodge Veterinary Surgery, in Devon. The surgery has been conducting pain management audits for patients undergoing bitch spays

This has enabled the surgery to improve these scores, and reduce how many dogs require analgesia.

Yorkshire Vets was also awarded the title, for work to reduce its carbon footprint. The project, led by the practice’s nurses, resulted in a reduction in both oxygen usage and volatile anaesthetic.

RCVS Knowledge named CVS Group’s South 4 Region team as its 2024 Antimicrobial Stewardship Champion.

The team has worked towards a 70 per cent reduction in its usage of long-acting antibiotics used for treating bite wounds and skin infections in cats. This supported them in using Highest Priority, Critically Important Antibiotics (HPCIAs) more responsibly.

RCVS Knowledge also recognised 21 applicants as ‘Highly Commended’, and five applicants as ‘Ones to watch’.

One applicant which RCVS Knowledge celebrated as 'Highly Commended' is Lauren Green, a student veterinary nurse at independent practice and FIVP member Warren House Veterinary Centre.

The student nurse engaged with the whole team to audit antibiotic usage in surgery, including creating new guidelines for peri-operative antibiotic selection. The practice has been able to reduce antibiotic use in routine surgery from 25 per cent to just six per cent.

Across both categories, the charity said that all the successful applicants had made use of its free resources to support their applications.

Ashley Doorly, head of quality improvement at RCVS Knowledge, said: "A massive congratulations to all of this year’s winners.

“The calibre of entries was extremely impressive, and it was fantastic to hear from so many veterinary professionals from across the country who’ve made quality improvement and antimicrobial stewardship a cornerstone of their work.”

Entries will open this summer for the 2025 awards. Applications go through a double-blinded peer review, and are scored based on their use of quality improvement techniques and their antimicrobial stewardship work.

More details about past winners and highly commended runners up are available here.

Image © Shutterstock

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Charities' XL bully neutering scheme closes

News Story 1
 A scheme that helped owners of XL bully dogs with the cost of neutering has closed to new applications due to high demand.

The scheme, run by the RSPCA, Blue Cross, and Battersea, has helped 1,800 dogs and their owners after XL bullies were banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

In England and Wales, owners of XL bully dogs which were over one year old on 31 January 2021 have until 30 June 2024 to get their dog neutered. If a dog was between seven months and 12 months old, it must be neutered by 31 December 2024. If it was under seven months old, owners have until 30 June 2025.

More information can be found on the Defra website. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Avian flu cattle outbreak spreads to tenth US state

Cattle in two dairy herds in Iowa have tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), making it the tenth state in the USA to be affected by the ongoing outbreak of the disease in cattle.

Since March 2024, more than 80 herds across the USA have been affected by the virus and three dairy workers have tested positive. Authorities have introduced measures to limit the spread of the virus and farmers have been urged to strengthen their biosecurity protocols.

Mike Naig, Iowa secretary of agriculture, said: "Given the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza within dairy cattle in many other states, it is not a surprise that we would have a case given the size of our dairy industry in Iowa.

"While lactating dairy cattle appear to recover with supportive care, we know this destructive virus continues to be deadly for poultry."