PLEASE SEE BELOW INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE FROM RAMP REGARDING THIS CONSULTATION: THE DEADLINE FOR RESPONSE IS 5PM ON FRIDAY, 23 APRIL 2021.
As you are all aware the RCVS and DEFRA have been looking at the Veterinary Services legislation and regulation of all practitioners ‘treating’ animals.
RAMP surveyed its registrants before Christmas about their thoughts around RAMP entering discussions with RCVS about them acting as our regulator and a huge number of comments and concerns were expressed. The result was however 66% in favour of us at least participating in discussions.
The RCVS is conducting a consultation regarding the possibility of incorporating allied professionals under one act. The consultation is now open and RAMP has responded as an organisation however there is also an opportunity for you to give your thoughts as individual practitioners. Like the RCVS, RAMP Council would like you to give a full and honest opinion about these proposals and how they would impact your practice, for better or for worse.
RAMP council has offered below some advice and a summary of the questions to help you respond in your own words.
The link for the consultation is;
1.1: Statutory regulation of the vet-led team
The pros and cons for RCVS regulation were listed on our previous survey email,
Allied Professional is a term already used extensively in the human field but to create an equivalent status the practitioner would have to be autonomous within their scope of practice.
Paraprofessional is a term suggesting the practitioner is not professional in their own right and therefore not competent to take Professional responsibility
Paraprofessionals as a term does indicate we could be viewed as sub vets, which ultimately we are in the current hierarchy, although the latest clarification statement has already given us the primary practitioner role in the competition care and maintenance categories.
With regulation the AHP label MAY be attributed and would cement it in the 2 categories more clearly but may cause confusion regarding the remedial category The title AHP would not have the same equivalency as in the human field as it is still ultimately a vet led team regarding the remedial care category.
Having considered these points please answer using your own words the following;
1. If statutory regulation is offered to MSK practitioners, as allied professionals, by
RCVS what would your thoughts/feelings be?
2. How do you see your skill set in relation to a vet nurse and a et in level and scope?
1:2 Flexible Delegation Powers
This will depend on the Scope of Practice developed for each Professional. If the Allied professional is a specialist in a particular set of skills, then the AP should have autonomy to carry out that task or set of skills. In that case regulation needs to be sufficient and supervision not necessary. If standards are lowered to allow paraprofessionals (those would work alongside professional) that require supervision in particular tasks then then Regulation and supervision are required which could inhibit the development of professional standards and scopes of practice in the Allied Professions. It is also possible that the Veterinary Surgeon may not be the professional to supervise the paraprofessional in
specialist tasks that would be best supervised by Allied professionals in the specific speciality.
1. Would you want a mechanism for Regulation and definition of Scope of Practice of Allied Professionals set up to allow adding of new specialities/professions as they develop?
2. Where is the scope for MSK practitioners to clinically reason? The RCVS and individual vets cannot know all the areas in which we work and this could stifle any development and innovation?
3. Which elements for scope of practice for RAMP registrants are most important and vital to retain?
1.3: Separating employment and delegation
This is based round giving VN’s more scope of practice and aiming to make them similar to district nurses in human practice. For bandaging and nursing care this might work but there is a possibility that they could take on rehabilitation work outside the vet practice which they have little skill in doing. Within corporate small animal practices it is now commonplace for VNs to do rehabilitation.
1. Can this be achieved to ensure Scope of Practice is defined and it is not seen as a way in the back door for VN’s to take on the MSK Practitioner roll with minimal training? This could help support and increase MSK’s ability to work with greater veterinary referral and delegation in remedial situations and may create further jobs/increase animal welfare.
2. Is this, in theory, a good thing?
1.4: Statutory protection for professional titles
Protection of titles is appealing but not if it is at the expense of de- skilling the professions. The caveat would be that there is no reduction in our own scope of practice, skill set, standards of practice etc.
1. How important to you is a protected title?
2. What title would you think is appropriate and that you might want?
3. What, if anything, is worth sacrificing for this?
The RAMP Team