The RCVS Practice Standards Scheme (PSS) is a voluntary initiative to accredit veterinary practices in the UK. Through setting standards and carrying out regular inspections, the Scheme aims to promote and maintain the highest standards of veterinary care.
It offers peace of mind to clients of accredited practices and more informed choice to the animal-owning public.
To become accredited, practices volunteer for rigorous inspection every four years and will have met a range of minimum standards including hygiene, 24-hour emergency cover, staff training, certain types of equipment and cost
estimation procedures. They may also be subject to spot-checks between inspections.
For peace of mind, people should look for the RCVS accredited practice logo, which indicates that the practice has passed an independent inspection. This means high standards of care for pets and peace of mind for pet owners.
What is a Veterinary Hospital?
This text is reproduced with the kind permission of the British Veterinary Hospitals Association (BVHA):
"BVHA Hospital members have voluntarily agreed to have an intensive examination and inspection of their practices. This inspection is carried out by independent inspectors appointed by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), our governing body. The inspection covers a whole range of issues relating to the care of patients - for example the continuing education of staff, the provision of anaesthetic monitoring and laboratory equipment, the quality of radiographic (X-ray) facilities and the quality of the case records. It also covers the physical aspects of the buildings - for example the provision of isolation facilities to prevent the spread of disease from infectious patients.
"One of the most important aspects of a Veterinary Hospital is that they have members of staff on the premises 24 hours a day. These members of the veterinary team are specifically responsible for the care of any in-patients. In many non-hospital veterinary practices there is no-one on the premises after the end of evening surgery or over weekends. This means that there is no-one on the premises to look after any patients that are kept in overnight. No-one to notice that an i/v drip line has become blocked, a patient has started to vomit or is showing pain.
"If your pet has to be admitted for veterinary treatment - we are sure that most caring owners would like to know that there is someone there to look after them. The ability to provide 24 hour veterinary and nursing care is a major cost for Veterinary Hospitals, their prices may have to reflect this. However it is one of the strongest reasons to choose a BVHA member Veterinary Hospital to look after your animals, not just for emergencies, but for routine care and vaccinations as well."