4.12.13 Hospital Accreditation

Donaldson’s Vets at Maple Street, Aspley has just been awarded the status of “Veterinary Hospital”, the top tier of accreditation under the Practice Standards Scheme which is run by Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. This makes the Donaldson’s Surgery at Aspley the only Veterinary Hospital in Huddersfield and one of only a handful in West Yorkshire.

The RCVS established the Practice Standards Scheme some years ago. It is a voluntary initiative to accredit veterinary practices in the UK. The aim is, by setting standards and carrying out regular inspections, to promote and maintain the highest standards of veterinary care possible.

Around half the practices in the UK have joined the scheme and at Donaldson’s Vets, we have always been enthusiastic supporters. We find that working towards accreditation encourages communication and team work amongst staff at the practice and focuses staff on certain aspects of running a veterinary practice which can sometimes be overlooked due to the busy nature of the profession.

There are 3 tiers of accreditation under the scheme:

Core Standards- these reflect mainly essential, legal requirements which must be met in running a veterinary practice.

General Standards -reflect the requirements of a primary care practice which also aims to facilitate the achievement of high standards of clinical care.

Hospital Standards – require additional facilities and protocols for the investigation and treatment of more complex cases; the highest tier .

Over the last 12 months, we have upgraded facilities in our high sterility theatres, imaging suites, cat and dog wards and waiting room,to enable us to comply with the exacting standards set by the RCVS.

One of the main stumbling blocks that many Practices have is in maintaining qualified staff on-site round the clock, but since we perform all our own on-call work and have qualified nurses on duty at the surgery 24hours a day 365 days a year, this posed us no problems.

The RCVS recognise that it can be difficult for new pet owners to decide which practice they should register with and they feel that accreditation boosts public awareness of the need to choose a veterinary practice carefully.

As you would imagine, the bar is set very high for the Hospital Status and there has been a huge team effort by all the Vets, Nurses and Receptionists within the practice to ensure that the facilities, equipment, protocols, training and expertise that are required for a Veterinary Hospital are fully complied with.