THE country’s leading pet emergency service has pledged to continue striving for excellence after winning praise from the veterinary profession’s regulatory body.

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons has rated more than three-quarters of Vets Now’s nationwide network of out-of-hours clinics as “outstanding” in the delivery of small animal emergency and critical care.

The prestigious awards were handed out as part of the RCVS practice standards scheme, which was set up to recognise excellence in veterinary care.

Vets Now has since committed to putting all of its remaining clinics through the voluntary scheme.

Laura Playforth, Vets Now’s head of veterinary standards, said she was “hugely proud” of the accolades.

She added: “This is recognition of the dedication, passion and expertise displayed by our teams in the face of challenging cases every night and weekend.

“It gives pet owners and practices using our service the peace of mind that our teams are among an elite in the clinical and client care they provide, and that we continually strive to be at the forefront of the profession.”

Regional director Gill Burkhill added: “These awards recognise the dedication and skills of our clinic staff.

“Pet owners can feel reassured that when their pets are in need, our clinics are there to provide an outstanding emergency service.”

The practice standards scheme was launched in 2005 and then re-launched in 2015 to drive standards across the veterinary profession.

Clinics gaining the emergency and critical care award have to demonstrate that they excel in caring for animals 24 hours a day.

They must also provide evidence that their staff have been trained in emergency care, nursing, and recognising pain.

In addition, clinics must have access to resources and equipment for emergency diagnostics and treatment, and provide a range of pain relief.

Inspectors carry out rigorous on-site assessments before coming to their decision. Clinics must achieve a score of at least 80% to be classed as outstanding – the highest possible rating.

Amanda Boag, clinical director at Vets Now, said the awards demonstrated to the 1,000-plus veterinary practices who use Vets Now for their out-of-hours service how seriously the business takes clinical standards.

She added: “As a company, we strive for clinical excellence and this accreditation offers reassurance to all of our daytime partner practices and their clients.

“By partnering with Vets Now to provide your out-of-hours emergency or referral service, practices can rest assured that their clients will receive the highest standard of care.”

Laura Black, the company’s health, safety and wellbeing manager, said preparing clinics to go through the practice standards scheme had been hugely beneficial.

She explained: “It gave us the opportunity to benchmark ourselves against best practice in the profession. As a result, we’ve rolled out various new guidelines and also reviewed our training.”

At a recent ceremony, Dr Chris Tufnell, former president of the RCVS, presented representatives from the successful clinics with their awards.

In a speech following the event he emphasised the sense of pride they should take in their “tremendous achievement”.

All of Vets Now’s nationwide network of out-of-hours clinics are also RCVS accredited small animal emergency service clinics.

If you’d like to find out more about the opportunities in Vets Now out-of-hours clinics please speak to a member of our recruitment team on 01383 807 547.