2017 June - From the Hospital Inspector's Car
I’ve been busy driving around the state inspecting veterinary hospitals and I’m on course in this cycle of inspecting practices every four years as requested by the Board.
Don’t worry; I’m surprised as well when I inform a practice it has been four years or longer since I last inspected there! Time flies as they say.
I have also conducted investigations on behalf of the Board, gathering information or evidence to assist them in determining complaints. This sometimes requires me to exercise my authority pursuant to the Veterinary Practice Act 2003 (Act).
Investigations are very different to routine hospital inspections and I do not want these two functions to be confused.
A hospital inspection is always at an appointed time, usually with one weeks’ notice and involves other practices in that suburb or town.
An investigation visit, usually in relation to a complaint, may be unannounced and I will produce my written authority to exercise the powers of entry and examination under s 91 of the Act and inform the practitioner or practice about the complaint.
I would like to remind practitioners about a few matters:
- If a hospital superintendent permanently leaves the hospital, another superintendent is legally required to be appointed by the licensees – s 67 of the Act requirement to have a qualified superintendent. The form for doing this, ‘Appointment of a Veterinary Hospital Superintendent’.
- If a hospital licence changes ownership there is a requirement for the new owners and the previous owners to notify the Board. The form for doing this, ‘Application to Transfer a Veterinary Hospital Licence’.
- The ‘Self Assessment Checklist for Veterinary Hospital Superintendents’ is also available. This form should be downloaded by every hospital and kept for regular reference.
- The ‘Self Assessment Checklist for House Call and On-site Veterinary Practices’ is available from the Board’s website.
- The legal requirement to report the loss or theft of S8 and S4D drugs. This is still a concerning issue and some practices are failing my cross reference audit of S8 drugs on hand at inspection. The method of reporting this is via a form available at the Board’s website under Legislation, Drugs and therapeutic goods legislation, ‘Notification of the loss or theft of accountable drugs (S8 and S4D medications) to NSW Health’.
If you have any questions regarding hospital licensing requirements, please contact the Board’s office for my mobile number, I am very happy to help if I can.