Issue 51 - From the Hospital Inspector’s car
In the June 2019 edition of Boardtalk, I mentioned that the minimum requirements for veterinary hospitals were being reviewed by the Board.
A link to a draft of those requirements was also included in that edition, with a request from the profession for comment. The Board has now ratified the new requirements and a ‘Self assessment checklist for veterinary hospital superintendents’ is available under hospital licensing on the Board’s website.
I would strongly encourage practice owners, practice managers and hospital superintendents to print off the checklist as soon as possible and conduct an in-house inspection.
As well as physical attributes such as equipment and facilities, there is also an emphasis on procedures and processes that require compliance to meet the minimum requirements of a licensed veterinary hospital.
There’s a few provisions in the new requirements that were not in place some years ago when a licence may have been first granted, such as ‘an area for personal pre-surgical preparation separate from the surgical room’ and ‘a separate area suitably equipped for the pre-surgical preparation and treatment of hospitalised patients’.
The Board has grandfathered these hospitals and therefore the licence remains. However the new minimum requirements are the current benchmark and all hospitals should strive to comply with them.
In addition, the Board will not grant a new licence without meeting these minimum standards.
In June this year, I responded to a request from the ACT Board to inspect the hospitals in their jurisdiction – they were generally very good and compared similarly to good hospitals in NSW.
I’ve just started a new 4 year inspection cycle (at my part time pace and approx. 680 NSW hospitals).
I enjoy frank discussions with all veterinarians; many points are often taken back to the Board meetings for policy review and ways that we can improve our processes.
I wish all readers of Boardtalk a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (and an end to the drought).
Hospital Inspector / Investigator