Nick Stace, CEO of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), has responded to a press release from Unite the Union:

"Unite's suggestion that veterinary regulation should be under the scrutiny of the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) is misguided, because the PSA is there to oversee regulation in the human healthcare sector and the RCVS already has Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Privy Council oversight.

“Its further thoughts around the RCVS disciplinary process are out of date and missing the point. We would be very happy to help put them right and to hear any legitimate concerns they may have.

"Unite is calling for the College to no longer 'set the rules and hand down judgments', when in fact last year we successfully achieved a Legislative Reform Order, backed by the profession, to ensure that our Disciplinary and Preliminary Investigation Committees will become independent from Council.

“Unite also talks about the profession’s disquiet about last year’s Disciplinary Hearing into Mr Chikosi, something we are well aware of and are currently responding to by looking at the biggest area of concern, the provision of 24/7 emergency cover. Our fact-finding mission is seeking views from the profession and the public.

“More broadly, though, feedback from our First Rate Regulator initiative has shown that the profession does have confidence in our disciplinary procedures and that they are certainly not subject to 'long-standing discontent'.

“The First Rate Regulator initiative is also leading to significant improvements in the way that complaints are handled, including speed to resolution.

“Unite is seeking to recruit members of the veterinary team as members of its union and it may be more successful in that pursuit if it was to start to understand the profession better, perhaps beginning with getting its facts right.

“We would be delighted to meet with Unite to put them right where they are factually wrong, and hear what they have to say.”

(Source: rcvs.org.uk)