RCVS Accredited Small Animal Hospital

General Services

RCVS Accredited Small Animal Hospital

All Creatures Veterinary Health Centre is delighted to have achieved RCVS Accredited Small Animal Hospital status in July 2016. This means that we are now formally allowed to call our clinic All Creatures Veterinary Hospital, and you will see this name change implemented across our brand in the near future.

Not all veterinary clinics are accredited. Nearly 60% of pet owners think their pet's veterinary clinic is accredited when it is not. In fact, only around 50% of veterinary clinics in the UK are accredited. Unlike human hospitals, not all veterinary clinics are required to be accredited. 

ImageWhat does accreditation mean? It means your hospital holds itself to a higher standard, and that your pet is receiving care at a hospital that has passed the highest standards in veterinary care. A veterinary clinic is not allowed to call itself a hospital in the UK until it has received accreditation. Veterinary hospitals are evaluated on approximately several hundred standards of veterinary excellence in order to become accredited. RCVS accredited hospitals are recognized among the finest in the industry, and are consistently at the forefront of advanced veterinary medicine. The RCVS standards of accreditation are continuously reviewed and updated to keep accredited practices on the cutting edge of veterinary excellence. The RCVS standards address patient care and pain management, surgery, pharmacy, laboratory, exam facilities, medical records, cleanliness, emergency services, dental care, diagnostic imaging, anesthesiology, and continuing education. To maintain accredited status, hospitals undergo comprehensive on-site evaluations every four years.

About the Practice Standards Scheme

Pets are often treated as members of the family and owners rightly want to be sure they receive excellent medical treatment.

But how can you be sure?

The RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) regulatory function means that users of veterinary services can be assured that their veterinary surgeon or registered veterinary nurse is properly qualified and fit to practise.

The RCVS can also offer reassurance that those practice premises which are accredited as part of their Practice Standards Scheme meet stringent standards.

Here's a short video to tell you a little more about the Scheme

What is the Practice Standards Scheme?

The RCVS Practice Standards Scheme (PSS) is a voluntary initiative to accredit veterinary practices in the UK.

Through setting standards and carrying out regular assessments, the Scheme aims to promote and maintain the highest standards of veterinary care.

It offers peace of mind to clients of accredited practices and a more informed choice to the animal-owning public.

To become accredited, practices volunteer for rigorous assessment every four years and will have met a range of minimum standards including hygiene, 24-hour emergency cover, staff training, certain types of equipment and cost estimation procedures.

Practices are also subject to spot-checks between assessments.

RCVS accreditation is not to be confused with a practice being included in the RCVS Register of Veterinary Practice Premises (RVPP) which applies to all practices.

Categories of accreditation

There are many different types of veterinary practice. Some, such as veterinary hospitals, offer a very broad range of services. Others concentrate on a particular species or discipline. Some are general practices, others may just offer vaccinations and worming, or minor surgery.

Under the Scheme, a practice can be accredited as follows:  

  • RCVS Core Standards
    These standards apply to all types of accredited practice and signify compliance with legal and health and safety requirements.
  • RCVS General Practice
    Practices may be accredited as a general practice for small animals, farm animals or equine patients, or a combination of these. 
  • RCVS Equine General Practice - Ambulatory
    General Practice – Ambulatory is a new accreditation level. 

  • RCVS Small Animal Emergency Clinic 
    The Emergency Service Clinic accreditation reflects the work of a practice that can deal with emergency and critical care cases without an appointment.  
  • RCVS Veterinary Hospital
    For either small animals or equine patients.

The RCVS accredited practice logo in All Creatures shows the RCVS Small Animal Veterinary Hospital status.

RCVS Core Standards

These Standards apply to all types of accredited practices. To be accredited to Core Standards, a veterinary practice must, among other things:

  • Put in place arrangements for 24-hour emergency cover for patients (this might be done by the practice itself, or through arrangements with another practice or emergency service provider)
  • Have appropriately trained staff for work undertaken (veterinary qualifications and insurance are checked)
  • Comply with minimum standards of cleanliness and hygiene
  • Make clients aware of arrangements for checking and monitoring patients kept in overnight
  • Ensure clients are given estimates of costs of treatments and consent to procedures undertaken
  • Have basic diagnostic and surgical equipment for the work undertaken - these must be installed and maintained in accordance with health and safety requirements
  • Have an effective policy for communication with clients

RCVS General Practice - species/discipline specific

These practices may be accredited for small animals, farm animals or equine patients, or as a combination of these.

To be accredited as an RCVS General Practice, a veterinary practice must satisfy the Core Standards, plus, amongst other things, must:

  • Have a system for monitoring the outcome of treatments
  • Show ongoing commitment to education and training of staff
  • Keep premises clean and well maintained
  • Have a policy for communicating with clients and looking at feedback
  • Have access to laboratory facilities for diagnostic testing

RCVS Veterinary Hospital

To be accredited as a hospital - for either small animals or equine patients - a veterinary practice must meet Core Standards, plus those of the relevant General Practice. In addition it must, among other things:

  • Ensure nursing staff are present on the premises round the clock, and a veterinary surgeon available 24 hours a day to attend to in-patients, if required
  • Maintain and improve clinical standards by monitoring performance and the outcome of treatments 
  • Provide a range of specialist equipment, such as specific diagnostic equipment (ECG and ultrasound)
  • Submit to rigorous examination of its premises and facilities, with emphasis on cleanliness and sterility

ImageLook for the logo

For peace of mind, look for the RCVS accredited practice logo, which indicates that the practice has passed an independent assessment.

This means high standards of care for animals and peace of mind for animal owners.