We Need to Collaborate on ‘Under Care’ Guidance, says Virtual Veterinary Care Association European Affiliate

The European Affiliate (EA) of the US-based Virtual Veterinary Care Association (VVCA) has responded to the recent ‘under care’ review approval by the RCVS Council to say they will be working hard on sharing best practices and fostering global collaboration on the provision of virtual care.

The VVCA-EA is reassuring members of the profession that there is a growing forum for global discussion and information sharing with the dissemination of knowledge and experience regarding the provision of virtual care. Following the review and approval of new guidance of ‘under care’ by the RCVS on 19th January mixed opinions have been voiced, including referencing the model of the Vet-Client-Patient-Relationship (VCPR), which in many countries can only be established through in-person examination of an animal. However, legalities around the VCPR vary greatly between individual countries and between different US states, with increasing numbers moving to allow a partial or total virtual VCPR.

VVCA-EA working group members and vets, Jessica May and Liz Barton, joined the recent VVCA board meeting at VMX in Orlando. Jessica says, “The VVCA was established in the US in 2020 to help advocate best practices, develop a community and share information, data and educational resources on the adoption of virtual care tools. It has always been the vision of the organisation to expand globally and foster worldwide collaboration. It was wonderful to represent European veterinary professionals at the VVCA and bring some of the rich variety of experience and opinions surrounding the use of telehealth. We now have a great opportunity to harness our collective understanding to organise and drive the conversation and provision of telehealth forward.”

Aaron Smiley DVM, co-Chair of the VVCA Advisory Council, added, “We welcome the decision by RCVS council to lead the way in allowing veterinarians to use their professional judgement in the provision of care. We’re excited to see how the conversation develops globally, and helps more animals and their owners benefit from veterinary expertise.”

The VVCA website hosts a series of resources, including case scenarios and advice on regulation and policy and a series of best practice guidelines. Set up as an independent non-profit organisation, the goal has always been to create community, encourage sharing of data and knowledge, and accelerate the adoption of telehealth solutions to benefit pets, owners, livestock and veterinary professionals worldwide. For more information visit https://vvca.org/

The VVCA-EA is encouraging veterinary professionals who would like to be involved with the organisation to contact vvca.ea@gmail.com

Press contact:

Liz Barton, MA, VetMB, MRCVS, MCIPR, VVCA-EA working group member

E: liz.barton.vvca.ea@gmail.com

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