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Landmark Summit sets agenda for continuous quality improvement in veterinary care

29 May 2019

QI summit speakers

More than 50 leaders from across the veterinary landscape and beyond came together on 16 May at RCVS Knowledge’s National Summit for Supporting Quality Improvement in Veterinary Care 2019, an event designed to set the future course for continuous quality improvement (QI) in the industry.

The event at London’s County Hall saw veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses, practice managers, students, educators and policymakers in associated fields generate a wide range of ideas for practical steps that could help boost the adoption of QI in the profession. Speakers included Margaret Mary Devaney (RCVS Knowledge Quality Improvement Advisor and Assistant Director for Quality and Risk at East and North Hertfordshire Trust), Anita Malana (Team Leader for Trauma, Orthopaedics and Private Theatres at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust), Pam Mosedale (Chair of the RCVS Knowledge Quality Improvement Advisory Board), and Tom Ling and Lucy Hocking of RAND Europe.

QI summitDelegates received a preview of findings of a comprehensive research project conducted by RAND Europe on behalf of RCVS Knowledge into the perceptions of QI across the veterinary industry and the barriers that the profession face when trying to engage in the subject. The breadth of the research revealed five key themes: the need for dedicated/protected time; training; guidance and resources; demonstrated importance and benefit; and support from employers and colleagues.

Delegates proposed many practical solutions, and pledged actions that they would take to help broaden the use of quality improvement across the industry.

The summit formed the culmination of research commissioned by RCVS Knowledge into the QI landscape in the veterinary sector, which is exploring levels of engagement, expectations and challenges. The findings will be published as a report at the end of this year.

Pam Mosedale, Chair of the RCVS Knowledge QI Advisory Board, said: “We were delighted at the energy and commitment of delegates at the summit, and the impressive volume of ideas for expanding the uptake of QI in the veterinary industry. I believe this shows how much value colleagues across the profession place on QI for advancing quality of care, and we look forward to working in partnership with them to ensure quality improvement has an even greater impact in the future.”

Chris Gush, Executive Director of RCVS Knowledge, said, “Two years ago, RCVS Knowledge made a commitment to strengthen a culture towards continuous quality improvement in practice. The summit demonstrated how far we and the profession as a whole have come in that time. The highly useful discussions and suggestions generated on the day will inform our future strategy to help drive forward a culture of continuous quality improvement for the benefit of patients, professionals and practices.”

The summit was roundly praised by delegates. According to Gillian Page, President of the Veterinary Management Group: “The QI Summit was fabulous. I hope that the energy and enthusiasm gained on the day gathers momentum and moves us forward to something positive.” 

QI summit pledgeJohn Fishwick, Senior Vice President of the British Veterinary Association, said, “A very useful day today at RCVS Knowledge’s summit on quality improvement in all types of veterinary establishment. It’s all about learning from experiences, a no-blame culture and working as a team to improve outcomes for everyone. Fruitful discussions and proposed outcomes.”

Jill Macdonald, Project Manager for VN Futures, agreed: “This was just such a brilliant and inspiring day from RCVS Knowledge. I am really looking forward to considering and implementing how we can make quality improvement work for us (and our patients and clients) in practice. Nurses can, must, and will play a massively important part in this movement and are in a position to provide great leadership on this one. Exciting times!”

To assist veterinary teams to get started with QI in their practice, RCVS Knowledge has created a set of free courses, templates, how-to guides and good-practice examples in the areas of audits, guidelines, checklists and benchmarking. The full set of resources and more information on the organisation’s QI strategy is available at

Listen to a podcast of Margaret Mary Devaney and Anita Malana's presentation:

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