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RCVS Knowledge Award winners announced

16 May 2024

Veterinary teams that used Quality Improvement techniques to better identify hypertension in cats, improve pain management in bitch spays, reduce their carbon footprint, and improve antimicrobial use have been named Champions in the 2024 RCVS Knowledge Awards.

The Awards recognise veterinary professionals or practice teams that have successfully implemented Quality Improvement techniques to advance veterinary care. The awards are open to everyone working within the veterinary profession and focus on celebrating Quality Improvement, and Quality Improvement for Antimicrobial Stewardship.

The 2024 Quality Improvement Champions are (in alphabetical order):

Hub Clinical Leadership Team, CVS (UK) Ltd: The UK-wide team used Quality Improvement techniques to increase blood pressure monitoring, so that they were able to identify and treat hypertension in cats aged 7 years or older much earlier than they were able to before.

White Lodge Veterinary Surgery: Picking up an RCVS Knowledge Award for the second year in a row after winning an Antimicrobial Stewardship Award in 2023, the Devon-based practice was recognised for carrying out a clinical audit on neutering outcomes. They conducted a pain management audit for patients undergoing bitch spays and were able to both improve these scores and reduce the number of dogs requiring rescue analgesia.

Yorkshire Vets: The team audited their fresh gas flow rates. This nurse-led initiative resulted in a reduction of oxygen use (9,951 litres) and a reduction in the use of their volatile anaesthetic (1 litre). This reduction in carbon footprint equates to driving 2,023 miles (Leeds to Andorra, or London to Rome, and back)!

The 2024 Antimicrobial Stewardship Champion is

South 4 Region, CVS (UK) Ltd: The team achieved an impressive 70% reduction in the use of long-acting antibiotics to treat bite wounds and superficial skin infections in cats, without compromising patient welfare. This improved their overall responsible use of Highest Priority, Critically Important Antibiotics (HPCIAs).

This year, the awards also saw 21 applicants awarded as “Highly Commended” and five as “Ones to watch”.

Ashley Doorly, Head of Quality Improvement, said: "A massive congratulations to all of this year’s winners. The calibre of entries was extremely impressive, and it was fantastic to hear from so many veterinary professionals from across the country who’ve made Quality Improvement and Antimicrobial Stewardship a cornerstone of their work.

“Both award categories recognise teams that have brought about positive change. Our Quality Improvement Champions have demonstrated how they have used formal, systematic approaches to make improvements. Each of our three winners looked to improve in different areas; bitch spays, feline hypertension, and anaesthesia. This just goes to show that Quality Improvement methods can be applied to a variety of topics to bring about measurable improvements.

“Our AMR Champion achieved a large reduction in their use of highest priority critically important antibiotics (HPCIAs) while ensuring that patient welfare wasn’t negatively impacted. I hope that their case will inspire teams across the UK and beyond to audit their own antibiotic use and strive to only administer them when it is necessary.”

Entries for the 2025 RCVS Knowledge Awards will open in the summer. We are looking for veterinary teams that have used recognised Quality Improvement techniques to bring about positive change, and teams that have carried out exceptional antimicrobial stewardship work.

Every successful applicant to the RCVS Knowledge Awards used a variety of free resources to support their applications from our website. These included clinical audit resources, the AMR hub, and case examples from previous winners. Applications progress through a double-blinded peer-review process and are scored against predetermined criteria.

You can find more details more about the winners and highly commended runners up from the 2024 RCVS Knowledge Awards, as well as those from previous years, here.

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