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Quality Improvement Advisory Board
There are currently 16 members who make up the Quality Improvement Advisory Board (QIAB). They represent the broad scope of veterinary care, as well as human care.
Members of the QIAB were selected by RCVS Knowledge for their drive and commitment to good clinical practice and quality improvement.
Pam Mosedale BVetMed MRCVS, Chair of QIAB
Pam qualified from the RVC in 1979 and worked in mixed practice for the first part of her career, then was a partner in a small animal hospital for 17 years.
Pam joins the RCVS Knowledge QIAB as the Chair of the Board, having had extensive involvement with the college. She was a Practice Standards Inspector from the beginning of the BSAVA practice standards scheme and continued with the RCVS, becoming Lead Assessor from April 2015 till October 2020. She welcomed the increased emphasis on quality improvement and clinical governance, clinical effectiveness and audit in the new scheme.
Pam is editor of the BSAVA Guide to the Use of Veterinary Medicines and an SQP assessor for AMTRA.
Pam first got involved in clinical governance when on BVHA council when she started to look into whether clinical audit could be applied to veterinary practices. She wrote the first article published in the UK on clinical audit in veterinary practices in 1999.
Pam has spoken at BSAVA Congress, BVNA congress, SPVS Congress, BEVA clinical audit workshops, CAW TP conference and on many RCVS webinars and CPD courses about clinical governance, clinical audit and Quality Improvement.
Pam is passionate about QI becoming part of the normal working day for veterinary teams and contributing to a just learning culture in practice.
Updated January 2021.
Dr Laura Playforth BVM&S MSc Adv HCP (Open) MRCVS, Vice-Chair of QIAB
Laura qualified from the University of Edinburgh in 1999. After working in a variety of small animal practices in Yorkshire for eight years, she moved into Emergency and Critical Care, holding a variety of roles at Nets Now, the most recent being Professional Standards Director. In 2022 she began a new role as IVC Evidensia's Group Quality Improvement Director.
Today, Laura is responsible for driving a culture of continually improving care delivery for the benefit of patients, owners and the veterinary teams across 19 countries. She has extensive experience in supporting teams in developing and utilising clinical benchmarking, checklists, guidelines, significant event reporting and communities of practice in order to deliver high quality tailored care across the company's network.
Laura has an MSc in advancing healthcare practice with the Open University, which aims to develop skills in evidence-based practice, policy development and innovation to facilitate sustainable improvements in care quality. She has a particular interest in improvement culture and how this increases team wellbeing and role satisfaction as well as exceptional care. She hopes to bring a fresh and open mind to the QIAB, drawing on more than 15 years of experience of clinical leadership and large scale quality-centric strategy.
Updated April 2022.
Alan Radford BSc BVSc PhD MRCVS
Alan qualified from Liverpool Veterinary School in 1993 having also obtained a BSc in molecular biology. After a short locum in Newcastle, he completed an internship in Dublin in Small Animal Medicine. He then returned to the UK to do his PhD on the mechanisms of feline calicivirus persistence. He is currently appointed as Professor of Veterinary Health Informatics at the University of Liverpool.
Alan is a past member of the European Advisory Board of Cat Disease. Since 2008 he has been heading up SAVSNET, the Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network. SAVSNET collects large volumes of companion animal electronic health data from UK veterinary practitioners and diagnostic laboratories. These are collated centrally, and used for research and surveillance. These data can also be used to describe practice variation in a range of different measures, offering exciting opportunities for clinical audit through real-time benchmarking.
Alan was the recipient of the RCVS Knowledge Golden Jubilee Grant. The funding was used to establish VETseq, a collaboration between the Veterinary School and the Centre for Genomic Research at the University of Liverpool. Visit our grants page to learn more about this exciting project.
Updated January 2021.
Alison Thomas BVSc CertSAM MRCVS
Alison qualified from Liverpool University in 1987. She has spent most of her career working as a clinical vet in charity practice at the SPCA in Hong Kong and the Blue Cross in London.
Her current role is Head of Veterinary Standards at Blue Cross. Her responsibilities include defining the scope of service for the veterinary care delivered by the charity to both client-owned pets and those pets undergoing rehoming, responsibility for professional standards at Blue Cross hospitals, QI and overseeing the creation and updating of the charity’s library of clinical guidelines which promote welfare-focused, evidence-based and cost-limited veterinary care.
Updated April 2023.
Angela Rayner BVM&S MScPSCHF MRCVS
Angie is Director of Quality Improvement for CVS Group and a small animal GP vet. She started her veterinary career as a registered veterinary technician in the U.S. and then made her way to Scotland, to graduate from the R(D)SVS, University of Edinburgh. She won an RCVS Knowledge QI Award for improvements made in controlled drugs auditing and is Co-clinical Lead for their Antibiotic Stewardship Audit.
Angie has an MSc in Patient Safety and Clinical Human Factors at the University of Edinburgh. This programme supports healthcare professionals in using evidence-based tools and techniques to improve the reliability and safety of healthcare systems.
It includes how good teamwork influences patient outcomes, key concepts around learning from adverse events and teaching safety, understanding the specialty of clinical human factors, as well as the concept of implementing, observing and measuring change, monitoring for safety, and it focuses on quality improvement research and methodologies.
Angie is passionate about promoting and developing QI to benefit animal welfare and staff wellbeing, through collaboration with veterinary and human healthcare colleagues. She has an interest in a human factors and systems thinking approach and believes that QI can help improve joy in work.
Dr Dan O'Neill Associate Professor in Companion Animal Epidemiology, RVC MVB BSc(hons) GPCert(SAP) GPCert(FelP) GPCert(Derm) GPCert(B&PS) PGCertVetEd FHEA MSc(VetEpi) PhD FRCVS
After 22 years in general practice, Dan was awarded a PhD in 2014 at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) for developing the VetCompass™ Programme. Dan is Associate Professor in Companion Animal Epidemiology at the RVC where he co-leads the VetCompass™ Programme.
He has authored over 120 papers from 2012 to 2022 covering various aspects of animal welfare, with specific focus on breed health and therapeutics in companion animals. He co-authored the books ‘Breed Predispositions to Disease in Dogs and Cats’, ‘Health and Welfare of Brachycephalic (Flat-faced) Companion Animals’ and 'Hamsters in Sickness and Health'.
He chairs the UK Brachycephalic Working Group and is a founding member of the International Collaborative on Extreme Conformation in Dogs.
Dan was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2018, the BSAVA Blaine Award for Advancement of Small Animal Science in 2019 and the International Canine Health Award from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust in 2021.
His ethos is that without good evidence, we are just making stuff up.
Updated December 2022
David Charles BVSc CertAVP PGCertVPS MRCVS
David qualified from the University of Bristol, having previously studied at the University of Birmingham. The majority of his time in clinical practice was spent at a large farm animal practice in the Midlands. During his time in practice, he achieved his CertAVP & PGCertVPS, as well as becoming an RCVS VetGDP advisor.
He founded the Midlands Advanced Breeding Service in 2021 and was involved in teaching final-year students from the University of Nottingham on their farm animal rotation.
With a keen interest in QI, David run several clinical audits during his time in practice. Most notably, he arranged an ovine obstetrics (assisted vaginal deliveries & caesarean sections) audit across 21 practices throughout the 2021-22 lambing season. This led to a reduction in the use of category C antibiotics, improved anaesthesia and analgesia and provided recent benchmarking in the forms of outcomes data (ewe and lamb survival data at 1- and 7-days post procedure). This audit was written up as a paper and published in UKVet-Livestock Journal in Autumn 2022, and he received the RCVS Knowledge QI Award in 2023.
He now sits on the editorial board of UKVet-Livestock journal, the Sheep Veterinary Society executive committee, and was named on the inaugural LondonVetShow ThirtyUnder30 list in 2022. David regularly delivers both clinical and non-clinical CPD to vets. He also enjoys talking to veterinary students about farm animal practice, veterinary careers and how QI can be used in practice.
David now works for Nimrod Veterinary Products Ltd as their first Veterinary Sciences Manager a role which continues to involve QI and talking to vets and farmers across the UK and Europe.
David is excited to join the RCVS Knowledge QI Advisory Board to be able to support QI across all sectors of the profession.
Updated November 2023
Prof Debra Archer BVMS PhD CertES(Soft Tissue) DipECVS FRCVS FHEA
Debbie graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1996 and worked in mixed and equine practice before undertaking an equine surgical residency at the University of Liverpool in 2000. During this time Debbie gained the RCVS Certificate in Equine Surgery (soft tissue) and subsequently gained the ECVS Diploma in Equine Surgery in 2004. She completed a PhD between 2003-2006 investigating the Epidemiology of colic at the University of Liverpool. Debbie was appointed as Senior Lecturer in Equine Soft Tissue Surgery in 2006 and subsequently as Professor of equine surgery in 2013. She divides her time between performing equine clinical work and teaching at the Philip Leverhulme Equine Hospital and performing research within the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health (Institute of Global Health, University of Liverpool). Her clinical interest include all aspects of abdominal surgery, upper respiratory tract and urogenital conditions including laser surgery and laparoscopic surgery and management of traumatic injuries. She is head of Equine Surgery at The University of Liverpool and is leading an International Colic Audit (INCISE project) and randomised controlled trial investigating lidocaine in horses following small intestinal surgery (CHARIOT study).
Updated March 2020.
Kathrine Blackie BVetMed CertAVP MRCVS
Kathrine qualified from the RVC in 1997 and after two years in mixed practice worked as a GP vet in companion animal practice for 20 years, 6 of those as a Clinical Director of a multi-site practice. Her main clinical interest was surgery, and she gained her CertAVP in 2016. Kathrine joined Linnaeus in 2019 as Clinical Standards and Quality Improvement Manager, having developed a strong interest in QI and patient safety. Her current role involves all aspects of QI with the aim of continuously learning and sharing improvements to benefit both our patients and the staff that care for them.
Liz Branscombe DipAVN(Surgical) RVN, Board of Trustees Representative
Liz qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 1986, initially working in small animal and mixed practice until she joined a private referral practice in 1989, subsequently she worked at the Royal Veterinary College as a Senior Surgery Nurse between 1993 and 1997. Liz was employed at Davies Veterinary Specialists from its inception in 1998 until August 2020 undertaking a variety of clinical nursing roles and subsequently the position of Training Manager with responsibility for development of induction training programmes for all new employees and the planning and implementation of in-house and external training for team members.
Since October 2020 Liz has undertaken a role as an Independent End Point Assessor for the Veterinary Nursing Apprenticeship with VetSkill Ltd.
Liz is proud to have been an elected member of RCVS VN Council from 2006 to 2015 (Chairman 2009-2012), during which time significant milestones for the Veterinary Nursing profession were achieved culminating in Statutory Regulation.
Liz is the Board of Trustees representative on the Quality Improvement Advisory Board.
Updated December 2022.
Margaret Mary Devaney BA RGN
Margaret was invited to join the Quality Improvement Advisory Board in 2018. She brings with her the unique experience and perspective of an NHS improver. As well as being a registered nurse, she is the Head of Patient Safety at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.
Since qualifying in 1994, Margaret Mary has worked within the NHS, predominantly in high risk critical coronary care and resuscitation care systems. It was here that she found her passion for system-based approaches to improving quality and safety.
In 2013-15 Margaret Mary undertook a Quality Improvement Advisor post with the Academic Health Science Network UCL Partners, to facilitate building improvement capabilities across several formats. Through completion of the Improvement Advisor Programme in 2017 with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), she has continued to develop her in-depth understanding of improvement science theory and the application of improvement tools.
In her current role at the Royal Free, Margaret Mary leads a team of improvement facilitators delivering a three-year patient safety programme. The programme aims to reduce avoidable harm by 50% by 2020.
Outside of work, Margaret Mary has volunteered with a local RSPCA centre; and more recently adopted two energetic kitten siblings, Alice and Hector, from the RSPCA centre in Bedfordshire.
Rachel Clay BVSC MRCVS
Rachel qualified as a vet from the University of Bristol in 2000. She joined Cedar Veterinary Group in January 2022 as a Clinical Lead Vet. She has extensive experience in small animal general practice having worked as a veterinary surgeon, and in leadership roles, in the charity and corporate, and now independent practice sectors. Alongside seeing patients, Rachel enjoys spending her time coaching and mentoring the whole practice team and working with the owners to deliver sustainable business development. She recently gained a Diploma in Leadership and Management.
Rachel has a keen interest in quality improvement and human factors, and looking at how this influences the work of veterinary teams across the profession. She is the Vice Chair for the Small Animal Team of XL Vets, a collaborative group of independent small animal vets, where she endeavors to inspire and engage members in the positive benefits of quality improvement to patients and the veterinary practice team.
Dr Rhian Louise Littlehales BVSc CertAVP PGCertVBM MRCVS
Rhian qualified from Bristol Vet School in 2012, starting her first job in the first opinion practice that she worked at as a “Saturday receptionist” at secondary school. Rhian has spent most of her career working with small animal patients but has always enjoyed and retained interest in the large animal sector too. After her practice was purchased by a large group, Rhian has undertaken many roles in the corporate sector, including Regional Director roles, Head of Clinical Operations and Head of Early Careers. She has also run many of the company steercos and committees in her areas of interest, such as the Wellbeing Committee, Valuing Veterinary Nurses Committee and Animal Ethics and Welfare Committee.
Rhian is currently the Clinical Governance Director at Medivet, overseeing the clinical standards and operational support of the referral clinics within the group. She enjoys spending as much time practicing as possible within her roles, and still sees many clients that have followed her through the years!
Rhian also holds a Zoology degree, a CertAVP and a postgraduate Certificate in Veterinary Business Management. Rhian is a STEM ambassador, and also works with Vet Mentor- encouraging schoolchildren of all ages and from all walks of life to consider careers in the Veterinary sector.
Rhian is married to Bryn, and is Mum to Mali. She lives with her Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Birman and Russian blue cross. Outside of work she enjoys reading, dancing, baking and anything Disney related.
Updated November 2023.
Samantha Butler-Davies BVSc MRCVS
Sam qualified in 2014 from the University of Bristol in Veterinary Science, as a mature student. Her first role in clinical practice was part of a small animal team in a large mixed practice in Dorset. She subsequently moved to a Veterinary Hospital in Wiltshire, as their lead feline vet. Having spent five years in practice, she then diversified out of practice to join the Vets4Pets Clinical team. Her role focuses on patient safety, wellbeing, leadership, regulatory compliance, human factors and pet owner education in veterinary first opinion practice.
Prior to qualifying as a vet, Sam worked in communications & training with the NHS and pharmaceutical industry in 15 years.
In 2020, Sam took up a committee position with the British Veterinary Chronic Illness Society (BVCIS), helping to move the organisation into their next phase of providing support for all those in the veterinary industry living with chronic illness or disability.
Updated December 2022.
Steven Howard BVMS MRCVS
Steve qualified from Glasgow University Veterinary School in 1994 and spent his first few years in private mixed and then small animal practice, joining the PDSA in 1999 as a veterinary surgeon in the Sheffield Pet Hospital. From there he moved on to the role of senior vet at the Swansea Pet Hospital, leading that busy charitable practice.
In 2009, Steve moved into his current role as Head of Clinical Services at PDSA, where he is responsible for professional standards and compliance; service definition and quality improvement; utilising clinical governance frameworks, and promoting and raising awareness of pragmatism.
Updated January 2023.
Victoria Fyfe RVN
Victoria started her nursing career in 2002 as a VCA at a small animal hospital in County Durham. She went on to qualify and register in 2009.
Victoria continued to work at her local practice and became head nurse, throughout this time she oversaw the RCVS practice standards scheme inspections.
Victoria’s practice was one of the first to be assessed under the new Practice standards scheme and was the first practice to gain outstanding in all 6 PSS awards. Through this Victoria carried out a range of clinical audits.
Victoria moved into a head office role and now helps practice prepare for their PSS assessment in her role as Practice Standards Manager for VetPartners.
Alongside this, she sits on the clinical board and the Quality Improvement group.
Victoria has a passion to help practices strive for excellence and in doing so deliver the best possible care for patients, clients, and staff.
Updated August 2023.
Participation in the QIAB
Quality improvement is an inclusive initiative and we encourage all members of the veterinary profession to share their knowledge to help provide the best possible care.
If you would like to raise a specific issue for consideration, please contact us [email protected]
Terms of Reference
The Terms of Reference for the QIAB are available to view and download from the 'Related documents' box.