Referral services at Lumbry Park are ‘specialist–led’. This means that experienced, registered specialists lead our services and they supervise the nursing and veterinary support teams. We employ some vets who have completed training to become a specialist and are waiting to take their accrediting examination. We also employ vets who aspire to become specialists. These junior vets, or interns, provide support to the specialists but they are not involved in consultations or primary delivery of care.
Recognised specialist veterinary surgeons must undergo extensive postgraduate training and pass rigorous examinations before they can become specialists. Veterinary specialists work in much the same way as specialists or consultants in human medicine and only accept cases that are referred to them by general practitioners.
The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is the regulator for vets in the UK and maintains a register of specialist vets. RCVS specialist status must be re-accredited every 5 years and is not easily achieved.
Board-eligible specialists have completed a three-year specialist training programme under the supervision of one or more registered specialists. They have to pass rigorous ‘credentials’ thresholds by submitting case logs and published papers before sitting an accrediting examination. The examination is only held once annually and therefore some vets are in the period between their training and sitting the examination.
Residents are qualified vets who are in a three-year specialist training programme. Entry on to such programmes is fiercely competitive. Residents are very closely supervised and monitored by a registered specialist.
Veterinary interns are qualified vets who aspire to become specialists. The first step on that ladder is to provide veterinary support in a large specialist hospital. Interns help with delivery of inpatient care and assist specialists in procedures.
Registered veterinary nurses (RVNs)
Registered veterinary nurses are qualified veterinary nurses on the RCVS register. All our nurses are RVNs and therefore provide the highest standard of nursing care. Some of our nurses have taken diplomas to demonstrate their particular skill set in, for example, surgical nursing or medical nursing.
Auxiliary nurses (ANA)
Auxiliary nurses have the task of administrating care to our patients to make them as comfortable as possible. They maintain the highest level of hygiene in all clinical areas, as well as groom and feed the hospitalised patients. Auxiliary nurses are trained to monitor the patient’s progress and some vital signs such as temperature or respiratory rate. Auxiliary nurses also work along with our nurses and vets and they can help with the analysis of samples of bodily fluids like blood or urine.