CVS introduces pioneering clinical improvement projects to achieve outstanding levels of patient care

16th May 2023

CVS has introduced nine pioneering clinical improvement projects to support colleagues in achieving outstanding levels of patient care within its 479 small animal practices.

The projects focus on improving first opinion clinical standards in dental radiography, ear cytology, endoscopy and endosurgery, fine needle aspiration, hypertension, lameness investigation, ophthalmology, radiography and radiology, and ultrasound.

Each project is designed to help practices identify where they may be able to improve their standard of clinical care; detect any barriers which may be preventing them from achieving it; ascertain if colleagues have associated learning and development needs; offer practices a suite of clinical learning and support materials; plus provide colleagues with the tools to report and evaluate their project achievements.

During 2022-23, each CVS small animal practice selected one to two clinical improvement projects to focus on during the following year. The Hub Clinical Lead team then provided the support and training needed to help practices achieve their goals. Data was supplied to show their starting position and updated monthly, giving timely feedback for sites and demonstrating the impact of changes made.

To provide support to colleagues, every project has its own dedicated clinical quality improvement library on CVS’ unique Knowledge Hub virtual learning platform. These learning, education and development materials include webinars, training videos, clinical frameworks, handy checklists and client resources. In addition, each project has a virtual discussion board, creating a shared space to discuss issues, co-create and share ideas for improvement.

Elizabeth McLennan- and Mark Moreton, Veterinary Directors at CVS said:

“Continuous clinical improvement is at the heart of what we do at CVS. But the reality of busy practice life is that finding the time to consider, organise and develop a genuine clinical focus can be tricky.”

 “Each of our projects will empower our practice teams to further improve the clinical care we provide for our patients. They’ve been carefully and collaboratively designed to support significant behaviour changes, where changes may have historically been difficult. This work is genuinely pioneering in our industry and key findings to date show our practices are far exceeding their expectations on ‘live’ projects.”

CVS’ unique Hub Clinical Lead team supports each one of their practices in achieving the highest clinical standards, and helps them to implement clinical quality improvements. Seventeen experienced veterinary surgeons work in CVS’ Hub Clinical Lead team nation-wide. It is believed to be the first such veterinary team in the UK.

In order to identify and design the clinical improvement projects, the CVS Hub Clinical Lead team collated all requests for clinical help from all first opinion small animal practices over the course of the 12 preceding months. They established nine areas where requests for help were frequently received. With collaboration from key stakeholders across the CVS group – including the Learning, Education and Development team, the Director of Quality Improvement, the Advanced Clinical Services Network team and VetOracle, the CVS specialist telemedicine service  – to build and design all of the resources that would be needed to support practices with quality improvement.

CVS launched its nine clinical improvement projects on 1 July 2022. Due to the programme’s success to date, a series of new clinical improvement projects have been launched to its practices this May.

CVS Group operates across small animal, farm animal, equine, laboratories and crematoria, with over 500 veterinary practices, referral centres and sites in the UK, the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands. In the last five years the company has invested nearly £80 million in its sites, facilities and equipment, in addition to industry leading training and support, to give the best possible care to animals.