CVS announces groundbreaking Clinical Governance Framework

3rd Nov, 2023

  • Research

A new framework for improving standards in UK’s animal healthcare sector including a definition of what “Quality of Care” means for vets.

CVS leaders today committed to five new values that will define its culture.

CVS Group today adopted its Clinical Governance Framework, a system through which it will hold itself accountable for improving the quality of its services and cultivate a culture in which clinical care will continue to improve. Unlike previous veterinary approaches to clinical governance this framework focuses on creating the environment in which high standards of care can thrive.

It represents the first dedicated veterinary clinical governance framework for those involved in animal healthcare in the UK. Similar frameworks have been adopted in human healthcare, including by the NHS, but a different approach has been required for the veterinary profession.

The components of the CVS Clinical Governance Framework are:

  • A definition of what is meant by the term “Quality of Care” within animal healthcare in a way that can be individualised to every situation.
  • A description of the six pillars that represent the organisation’s clinical priorities, namely Clinical Effectiveness; Research and Development; Ethical Integrity and Sustainability; Information Sharing and Collaboration; Education and Training; Quality Improvement and Patient Safety
  • The five values central to a culture of clinical improvement that CVS colleagues will aspire to namely: a just culture, accountability; inclusive leadership; teamwork; and systems thinking.

The framework was presented today (3rd Nov) to CVS practice leaders at the company’s annual conference and they have decided to adopt the five values as the company’s new values.

Paul Higgs, Chief Veterinary Officer at CVS Group, said:

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“We hope that this framework is useful for everybody in our profession. Understanding the real benefits of a fantastic clinical governance framework and the psychological safety culture that must underpin it can have hugely positive impact on the wellbeing of our profession, our clients and our patients. It provides a safe way for us to understand our current working practices and identify change where needed.

“Defining “quality of care” is essential for us to understand what we are trying to achieve with that change. To cultivate the right environment we must also commit to behaviours that engage inclusively, challenge fairly and encourage sustainable accountability.”

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The Clinical Governance Framework will act as a guiding light to CVS clinicians as they give the best possible care to animals.

It is the outcome of 12 months work involving subject matter experts from across CVS.

The company will be rolling out learning materials on its Knowledge Hub learning platform that will support a network of Clinical Improvement Advocates who will work with the clinicians providing care in CVS’ circa 500 practices.

A governance structure will ensure that the company delivers on its six pillar priorities including:

  • An Integrated Care Council – responsible for the review and oversight of the clinical governance framework.
  • Clinical Advisory Committees involved frontline staff in the company’s main areas of activity that will evaluate new and existing knowledge, identify education and training needs; and ensure standards take into account clinical and ethical considerations.

Altogether 150 colleagues are already involved in that structure.

View the Clinical Governance Framework