New service to support vets and nurses under investigation
Fellow professionals to give free and confidential counsel
A new independent service is to provide emotional support to veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses being investigated by the RCVS following complaints about their professional conduct.
The ProfCon Investigation Support (PCIS) service is a free, confidential listening and support service funded by the RCVS and its Mind Matters Initiative mental health project but delivered independently by VetSupport.me.
VetSupport.me started off as VetSupport NI, and has expanded to include VetSupport Scotland followed by VetSupport Ireland, with it now accepting contacts from across the UK and Ireland.
RVCS chief executive Lizzie Locket said: “At the RCVS we recognise that being investigated in respect of alleged professional misconduct is a very stressful and trying experience that can knock confidence and, in some cases, lead to distress amongst practitioners.
“While part of the social contract of being members of regulated and protected professions is that, when accusations around professional misconduct are made, they have to be fully investigated by a regulator to determine if there is a case to answer. As a compassionate regulator we want to make sure that individuals going through this process can access the help and support they need.
“This service is staffed by a team of brilliant volunteers who already have experience in providing help and support on matters of mental health and wellbeing and have received additional training to augment their ability to provide emotional support to vets and nurses who may be under investigation.
“In our Strategic Plan for 2020-24, one of our key ambitions is to strengthen our credentials as a compassionate regulator that acts with empathy and understanding. The ProfCon Investigation Support Service is an important step in fulfilling this ambition, and I hope that it can deliver help to the people that need it.”
David McKeown, from VetSupport, added: “Whether via a phone call, an email conversation, or a meet-up over Zoom, our team of trained volunteers, all of whom are registered vets or vet nurses themselves, will support service users through the duration of an RCVS investigation.
“Through their support we will aim to help individuals going through this process maintain good mental health and wellbeing and strive to prevent more serious issues arising. The service is completely confidential and no conversations that individuals have with our volunteers will ever be shared with anyone else.
“We look forward to working with the RCVS to provide this very important service. Please don’t hesitate to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.vetsupport.me to find out more about the service and meet our team of supporters.”
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