Changes announced to chapter 14 of the supporting guidance to the RCVS code of professional conduct.

Guidance for veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses (VNs) on client confidentiality and microchipping has been amended by the RCVS.

The amendments deal with situations when a client presents an animal registered in another person’s name, and a new flow diagram has been added to provide additional practical advice for vets and VNs dealing with these types of situations.

Animals can be registered in a different name to that of the client for various reasons. For example, an animal may have been rehomed or sold, but the details on its microchip have not been updated; it could have been stolen; or the owners may be involved in a civil dispute.

Vets in practice may be unsure what to do in these situations. The new guidance informs veterinary surgeons about their options and provides advice on client confidentiality and data protection issues.

VNs employed by a veterinary surgeon or practice should discuss the issues with a senior vet in the practice before breaching client confidentiality.

The amendments apply to Chapter 14 of the supporting guidance to the RCVS code of professional conduct. The supporting guidance and flow diagram are available at: www.rcvs.org.uk/confidentiality

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