The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has accused the Unite union of “failing to get its facts right”.
Last week (February 7) the British Veterinary Union, which comes under the Unite umbrella, issued a statement stating the college should not be “judge and jury” over the veterinary profession and that the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) should have scrutiny over its actions.
Now the college has responded through chief executive, Nick Stace.
He said: “Unite’s suggestion that veterinary regulation should be under the scrutiny of the PSA is misguided, because the PSA is there to oversee regulation in the human health care sector and the RCVS already has Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Privy Council oversight.
“Its further thoughts around the RCVS disciplinary process are out of date and missing the point. We would be very happy to help put them right and to hear any legitimate concerns they may have.
“Unite is calling for the college to no longer ‘set the rules and hand down judgments’, when in fact last year we successfully achieved a Legislative Reform Order, backed by the profession, to ensure our disciplinary and preliminary investigation committees will become independent from council.
“Unite also talks about the profession’s disquiet about last year’s disciplinary hearing into Mr Chikosi, something we are well aware of and are responding to by looking at the biggest area of concern – the provision of 24/7 emergency cover.
“Our fact-finding mission is seeking views from the profession and the public.”