Representing the veterinary nursing profession, the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA) has submitted a response to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recent consultation on a proposed Market Investigation Reference (MIR), as part of its ongoing review of the veterinary sector. This response is also alongside a joint submission with the British Veterinary Association (BVA), the British Small Animal Association (BSAVA), the Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons (SPVS) and the Veterinary Management Group (VMG).

Access our CMA Hub here, for up to date information about how BVNA are responding to this ongoing review.

Having engaged with the CMA throughout its work to date, BVNA supports the need to understand the veterinary sector in further detail, to ensure full transparency of information relating to the provision of veterinary services. BVNA also recognises the ongoing review as a platform to champion the value of veterinary nursing within the provision of contextualised care, along with the significant impact of the RVN on animal welfare as an integral member of the veterinary team.

BVNA President Lyndsay Hughes commented: “BVNA welcomed the opportunity to respond to this recent consultation led by the CMA, as it looks towards the possibility of launching a full MIR of veterinary services in the UK. In addition to the joint submission with other veterinary organisations, we felt it was imperative that the veterinary nursing voice is heard, and that the CMA is made aware of the value veterinary nurses contribute to the veterinary team. As well as delivering a first-class care service for pets, veterinary nurses fulfil a significant role within the client care journey.

“We continue to support the profession as the CMA review unfolds; recently hosting a webinar for our members and the wider veterinary nursing community soon after the initial review findings were published. We also subsequently represented the VN profession on an industry panel discussion alongside representatives from the BVA, RCVS and independent practice ownership.

“As part of its initial findings, we are encouraged that the CMA has identified that the existing regulatory framework for the veterinary profession as a whole is out of date. We strongly support that reformed legislation would improve transparency for the provision of veterinary services, highlighting a need to be able to regulate individual practices and businesses. In our consultation response, we also highlighted that transparency to clients would be improved via statutory protection of the title ‘veterinary nurse’. Many members of the public are unaware that unqualified individuals may currently refer to themselves as such, and reserving this title only for those who are properly qualified and regulated would enhance both public trust, and the recognition of value for the nursing care being provided.

“We remain concerned that since the launch of the CMA review, veterinary teams have been faced with unacceptable and abusive client behaviour. BVNA strongly condemns this abuse, whether in-person or online. We stand with all veterinary teams during this time, and wish to remind them that Vetlife are available to any veterinary professional who needs support”

Read our responses below:

BVNA response to the CMA consultation on proposed market investigation reference

Joint response to the CMA consultation – submitted with BVA, BSAVA, SPVS and VMG