We are committed to excellence in the provision of our clinical service, client service and in the way in which we look after our staff and facilities.
We also like to challenge ourselves, to make sure we are up to date with best practice and have our practices externally validated. So, we have put ourselves forward to be assessed for a variety of awards and accreditations.
Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Practice Standards Scheme (PSS)
The PSS is a voluntary accreditation scheme for veterinary practices. Set up by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) in 2005, the aim is to promote and maintain high standards in veterinary and client care by setting standards and inspecting participating practices. The Scheme makes available more information for clients including things such as night-time cover, facilities and hygiene. The Scheme reassures owners that a RCVS Inspector has seen behind the scenes and confirmed that the practice meets the standards set.
Accredited Practice Small Animal Hospital
In addition to the Core standards of the Scheme, North Downs have also met the criteria required for accreditation as a Small Animal Hospital, this is the highest tier of assessment.
In addition to the many specialist qualifications of our staff, our hospital has also won awards. As well as North Downs Specialist Referrals being an accredited Small Animal Hospital, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons has found us to be ‘Outstanding’ in every area:
- Outstanding In-Patient Service
- Outstanding Client Service
- Outstanding Team and Professional Responsibility
- Outstanding Diagnostic Service
North Downs Specialist Referrals is also accredited by the International Society of Feline Medicine as a Gold Level Cat Friendly Clinic, the highest possible level.
Practice Standards Scheme Awards
As well as the existing accreditations, veterinary practices can also demonstrate the specific areas of practice in which they excel, by achieving optional Practice Standards Scheme Awards. They place emphasis on the factors that impact the standards of the services offered. The Awards demonstrate where practices provide services, above and beyond the stringent standards of accreditation and can help pet owners make a choice based on their needs and preferences.
So, we asked to be assessed for the Practice Standards Scheme Awards. Each award comprises of a variety of categories and a large number of challenging criteria, each of which must be assessed by a RCVS Inspector and are not lightly awarded. We requested assessment against all of the Awards we were eligible to apply for. After a rigorous two-day inspection, we were delighted to achieve Outstanding in every category! This means we have achieved a score of more than 80% for each of the criteria against which we were assessed.
We consider this to be a reflection of the hard work all of our staff members put in to ensuring that our standards of clinical and client care and the standards of the facilities are kept as high as possible.
iCat Care accredited Cat Friendly Clinic Gold Level
At North Downs Specialist Referrals we recognise that cats are very different to dogs and need to be handled and treated in a different way.
Bringing your cat to the hospital can be stressful for both of you, so we do all we can to minimise any difficulties that your cat might encounter when they come to see us. We have put into place the facilities and ways of working and made sure that our staff are trained to make your visit as stress free as possible.
As a result of this we are pleased to say that we have been accredited by International Cat Care as a Cat Friendly Clinic at gold standard.
Investors In the Environment (iiE)
We are delighted to have achieved Investors In the Environment (iiE) Silver accreditation for our commitment to reducing our impact on the environment.
Investors In the Environment is a national accreditation scheme, designed to help organisations reduce their impact on the environment. As members of iiE we receive tailored support and expert advice to help us operate in a more sustainable way.
To achieve our Silver accreditation we had to demonstrate the following:
- Appoint an environmental champion. Ours is EBVS® European Specialist in Small Animal Surgery, Nicola Kulendra
- Have an environmental policy in place
- Monitor our gas, electricity and water use along with two other resources
- Take quarterly resource readings
- Set targets for improved energy efficiency and demonstrate progress towards achieving these targets
- Have a recycling system in place
- Adopt an environmentally friendly travel plan
- Undertake two additional essential actions
- Present progress annually, and submit an evidence pack for assessment