Update on Veterinary Delivery Partnership Project

In July, AHVLA announced plans for the future contracting of veterinary services and related changes to the arrangements for the training and assurance of OVs.

Since then, supplier days have successfully identified a number of issues, and a synopsis of the questions asked, and AHVLA’s response to those, has now been published on the Bravo system (https://defra.bravosolution.co.uk/web/login.shtml).

A consultation for the training and assurance requirement has also been undertaken. This also raised issues which have been listened to, and which have shaped the way forward in several areas. See the new training and certification arrangements update.

Supply of veterinary services

An indication of the likely size and geography of the regional lot areas together with an estimate of work volumes and value has now been published on the Bravo system. Initial thinking is that there will be seven regional lots, with a delivery partner appointed in each of the following areas:

  • Lot 1 – Wales, North
  • Lot 2 – Wales, South
  • Lot 3 – South West 1 (Devon & Cornwall)
  • Lot 4 – South West 2 (Remainder of South West of  England)
  • Lot 5 – South East England
  • Lot 6 – Midlands
  • Lot 7 – North of England

These details, which are subject to confirmation, have been published now in order to give potential suppliers a better understanding of the size and likely work volumes involved.  There will be constraints on the number of contracts which any delivery partner business can hold, in order to safeguard against the disease impact of a supplier failing, but we are not yet able to say exactly how that will be specified.

The new approach for the supply of veterinary services is however currently only planned to be implemented in England and Wales. The Invitation-to-Tender (ITT) for the supply of veterinary services is likely to be published around early / mid 2014.

Removal of Local Veterinary Inspector power

From April 2014, OVs will no longer hold appointments as Local Veterinary Inspectors (LVI) under the Animal Health Act 1981. LVI status conveys enforcement powers which are seldom used by OVs: for example powers of entry to premises; powers to test, treat, sample and detain. It is no longer appropriate for such powers to be given to a large number of people who do not need them, and removal clarifies the relationship between the OV and the client in a way which reduces concerns about potential conflicts of interest.

In future, situations requiring the use of legal powers will be managed differently. For example, with respect to TB testing, legislative changes will be introduced which automatically apply movement restrictions to herds in which reactors are identified without the need to serve a TB2 restriction notice. If there is a requirement to exercise veterinary inspector powers, e.g. to access premises where entry has been denied, this will, as now, need to be referred either to AHVLA or the local authority.

It should be understood however that the removal of these statutory LVI powers will not affect the authority provided by the Official Veterinarian appointment in all other respects. This includes the ability to sign certificates in an official capacity where Veterinary Inspector powers are not required.

The new arrangements for training and assurance, and the removal of veterinary inspector powers, will apply across England, Scotland and Wales.

Training and assurance: publication of Invitation-to-Tender

Progress has also been made with new arrangements for training and certifying OVs and an Invitation-to-Tender (ITT) for this requirement has now been published on Bravo, with the aim of a contract being signed by March for incremental implementation over the following 12 months.

The new arrangements for training and assurance, and the removal of veterinary inspector powers, will apply across England, Scotland and Wales.

Page last modified: 20 December, 2013