Vets who perform initial emergency treatment (IET) for the RSPCA will now be required to claim costs back from the charity within six months of the treatment, it has been announced.
In a statement, the RSPCA – which spends £1 million per year on IET – said the move is part of an efficiency drive. It is hoped this will make the process quicker and more efficient, as the charity was receiving years-old claims, making it time consuming and expensive to investigate – and, therefore, creating delays in payments.
RSPCA London veterinary director Caroline Allen said: “The national RSPCA will continue to subsidise initial emergency treatment for animals as part of our vital role in helping to treat animals in need. The work vets do in this area is greatly appreciated by the RSPCA and we appreciate IET is only a contribution towards the care given.
“In the case of any ongoing assistance that may be offered by RSPCA branches, at their discretion, this is subject to those branches’ own rules as they are independent charities.
“As a charity that relies solely on public donations, it is important to emphasise our priority lies with those animals that are victims of extreme cruelty or neglect, and we also have a responsibility to make sure charity resources are spent in the most effective way possible.”
The RSPCA has also announced it has employed a dedicated member of staff to liaise exclusively with vets.
Michelle Edwards, who has taken on the new position, said: “I am looking forward to helping bridge the communication gap between vets and the RSPCA, and ensure this process works well for everyone, while, most importantly, benefiting animals in need.”