New evidence-based resource for vets in clinical practice

New evidence-based resource for vets in clinical practice
PA 47/10

It will cost 3.5m and take 10 years, but once established the new Centre for Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine (CEVM) will be the very first initiative that integrates the most up to date, accurate and relevant evidence with clinical decision making in the veterinary profession.

Hosted by The University of Nottingham and partly funded by Novartis Animal Health, the new Centre aims to develop and promote the principles of evidence-based veterinary medicine in all aspects of the veterinary profession. It will be officially launched at 5.30pm on Wednesday March 17 2010 at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, The University of Nottingham.

Director of the Centre, Dr Rachel Dean, Clinical Associate Professor in Feline Medicine, said: “Whether the patient is a small animal in a consulting room, a thoroughbred racehorse or a herd of dairy cows, to make the best possible decision for those animals, a clinician requires skill, expertise and knowledge. It is important that this knowledge is based on the best current evidence available. We want to help further bridge the gap between veterinary research and everyday clinical practice by providing and delivering the evidence in an accessible, and clear way to veterinary clinicians.

The CEVM will answer research questions generated by the veterinary profession that are important to clinical practice and to animal health and welfare. The decision facing a veterinary clinician could be about aetiology, diagnosis, treatment, or prognosis. By developing methods of critically appraising the evidence in the veterinary literature, from randomised-controlled trials through to narrative expert opinion, it is hoped the CEVM will enhance the use of current evidence in clinical decision making and improve patient care.”

Dr Marnie Brennan, Deputy Director of the Centre said: “Our aim is to increase the awareness of evidence-based veterinary medicine, develop methods for collating and evaluating the current evidence available and to begin to identify the evidence requirements of the veterinary profession by determining the areas where there is a lack of information. We intend to develop a network of sentinel practices to promote and facilitate practice-based research and to conduct targeted research on common diseases encountered in veterinary practice.”

Novartis Animal Health believes the Centre offers great promise for enhancing the state of disease management and prevention. Dr Gary Bosch, Global Head of Research & Development at Novartis Animal Health, said: “We see this collaboration as an ideal opportunity to link the resources and expertise we have at Novartis with those of an academic institution on the leading edge of veterinary teaching and research. The concept of developing therapeutic advances based on carefully examined clinical evidence fits well with our vision of delivering the most complete and targeted solutions for animal diseases.”

This exciting initiative reflects the inventive and revolutionary way that the new School of Veterinary Medicine and Science operates. The School’s aim is to integrate cutting edge research into the undergraduate curriculum, and to focus teaching on ‘day one’ competencies for general practice.

Dr Brennan said: “It is our intention to educate undergraduates and post-graduates about the principles and importance of evidence-based veterinary medicine and to integrate some of these ideas into the curriculum here at The University of Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science.”

The official launch takes place at 5.30pm on March 17 2010 at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, The University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, Leicestershire, LE12 5RD. An address by Professor Bob Webb, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research will be followed by short speeches by Dr Gary Bosch from Novartis Animal Health, Professor Hywel Williams, Director of the Centre for Evidence Based Dermatology at The University of Nottingham and Dr Rachel Dean, Director of the Centre for Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine. The speeches will be followed by a drinks reception at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science which was the first new vet school to open in Britain in 50 years when it opened its doors in 2006.

Professor Hywel Williams, who has been involved in helping to set up the Centre, said: “There is no reason why veterinary practitioners and owners of animals should expect anything less than for treatment decisions to be based on the best external evidence. I am delighted to support the development of this Centre for Evidence-Based Veterinary Medicine as it illustrates the mutually beneficial links between animal and human medicine. Importantly, the Centre will provide a focus for summarising best evidence and a bridge for translating that evidence into practice. It will also provide a framework for identifying and addressing major clinical uncertainties through new clinically relevant research.”