News story

APHA publishes information on new arrangements for veterinary services

Information for farmers and livestock keepers on changes to the management of government funded veterinary services in England and Wales.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) recently announced the new Delivery Partners to supply veterinary services in England and Wales.

These will deliver TB testing and other services using a network of subcontracted veterinary practices. The contracts will cover:

Name Service
Services A TB testing in cattle
Services B TB testing in non-bovines and other work, notably brucellosis testing and anthrax investigations
Services C Disease outbreak response (provision of vets to assist APHA in a disease outbreak)

Each contract will cover a specified geographical region (‘Lot’) of England and Wales.

TB Test Notification Letters will now tell you to contact the Delivery Partners to arrange testing. This will continue as a free service and your legal responsibilities remain the same.

If you’re unhappy with the service you receive, then you should complain to the Delivery Partner. The new contracts require the Delivery Partners to have a formal complaints procedure and APHA will be monitoring the level and type of complaints received and assessing how the Delivery Partner deals with them.

Wales

The new arrangements for Wales will begin on 1 April 2015. These should mean little or no change if you are a farmer in Wales.

In most cases, the veterinary practice that has been delivering your TB testing will remain the same and you don’t need to do anything unless you want to choose a different practice.

If the veterinary practice you usually use is not part of the Delivery Partner’s network of subcontractors, the Delivery Partner will offer a choice of other practices that can do the TB testing in your area. You will be asked to register your preferred choice of practice with the Delivery Partner.

Or if you simply wish to use an alternative practice from the network of subcontractors, then the same process applies. Where possible, Delivery Partners will honour your choice of practice when allocating TB tests.

If you want to use a practice that is not part of the Delivery Partner’s network of subcontractors you will need to arrange to have the test done privately and cover the costs. You must contact your local APHA office to tell them which practice you will be using.

Delivery Partners in Wales will be writing to you to explain how they will be operating the new arrangements and how you can register your choice of practice. They will also be publishing this information on their websites:

England

The new arrangements for England will begin on 1 May 2015.

In England, the Delivery Partners are currently negotiating with practices that may wish to join their network of subcontractors. Once these networks are set up, you will be able to identify which practices are included.

As in Wales, if the practice that you previously used is part of the Delivery Partner’s network then you don’t need to do anything unless you want to choose a different practice from the network.

Further information and an online form to register your preferred choice of practice are available on the XL Farmcare website.

Further information

See the briefing note (PDF, 231KB, 14 pages) on changes to the management of government funded veterinary services. This includes guidance on additional payments and lists which Delivery Partners cover the regions in England and Wales.

You can use the CPH finder to find the Delivery Partner for your area.

Press release: APHA awards contracts for TB testing and other veterinary services in England

Press release: APHA awards contracts for TB testing and other veterinary services in Wales