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Academic appointed on RCVS Ethics Review Panel

Posted 21 June

Helen Cartlidge, appointed in the new RCVS Ethics Review Panel

Harper Adams’ Helen Cartlidge, Lecturer in Veterinary Sciences and Nursing, has been appointed on the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Ethics Review Panel.

The panel allows veterinarians and veterinary nurses in practice, who would not have had access to such a service without being attached to a university or possess relevant industry connections previously, to receive an ethical review on research proposals.

Helen said: “The RCVS set up the ethics review panel to encourage practitioners to do more research and increase the body of research within the veterinary field, as that’s one of the areas currently lacking.”

Helen joins six other experts appointed on the now permanent panel, which underwent a successful trial period from 2016, becoming the only panel member with a veterinary nursing background. After getting more involved with the RCVS on the charity side of the organisation, through the Knowledge project, Helen decided to apply for the panel upon the announcement it was being made a permanent fixture.

“It’s going to be down to the practitioners to make their proposals, but from the point of view of being a veterinary nurse, I’d like to encourage more vet nurses to carry out research and make it more accessible for them to do so. Being the only veterinary nurse on the panel at the moment, I’ll be able to have an input in the various reviews that are coming through and give guidance notes to help vet nurses in practice.”

Mainly being on the research side of teaching at Harper Adams, Helen is hoping that the experience she gains with the RCVS Ethics Review Panel can help with final years’ projects.

Helen continued: “I manage the honours research project and teach the clinical research methods – so I’ve got some involvement in the ethics review process for our final year dissertations. I hope being on the panel and having experience of what’s coming in from practice can help me get more of an idea of what can and can’t be done.

“I hope any adaptations that we suggest for practitioners can be bought into teaching and be helpful for our final years.”

The news comes at an exciting time with the brand new Harper & Keele Vet School due to open in September 2020 across both campuses with the University hoping to play a key role in the future of veterinary service and science.

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