5 - Staff Resources
5.1 Staffing requirements for the SVS can only be determined when the scope of the organisation has been finalised. However, it is evident that the significant trade impacts of EU exit will require additional staff. This resource can be most efficiently sourced through an integrated delivery body which can ensure consistency of delivery and training allowing greater flexibility of delivery.
5.2 Current staffing complements are deemed to be adequate for existing workloads, although vacancies exist due to recruitment difficulties following a reliance on recruitment from the EU, as well as difficulty filling posts in some geographical areas. FSS meat hygiene controls are the most challenged in this respect although accessing expertise in fish medicine is also an issue.
5.3 An integrated SVS is likely to be a more attractive employer, provide improved job satisfaction and greater career opportunities.
5.4 Reliance on private veterinary practitioners in remote areas was repeatedly raised as a potential risk. Industry requires rapid access to certification and there is a concern that with, the small number of veterinarians in remote areas, and competing animal health priorities this may not be fully met resulting in the SVS becoming the default provider. The 2020 review recognised this issue as well as the risks to surveillance and recommended that as part of the transition process consideration should be given as to how this could be managed.
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