A DURHAM veterinary clinic that looks after 15,000 of the region’s horses, ponies and donkeys is celebrating success in a scheme that quality assures practices.

Durham Equine Practice has secured General Practice status in the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ Practice Standards Scheme.

About half the practices in the UK are accredited under the voluntary scheme, which ensures facilities, equipment and protocols meet stringent standards in areas like health and safety, hygiene, staff training and the dispensing of medication.

Practices then undergo a rigorous inspection by RCVS inspectors and Durham Equine Practice passed at the first attempt.

Through setting standards and carrying out regular assessments, the Practice Standards Scheme aims to promote and maintain the highest standards of veterinary care.

The regulatory accreditation means that clients can be assured their practice’s premises meets the highest possible standards.

Durham Equine Practice, which is based at Durham Gate, has more than 5,000 clients and cares for more than 15,000 horses, ponies and donkeys across a 100-miles radius covering Durham, Northumberland, Tyneside and North Yorkshire.

The practice is run by clinical director Nicola Mason and is part of VetPartners, which owns more than 120 of the UK’s most respected and trusted equine, farm and small animal practices.

Durham Equine practice manager Gill Bradley said: “A lot of hard work went into ensuring everything was in place for the inspection and it provides clients with peace of mind that we meet high standards. Achieving GP status is very prestigious, so we were delighted by the outcome of the inspection.”

The practice will have to undergo another inspection in four years and are also the subject of spot-checks between assessments.