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WCB 'Feedback System'...

A Quick Reminder About The WCB (As We Explain About Our Feedback System)…

The WCB is one of a kind in the UK right now.


We were the first organisation in the UK to develop a structure that celebrates & supports both UK Wildlife Rehabbers & our UK wildlife’s rights to proper medical & rehabilitative care.


We were developed by wildlife professionals themselves (Wildlife Vets & Rehabbers, with/from Rescues large and small) in order for the Wildlife Rescue Industry to self regulate itself, in the absence of government licensing across most of the UK.  We have also always, since our launch, acted to support both Wildlife Rehabbers and Vet Professionals to provide high welfare emergency care.


As well as holding Knowledge Assessments (which were written by a Wildlife Vet) & Badge Holder premises visits - with ongoing welfare checks in place throughout the year - our ‘Feedback System’ is one of the WCB implementations that has proven most effective.  Here’s two examples…

[All of the ‘feedback reports’ that we receive are objectively assessed by 2 WCB Committee Member Rehabbers (who all have the Badge themselves) and a wildlife experienced Vet Surgeon.]


EXAMPLE ONE…

FEEDBACK…  There was a concern about one of our WCB Holders that was reported due to a social media post, featuring a poorly Hedgehog.  The report was made by another Rehabber.  It was felt that the Badge Holder in question had made the wrong diagnosis and that the Hedgehog may have not been seen by a Vet.


I reached out to the Badge Holder in question and found out that she had spoken to her Vet about the injuries and behaviours and they had agreed on a treatment plan together. The full treatment plan was outlined to me. (Not only was she able to provide proof but her regular accountability documents also proved a great working relationship with a local Vet Practice).


I described the treatment plan to all 3 WCB ‘Objective Assessors’ and they all agreed with the treatment plan: that it was what they would have done too.


I was able to let the person who had reported the Badge Holder know that we had looked into the matter and that not only had the Hedgehog received a Vet Clinical Assessment but 3 other objective wildlife professionals (Vets & Rehabbers) had agreed with the treatment plan AND were very happy with the Badge Holder’s high welfare practices.


RESULT…. This result of our feedback system enabled the Badge Holder to be even more celebrated for the high welfare Rehabber that they were.


EXAMPLE TWO…

FEEDBACK…  A follower of the Rescue of one of our WCB Holders used our feedback system to share a concern about a Hedgehog not receiving fast enough Vet care.  The follower was a big fan of the Rescue in question and was just worried about this one case, from what they had seen online.


The person who reported the Badge Holder supplied evidence of their concerns (which were screenshots of social media posts and videos) and these were looked at by 3 WCB ‘Objective Assessors’.


RESULT….  It was evident that a Veterinary Clinical Assessment had been made on the Hedgehog & that the Badge Holder was following a treatment plan that was set by their Vet.  On reaching out to the Badge Holder in question this was proven further to us and we were able to let the Badge Holder know that we were happy with their veterinary involvement & processes.  It also gave us a chance to build on our WCB Vet Support work by inviting the Badge Holder to make her Vet aware of very wildlife experienced Vets who would be happy to support them too, should they ever want it. This result was also fed back to the person who had reported the Badge Holder (who was much relieved, as they were a big fan of the Rescuer in question but had just had questions about this one case).


HOW DOES OUR FEEDBACK SYSTEM BENEFIT BADGE HOLDERS?

It may seem, initially, that ‘being in a position to be reported’ isn’t ideal.  The reality however is that our Feedback System has been set up to protect our Badge Holders, as well as wildlife.  It is extremely common within the Wildlife Rescue industry for rumour to abound.  Reputations can be (and have been) ruined, based on misunderstandings between wildlife professionals.


The Feedback System not only ensures that the wildlife taken in by Badge Holders receive exemplary care, but it is also an objective, impartial system that is set up to assess an individual Wildlife Rehabilitative Case and hopefully report back to anyone with concerns that a high level of care has been proven to be provided, as deemed by the collective experienced opinions of two Rehabbers & a Vet Surgeon.  We hope that this will start to enable honesty & transparency within the industry & protect our Badge Holders.


What if a report is found to be true?  So far there has only been one report where the concerns were justified and in that case the care of the animals in question was still high welfare, it was just that it was discovered that a small Rescue was struggling under the demands of the area (there weren’t many other Rescues around) so we saw that some logistical support could be provided by the WCB to take the pressure off the Badge Holder.


What if there really is a significant welfare concern about a Badge Holder?  In these cases (and fingers crossed they never occur) we would remove the Badge from them - privately, we would never name & shame a Rescue - and should an animal be considered to be in danger and suffering under their care, they would be reported to the RSPCA.  (Again, this would be privately done, not publicly shared about by us).


IDENTITY & REPUTATION ARE PROTECTED...

In ALL feedback cases, no one except the WCB Committee knows about any reports (they are never made public by us).  Equally, those who report a concern about a Badge Holder have their identity kept anonymous: only Alana, Founder & Project Manager, ever knows the person who reported.  Even the impartial ‘Assessors’ are not told the identity of the person who utilised the Feedback System.  This is so that there are no fears of repercussions, should someone have a genuine concern about a Badge Holder.  


It works both ways however, as no intentionally malicious or derogatory reports can be made against Badge Holders, as each report requires objective evidence, for our WCB Committee to be able to make informed assessments.  


A FINAL, ADDITIONAL BADGE HOLDER BENEFIT...

Bullying within the Wildlife Rescue Industry is also commonplace and on occasion, Badge Holders have utilised our Feedback System to publicly invite those who were using online platforms to criticise them to ask for an impartial review of their practices by reporting them to us. So far, an invitation of this kind has never led to a report being filed but has succeeded in calming some tense situations.




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