The reports summarise the results of two surveys that were conducted between July and August last year.
Of the 28,718 veterinary surgeons who were sent the survey, 22% fully completed and submitted the questionnaire.
Some of the main findings included:
Around 40% of veterinary surgeons and over 40% of veterinary nurses said they had experienced concerns for their personal safety aside from catching Covid.
These safety concerns mostly related to client interactions at the practice either during the day or out-of-hours.
Many respondents experienced conflict between their personal wellbeing and professional role, and found it difficult to juggle their work and caring responsibilities.
Many respondents also said their mental health was adversely affected by the experience of working during the pandemic.
A large majority of respondents said they had personally seen an increase in caseload due to new animal ownership.
Lizzie Lockett, RCVS CEO, said: “While many of the results of the survey may not be especially surprising and confirm what we have already been told anecdotally, it is very important that we have this hard data to hand on the overall impact of the pandemic on individual members of the professions.
“These two reports complement the six surveys that we have conducted with veterinary practices on the economic impact of the pandemic to give us as clear and holistic a picture as possible about the challenges that the professions and the veterinary sector as a whole have faced since March 2020.
"This not only provides a useful historical snapshot, but builds an evidence base to inform future temporary changes should the pandemic continue into more waves, or should future such crises arise.
“The results of the two individual surveys make it clear it has been a tough time for the professions.
"A good proportion of respondents also acknowledged that positive developments have come from the past two years, including the way the profession has demonstrated remarkable resilience, flexibility and adaptability, as well as forging a stronger team spirit under such difficult circumstances.
“However, a large number of both vets and vet nurses who responded said that the experiences since March 2020 have left them feeling more pessimistic about veterinary work and their place within it.
"I would like to reassure members of the veterinary team that the RCVS is aware and understands.
"We tried throughout the pandemic to support the professions with relevant temporary guidance changes, and we are now working with a range of stakeholders on critical issues such as the workforce crisis, which has been in part caused by Covid.
"We are also developing tools, training and resources to support the professions, via our programmes such as RCVS Leadership and Mind Matters.”
The full coronavirus impact survey reports can be found at www.rcvs.org.uk/publications.
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Publishing Editor: Arlo Guthrie
Clinical Editor: Alasdair Hotston Moore MA VetMB CertSAC CertVR CertSAS FRCVS
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