All vets are encouraged to take part, and everyone who does will get a copy of the results.
The survey covers small animal, large animal and equine in all aspects of preventative health care and surgery.
It also looks at repeat prescription charges, the routine use of analgesia and antibiotics in neutering and lab interpretation fees, comparing them to last year.
Companion Consultancy Director Susan Mackay, herself a veterinary surgeon, started Companion Consultancy in 2002.
She said: “We added a design team to the agency two years ago and it’s been fantastic to have this resource available in-house.
"In the digital space people increasingly consume their content as images and sound as much as the written word and it has become key to delivering communication projects that really work.”
VetSurgeon.org editor Arlo Guthrie said: "I couldn't agree with Susan more.
"As a news editor, I get a barrage of press releases every day.
"Those with powerful photos or video that will stand out on all the different social media platforms get prioritised.
"Those that have poor images, or none at all tend to get ignored."
Susan added: “For complex projects we can have one or more of our vets working alongside the designer to get all the technical nuances exactly right.
"Infographics for instance are a great way to overcome language barriers but explaining the complexities of how vaccines work in pictures needs veterinary input and our designers then come up with visual ways to represent those concepts so we can work through those together.
"On simpler projects, clients don’t have to waste time explaining why they don’t want to show a dog wearing a choke chain or carrying a stick, because our designers already bring an additional level of understanding to their work.
"We want to make it clear that you don’t have to be a Companion Consultancy client to benefit from this great resource.”
Companion Design Studio is offering a free, no obligation 30 minute design consultation to the first 10 applicants from the veterinary community who want expert input on their existing branding and how it has been applied, or to gather ideas for new design projects.
www.companiondesignstudio.co.uk or call Tom on 07925 133302.
Dr Stephen Hearns, a consultant in aeromedical retrieval (human) medicine, who delivers pre-hospital critical care for major trauma patients, will open Congress as the keynote speaker.
He'll also present a limited-seat session where he’ll focus on performance under pressure.
Joining Stephen in the speaker line up are Simon Cook from the RVC, Megan Brashear from Purdue University Veterinary Hospital, Tim Travail, Chloe Fay, Dan Tipney, Jenny Guyat, Ashton Hollworth and Dr Craig Joyce, an educational psychologist who will be offering his insights into dealing with imposter syndrome.
This year, participants will have the opportunity to follow a trauma case from arrival to departure on the first day of Congress, gaining real-time insights into the decision-making process and management strategies.
On day two, speakers will delve into lessons learned, allowing attendees to deepen their understanding of emergency and critical care practices
Simon said: “Get ready for a fantastic speaker line-up, an array of workshops and learning experiences, a bustling exhibition hall and more opportunities than ever for veterinary and nursing delegates to reconnect with old friends and make new ones.
"Brace yourselves to absorb knowledge and tips from some of the world’s leading veterinary experts discussing emergency and critical care.”
The ECC Congress programme for 2023 is open to veterinary professionals of all levels, including veterinarian surgeons, vet nurses, students and graduates.
Tickets range in price from £50+ VAT for exhibition-only tickets, up to £520+ VAT for a vet to attend for 2 days plus the Gala dinner.
Krka’s Farm Key Account Manager Charlotte Read said: “BRD remains a priority issue on farm and advising farmers on the management of BRD risks, and treatment options when needed, is a key task for farm vets.
"Flovuxin’s combined formulation is a high efficacy BRD treatment acting within six hours1, to improve treatment outcomes.”
Cornerstone Veterinary Clinic, which was founded by Peter Herold in 2011, currently employs a 15-strong team, who are all now practice owners and shareholders in the business.
Peter got the inspiration from reading about how Pennard Vets had become the world’s largest employee-owned practice in order to protect both its independence and core values.
He then contacted the directors at Pennard Vets, who helped guide him through the process.
Peter said: “After starting Cornerstone 11 years ago, we have developed a longstanding, loyal and dedicated team who are all very popular with our established client base across Belfast and beyond.
"I genuinely love Cornerstone, and so do our team and clients, and although I’m not ready to retire yet, the end of my professional life will come in the next decade, so I wanted to start planning for it.
“The obvious option would be to sell the practice to a corporate chain, but I knew that would change how we worked.
"There would be much more emphasis on profit levels, and we’d be forced to make decisions that we were uncomfortable with.
"We have an amazing team who are full of ideas about how to make Cornerstone even better and to guarantee a successful future, the practice needs to continue growing in a way that works for its people, our clients and their pets.
“When I read about Pennard Vets becoming an EOT, it immediately resonated with me, and I hoped it could be an option for Cornerstone.
"I then attended a webinar with speakers from Pennard Vets, and I kept in touch with them afterwards.
"They explained the set-up and how it benefits their team, as well as putting us in touch with specialists in EOTs.
"Ultimately it was Pennard Vets’ knowledge and enthusiasm that convinced me it was the right route for us.”
Peter added: “Our senior team at Cornerstone are all very skilled and share common values in relation to customer service, veterinary care and client charges, and it’s this ethos that makes us popular with clients.
“Making the business an EOT will ensure this continues by safeguarding the future of the business, whilst giving each member of the team the benefit of being a business owner without them having to buy in.
"It also means I can continue to work as a vet, but share the management side of the practice with the entire team who can help to make the important decisions, which is an exciting prospect for everyone involved.”
Matthew Flann from Pennard Vets said: “We became an EOT to maintain our independence and give everyone in our team both autonomy and a voice, as well as preserving our core values around compassion, client focus and continually improving everything we do.
"This came at a time when it’s increasingly difficult for vets to buy into practices and the traditional partner progression model no longer works, which makes EOTs even more appealing and a positive step for the profession as a whole.
“It’s been genuinely transformational for Pennard Vets, and we now regularly hear from practice owners who are exploring becoming an EOT.
"There are now several other successful businesses currently on the journey and when Peter contacted us, we were happy to offer our help and guidance.
"Cornerstone is a successful practice, with a highly skilled and dedicated team, so its independence is worth protecting, and becoming an EOT will give it a bright future.”
The one hour ‘Wake up to inappetence: practical solutions for the cat that won’t eat both in the clinic and at home’ breakfast meeting is being presented by Sam Taylor, feline specialist advisor at ISFM.
The session will focus on practical management for both in- and out- patients, covering when to use appetite stimulants and place a feeding tube and how to support caregivers.
Sarah Musgrave, brand manager for Mirataz at Dechra said: “Inappetence in cats is extremely common and has many underlying causes.
"Appetite stimulants, such as Mirataz, can play a significant role in supporting cats with unintended weight loss while further investigations are underway.
"Our breakfast meeting at ISFM Feline Congress will cover the practical management of inappetence in cats and provide delegates with hints and tips to take back to the clinic."
For the study, urinalysis results from 2,712 UK feline urine samples submitted and analysed by Axiom and Finn over a period of 14 months2 were reviewed.
Urine samples had to have been obtained by cystocentesis and signalment information recorded by their submitting vet3.
These samples did not have to come from cats presenting with FLUTD signs and the researchers therefore say that consideration should be given to a different (potentially even more increased) prevalence in cats presenting with LUT signs.
Bacterial urinary tract infections in cats with FLUTD are estimated to be present in around 8 – 19% of cases4.
However, FLUTD is one of the most common reasons for the use of antimicrobial drugs in veterinary medicine and is therefore an important condition to consider to minimise antimicrobial use and development of antimicrobial resistance5.
The study found that 15.7% of the samples had a positive culture, with E. coli (43.7%), other Enterobacterales (26.4%) and Enterococcus spp (14.9%) being the most common isolates identified.
Antimicrobial susceptibilities and resistance were also tested.
Notably, Enterococcus species were frequently found to be resistant to multiple antibiotics, and several other isolates demonstrated resistance to frequently used antibiotics.
The data showed Enterococcus spp. were much less susceptible to trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole (TMPS) than have been previously documented (with 94% of isolates resistant).
Additionally, other Enterobacterales had resistance against cephalosporins and penicillins.
The authors say that data surrounding cephalosporin resistance is particularly notable and problematic; recent data has indeed shown that the cephalosporin cefovecin is a commonly prescribed antibiotic3 for cats presenting with lower urinary tract disease.
The authors also say that data in this study adds to the existing evidence that the use of cephalosporins such as cefovecin may be ineffective in many cases (intrinsic resistance of Enterococcus spp) and therefore should be avoided unless cystocentesis and signalment results support their use.
The inappropriate use of antibiotics for bacterial cystitis could not only be ineffective to manage bacterial cystitis in cats but promote further antimicrobial resistance.
Clarisse D’Août, lead author of the research and Internal Medicine Specialist at Lumbry Park Veterinary Specialists, said: “Even though feline lower urinary tract disease is one of the most common reasons for vets to prescribe antibiotics, the prevalence of bacterial strains in the urine of cats with this condition, and their resistance to commonly used antibiotics, had not been widely studied in the UK to date.
"So we hope that this study can add to the current evidence to making well-justified and practical recommendations in practices about which antibiotics to choose and those to avoid.
"We see this ongoing susceptibility testing as clinically important to avoid the development of further resistant bacteria.”
The expansion has increased the hospital's footprint by 30%, adding three new operating theatres, six new consult rooms and new feline facilities, including a cat-only waiting room, consult room and treatment area.
Hospital owner, IVC Evidensia said the expansion has been driven in part by the pet ownership boom of the last few years and increased demand for the hospital’s services.
To meet the demand, Vale has expanded its office space, adding desk space for a further 25 vets.
There are also new ultrasound and cardiology rooms, a new dental suite and enlarged prep and recovery areas.
The existing kennel area has doubled in size with the addition of nine new walk-in kennels, a bespoke isolation ward and secure outdoor runs.
Richard Artingstall, clinical director at Vale Referrals, said: “We’ve been working on this expansion for a long time and it’s incredible to see it complete.
"Our new and improved facilities mean we can give even more pets across the Southwest the gold standard treatment that they deserve and support our colleagues from neighbouring vet practices with extensive referral services.
"The feedback from pets and owners so far has been very rewarding to hear.”
The feedback from pets?
VetSurgeon.org contacted recent patient Dougal McDoggins for comment.
He said: "Woof."
Thus far, the hospital has relied on conventional radiographs or referred for MRI for the bulk of its distal limb imaging.
The new Hallmarq standing CT scanner provides information that surpasses the capabilities of radiography, while also reducing radiation exposure to the patients and staff.
The scanning process is also considerably quicker, enabling prompt diagnosis and treatment planning.
Tom McParland, Valley Equine Hospital’s surgeon said: "We are confident that this diagnostic modality will significantly enhance our ability to identify not just thoroughbred fetlock pathology earlier but improve our diagnostic abilities of the distal limb for all our equine patients, racing and leisure alike.”
Valley Equine Hospital says it chose the Hallmarq standing CT scanner due to its ability to scan using just standing sedation which ensures a safer and more efficient experience for the horses compared to general anaesthesia.
Worth two hours of free CPD, the course has eight bitesize modules of between five and 15 minutes.
Each session is designed to improve confidence in cytology, in particular knowing when it is needed and how to take and interpret skin and ear cytology samples.
The course also includes advice on the use of dermatopicals and how to choose between Douxo S3 Pyo and Douxo S3 Calm.
The modules are presented by Natalie Barnard BVetMed, a European Veterinary Specialist in Dermatology, Amy Elvidge, an RCVS Recognised Specialist in Veterinary Dermatology, and Daniel White, a Dermatology Veterinary Nurse.
Emelie Fogelberg BSc DVM MRCVS, veterinary advisor at Ceva Animal Health said: “Skin problems can be challenging, and recurrent skin irritations are particularly frustrating.
"Cytology is essential in the work up of these cases but is often overlooked.
“Our new skin and ear cytology online course will help both vets and nurses become more confident in sample taking and interpretation to support a diagnosis and management plan from the first consultation.”
To register, visit https://veterinarywebinars.com/community/ceva/.
Developed in partnership with the Veterinary Client Mediation Service (VCMS), the course uses practical examples based on real-life experiences.
The course shows how to assess complaints from a client’s perspective and how building client relationships can help defuse complaints.
Jennie Jones, Head of VCMS, said: "Leveraging insights from the VCMS and involving our entire team with its production has enabled us to develop highly effective materials that ensure veterinary professionals are well-equipped to manage complaints."
The course takes one hour to complete.
The VetCompass programme studied 10,313 English Cocker Spaniels from an overall sample of 336,865 UK dogs of all breeds under first opinion veterinary care during 2016.
English Cocker Spaniels made up 3.1% of all dogs, showing ongoing high popularity of this breed as a UK companion animal.
The most common disease was periodontal disease, diagnosed in 20.97% of English Cocker Spaniels each year.
In second place was otitis externa (10.09%), followed by obesity/overweight (9.88%), anal sac impaction (8.07%), diarrhoea (4.87%), and aggression (4.01%).
The order of these top disorders in English Cocker Spaniels was similar to those previously reported in dogs overall; however, the frequency of each disorder was generally higher in English Cocker Spaniels than the general dog population, possibly because several of these conditions are related to the longer ears and looser skin on English Cocker Spaniels.
Researchers say these results suggests that English Cocker Spaniels can be considered a typical dog in many respects, but with higher risk of some disorders related to their specific body shape.
Aggression was found to be relatively common in English Cocker Spaniels, although the frequency differed depending on the sex and coat colour of the dogs: aggression was more common in males than females, and in single-coloured than multi-coloured dogs.
The risk of aggression also varied widely between the four most common single-coloured coat colours: golden-coloured dogs showed the highest frequency of aggression (12.08%), followed by red (6.52%), black (6.29%), and liver (4.33%).
Additional findings include:
Karolina Engdahl, Epidemiologist at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and lead author of the paper, said: “English Cocker Spaniels are popular family dogs and can make fantastic pets.
"However, we found that aggression was relatively common in the breed, especially in golden-coloured dogs.
"This highlights the importance of focusing good breeding on behavioural as well as physical health, and that behavioural-related problems should be a key area for veterinary-owner discussions.”
Dan O’Neill, Associate Professor in Companion Animal Epidemiology at the RVC, co-author of the paper, said: “Everyone who loves dogs just wants their animals to live long and happy lives.
"This study provides the data to help owners to understand that preventing dental, ear, weight and anal sac problems can go a long way to helping English Cocker Spaniels to enjoy a better life.
"It really can be that simple.”
The event is held every four years and hosted alternately by BEVA and the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP).
It offers the opportunity for equine vets to absorb and digest the latest knowledge, clinical practice and scientific advances in the treatment and prevention of colic, from the world’s leading international equine gastroenterology experts.
Held over 2.5 days, the symposium comprises numerous 12-minute oral presentations on a range of topics including surgical techniques, treatment, parasitology, gastric ulceration, endotoxemia, pharmacology of intestinal motility, colic complications, epidemiology, physiology of digestion, the intestinal microbiome and metabolomics.
Each session will be followed by three minutes for questions and discussion.
Poster sessions on the first two days will cover ground beyond the oral presentations and delegates will be able to review and discuss the work with presenters.
There will also be opportunities to network with other equine vets, researchers and professionals.
Clinicians and scientists have until 1 February 2024 to submit abstracts of recent work that they wish to present at this meeting.
The scientific committee will consider abstracts on all aspects of equine gastroenterology, including basic science research and reports of clinical cases or novel approaches to treatment.
The abstract submission form is here: https://form.jotform.com/230473925626359
Tickets cost £475 (with a concessionary rate of £235 for post graduate students and interns) and includes a drinks reception on both 10th & 11th, an evening buffet and Ceilidh on 11th and lunch on 11th & 12th.
Further information and booking details can be found here: https://www.beva.org.uk/Education/CPD/Event-Details/eventDateId/1740
The group is being set up to ensure that the College meets its objective of working in the public interest, initially as a 12-month pilot.
Louise Allum, RCVS Council Member and Chair of the Public Advisory Group, said: “Animal owners and keepers play an essential role in supporting animal welfare, and it is therefore not only right, but necessary, that we actively seek to inform the public of our activities and take their opinion into account when making wide-reaching decisions.
“With the profession's help, we are inviting animal owners and keepers from all backgrounds - from companion animal, to equine and farm – to be a part of our Public Advisory Group to help us actively engage with members of the public and to ensure that the veterinary profession continues to meet the needs of clients and animals alike.
"We also hope that, by involving animal owners and keepers in our work, we can improve the ways in which we communicate our messages to veterinary service users."
Lizzie Lockett, RCVS CEO, added: “Through the Public Advisory Group, we hope to gain greater insight into the experiences and opinions of animal owners and keepers to determine how we can work together to achieve what is essentially, a joint goal.
"We all care deeply about animal health and welfare and should therefore be united in our mission to uphold high standards.
“We are looking for a pool of around 30 individuals, including, but not limited to, owners and keepers of companion animals, and equine and production animals, to join our group.
"We are asking veterinary professionals to help us recruit animal owners and keepers from all walks of life, by kindly sharing information about this initiative with anyone they feel would be an appropriate, enthusiastic and engaged member of the Group.”
For more information on the Public Advisory Group, including terms of reference and how to apply, visit www.rcvs.org.uk/pag or email Lisa Moffatt on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for applications is 7 June 2023.
The service will be run by Dr Eloise Quince BVetMed CertAVP(SAM-F) PgCertVPS MANZCVS MRCVS and Dr Kate Allgood BVetMed CertAVP(SAM) MRCVS.
The practice says radioactive iodine therapy is the treatment of choice for hyperthyroid cats as it provides a permanent cure in up to 95% of cases.
It is administered by an iodine injection under the skin in a specialised unit by a trained vet and nurse.
The practice says a benefit of RI is that it treats ‘ectopic tissue’ that may be present outside of the thyroid gland, for example in the chest, which is not treated by surgical methods of thyroid removal.
Normal thyroid tissue is also spared, so that there is normal thyroid function post-treatment.
Though some blood tests need to be taken post-treatment, there is no need for ongoing blood samples and the monitoring of the thyroid function once successful treatment has occurred.
Elissa Norman, Clinical Director, who initially developed the idea for the iodine unit said: “The iodine unit first started as a scribble on a piece of paper and a dream of our team back in 2017 and it has taken a huge amount of dedication and effort from a large team of people to get to the point of opening in 2023.
"Radioactive iodine offers a lifetime cure for our hyperthyroid cats and we are delighted to be able to bring this service to the cats of East Anglia.”
To refer a cat patient, vets should email email@example.com.
VECCS was founded in 1974 to promote the advancement of knowledge and high standards of practice in veterinary emergency medicine and critical care.
To that end, it hosts a membership community, medical journal, monthly webinars, facility certification, wellness initiatives, a charitable arm and two annual educational conferences.
The two organisations are collaborating to raise awareness of Improve's Emergency Medicine and Surgery online learning programme.
Upon successful completion of the training and examinations, delegates can earn an ISVPS General Practitioner Certificate and a Postgraduate Certificate awarded by Harper Adams University.
Delegates cover 14 subjects and take part in three practical sessions under the guidance of specialists in preparation of real-life scenarios.
On completion, veterinary surgeons can earn 168 RACE-approved CE credits and also an ISVPS General Practitioner Certificate (GPCert) and Harper Adams Postgraduate Certificate (PgC).
Dr Charlotte French, Head of Business Development for the US at Improve Veterinary Education, said: “We are excited to partner with VECCS and to expand our global efforts in improving emergency medicine in practice.
"It is one of the most difficult areas that vets must tackle, so we are proud to be working together in building a strong foundation of knowledge so vets can approach these high-pressure situations with the right tools.”
The winning images were selected from nine finalists, shortlisted from hundreds of entries that were taken by vets, both in their professional and private lives.
And the winners are ...
Sophie said: “I was very surprised to win with my photo of a newborn calf standing next to me during the closing phases of surgery.
"I'm not that slow at suturing up, it’s just the calf was very alert and standing before I finished!
"For me this photo encapsulates the best parts of farm vetting: prompt decisions, safe handling, great outcomes, teamwork.
"I’m very proud to be a farm vet and exceptionally pleased this photo will be seen by current farm vets and hopefully will inspire future farm vets from all walks of life to pursue a veterinary career.”
Katherine, who is a third year Veterinary Medicine student at the Royal Veterinary College, said: “I'm absolutely delighted to have my photograph selected as the winner of the category, especially against such impressive entries.
"I was on a morning visit to a game reserve with a local vet in South Africa, when the sunrise highlighted the small oxpeckers on the backs of the giraffes, frantically flying to and fro.
"With the giraffe curiously watching us, I managed to capture the moment all three birds landed on its back, creating the image representing all creatures great and small.”
Sam Price said: "I took the image of my dog, Winnie, while on a campervan trip on the north coast of Ireland.
She loves nothing more than a beach day as you can see so I felt this was a fitting photo for the brief.
Thankfully there was a rare bout of sunshine on the day which made for some nice lighting and Winnie is pretty photogenic, which always helps!"
BVA President Malcolm Morley said: “The winning images stood out to us for many reasons, but we particularly liked how each one captured the essence of the category it was entered into; Sophie’s image of a c-section on a cow was so touching and really demonstrates the daily life of many of our valued farm vets; Katherine Edmondson’s photograph of the giraffe and red-billed oxpeckers was stunning but also truly embodied the All creatures great and small element; while Sam Price’s photo of Winnie the dog literally jumping for joy stole our hearts and genuinely made us all break out in smiles.
“Congratulations to all the winners, and also a huge well done to all the finalists as well, it was a really tough decision but you should be proud of the incredible photographs you entered and your talents.”
The new suite offers chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment facilities under one roof, including a linear accelerator (LINAC) which enables treatment of tumours previously considered untreatable.
Southfields has two full-time client-facing specialists in radiation oncology and two on-site, full-time double-boarded medical and radiation oncologists, along with dedicated radiotherapy technicians and therapeutic radiographers.
RCVS and European Specialist Sarah Mason, Southfield's lead in general oncology, said: “Southfields is already renowned as being the leader in cancer treatment for small animals in the UK and the opening of our dedicated oncology and radiotherapy suite takes patient care to an even higher level.”
To take part in the survey, which will take about ten minutes, visit: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RepRIPorVIP.
Everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a draw to win one of three £50 Amazon vouchers.
The House of Lords debate, which is being hosted by Professor The Lord Tress of Kinross, will take place on Wednesday, 21st June 2023.
Speakers will include Donal Murphy of NOAH, Rita Dingwall of the Federation f Independent Veterinary Practices and Paul Horwood, Country Head of Farm at IVC Evidensia.
Speakers at the event include Toby Trimble, founder of Trimble Productions and a Specialist in Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia, who will be advising on public speaking, Jonny Hughes, Diagnostic Imaging Specialist at Davies Veterinary Specialists, who will lead an interactive session reviewing radiographs from four real-life cases, and Emily Thomas, Specialist in Emergency and Critical Care at Dick White Referrals, who will appraise recent cases she has seen with her intern team.
Career experiences and advice will be shared by a live panel of current rotating interns.
In another session, residency programme directors from Linnaeus hospitals will offer their tips for successfully applying to a residency post.
Attendees will also be able to watch live sessions with interns and specialists performing diagnostics and procedures, including a laparoscopic spay at Eastcott and an echocardiographic exam at Anderson Moores.
Natasha Hetzel, Internship and Residency Manager at Linnaeus (pictured right), said: “This is the perfect opportunity to hear from peers who have completed a rotating internship, and watch live sessions showcasing the teaching that interns receive. Attendees will also receive support from experts on the internship application process, including a chance to book 1.1 sessions with internship directors for further advice.
“The event will also consider routes into residencies and becoming a specialist, as these are popular career routes for interns. However, an internship is also an excellent way to develop the skills and knowledge for a career in primary care.”
Attendees unable to join on the day can still register to watch the recorded sessions.
To register, visit: https://www.linnaeusgroup.co.uk/careers/internships/internships-explained.
Ms Wicksteed faced five charges.
The first charge concerned her conviction in May 2021, following a jury trial at Oxford Crown Court, for one count of theft and two counts of fraud for which she was sentenced to a two-year community order, including 150 hours of unpaid work, and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £2,800, £177.07 to Barclays Bank and £85 as a victims’ surcharge.
She admitted this charge at the outset of the RCVS Disciplinary Committee hearing.
The second charge concerned the allegation that, in October 2015, she was made subject to an ‘adult restorative disposal’ (‘ARD’) following thefts from Tesco Extra Stores.
This charge was found proven after Ms Wicksteed admitted in her evidence to the Committee that she had signed the ARD.
The third charge concerned the allegation that, in January 2018, she stole from a Debenhams department store and, in March that year, was given a formal police caution.
This charge was found proven by the Committee.
The fourth charge was that, in her annual renewal declarations made each year with the RCVS from 2016 through 2021, she had failed to declare the ARD and the caution.
However, under the Code of Professional Conduct, veterinary surgeons are not required to declare ARDs as they are not convictions, cautions or adverse findings.
Ms Wicksteed was therefore cleared of failing to declare her ARD.
Nevertheless, the Committee found that she had failed to declare her police caution in her annual renewal declarations.
The fifth charge was that in failing to make declarations upon renewing her registration, she was dishonest, misleading and had failed to take adequate steps to inform the College of the caution and the ARD.
The Committee found this charge proven in respect of the caution only and not the ARD.
The Committee then considered whether the first charge, which Ms Wicksteed admitted, rendered her unfit to practise, and whether the remaining charges that were found proven amounted to serious professional misconduct.
Judith Way, chairing the Committee and speaking on its behalf, said: “The Committee noted that the conviction concerned three elements of dishonesty: theft and two counts of fraud.
"It involved stealing from a junior colleague at work, and the fraudulent activity – the use of the colleague’s card - was carefully planned in that, when it was used, it was in respect of items which did not cumulatively cost in excess of £30 and therefore did not require knowledge of the card holder’s PIN.
"It was used twice in the Tesco Store. Between those times, Ms Wicksteed changed her appearance by taking off her coat and waited some 20 minutes.”
She added: “The Committee accepted the College’s argument that members of the public would find it abhorrent for a member of the profession to have acted in this way – stealing from a junior colleague a card held under a Power of Attorney for her brother, and spending money using that card, deliberately keeping each transaction under the contactless limit to try to conceal the conduct.
"Honesty and integrity is one of the five key principles which must be maintained by members of the profession.”
The Committee found that this charge alone rendered Ms Wicksteed unfit to practise veterinary surgery.
The Committee also found that the proven elements of the remaining charges amounted to serious professional misconduct, both individually and cumulatively.
The Committee then considered the sanction for Ms Wicksteed.
In terms of aggravating factors, the Committee considered that there was actual harm to a vulnerable person in the case of the conviction for theft and fraud, the misconduct and dishonesty it entailed was repeated, there were elements of premeditation in the conduct, there was inadequate insight shown into her behaviour, and there was wilful disregard of the College and its processes.
In terms of mitigation, the Committee considered supportive statements and character references from professional colleagues and clients and accepted that there was no actual or potential harm to animals, that Ms Wicksteed had a hitherto unblemished career as demonstrated by the references, and that there had been a significant lapse of time since some of the elements of the charges, albeit she had not declared them.
The Committee also accepted that Ms Wicksteed had suffered from ill-health, although had not seen evidence that directly connected her health with the dishonest behaviour.
Taking into account all the factors, the Committee decided that removal from the Register was the appropriate and proportionate sanction, referencing Ms Wicksteed’s breaches in relation to: serious departure from and reckless disregard for the professional behaviours set out in the Code of Professional Conduct; causing serious harm to the public and breach of trust; persistent and concealed dishonesty; and persistent lack of insight into the seriousness of her conduct.
The event is merging with the new northern VETcpd Congress to give attendees a broader range of CPD subjects.
In the wound management streams, which are for both nurses and vets, Shelly Jefferies (pictured right) will run a series of workshops on: ‘Wound preparation for optimum healing’, ‘Wound dressing selection’ and ‘Building a better bandage’.
On the first day of the lecture programme, Samantha Bell will be looking at various different aspects and considerations for wound management through all stages, from initial presentation and assessment of the traumatic wound patient, including lavage and debridement techniques, to selection of dressings for open wound management, to surgical closure.
Other speakers in the wound management stream will cover topics such as acute wound management in rabbits and other exotic species, coping with eye problems and what to do and what not to do after oral surgery to allow healing.
Alongside the wound management programme will be two streams for veterinary surgeons – open to nurses as well – with Dr David Williams (ophthalmology), Dr Bob Partridge (dentistry), Dr Molly Varga (rabbits and exotics), Dr Fergus Allerton (antibiotics and immune-mediated diseases), Professor John Innes (orthopaedics), Professor Jon Hall (small animal surgery), Dr Joanne Harris (cardiology), Dr Alison Hayes (oncology), Dr Samantha Lane small animal surgery), Dr Anita Patel (dermatology) and Angie Lloyd-Jones (ultrasound).
On day two, David Williams will conduct an interactive session on ethics in which he will present a series of cases and ask the audience to discuss what they would do in each.
There will also be a series of workshops on ultrasound, covering basic system controls and image optimisation, abdominal ultrasound assessment techniques, and other aspects.
Lastly, there will be a stream specifically for equine practitioners featuring Professor Michael Schramme of the University of Lyon, Dr Alison Talbot of the University of Liverpool, Dr Lesley Young from Newmarket, Dr Gemma Pearson from Edinburgh, David Green from the VDS and Philip Cramo of Hambleton Equine Clinic.
Accommodation is available in the Hilton Garden Inn on-site at £105 per night or £125 per night for double occupancy. This rate is available by emailing HGIreservations@doncaster-racecourse.co.uk, quoting VETcpd.
Early bird two day passes cost £285+VAT for veterinary surgeons and £195+VAT for veterinary nurses, with one day tickets also available.
Porus One contains renaltec, a selective absorber that absorbs the precursors of uraemic toxins in the cat’s intestine that would normally be removed or regulated by healthy kidneys, so that they may be safely excreted in the cat's faeces.
The product is presented as a powder which can be sprinkled on wet cat food, or given with Add One as a treat.
Dechra says it is well-accepted by cats due to its neutral taste and smell.
Add One is a moist and tasty cat treat developed to encourage cats that prefer dry food to eat Porus One.
It is available in two flavours: creamy salmon and tasty liver.
Add One contains omega-3 and a high moisture content to help support kidney health.
It also contains taurine to support a cat’s eyes and heart.
One box of Porus One contains 30 single-dose sachets, each containing 500mg of renaltec.
One box of Add One contains 30 single-dose 10mg sachets.
Movoflex contains eggshell membrane, hyaluronic acid, Astaxanthin, Boswellia serrata and krill meal, formulated to support joint health and help increase quality of life.
Virbac says that eggshell membrane, which has been shown to have an effect on mobility in dogs and humans1, contains a number of naturally occurring elements involved in joint structure and function, including collagen, glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate.
The company claims that one palatable Movoflex Soft Chew per day can lead to a perceived increase in mobility in 7 days 2, regardless of the activity levels or age of the dog.
This, the company says, compared to other supplements which can require multiple daily tablets to be given for up to six weeks before you start to see an effect.
Dan Johnson, Product Manager at Virbac said: ‘Movoflex Soft Chews offer pet owners an easy to give and reliable joint supplement, and as with all of Virbac’s joint health and mobility solutions, they are of the highest quality and developed based on science.’
Movoflex Soft Chews are available in Small (<15kg), Medium (15kg- 35kg) and Large Dog (35kg) packs, each containing 30 chews and are available to order from your usual veterinary wholesaler.
The aim of the survey is to provide a better understanding of the views, experiences and challenges faced by disabled and chronically ill people within the veterinary profession and provide an insight into how the profession and educational institutions can be more inclusive.
You do not have to be disabled or chronically ill to complete the survey, which will take you around 20 minutes to complete.
Claire Hodgson, director and co-founder of BVCIS, said: “Working in the veterinary professions with a chronic illness or disability can be hugely challenging, but there is currently a knowledge gap in terms of understanding exactly where the problems lie.
“A 2019 RCVS survey of the professions found that around 6.7% of vets and 7.4% of RVNs have a disability or medical condition that limits work that they can do, but the true figures are likely to be much higher.
"No reliable data for veterinary students currently exists.
“The purpose of this survey is to close that knowledge gap and help us understand how we can better support disabled and chronically ill people in the workplace and education to create a more inclusive working culture.\
“Those living with disability and chronic illness are often hugely resourceful and fantastic problem solvers because of the day-to-day challenges they have had to learn to overcome.
"They have a great deal to contribute to the sector, and it is important that they feel valued and respected and have access to the tools they need to thrive.
“Diversity makes the workforce stronger, so we are calling on as many different people as possible from across the veterinary community to complete our survey so that, together, we can help create a more inclusive workplace for all.”
The survey will be circulated by email to all RCVS registered veterinary surgeons in the near future.
Details will be circulated to students via their educational institutions.
The RCVS says all survey responses will be completely confidential, and results will only be analysed and reported at a level that does not allow identification of individuals in any way.
Completed surveys will not be seen by anyone at the RCVS or BVCIS – the IES will send through a report with key research findings to both the RCVS and BVCIS after the survey has closed.
Publishing Editor: Arlo Guthrie
Clinical Editor: Alasdair Hotston Moore MA VetMB CertSAC CertVR CertSAS FRCVS
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