Ronnie (pictured right) will look at quality control and artefacts of sample quality and review the effects of different pathologies. By examining analyser output, he'll demonstrate how abnormalities of cells and plasma may affect measured parameters and their indices.
Using images, photomicrographs and video links, he'll move onto explain the techniques and equipment needed to complement analytical automation in order to confirm results quality.
Ronnie said: "“We now have more near patient testing in veterinary haematology than ever before. Quality is key to best practice and ultimately superior patient care. Sod’s Law states that ‘if something can go wrong, it will!’, so along the way to your generating a Complete Blood Count, it pays to be aware of some of the pitfalls that you may encounter.
“One should never underestimate the value of gross exam and simple methods that can be used to ensure sample quality and results accuracy. Seeing is believing after all!”
There will also be an open Q&A session with Ronnie after the presentation, so attendees are invited to bring any questions on all things haematology.
To register for the webinar, visit: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2458623866746094093
Colin graduated from the RVC in 1992 and has worked as a clinical veterinary surgeon in a variety of first opinion practices and referral centres. He trained as a veterinary anaesthetist at Bristol and Cambridge Universities before moving into the pharmaceutical industry, gaining experience in drug development and technical support, and pre- and post-marketing, at a number of companies.
Colin said: “Animalcare is introducing a number of new and innovative medicines, such as Daxocox, its weekly NSAID to reduce breakthrough pain in dogs with osteoarthritis, to the veterinary sector. This makes it an exciting environment in which to provide technical support.
“I’m looking forward to exploring how my experience can be most useful in supporting Animalcare’s expansion and, more importantly, ensuring that the company’s customers receive the guidance and advice they need to optimise the effectiveness of Animalcare’s product range in treating their patients.”
For technical support, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rob Chapman, MD of the event organiser, CloserStill Media, said: "The London Vet Show in 2019 was the last major in-person event pre-Covid-19 pandemic
“We are delighted to be gathering once more. We had more tickets booked this September than any other year which has reinforced that there’s a real desire amongst the veterinary community to get back together and that confidence in events is returning.
"Our team is busy putting the final touches in place – including our new Covid-safety features, our speakers are excited to present to live audiences again, the delegates are making plans to see old friends. And, very importantly, our exhibitors are busy organising fantastic giveaways and getting stock ready. There has been so much fantastic R&D in the veterinary sector over the past two years and vet professionals will get to try it out first at the London Vet Show.”
BVA Senior Vice President, James Russell, said: “The London Vet Show is a highlight of the CPD and social calendar. The range of lectures we have on means there’s something for everybody – whether it’s clinical, non-clinical, BVA Congress or our career development stream. But the opportunity to see each other again after two years is something which I am so excited about.
"I know that there will be some people feeling nervous about the idea of coming together again. But one of the tremendous privileges I’ve had during the past year is being in London and watching it slowly unlock. I have to say that my recent experiences of being out and about in London make me feel very safe here.
"I do recognise that different people are at different points on their journey with that, but I hope that everyone finds a way of getting to the London Vet Show in a way they feel comfortable with. CloserStill have put in measures when we are there that will make us feel as safe and as comfortable as we can do.”
Professor Jill Maddison, who programmes the Royal Veterinary College Clinical’s small animal streams, said: “After almost two years I am beyond excited that we will be back together again at the London Vet Show. As usual we have a great line up of speakers from abroad, the RVC and around the UK who will deliver lectures covering many different aspects of clinical practice.
"I hope that whatever sessions you attend and whatever exhibits you visit at the 12th LVS you will find something to interest, intrigue and inspire you that you can take back to your practice to enhance the welfare of your patients and clients, your team and of course, yourself.”
Rob added: “We also have some fantastic new and returning features in store for delegates. For example, I’m delighted to announce the return of the popular Community Masterminds where online peers can meet in person and discuss topics that matter most to them.
"We are also hosting our very first Very Happy Hour on the exhibition floor from 5.30-6.45 pm on Day 1 where there will be drinks available for everyone to enjoy in a relaxed, spread-out fashion to celebrate being back together again.”
“We do ask that delegates planning on attending pre-register so we can best lay out the event and cater for the audience in a Covid-secure manner.”
One day and two-day tickets are available now. Register before Friday, 22nd October to receive your badge in the post. You can book at: https://london.vetshow.com/, call +44 (0)2476 719 687.
The interviews give an insight into the career advice the interviewees got from their school, what steps they took to secure their place to study for their qualification, what hurdles they had to overcome and what can be done to address issues around the under-representation of some groups within the profession.
The College says the aim is to help inspire school age children to consider a veterinary career through frank conversations with role models who have chosen a vet or vet nursing career.
The first film is an interview with Rheanna Ellis, a 2021 Nottingham Vet School graduate who is now working as a veterinary surgeon at a West Midlands practice. In her interview she talks about her passion to become a vet from a young age, how she went about researching and preparing for her job, and the importance of perseverance.
To help promote the videos and the College’s ongoing work on diversity and inclusion, the RCVS has partnered with the official Black History Month campaign and website which will also be hosting the videos.
Many of the interviews have been carried out by Mandisa Greene, RCVS Senior Vice-President, who helped lead the RCVS Black History Month activities last year as the College’s first ever black President.
Mandisa said: “It’s important that we demonstrate commitment to diversity and inclusion and have a role in acknowledging and accentuating diverse voices within the professions. Throughout these video interviews I’ve had the opportunity to speak to some inspiring newly qualified and student veterinary professionals who are all clearly very passionate about supporting animal health and welfare.
“I hope that school children from all backgrounds who watch these videos will get the chance to see how rewarding and enjoyable a veterinary career can be and that they’ll be inspired to consider becoming a vet or vet nurse in the future.”
The RCVS will be publishing more video interviews on its YouTube channel through October and beyond.
A graduate of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece Johnny went on to spend three years working as a general practitioner in England before starting a rotating internship at Queen’s Veterinary School Hospital, University of Cambridge.
Following a residency in Neurology and Neurosurgery at the Royal Veterinary College he was awarded the Diploma of the European College of Veterinary Neurology (ECVN) in 2014 and joined Davies in the same year.
Johnny has been Chairperson of the Education Committee of the ECVN College since 2018, has been the main author and co-author of numerous publications and regularly lectures in the UK and abroad.
Johnny said: “I am delighted to have been appointed to lead Davies’ neurology team to continue to build on the excellent reputation that we have established in neurology and neurosurgery over the past decade. Specialist and supportive care for neurological patients is paramount and we take pride in treating our patients as if they were our own pets.”
Louise is an RCVS and EBVS European Specialist in Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia, and a Past President of the Pain Medicine Section Council at the Royal Society of Medicine. She has also been an invited examiner on the European Diploma examination and a Treasurer of the Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists. She has headed the anaesthesia team at Davies since 2007.
Her tips are:
Alasdair qualified from Cambridge in 1990. After graduation, he joined Bristol Vet School, first as an intern and then as a resident. He then became a Lecturer and Senior Clinical Fellow in small animal surgery at Langford from 1997 to 2009. He was also the Programme Director of the veterinary nursing degree and led years 3-5 of the BVSc programme.
He then moved to private practice, becoming Head of Referral Surgery at Bath Vet Referrals, and then Group Veterinary Advisor and member of the Clinical Advisory Board when it was acquired by IVC, after which he moved to Vale Referrals.
He received his Fellowship for Contributions to Clinical Practice in 2017 and is an Advanced Practitioner in Small Animal Surgery.
Alasdair will mainly be helping to develop Brains & Drains, a new library of peer-reviewed clinical demonstrations published on YouTube for the benefit of practitioners around the world. He’ll also be helping to steer the development of other content on VetSurgeon.org and VetNurse.co.uk
Publishing Editor Arlo Guthrie said: “Alasdair and I first collaborated nine years ago to make a film called: Total Ear Canal Ablation and Lateral Bulla Osteotomy. Who’d have that would be such a box office hit, with over 90,000 views on Facebook!
“Now we’re stepping up production, both by filming our own content and inviting all vets and nurses to film demonstrations themselves and submit them for peer review.”
Arlo added: “In recent years, there's been an explosion in the number of social media groups for the veterinary profession, primarily on Facebook and Instagram, which has led to a real fragmentation. It’s as yet unclear whether that'll always be the case. Certainly young people are already migrating elsewhere, both because it’s not very hip to be on the same platform as your parents, and also a growing awareness of some of the harms of Facebook on mental health."
“Either way, with so much fragmentation, it is clear we need to offer more by way of quality content on VetSurgeon.org than we have in the past, and I’m really excited to be working alongside Alasdair to do just that, so that whatever the ups and downs of other social media, VetSurgeon and VetNurse remain reliable, transparent places for good quality information sharing.”
The hands-on course, which is worth 7 CPD hours, has been organised by Dr Nicola M Parry, Recognised Specialist in Pathology at the University of Surrey School of Veterinary Medicine. It will combine lectures, practicals, and a Q&A session to enable delegates to carry out a post-mortem, identify common (and not so common) pathologies, and draw conclusions about the cause of death.
The morning lectures will provide an overview of techniques that focus on how to approach the post-mortem examination of the adult horse and the foetus/foal, as well as how to examine the placenta. Potential findings will be discussed as well as some pitfalls to avoid during the post-mortem examination, and how to optimise sample submission. The lectures will be recorded, enabling sessions to be reviewed later.
Delegates will spend the afternoon in the post-mortem room, examining macroscopic specimens and learning practical approaches to a post-mortem examination in the field, and the collection of key specimens. The day will close with a Q&A session.
Speakers Dr Fabio Del Piero from the Louisiana State University and Dr Marvin J Firth from the University of Surrey will help delegates to:
Sarah Gaspar, the Learning Manager at BEVA said: “If you have ever been called out to a dead horse to find a distraught owner and not been sure how to identify the cause, this course is for you. We can’t remember any course ever having been run on this topic in the UK before; it is likely to be very popular so be quick to book.”
To find out more and to book click here: https://www.beva.org.uk/Education/CPD/Event-Details/eventDateId/1582
Under the direction of Hilary Jackson and Rosanna Marsella, the manual has been revised and updated to provide a resource focused on the clinically relevant aspects of dermatological diseases. It also includes several new chapters and various sections have been expanded.
This new edition keeps the same format as the third edition. The initial chapters review the basic structure and function of the skin, discuss a logical approach to history-taking and outline the core investigative tests that can be performed. A separate chapter on skin cytology has been added to this edition, providing information on common skin diseases which the association says should be useful to all practitioners.
The introductory section is followed by chapters taking a problem-oriented approach to common dermatological conditions, including papules and pustules, scaling, and erosions and ulcerations. The chapters on pyoderma, ear disease and atopic dermatitis have been expanded and there are two new chapters dedicated to feline dermatological conditions.
A chapter covering the indications for allergy testing and the use of allergen-specific immunotherapy is also new to this edition. The main purpose of an allergy test is to confirm the clinical diagnosis of atopic disease and to identify the relevant allergens, which can then be selected for allergen-specific immunotherapy.
The final section of the manual focuses on the major skin diseases encountered in dogs and cats, and includes a chapter on topical treatments, which have an increasingly important role in the management of small animal dermatology patients, either as a sole therapy or as part of a multimodal treatment regime.
The BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Dermatology is available as a print edition (£90; £60 to BSAVA members), which can be bought at the BSAVA online shop, and a digital edition (£90; £60 to BSAVA members), accessible via the BSAVA Library.
For the study, researchers reviewed more than three million medical records from Banfield Pet Hospital across 60 breeds of dogs in the United States, finding that periodontal disease (both gingivitis and periodontitis) occurred in 18.2% of dogs overall (517,113 cases).
The authors say that while the true prevalence of periodontal disease (44-100% of cases) is only realised through in-depth clinical investigation, the figure reported in this study was consistent with other research based on conscious oral examinations.
When the authors reviewed the data by dog size, they found that extra-small breeds (<6.5 kg/14.3 lbs) were up to five times more likely to be diagnosed with periodontal disease than giant breeds (>25 kg/55 lbs)(P <0.0001).
Additional risk factors for periodontal disease seen in the study included a dog’s age, being overweight and time since last scale and polish.
Dr Corrin Wallis, Microbiome Workstream Leader at the Waltham Petcare Science Institute said: "This is not the first study suggesting that smaller dogs are more likely to have dental problems than larger dogs, but many of the earlier studies looked at a relatively small number of dogs".
The five breeds with the highest prevalence of periodontal disease found in the study were the large Greyhound (38.7%), the medium-small Shetland Sheepdog (30.6%), and the extra-small Papillon (29.7%), Toy Poodle (28.9%), and Miniature Poodle (28.2%). Giant breed dogs (such as the Great Dane and Saint Bernard) were among the lowest breed prevalence estimates.
The authors say there are several potential reasons why smaller dogs are more likely to develop dental issues than larger dogs. For example, smaller dogs may have proportionally larger teeth, which can lead to tooth overcrowding and increased build-up of plaque leading to inflammation of gums. Smaller dogs also have less alveolar bone (the bone that contains tooth sockets) compared to their relatively large teeth.
Corrin added: "Regardless of the reasons that smaller dogs have increased risk for periodontal disease, knowing the true magnitude of the risk across breeds is an important step in providing quality care for all dogs, both in the veterinarian’s office and at home.
With Vetscan Imagyst, samples are prepared in-clinic using traditional methods, but submitted digitally, rather than sending physical slides to a laboratory. In this way, results are available in hours, allowing vets to offer same-day diagnosis and treatment.
The company says the new digital cytology application offers fast, accurate reviews of common cytology specimens, such as fine-needle aspirates,
Jamie Brannan, President International Operations, Zoetis said: "Veterinarians have told us that Vetscan Imagyst technology helps them make better informed decisions in a more transparent way for pet owners. With the cytology feature, Vetscan Imagyst will now offer one platform for multiple tests.”
He added: “We are excited to build on the incredible momentum that began with the AI fecal analysis launch. Vetscan Imagyst has been a significant part of the Zoetis portfolio and continues to evolve to meet diagnostic needs in practices around the world. The unique all-in-one technology has added immense value to veterinary clinics, facilitating fast, more accurate results, leading to quicker diagnoses and decisions that ultimately strengthen the bond of trust between veterinarians and their clients.”
For more information, contact your Zoetis representative or visit www.vetscanimagyst.com
The findings will be published in a freely-available and independently-authored report.
Jane Balmain, Chief Operating Officer at Vets4Pets (pictured right), said: “The last 18 months have been indescribably tough for everyone, not least the veterinary practice teams. Soaring levels of pet ownership coupled with recruitment challenges have meant that an already-stretched profession has been almost brought to its knees.
"As a profession, you’ve always put pets first. But now it’s time to also concentrate on you - the vets, nurses and support teams that make up our beloved sector. We want to hear how you’re feeling and give you the power to help us make change.
“By launching this sector-wide survey, we’re kick-starting a vital conversation to protect the wellbeing of vet teams and the future of the profession. We believe that, by sharing experiences openly and honestly from all corners of the sector, we can come together to bring about the much-needed changes to ensure it remains an attractive, long-term career option.”
The survey, which runs until 16th November 2021, can be completed at www.projectlisten.co.uk. Respondents will remain anonymous and no data will be collected via the survey.
The project was launched as a joint initiative between the RCVS and the BVNA in 2016. Its objectives included highlighting veterinary nursing as a career, encouraging more people into veterinary nursing, improving retention, expanding the scope of the VN role, and providing more opportunity for career progression.
The report begins by highlighting perhaps the biggest challenge facing the profession, that in 2019, 25% of veterinary nurses said they plan to leave the profession in the next five years, largely because of poor pay, because they don't feel sufficiently valued, lack of career opportunities and because of a poor work/life balance.
The main achievements of the project, which should certainly help with some of these issues, include:
Jill Macdonald, VN Futures Project Coordinator, said: "The report is a culmination of years of hard work, putting in place measures to champion the veterinary nursing profession and safeguard it for the future. Through the introduction of initiatives like the School Ambassador Development Programme and the introduction of the CertAVN, to name but a few, we have put in place steps to inspire the next generation of veterinary nurses and support the training and development of people currently working in the profession."
You can read the full VN Futures Interim Report at https://www.vnfutures.org.uk/resource-items/vn-futures-interim-report-2021
The award categories that someone can be nominated for are:
The closing date for the awards is Friday, 7 January 2022.
For more information, visit www.rcvs.org.uk/awards.
The book, titled Health and Welfare of Brachycephalic Breeds: A Guide for Veterinary Professionals, includes contributions from 29 internationally recognised experts on a wide range of aspects related to brachycephalic health.
The authors say that dogs in particular are now suffering from a ‘perfect storm’ because the welfare harms from conformation-related predispositions to several health issues are being amplified by a population boom for certain brachycephalic breeds, such as the French Bulldog, Pug and English Bulldog.
Although flat-faced dog breeds were invented by man over a century ago, they are currently rising rapidly in popularity. From 2000 to 2020, Kennel Club registrations for English bulldogs rose by 488%, for pugs by 601% and a staggering 17,198% for French bulldogs, breeds which have been shown to be predisposed to things like corneal ulceration, difficulty giving birth, slipping kneecap, dry eye, upper respiratory tract disorders and heatstroke.
The book provides the context of how and why we are in this flat-faced animal crisis, offering in-depth historical, social, ethical, communication, nursing, welfare, epidemiological, genetics and international perspectives. It also provides clinical support, covering the background, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the unique healthcare needs of flat-faced (brachycephalic) animals.
Rowena Packer, Lecturer in Companion Animal Behaviour and Welfare Science said: “We hope this book helps veterinary and animal professionals globally, who are faced with the often challenging task of protecting the welfare of brachycephalic animals. Most importantly, we hope this book is another step towards improving the lives of so many animals who have been impaired by the body shape they have been bred for.”
The book is available as an ebook, paperback or hardback, priced from £35.99 to £88.99: https://www.routledge.com/Health-and-Welfare-of-Brachycephalic-Flat-faced-Companion-Animals-A-Complete/Packer-ONeill/p/book/9780367207243
Eggshell membrane is rich in proteins and contains collagen type I, hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulphate and glucosamine. Virbac says the components of eggshell membrane help to limit inflammatory processes that occur in osteoarthritis and preserve the existing cartilage structure whilst promoting synthesis. The company points to a study which showed that eggshell membrane contributes to a reduction in pain perception by 25%, improved joint function by 33% and increased quality of life by 35% within 6 weeks1.
Rémi Mandray, Product Manager at Virbac said: "I am delighted to be able to introduce this innovative new ingredient to the Veterinary HPM Joint & Mobility Clinical Diet. This is an addition to an already very comprehensive approach to nutrition in dogs with osteoarthritis, which affects 20% of the adult canine population2. Studies have shown that improvement on mobility is visible as quickly as 2 weeks after diet introduction3 – changing their diet truly can change their life!’
For more information contact your Virbac Territory Manager.
The research was carried out by the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine Center for Outcomes Research and Epidemiology, Holland Management Services, Zoetis and the Pet Insight Project team at Kinship (part of Mars Petcare).
For the study, researchers recorded pet scratching activity use Whistle canine activity trackers. They then compared that information with the visual observations of 358 pet owners who graded the severity of their pet’s scratching activity on a scale from 0, which represents a normal dog (“itching is not a problem for my dog”) to 100, corresponding to extreme itching (“itching disrupts my dog’s sleep, eating, play and exercise”).
The researchers found that measurements of scratching severity determined by the Whistle activity tracker corresponded to the owner’s overall impression of the pet’s pruritus, or itch, level. As scratching severity increased, as measured by the Whistle device, owner’s assessment scores significantly increased as well (P < 0.01).
Aletha Carson DVM, Data and Clinical Studies Senior Manager for Kinship said: “Pet owners can overlook the subtle changes in behaviour that may be a warning sign for an underlying issue and are often too late to recognise their beloved companion is suffering.
“This new method of analysing pet behaviours provides pet owners with an ‘always-on’ monitor that may be helpful in keeping their dogs healthy and happy.
“It may also prove to be quite useful for veterinarians who need an objective way to gauge a pet’s response to prescribed therapies used to reduce inflammation and scratching without requiring time-intensive monitoring from the owner.”
Details of the research were shared at the European Veterinary Dermatology Congress on September 17, 2021.
Dr Natalie Marks DVM CVJ will present "Meeting the expectations of the new generation of pet owners. Let’s go digital!" and Dr Sarah Heath RCVS & EBVS European Veterinary Specialist in Behavioural Medicine will talk about "Approaching dermatology cases with behaviour in mind".
Natalie's presentation will focus on what the millennial generation of pet owners expect from interactions with their vets and how clinicians need to dig deep to understand how these client groups process information. The talk will demonstrate the benefits of new digital technologies for communication and treatment follow ups, focusing on digital tools to meet client expectations and help the veterinary team offer the best advice.
Sarah's presentation will offer hands-on tips for everyday dermatology work in practice, focusing on the importance of considering emotional health when investigating and treating dermatology patients. She will also discuss the links between emotional state and dermatological disease.
There will also be live studio discussions with vets and nurses including Emma Lindbland Åström DVM, Kerstin Bergvall Diplomate DVM and Cecilia Friberg Diplomate DVM from Sweden. These discussions will focus on communication with pet owners and how the veterinary team copes with the many challenges that occur, especially when it comes to detailed dermatology treatments. Emma will be joined in the studio by a dog owner who will provide owner insights.
Andrew Fullerton BVSc (Hons) MRCVS, product manager at Ceva Animal Health, said: “Today’s pet owners are often millennials who embrace their new family member with huge enthusiasm, however they often have very different expectations than those of previous generations because they can easily access a wealth of pet health information online.
"The Ceva Derma Day will address this by providing online delegates with extensive information on what makes millennials tick and offer proactive communication tools to strengthen vet/client relationships.”
To register for Ceva Derma Day visit: https://ceva-derma-day-2021.confetti.events
The event will count for four hours CPD. Delegates who pre-register in advance will be issued with a certificate and be able to watch a recording of the sessions afterwards. Those who don't, won't.
The award, introduced in 2020 and supported by animal health company Krka UK, recognises an exceptional farm vet who has been working in the dairy industry for three to five years and who has contributed significantly to the health and wellbeing of herds under their care.
The winner of the first award, in 2021, was Rob Hall from LLM Farm Vets in Shropshire. He said: "The sustainability of the dairy industry will remain in the spotlight for decades to come with young vets in a great position to work with dairy farmers of the future to improve the efficiency of their herds. This can be achieved, for instance, by improving nutrition, genetics and housing; by helping farmers to reduce antibiotics or wormers; and by reducing the detrimental effects of disease.”
He added: “As vets start their post-university careers, they face a steep learning curve. Dairy vets, in particular, have a huge arsenal of practical skills to hone, as well as trying to forge relationships with farmers and colleagues. It can be tricky to strike the right balance, while finding time to pursue their own interests to keep work interesting. I’ve been lucky at LLM to have had the opportunity to work with a great team and engaged farmers. This has enabled me to pick up the basics, as well as being able to delve deeper into the aspects of farming which interest me most. I’m extremely grateful to The Cream Awards for recognising this and to KRKA for its support of the Young Dairy Vet Award.”
Charlotte Read (pictured right), Krka Key Account Manager – Farm, added: “Krka is proud to support the recognition of rising stars within the dairy veterinary profession and hope that their achievements will inspire many of the next generation of veterinary surgeons to embrace the rewarding life of the farm vet.”
Full details of all of the CREAM Awards and the nomination process is available at: https://creamawards.uk
The new structure means that all 99 members of Pennard Vets' team, who work across six sites in Kent, are now practice owners and shareholders in the business. This, says the practice, will protect it's independence and 125-year-old core values.
The group celebrated the completion of the employee ownership trust earlier this month at a summer family BBQ and party held at Hadlow Manor Hotel in Tonbridge.
Pennard Vets’ three previous sole directors, comprising of Matthew Flann, Caroline Collins and Andy Green, all worked as vets at the practice for several years before becoming part of the leadership team in 2007, and the trio will all continue to work in the business following the EOT transfer.
Andy said: “Pennard Vets is a special practice that has been a part of the fabric of the local community for 125 years and we want to be here in another 125 years. At a time when many other practices are being taken over by large corporate organisations, we knew that the EOT was the right way to guarantee an independent future for our 99 team members. Although we received plenty of interest and offers from the corporates, it was important to remain true to ourselves and our values.
“It is increasingly difficult for vets to buy into independent practices and the traditional partner progression model no longer works, so after exploring various possibilities, it became clear that the EOT option was ideal for us and protects everything that we stand for.
“Crucially, it also means Pennard Vets won’t be taken over and gives everyone in our team both autonomy and a voice, as well as safeguarding our fundamental core values that are built around compassion, client focus and continually improving everything we do. There’s no doubt this will further enhance the high standard of care that our clients enjoy and is also helping us to grow our team and attract new talent.
“As we expand our practice across Kent, we’re recruiting both vets and nurses. Every new team member becomes an employee owner and can influence the decisions we make for the future of our practice. Our people are helping to shape our employee benefits scheme and influence how we reinvest profits in a forward-thinking practice, that will remain independent. This is proving very attractive to new members of the team, which makes it a really exciting and rewarding time for us.”
Newly appointed vet, Emma Ball, has become one of the first new recruits to benefit from the EOT model after joining the group’s Sevenoaks practice. Emma said: “I initially did work experience at Pennard Vets eight years ago and immediately felt like part of the family. Everyone took the time to make sure I learnt as much as possible, so when I was offered this role, it was an easy decision for me.
“Coming back to the practice has been a fantastic experience and to benefit from the EOT is the icing on the cake. Although lots of people dream of owning their own practice, it’s a very difficult thing to achieve. However, now we’re all stakeholders in the business, it has made our team spirit even stronger and means everyone makes even more effort to make Pennard Vets successful and ensure clients always enjoy the very best level of care.”
Last year Petplan received over 31,000 nominations across the five award categories: Practice of the Year, Vet of the Year, Vet Nurse of the Year, Practice Manager of the Year and Practice Support Staff of the Year.
The awards are judged by an independent panel which narrows the field to three finalists in each category, who are then invited to attend the awards ceremony.
The judges are looking for examples of exceptional levels of animal care, building and sustaining great relationships with colleagues and pet owners, and those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty.
James Barnes, Head of Sales & Partnerships at Petplan, said: “The Petplan Veterinary Awards provide the perfect opportunity to say thank you for the exceptional work carried out by members of the veterinary profession, whatever their field and wherever they’re based. The Petplan Vet Awards provide a great opportunity for both clients and colleagues to recognise the dedication and talent of veterinary professionals, teams and practices, right across the UK and say a particular thank you to those who have kept up the exceptional level of care even in the midst of a global crisis."
To nominate a colleague or your practice, visit www.petplan.co.uk before nominations close on 10th January 2022.
Zoë, who joined Davies in October 2020, was formerly a Senior Lecturer in Small Animal Surgery and Head of Soft Tissue Surgery at the RVC. She holds RCVS Certificates in Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging and Small Animal Surgery and is a Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons.
Zoë is also a champion of sustainability: she completed the Cambridge Institute of Sustainable Leadership course and was appointed chair of the Vet Sustain working group to coordinate sustainability collaborations amongst veterinary professionals and societies. As a member of Vet Sustain’s curriculum working group Zoë is actively involved with supporting sustainability initiatives at UK veterinary schools and she continues to work with the RVC in a number of capacities.
She said: “I am honoured to have been awarded a fellowship and proud to join numerous outstanding colleagues who have already achieved this status.”
Tim Richardson, Managing Director of Davies said: “We are all extremely proud that Zoë’s outstanding knowledge, experience and contributions to clinical practice have been recognised at the highest level with the award of a Fellowship and we feel very privileged to have her here on the team at Davies.”
BSAVA’s new Congress Programme Committee Chair, Paul Higgs MRCVS (pictured right) said: "The new venue provides an opportunity to really shake up the content. It’s the first time BSAVA Congress delegates will have met in two years and we want to deliver an unforgettable experience."
"We’ve thought long and hard about what delegates want and need, as well as the way people like to learn, integrating those approaches within the programme. Delegates will find few long-format lectures, instead there will be lots of opportunities to participate, to discuss, to do and to experience."
He added: “For general practice vets and nurses, we’re offering an immersive experience designed to support the skills required in first opinion practice yet rarely provided in a lecture alone. And while the CPD will provide ample opportunity to learn about the clinical aspects, delegates will also have the opportunity to immerse themselves in true-to-life case management events in a dedicated space to help reflect those paraprofessional skills that are so critical to first opinion practice.”
Delegates will also be able to drop-in to practical sessions and perfect a technique such as undertaking cytological examination, reading radiographs and performing endoscopy in as little as 15 minutes. For the first time, the practical sessions will be included within the ticket price.
BSAVA will also be giving delegates the opportunity to meet and pick the brains of the speakers in a dedicated space in the exhibition during lecture breaks.
Although some sessions will be more aligned to veterinary nurses, all sessions will be open to both vets and nurses. Paul said: "Nurses are increasingly looking for opportunities to expand their knowledge, horizons and skillsets, while many vets want to, and would benefit from, learning from our excellent nurses. The programme will reflect this."
The BSAVA Programme Committee is also going to incorporate practice management within the programme. Paul said: "Vets and nurses aren’t isolated from the fact practices are businesses and the decisions they make have a financial impact."
“Everyone in the profession has something to give and BSAVA Congress 2022 is a chance for everyone to come together to hear people you’ve never heard before, see things you’ve never seen and do things you’ve never done."
Tickets will be on sale late October. To find out more visit: https://www.bsavaevents.com/bsavacongress2022/en/page/home.
The work done by vetsurgeon.org and vetnurse.co.uk attempted to identify the sorts of unpleasant behaviour that veterinary surgeons and and nurses found themselves on the receiving end of, and the impact that it had on them. It was not, however, able to quantify the prevalence of these types of behaviour other than to the extent that there were 677 reports.
The new survey of over 650 vet nurses and student vet nurses found that not only did 96% agree or strongly agree that bullying and incivility is a serious problem in the profession, but 70% of respondents had personally experienced a mental health concern as a result.
Other findings from the survey were:
The full findings of the survey will be revealed at the MMI Student Veterinary Nurse Wellbeing Discussion Forum, taking place on Wednesday 3rd November.
Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss the challenges highlighted in the survey and how they can be addressed. The results will also be published at a session led by Jill McDonald, VN Futures Project Coordinator at BVNA Congress, taking place Saturday 2nd – Monday 4th October.
Lisa Quigley, Mind Matters Initiative Manager, said: “A number of our survey findings are extremely concerning, particularly the high levels of bullying, incivility and discrimination reported by participants. We conducted the survey with the intention of finding out more about what systemic issues across workplace practices were impacting on the profession’s mental health.
"We want to thank everyone who took part and shared their experiences with us. There were some upsetting accounts shared with us about experiences of bullying and discrimination – no one should go through this at any point in their life, let alone at their place of work.
"Decisive action needs to be taken to tackle this and we will be using the findings of the survey to help form our 2022-2027 strategy and decide what resources and training we create for the profession. Supporting the wellbeing of veterinary nurses and student veterinary nurses is one of our key priorities, and will be part of all future MMI activities.”
“I would encourage as many veterinary nurses and student veterinary nurses as possible to attend the upcoming Student Veterinary Nurse Wellbeing Discussion Forum and our session at BVNA to have your voice heard about what steps need to be taken to improve the mental wellbeing of the profession.
"We recognise that these results may bring some difficult emotions to the fore for many people, and we would encourage anyone who has experienced bullying or discrimination to seek help from an organisation such as Vetlife or the National Bullying Helpline.
"I would urge anyone who witnesses bullying or discrimination in the workplace to speak out, wherever it is safe to do so. This takes immense courage, but it is only by calling out this behaviour that it can begin to be addressed. We will be launching Active Bystander training in early 2022, to equip people with the confidence to call out unacceptable behaviour, and the skills to proactively support colleagues who have been targeted.”
Matthew Rendle, Chair of the RCVS Veterinary Nurses Council, added: “As a veterinary nurse some of these results were a difficult read and I would like to thank those student vet nurses and newly qualified vet nurses who came forward with great honesty and bravery with their views and experiences, as it couldn’t have been easy.
“We take these matters very seriously and opening up the conversation is an important first step. I hope that, following these results, we can take look at things such as strengthening reporting mechanisms for bullying and discrimination and encouraging better workplace practices to mitigate against these incidents.
“While it’s easy to focus on the negatives, I do think that these survey results have given us positive steps to build on, not least that people know how to access mental health support so they’re not suffering in silence and the role that our amazing clinical coaches are playing in supporting people with their mental health, and how we can better give them the tools for this support.”
The meeting follows growing concerns expressed both within the profession and in the national media about the shortage of veterinary surgeons in the UK.
Lizzie Lockett, RCVS CEO (pictured right), said: “Workforce shortages within the veterinary sector has been a concern for some time, however, in the past few months there has been a ‘perfect storm’ of circumstances, which have come together to exacerbate the problem. The issues include the ongoing impact of the pandemic, burnout and fatigue within the profession; the UK’s exit from the European Union, which has seen a significant reduction in the number of EU vets joining the Register as well as an associated increase in the need for veterinary certification; and an increase in pet ownership, and therefore demand for veterinary services, over the course of the pandemic."
In advance of the meeting, which is due to be help in November, the College will be conducting research to better gauge the extent of the problem both nationally and regionally.
The meeting will then consider how recruitment, retention and return to work might address the problem.
Lizzie added: “While there has already been a lot of focus and discussions around recruitment and retention, something less spoken about is return, and the summit will consider the reasons why members of the profession may move away from clinical practice, and if there’s more scope for different ways of working that could bring people back into clinical practice.
“Ahead of the summit we will be reviewing all the latest data that we and other organisations have shared to better understand the gap between capacity and demand, the push and pull factors on decisions to either join or leave clinical practice and build a more evidence-based picture of veterinary workforce trends.”
The summit itself, the date of which is yet to be confirmed, will involve key veterinary stakeholders including the veterinary schools, veterinary employers and representative bodies, coming together to ensure that there will be a joined-up approach in finding solutions to the issues confronting the profession.
Lizzie said: “It may not necessarily be easy to identify all the solutions in one day, and they won’t all come from the RCVS, but opening up the conversation and getting the professions focused on taking appropriate action is an important first step.”
Meanwhile, RCVS President Kate Richards this week wrote to all vets and nurses to reassure them them that the RCVS was aware of the problem and the additional pressures they are under as a result.
In the letter she wrote: “In the face of current shortages, I would like to stress that we support practice teams in prioritising cases strictly according to the health and welfare needs of their patients, and in informing their clients of the need to do so.
“We would also urge veterinary surgeons to share their caseload as much as possible, delegating permitted procedures to their veterinary nurse colleagues wherever appropriate to do so.
"And, we would like to remind veterinary surgeons that their current 24/7 emergency cover obligations, as set out in the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct, are limited only to taking steps to provide 24-hour emergency first-aid and pain relief to animals according to their skills and the specific situation."
She also added that, while members of the profession may be anxious about a potential increase in the number of concerns being raised by clients because they are not able to offer the level of service they would ideally like to, the RCVS would always take into account the entire circumstances surrounding a complaint as part of its investigation process.
She also said that the College would also continue to raise awareness amongst animal owners of the acute challenges currently facing veterinary teams around the country, and to request their ongoing patience and understanding.
To assist the profession, a series of FAQs have been produced to help with different situations that vets may encounter at the moment, particularly around the provision of 24/7 emergency cover, and to provide further guidance on delegating procedures to veterinary nurses. These can be found at: www.rcvs.org.uk/news-and-views/news/
Publishing Editor: Arlo Guthrie
Clinical Editor: Alasdair Hotston Moore MA VetMB CertSAC CertVR CertSAS FRCVS
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