The Society for Practising Veterinary Surgeons (SPVS) and the Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) have extended the deadline for this year's Vet Wellbeing Awards nominations to Friday 15 December 2017.

The awards, which were first launched last year, are open to UK practices, branch surgeries or other organisations who employ veterinary surgeons or nurses. They were created to highlight wellbeing in the veterinary profession and celebrate workplaces where:  

• health and happiness are valued;
• there are systems and initiatives that motivate;
• staff are engaged;
• communication is positive;
• there is commitment to being a better place to work.

The prize for each category includes two registrations and banquet tickets for SPVS/VPMA Congress 2018 where the winners will be announced to the media and will be available for interview.

Practices that are thinking about applying can now access a free five-minute Wellbeing Checklist that can help provide examples of some simple activities that can improve the health and wellbeing of the veterinary team.

Nick Stuart from SPVS said: "Taking five minutes to fill out the Wellbeing Checklist is a great way to get a sense of how your practice is doing, and to identify ways in which you could improve. Practices are often doing a lot more than they realise and the Checklist shows how even such small steps as a having a fruit bowl in the staff room, or having a five-minute huddle at the start of the day, can make a huge difference."

Lizzie Lockett, MMI Director, said: "Having a supportive and constructive culture is key not just for the welfare of the staff, but for the animals they take care of. It allows all members of the team to feel comfortable coming forward with questions, clarifications, or even mistakes, and can ultimately lead to  safer and more consistent care for patients."

Entries can be made now via the website www.vetwellbeingawards.org.uk, where the Wellbeing Checklist is also available.

The closing date for entries is Friday 15 December 2017. You can follow the awards on twitter @vetwellbeing and Facebook /vetwellbeingawards/.