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 vetnurse.co.uk and vetsurgeon.org 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/
The researchers hope that the study will help to increase a veterinary surgeon’s index of suspicion of a particular liver disease, particularly if a biopsy-confirmed diagnosis is not possible.
In the study titled “Histopathological frequency of canine hepatobiliary disease in the United Kingdom”, histopathology reports from canine liver tissues submitted to a commercial veterinary laboratory by UK first and second opinion practices were retrospectively reviewed.
Data collected included breed, age, sex, gross and histological descriptions, diagnosis and additional comments.
Data were then grouped into 23 categories according to WSAVA histological criteria for canine hepatobiliary diseases using the four main morphological groups of vascular, biliary, parenchymal and neoplastic disorders. Breed analysis was then performed on the top five ranking breeds within each individual category.
A total of 4584 histopathology reports of canine liver tissue were included in the analysis.
The most common histopathological diagnoses were reactive hepatitis (16.8%), chronic hepatitis (16.0%) and reversible hepatocellular injury (RHI) (12.9%).
Labrador retrievers were found to have increased odds for reactive hepatitis (OR 1.57, 95%CI 1.23-1.99), whilst crossbreeds demonstrated reduced odds (OR 0.65, 95%CI 0.54-0.79).
Breeds with increased odds of chronic hepatitis included the Labrador retriever (OR 4.14, 95%CI 3.47-4.93), springer spaniel (OR 6.30, 95%CI 5.10-7.79), cocker spaniel (OR 2.78 95%CI 2.20-3.53) and West Highland White Terrier (OR 3.23, 95%CI 2.24-4.65).
Within the RHI group, the schnauzer (OR 8.06, 95%CI 5.77-11.26) and Bichon Frise (OR 5.19, 95%CI 3.63-7.42) had increased odds of disease.
Dr Yuvani Bandara, corresponding author for the paper, said: “This is the first study to report the histopathological frequency of hepatobiliary diseases and to identify possible breed predispositions in a large cohort of dogs in the UK.
“Despite multivariable analysis not being performed to account for confounding factors, we hope that this information informs and supports future investigations for hepatic disease in particular breeds and potential predispositions.”
The full article can be found in the September issue of the Journal of Small Animal Practice and can be read online here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jsap.13354.
Adam graduated from the RVC in 2007. He then undertook an internship before spending two years in practice including sole charge night work. In 2013, he completed his residency in ECC, again at the RVC, becoming a diplomate the same year. He was appointed an honorary lecturer of the University of Liverpool in 2014 and teaches and examines for advanced certification in ECC for a number of organisations.
Adam became an RCVS recognised specialist in emergency and critical care in 2015, before going on to become head of emergency and intensive care for four hospitals, overseeing standards of out-of-hours provision to 50-plus sites in and around London from 2013 to 2017.
He is the ECC representative to the RCVS practice standards group, he is a member of the central organising committee for EVECC conference, a member of the ACVECC education committee and vice-chair of a clinical advisory committee to 400 practices.
Hospital director David Walker said: “Emergency and critical care is a pivotal offering and Adam’s arrival means we can provide even better care to the most critically ill patients at Anderson Moores. Adam is working closely with all of our specialist-led services and he is already having a positive impact.”
For more information, visit www.andersonmoores.com.
In the film, Nancy demonstrates how to use the towel wrap restraint method on a cat.
The purpose of the competition was to start a new collection of films designed both to demonstrate veterinary nursing techniques for colleagues and to showcase the talents of veterinary nurses to the public on the peer-reviewed YouTube channel, Brains and Drains.
VetNurse.co.uk Editor Arlo Guthrie said: “We thought Nancy demonstrated and explained the technique really well. Her film also shows how making a demonstration film of this sort is really something almost anyone can do.
“Our aim now is to build our collection of peer-reviewed films by veterinary nurses which not only help students and recently qualified nurses, but also show the vital role that veterinary nurses have in veterinary practice.
Laura Shaw MRCVS, from competition sponsor Training Progress Training Progress said: “Video demonstrations make excellent in-house training resources for practices. We recommend their use to our clients as learning resources on their Training-Progress systems. We really enjoyed Nancy’s entry as it was well explained and engaging.”
Nancy said: “I really enjoyed making this video with my cat Audrey. I hope it is a helpful teaching tool for a skill I use almost daily in practice!"
She added: "I, like others often struggle learning practical skills from written information and think videos are a valuable resource used to see the task in action.”
If you’d like to make a short film demonstrating a veterinary nursing technique for the YouTube channel, Brains and Drains, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll give you some simple guidelines.
Oh, and if you enjoy Nancy's film, be sure to give it a 'like' on YouTube!
Sarah Fitzpatrick, Head of Partnerships and Events at BSAVA said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be working in partnership with CVS to support the small animal veterinary profession, through the development and upskilling of veterinary professionals.
"The BSAVA manuals are a go-to vet resource, and by providing this access to CVS they become even more valuable to the community through their use in practice and in consults.”
Joseph Williams, Veterinary Director for the CVS Small Animal Division said: “At CVS we are passionate about giving the best possible care to animals. We take our responsibility seriously to help colleagues to do that, investing in training and through the support given via our Hub Clinical Leadership team.
"BSAVA manuals have long been a trusted reference point for clinical information in our industry. We’re excited to partner with the BSAVA and now, with access to this great resource, every CVS clinician, whether in the consult room, prep room or on a visit, is now just a couple of clicks away from 46 manuals with over 1400 chapters covering all disciplines from anaesthesia to wildlife casualties.’’
Professor Susan Dawson (pictured right), Chair of the Mind Matters Taskforce, will introduce the event and will be followed by the symposium’s plenary speaker, Rory O’Connor, Professor of Health Psychology at the University of Glasgow and President of the International Association for Suicide Prevention.
Rory's talk: ‘When It is Darkest: Understanding Suicide Risk’ will draw upon his research and work on the psychological processes which precipitate suicidal behaviour and self-harm, an area of expertise that has seen him advise the Scottish Government, as well as other national and international organisations, on suicide prevention strategies.
The next presentation will be from Dr Victoria Crossley from the Royal Veterinary College and Navaratnam Partheeban, co-founder of the British Veterinary Ethnicity & Diversity Society (BVEDS), on their research into the mental health impact of racism and discrimination on Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) veterinary surgeons.
They'll be followed by Professor Neil Greenberg and Dr Victoria Williamson from King’s College London, who will talk about their research into the impact of ‘moral injury’ on the mental health and wellbeing of vets.
The day will then split into different research streams with presentations on a variety of topics including: the impact of cyberbullying and harassment; the wellbeing of veterinary interns and residents; stigma and stress in veterinary nursing; mental health awareness training in the undergraduate veterinary curriculum; and the relationship between ‘patient safety culture’ and staff burnout.
Lisa Quigley, Mind Matters Manager, said: “As with previous years the Mind Matters Mental Health Research Symposium promises to be a very informative and important day in terms of international researchers coming together to share their research, their conclusions, areas for further work and study, and best practice.
"Some of the topics we will be discussing, such as suicide, will be difficult, but research into issues affecting the international veterinary community is a vital first step to putting in place strategies and support mechanisms to help those in need. This is why research will be one of the key strategic priorities for the Mind Matters Initiative and our forthcoming actions in this area will be published later this year in our Mind Matters Initiative Strategic Plan.
“I would like to thank Dr Rosie Allister, a veterinary mental health researcher from the University of Edinburgh and manager of Vetlife Helpline, for putting together an excellent programme.
"As with previous years we are also offering free attendance of the symposium to those who have lived experience of mental ill-health, those who are currently not working, and veterinary and veterinary nursing students. If you have any queries about the event, please don’t hesitate to contact me on email@example.com to discuss further.”
Registration for those not entitled to a free ticket is £10.
To register for the event visit: www.vetmindmatters.org/events.
The BSAVA says it has produced the leaflet because of fears that so many of the puppies bought during lockdown will have missed out on this important part of their development, potentially leading to behavioural issues as they get older.
The Q&A explains the most important aspects of socialisation, both at home and outdoors. It can be downloaded here: https://www.bsavalibrary.com/files/editorial/Puppy-Socialisation-QandA.pdf
The ‘top 10 tips’ are presented as an infographic designed to be shared on social media. It highlights the main points pet owners should consider when socialising their puppy. You can download the Q&A here: https://www.bsavalibrary.com/files/editorial/Puppy-Socialisation-Top-Ten.jpg
Sheldon Middleton, BSAVA President said: “We have seen a surge in puppy ownership during the pandemic when opportunities to meet up were limited, which may have resulted in some puppies missing out on the key socialisation period. This accessible guide gives invaluable support to our members when discussing socialisation with clients.”
The BSAVA has also created a special collection on puppy socialisation, bringing together chapters, podcasts and leaflets covering the reasons behind the socialisation of puppies and how to do it successfully. The collection is free to access through the BSAVA Library during September: https://www.bsavalibrary.com/content/socialization.
Dechra says that Dexacortone, which is presented as a flavoured double-divisible tablet, is approximately 25 times more potent than short-acting substances such as hydrocortisone.
Dechra Brand Manager Carol Morgan said: “Dexamethasone works to suppress the inflammatory response and should be combined with treatment of the underlying disease.”
The chewable tablets have been developed with a chicken flavour to encourage greater acceptance by animals and have Dechra’s double divisible SmartTab format to help accurate and flexible dosing.
Dexacortone is available in blister packs.
Carol added: “The dose and duration of treatment should be determined by the veterinarian based upon the desired effect and on the nature and severity of each individual case and our SmartTab format makes Dexacortone tablets easily divisible. The tablet portions have a six day shelf life that also reduces the wastage of medicine.”
For more information visit www.dechra.co.uk
The referral centre has invested in a new heart and lung machine, and an oxygen cage, and is expected to take its first patients in the autumn.
The service will be established and led by head of cardiac surgery Poppy Bristow (pictured right) and head of cardiology Anne Kurosawa, who have already performed this kind of surgery on more than 100 dogs to date.
DWR is also setting up its own blood transfusion service to collect blood from staff and clients’ pets to support the service.
The blood collected will also be used to support the practice’s emergency and critical care service and its planned dialysis programme.
Poppy said: “There are hardly any other centres in the world offering this type of surgery, especially with this level of expertise that comes from the collective team we have gathered at DWR.
“Mitral valve disease is the most common heart condition in dogs and sadly, many dogs die every year as there are very few options for treatment. To be able to offer surgery to more dogs and their owners is really exciting.
“DWR is the perfect environment for this pioneering programme, due to the state-of-the-art equipment and depth of expertise on hand to support this life-saving initiative.”
Rob Foale, clinical director at Dick White Referrals, added: “It’s a hugely significant step for us to be launching this service, drawing on Poppy’s expertise in this field.
“We’re also starting our own blood transfusion service to complement the launch, as the pandemic has led to a huge drop in pet blood donations.
“Any excess blood we collect will be donated to the national Pet Blood Bank charity, which supplies blood to veterinary practices across the UK and does a fantastic job.”
For more information, visit www.dickwhitereferrals.com.
The award is to recognise the dedication of the country’s veterinary nurses and the support they give to their veterinary teams, the nation’s pets and pet owners. It is given to a vet nurse who not only cares for sick and injured pets but also encourages responsible pet ownership and improves pet welfare in their community.
The award will be presented at the BVNA Congress on Saturday 2nd October 2021, which will this year be a hybrid event with live speakers at the event in Telford and remote delegates.
David Catlow, Blue Cross Director of Veterinary Clinical Services said: “The veterinary profession faced difficult times for much of the past couple of years but vet nurses strove on to provide their usual professionalism, compassion and special care for pets and their owners.
"Now, more than ever, we need to recognise their invaluable work and the incredible reassurances and support they offer pet owners and how they are dedicated to helping the welfare of the nation’s pets in their communities.”
Last year, the award went to Chloe Mackintosh (pictured right), a veterinary nurse at RSPCA in Harmsworth, North London, who was nominated for her passion and commitment to animal welfare.
If you know a vet nurse who you believe has gone the extra mile for your pet or you believe they have made a significant contribution to animal welfare, complete the nomination form on the Blue Cross website at www.bluecross.org.uk/bvna.
AniDent is a dental care range for cats and dogs - a rinse, a toothpaste and a gel - created with Virbac to help prevent periodontal disease.
Anident joins VetSoothe, a range of dermatology products which includes shampoos, ear cleaners and skin wipes, developed with Vetruus.
Earlier in the year, IVC also launched Joints & Mobility with Omega-3s, an addition to it's VetPro range, developed with one of the company's orthopaedic experts, Jamie McClement.
On the equine side, the company has also launched EquiXcellence, a range of equine nutritional health and wellbeing supplements.
VetNurse asked what longer term plans the company has for its exclusive brand product range.
An IVC Evidensia spokesperson said: "We're developing own brand veterinary products specifically where we think we can see areas we can add value for our practices, pet owners, and patients. In the case of Anident, we saw there was an opportunity to make oral care easier by offering a range of options to suit pet owners' needs.
"In the case of Joints & Mobility with Omega-3s, there is research which has shown that high levels of Omega-3s EPA & DHA can greatly support freedom of movement and pain, which was the key focus when developing the product.
"We plan to continually enhance our own brand portfolio across our UK and Europe practices with some exciting product launches on the horizon."
Photo: Gerhard Putter BVSc MRCVS MANZCVS (Veterinary Dentistry and Oral Surgery) Diplomate of the European Veterinary Dental College uses Anident on a big cat
The NASAN is an audit for practices to share their data anonymously, to establish UK benchmarks in post-operative complications rates for small animal neutering.
Each year, RCVS Knowledge releases the national routine neutering benchmark to enable veterinary teams to compare their figures against the national average and use this data as part of a benchmarking exercise towards continuous improvements for neutering outcomes.
In 2020, 72% of neuters were complication-free, 13% lost to follow, and 15% of animals suffered an abnormality related to the operation, mostly requiring medical treatment.
Chris Gush, Executive Director of RCVS Knowledge, said, “Data submitted to the NASAN last year, and so far this year, has been lower than expected – likely due to the strain put on the professions by the pandemic.
"We believe many practices have neutering data that they have not been able to submit yet. We would be grateful for any unsubmitted neutering data for 2020 and 2021 to be sent to the NASAN, when practices are able, so that it can contribute to the national picture and allow us to gain the most accurate representation of the benchmarks for neutering in the UK.”
RCVS Knowledge is asking that practices submit their data for 2020 and 2021 by the 15th of October.
Anonymised data may already be available via the practice’s PMS and can be added to RCVS Knowledge’s spreadsheet. Practices can use the results to carry out their own audits and produce internal benchmarks, guidelines and checklists to help monitor their progress and help reduce complication rates by using RCVS Knowledge’s free Quality Improvement resources. The yearly benchmarks are reported in November each year.
You can submit your data from 2020 and 2021 on the vetAUDIT website: https://vetaudit.rcvsk.org/nasan
RCVS Knowledge has created a ‘How to guide’ for using the NASAN, which can be watched on YouTube: https://youtu.be/otoyYK3heCQ
For the survey, veterinary surgeons and nurses were asked: "Thinking about the last time you (or your OOH provider on your behalf) were called by a pet owner out-of-hours within the last fortnight, was the call ...
a) Something which was clearly NOT an emergency (eg vaccination, nail clip, dematt, pet passport etc.)
b) A condition which should have been seen in normal working hours (either because it has been present for some time already with no deterioration or because - in your opinion - it could have waited till the morning).
c) A genuine emergency, which needed prompt attention to prevent the animal suffering.
475 members took part, 69% of which were vets and the remainder vet nurses.
Of the out-of-hours (OOH) calls they had taken:
28.2% were genuine emergencies, which needed prompt attention to prevent the animal suffering.
64.8% were about a condition which should have been seen in normal working hours (either because it has been present for some time already with no deterioration or because it could have waited till the morning).
6.9% were about something which was clearly NOT an emergency (eg vaccination, nail clip, dematt, pet passport etc.)
So in total, 71.7% of the calls to veterinary surgeons OOH are unnecessary.
This raises a number of important questions, chiefly whether a profession struggling with a staffing crisis can afford to maintain the blanket requirement for all practices to make provision for OOH, particularly now that society places so much greater demands on the profession than it did when the rules were invented, demanding wormers in the middle of the night and then blackening the name of the vet on social media if they refuse. It happens.
Is it time to go the same way as some other countries and let the market meet the demand?
Or can anything else be done to relieve the pressure that OOH places on the profession? Ideas floating around include making all veterinary OOH telephone lines premium rate, charging at least enough to focus the caller's mind on whether it is actually necessary to renew their pet passport at 3:00am. Or perhaps a concerted effort by all parties to communicate the message that OOH is A&E. You shouldn't ring unless you really need to. But that message may not carry much weight when at the end of the day, it's the insurance company footing the bill.
Reducing the number of spurious calls doesn't, of course, help the staffing crisis. But it is surely pertinent to ask whether an obligation for 100% of general practices to make arrangements to service something which is 70% unnecessary is the most efficient way to operate.
Maybe the time has come for the profession to consider OOH and general practice as two very distinct things. Discuss.
The RCVS didn't want to comment.
The company says that with an estimated 3.2 million UK households welcoming a new pet into their family home during lockdown1, many experienced and new dog owners will be unaware of the risks to their dog of CCC when it socialises, hence the new risk assessment tool, which is available at: https://www.msd-animal-health-hub.co.uk/KBPH/contagious-canine-cough-risk-assessment.
The risk assessment campaign will be supported with 'Does your dog ...' posters for vets, information and advice for dog owners on the website and a social media campaign encouraging dog owners to spread the information to other dog owners.
Carley Chutter, Nobivac(r) Product Manager at MSD Animal Health said: "With so many new dog owners now socialising more, taking their dogs on holiday and even considering taking their dogs into the office, protecting their dogs as they socialise is vital.
"Currently only an estimated 1 in 3 vaccinated dogs in the UK are also covered against Bordetella2 so the 'Ask us to protect your dog' resources offers the chance for practices to start the conversation about protection with clients.
"A common barrier to vaccinating against CCC is the belief that it is only necessary for dogs going into kennels, rather than all social dogs. Most dogs meet others, however, while out walking, during training, or while attending the vets, CCC is infectious even at low levels. Indeed, dogs can be asymptomatic but infectious.
"So, improving protection levels against this disease which is distressing for both the owner and dog, is important in both reducing the risk of outbreaks and the need for antibiotic treatment."
Nobivac(r) Respira Bb injectable vaccine against Bordetella bronchiseptica, gives 12 months protection when used as a single-dose booster in dogs previously vaccinated with Nobivac(r) KC. Dogs not previously vaccinated against Bordetella bronchiseptica require two doses administered four weeks apart. Duration of immunity is 7 months after the primary course and 12 months after a booster with Nobivac(r) Respira Bb. It may also be given 12 months after a primary course in cases where the 7 months dose is missed.
To support the use of Nobivac(r) Respira Bb a range of tools are available to practices and further information can be found at www.nobivacrespiraBb.co.uk, or contact your MSD Animal Health account manager.
The company has set up the Group Veterinary Medical Board (GVMB) Research Fund to offer practical support and financial assistance.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Alistair Cliff (pictured right), said: "We introduced funding for research across our European Group at the beginning of this year and have been overwhelmed by the interest this has received. We understand the importance of these opportunities for professional development and also an individual’s job satisfaction.
“We believe it is incumbent upon us to increase this support for research to contribute to the advancement of knowledge, the development of our teams and our value as an employer. Ensuring our teams are content, with a diverse range of ways to develop, is important in allowing us to continue to attract the best people in the profession.
The GVMB Research Fund made its first awards in June 2021. Seven grants were provided to research teams from three countries – the UK, The Netherlands and France. In total, the funding will benefit some 21 researchers working as interns, residents, referral clinicians and specialists from a variety of different settings.
Chief Medical Officer Amanda Boag said: "It is incredibly satisfying to be able to provide support to our teams at critical points of their professional development. In some cases, funding has been provided to experienced researchers looking to contribute yet more to the understanding within their respective disciplines. In other examples, we have supported interns, who are at the very beginning of that journey and at a stage where funding can be difficult to secure.”
She added: “With additional interest from several general practitioners and nurses, the fund has quickly become a significant benefit to working for IVC Evidensia."
The GVMB also provides resources to guide teams on study design, ethical requirements, and statistical support. Less experienced researchers can access a network of Research Partners - a group of experienced clinicians from around Europe who have volunteered their own time to mentor colleagues through a collaborative approach to a project.
In the 15 minute podcast, Carolyn Kyte, a vet in general practice, talks to Natalie Barnard, a veterinary dermatology specialist from Highcroft Referrals, and together they share their experience of the challenges of treating animals with otitis and explain why owners play a important role in successful treatment of the condition.
Dechra Brand Manager Carol Morgan said: “Otitis is very common, particularly in dogs, but there is no ‘quick fix’ when some underlying factors are causing the problem. This can lead to frustration for the pet’s owners and animals not getting the consistent treatment they need to get better.
“What Carolyn and Natalie bring to the table with their new podcast for the Dechra Academy is a light and insightful discussion about communication and education being the keystone for better otitis outcomes and how vets can improve on their consultation skills to handle cases better.”
The otitis podcast is here: https://academy.dechra.com/learn/course/internal/view/elearning/1034/think-differently-about-otitis
Harrison Family Vets opened its first practice earlier this month in Woodley, Reading, in a £350,000 investment that created eight jobs.
The plan is for the next practice to open later this summer in the Midlands, before the group expands north towards the end of the year. The group is now searching for further properties across the north and south of England, with plans to open 75 practices by the end of the decade.
Tim joined his dad's practice in 1995 as General Manager. He later co-founded Vets4Pets in 2001 before joining Mars Inc. to head the overseas growth of Banfield, then the world’s largest veterinary practice. He then rejoined the family business to grow it further, until it was acquired by IVC Evidensia in 2018.
Alongside Tim is operations director, Kristie Faulkner who also worked at White Cross Vets until it was acquired by IVC, whereupon she became regional operations manager, overseeing more than 200 of the IVC's practices across the South East of England.
Between 2012 and 2018, White Cross Vets was repeatedly named as one of the UK’s best employers and a truly extraordinary place to work. The company secured a place in the prestigious ‘Top 100 Sunday Times Best Small Companies to Work For’ league table for seven consecutive years, as well as being the inaugural SPVS Wellbeing Award Winners.
Tim said: “The whole ethos at Harrison Family Vets is about fostering a culture within our team that sets us apart and differentiates our practice from all others. Every individual’s strengths and personality traits will contribute to what we do, in a family-orientated environment. Our culture is about looking after people. Focus on attracting the very best people and then look after them as much as possible. A successful practice with a fabulous reputation amongst the profession and amongst clients is what automatically follows.
“Our state-of-the-art clinics boast extensive facilities including on-site laboratories, full x-ray suites, operating theatres, ultrasonography and separate dog and cat wards that have been carefully designed with mood lighting, aromas and music to offer a calming atmosphere.
We’ve also worked hard to create a customer experience that’s more akin to an Apple store, than a traditional veterinary practice. We don’t have a reception desk and instead, our front of house team have the autonomy to freely interact with our clients and their pets.
Our waiting areas feature bespoke pods, which give clients their own space and offer pets privacy, thus shielding them from the stresses of facing other pets in a traditional waiting room. Each pod also has its own tablet where clients can update their details, sign up to our Total Wellness Plan or even order fresh and healthy dog food from Butternut Box.
“Everyone wants to know why we want to start another veterinary group now. For Kristie and I the timing is perfect as there is a clear void to fill. The people-focused independent practice is becoming a thing of the past and is what the profession is yearning for. This will attract the very best team members which in turn will provide a superior client and pet experience.
"Creating a successful business and building a fantastic team is incredibly exciting and we genuinely believe Harrison Family Vets can become the most innovative, forward-looking and caring practice, as well as the employer of choice for vets and nurses, in the UK.”
VetNurse.co.uk wishes Tim and Kristie all the very best luck in the world with their new venture, although one suspects that they won't need to rely on luck. White Cross under his direction was consistently doing extraordinary things to foster what seemed to be a remarkably good working environment. If they can come close to repeating the formula, or improving on it, they must be on to a winner.
With the profession currently suffering a staffing crisis, some now question the ability of the profession to provide a blanket OOH service, and whether it should remain a requirement for all practices.
A logical first step, however, might be to discover just what percentage of OOH calls really are genuine emergencies, and how many are simply the result of society's increasing demands for a 24 hour service, not just from the veterinary profession. Hence the survey.
The question is open to veterinary surgeons and nurses working in general practice only.
The objectives of the study1 were to assess the impact of the pandemic on the management of laminitis susceptible horses and ponies, to identify challenges faced in implementing COVID-19 based guidance, and to ascertain areas of decision making and policy development which could undergo improvement in future pandemic or emergency scenarios.
Lead author Ashely Ward, a PhD student at SRUC said: "We discovered that lockdown-associated factors had the potential to compromise the welfare of horses and ponies at risk of obesity and laminitis.
“These included: disparate information and guidance, difficulties enacting public health measures in yard environments, and horses having reduced exercise during the pandemic.
"Our conclusion was that guidelines should be developed for the care of horses and ponies at risk through collaborative input from veterinary and welfare experts. This would help to reduce the negative impacts of future lockdown events in the UK.”
Clare Barfoot RNutr, Marketing and Research and Development Director at Spillers said: “This work carries important recommendations to reduce equine welfare risks during any future lockdowns.
“This summer our primary focus has been on helping horse owners keep their horses at a healthy weight to reduce the risks associated with obesity, in particular laminitis. Until formal guidelines are developed we hope our range of practical advice, available online and via our Care-Line will help, should there be another lockdown."
The study was conducted in tandem with research looking at how the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 lockdown affected horse on the human/animal interaction. The conclusion, disseminated by SRUC last week, concluded that the coronavirus pandemic had a negative impact on the mental health and wellbeing of horse owners. https://www.sruc.ac.uk/all-news/horse-power-helps-owners-through-lockdown
IVC says the new brand will allow better communication for equine teams within the IVC Evidensia group as well as collaboration with the wider equine world.
IVC Evidensia Equine Vets range from graduates to European Specialists, working in both dedicated equine and mixed practice, with all practices supported by the four large equine veterinary referral hospitals in the UK: Donnington Grove Veterinary Group, Fyrnwy Equine Group, Oakham Veterinary Hospital and Pool House Equine.
IVC says the brand's mission is to put the welfare of horses at the heart of everything it does, to providing outstanding continuity of care for all equine species and breeds across the network, to be at the forefront of continual professional development, supporting and facilitating the development of clinical and leadership skills across all their equine teams, and to build the leading network for equine veterinary care across Europe.
Richard Stephenson, Chair of the IVC Evidensia Equine Clinical Board, said: "Our network brings together all forms of equine work from ambulatory practice to some of leading UK equine referral centres.
“It gives support to all our staff in their careers. We facilitate clinical development from the graduate academy, through intern training, residencies and training up to European Diplomat level.
“We provide coaching and leadership, flexible roles and friendly, inclusive teams.”
For more information, visit https://www.ivcevidensia.co.uk/Equine or stand B01 at BEVA 2021 congress.
The report also revealed the devastating impact on overworked veterinary staff, with some left in tears by abusive owners venting their frustration at being unable to find care for their animal.
Anecdotally, the problems highlighted by ITV News are being seen elsewhere in the country, with more and more vets now starting to question whether or not the current requirement to provide out of hours care is sustainable in a world where there are more clients who increasingly expect flea treatment advice and other non emergency situations to be dealt with at 3:00am in the morning.
Various solutions have been proposed in a forum discussion on VetSurgeon.org, including the removal of the requirement to provide an OOH service, for the RCVS to give vets the confidence to say no to non emergencies, a change to the CoPC to require vets to provide emergency care within 24 hours, not 24 hours a day, a requirement for new grads to undertake OOH as part of their PDP, and/or a requirement for OOH centres to have 3 vets on duty at any one time (which could improve working conditions).
As the ITV report pointed out, the fundamental issue is one of a shortage of supply over demand, for which there is no overnight fix. However, many feel that reducing the demands of providing OOH could ease the situation considerably.
The company initiated the recall after identifying a potential for the sterility/stability of the product to be compromised due to a crimping problem of the aluminium cap.
The recall is for the 100 ml bottles of the following batch only:
Batch No.0C3829 Expiry Date 03/12/2022
Vetoquinol UK Ltd is contacting veterinary surgeons and veterinary wholesalers to examine inventory immediately and quarantine products subject to this recall.
For further information, contact the Customer Services Department on +44 1280 814500 Option 1 or email: UK_office@vetoquinol.com.
Tim was the principal veterinary surgeon at Nine Mile Veterinary Group in Wokingham, Berkshire, from its opening in 1985. He grew the business from one vet and three staff to 16 vets and 60 staff, before selling to CVS in 2007.
Thereupon he became the National Veterinary Director for CVS, supporting the business as it grew from 200 to 1200 vets and supporting individual vets and practices with management advice and clinical practice.
In more recent times Tim has been working with a peripatetic surgery group.
Tim has worked at Guide Dogs before: between 1987 and 2007, he was a Centre Veterinary Advisor at the charity’s now-closed site in Wokingham.
Tim said: “Guide dogs are fantastic to work with – they are good-natured and easy to handle, and the owners always have the best interests of the dog at heart. Plus, you know you are helping more than someone’s pet, a working dog making a real difference to a person’s life. A guide dog needs to be happy and healthy to fulfil its role. It all adds up to a very different flavour of vet work.
“I am looking forward to being back, but in a more central role with more strategic responsibility. The veterinary world has changed so much, even in the last ten years, and it will be good to draw on my experiences to help Guide Dogs traverse that change.
“It’s important that we keep the healthcare of guide dogs at the top of the priorities list; the dogs have always been at the very core of the charity. It’s crucial that we have solid relationships with veterinary practices, to ensure our dogs receive the greatest care at the best value to the charity."
Veterinary Nurse Jobs and
Veterinary Nurse Locums |
Follow VN Jobs on Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Contact
Contact us for more information about the advertising and editorial opportunities on VetNurse.co.uk
Veterinary Forums | Veterinary Nursing News | Veterinary Galleries
Anaesthesia & Analagesia | Animal Behaviour | Dentistry | Dermatology | Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging | Equine Nursing | Exotics | Emergency & Critical Care | Lab/Clinical Pathology | Medical Nursing | Physiotherapy | Surgical Nursing | Wound Management