Draft Programme: Subject to change
Please click here to download a copy of the lecture timetable
Boehringer Business Breakfast, Friday 25 January: Confident Conversations
Susan Room, Professional Voice and Executive Coach
The modern veterinary profession is changing: formal accreditation, variable business models within the veterinary market, rising pet owner expectations, Google, social media, Brexit, technological advances, to name just a few.
How do you stay confident in these uncertain times, not least to inspire confidence in others? In this interactive talk, voice and executive coach Susan Room will share her four-step model for thinking and speaking with greater confidence and clarity in any situation, and especially when the going gets tough. As well as practical tools, her talk will offer insights into her evidence-based belief that ‘how you think affects how you look, what you say and how you say it’.
Citation Business Breakfast, Saturday 26 January: Employment Law Clinic
Sarah Rhodes, Citation
Returning by popular demand, Citation’s Sarah Rhodes will provide delegates with an employment law update and answer queries on employment law issues.
Friday Afternoon – join us for a drink
Veterinary Profession: Female in numbers; male in attitude?
Caroline Clarke, Open University
Women graduates have far outnumbered men for over 20 years and yet still there are still relatively few in top management roles from owners and clinical directors to the boards of the large corporates. The traditional argument was first demographics… female leaders just hadn’t worked their way to the top and then that women have chosen family over career, but are there alternative explanations? What are the barriers to women in senior positions? What does the profession need to address in practice? Caroline Clarke presents findings from her study with 75 veterinary surgeons, male and female and from different generations, which raise some uncomfortable examples of gender stereotypes. If we are to challenge this underlying and rather predictable narrative and promote female leaders, perhaps businesses and teams, both male and female, need to re-think.
New for 2019
Practical Mindfulness Sponsored by Citation
An Introduction to Mindfulness in the Workplace
Sean Gilgallon, Citation
Why is everyone talking about mindfulness in the workplace? What is it? How does it help? Are you curious and would like to understand more about the reasoning behind and practical application of mindfulness at work? Sean Gilgallon, Citation, is an experienced mindfulness trainer. In this session, he will interact with delegates to set the scene and provide take away tools to reduce mind wandering and improve focus on the reality of the now.
Progressing in Mindfulness in the Workplace
Sean Gilgallon, Citation
Do you already understand and practice mindfulness? Would you like to extend your experience and its practical application? Sean Gilgallon, Citation, will progress the mindfulness discussion to consider common scenarios within the workplace, such as conflict or busyness, and provide practical strategies for coping to ensure individual well-being and team synergy.
Friday 25 January 2019
Stream A: Leadership and Culture
What can Destroy Good Leadership?
Caroline Pearson, Progressive Vet Consulting
It can be easier to describe what makes a good leader than identify bad leadership. Is bad leadership the fault of only the leader? Is it always intentional? Destructive leadership, that is leadership which does more harm than good, is a real possibility within all levels of veterinary practice and the costs to the profession, financial and social, should not be underestimated. Caroline Pearson, a vet and chartered manager, shares her research into leadership within the veterinary profession. She will discuss the behaviours of control, perfectionism, narcissism, apathy, dependency, workaholism and more within the current veterinary context and challenge managers and the wider team to recognise, address and prevent the destructive fall-out.
Does Practice have to be Perfect?
Caroline Clarke, Open University
Why are over 50% of veterinary graduates considering a change in employment within 5 years? Are today’s graduates really so different or is it as much to do with the work challenges they face in modern practice? By focusing on the need to teach the next generation resilience are we turning the blame back on them? Dr Google, a profession seemingly more and more focussed on profit and increasing standards and expectations all add pressures not seen 20 years ago. In this session, Caroline Clarke, a Senior Lecturer in Organisation Studies presents the findings from her two-year study of veterinary surgeons within the UK. She will suggest ways in which individual veterinary practices can address and minimize the tendency for vets to interpret failure as their own lack of perfection, so reducing anxiety and supporting development.
Breaking the Stigma of Asking for Help to Create a Culture of Openness
Richard Artingstall, Explore Vet & Catherine Oxtoby, VDS
Do some of your team seem to constantly ask for help while others are totally self-reliant and, which is best? The Harvard Business Review suggests some employees prefer to be self-reliant, protecting their own self-image, due to mistrust of their team mates’ motives or competence. Richard Artingstall presents a vet, surgeon, clinical director and coach perspective on why asking for help is vital for the individual and the veterinary business, helping with decision making, changing perceptions, feedback, team cohesion and role clarity. Using practical examples, he will demonstrate why breaking the stigma of asking for help is essential for practice and individual progression. Catherine Oxtoby will pick up on this theme discussing how engaging the whole team in a culture where everyone is happy to disclose, analyse and learn from error will drive clinical standards. Catherine spent thirteen years in equine and small animal practice before undertaking a PhD, examining patient safety and culture within the veterinary profession.
Positive Culture to Drive Positive Performance
Dan Tipney, VetLed
In this session, Dan Tipney brings his knowledge of the airline industry, elite sport, and human medicine as well as the veterinary profession to encourage us to think of a practice as a whole ‘system’. This holistic approach can improve patient safety, reduce error, enhance customer experience and raise team wellbeing. Dan will describe the components of consistently high performing organisations, teams and individuals, including the importance of strong leadership and what that looks like. He will explore the positive impact of this performance approach in which veterinary professionals can maximise their own wellbeing and fully utilise their job specific skills to deliver optimal patient care and team harmony and performance. His session will be illustrated with case studies from the different sectors he has worked in.
Stream B: Attract and Recruit
Chair: Gordon Dunn, The Pets at Home Vet Group
Gordon Dunn, The Pets at Home Vet Group
Were you born pre 1990? Are you struggling with the concept of a new generation who seem to want it all – flexibility and work-life balance as well as a good salary and a fulfilling and challenging career? If so, you might just have to get over it because unless things change dramatically, this is the reality of the workforce you will be recruiting from. It is a buyers’ market when it comes to employment of vets and nurses and those who are able to embrace the generational and attitudinal shifts and get creative with their recruitment and retention strategies will be the winners. Gordon Dunn from the Pets at Home Vet Group will share both research data and his own experience from working in high profile HR positions in several different sectors and businesses. He will use these insights to set the scene for the other lectures in this stream and in tomorrow’s ‘Retaining your Team’ stream.
The Changing Face of Recruitment
Gone are the days of placing an ad in the Vet Record and waiting for the applications to role in. This double session looks at how recruitment is done in other sectors and how you can adopt these techniques.
Building an Employer Reputation Online
Simon Shott, Talent Economist
In the current climate, building and selling your brand and reputation is a crucial part of recruitment. Your website and social media is therefore a very important part of the mix. However, in practices which are time poor and resource stretched, how can you maximise the benefits of online engagement for recruitment? Where are veterinary practices most likely to build awareness and create interest for potential employees? Simon Shott, Talent Economist, brings his experience of a wide range of different industries, together with his take on the veterinary profession’s particular challenges. He will advise on the when, where, how and why to improve and protect your online business reputation and attract new team members.
Think Like a Head Hunter
Cat Curtis, The Vet Group; Ben Sweeney, Simply Locums & Caroline Pearson, Progressive Vet Consulting, Simon Shott
Someone in your practice probably already knows your next key appointee. If not, they should! The veterinary profession is small, so use this to behave like a recruitment consultancy. If you are losing sleep over the thought of losing your surgeon, don’t just wait for it to happen, start the search for their replacement now! Within this session, Caroline Pearson, details how to analyse and use your internal and external network to strategically reach your employees of the future, before Gordon Dunn, as the chair, draws on the panels wide experience, with ideas and questions from the audience to consider how practice can best meet their people requirement.
We’ve got a vacancy, Help!! Part I
Dr Dave Nicol, VetX
What is the first action required when a vacancy arises? How do you undertake a job analysis? Where do you advertise your role? Vet Record? VN Times? None of the above? Are Vlogs the new recruitment tool? In this session, Dave Nicol, vet owner and performance management specialist will demonstrate how to conduct an effective and efficient recruitment campaign, starting with how to produce an accurate and relevant person specification and job description, transform these to an eye-catching ad and decide where to place it.
We’ve Got a Vacancy, Help! Part II
Dr Dave Nicol, VetX
Assuming part one worked, and you have several applicants for your position, how do you fairly and effectively assess their suitability? With a shortage of vets and nurses, it can be tempting to appoint whoever walks through the door, but it is essential to hold out for someone who will add value and stay. Now you return to your job documentation and apply an awareness of your own biases and preconceptions. In this session, Dave Nicol will explore the role of online assessment and how to create an interview day that takes away the guess work or subjectivity often involved in the hiring process. The result? An employee who is both competent and right for your business.
Stream C: Mind Matters in partnership with
Chair: Professor Debbie Cohen
Managing Emotions in Practice
Debbie Cohen, Cardiff University
What drives your emotions both inside and outside work? How do your professional and personal values impact on your emotions and are those values shared practice wide? How can managers and leaders recognise and engage with their underlying emotions to improve work environments and team health and what are the consequences of not? Debbie Cohen will relate her experience from occupational health roles working with doctors and medical students, sharing concepts, research and practical strategies for getting closer to your emotions and values, making a positive difference to healthy team engagement at work.
Debbie Cohen, Cardiff University
Would your members of your team be comfortable disclosing stress, frustrations or mental ill health? Despite an increased awareness of mental health and well-being within the workplace, evidence suggests employees are still reluctant to disclose mental health problems to their boss or work colleagues. In this session, Debbie Cohen, will present her research within the NHS to improve understanding of the obstacles preventing individuals from disclosing their own stress or mental ill health within a health aware business environment and what managers can do to overcome them.
Mental Health in the Workplace: The Role of the Line Manager
Emma Mamo, Mind
After 4 weeks of absence, the likelihood of an employee returning to work after sickness absence related to experiencing poor mental health drops dramatically. As a line manager, how do you support a successful return-to-work for a team member? And how do you understand and assess the workplace triggers and issues which may have contributed to their poor mental health in the first place? Do you feel confident you have the skills to support team members who may be experiencing poor mental health and do you know when and where to seek outside help? In this session, Emma Mamo, Head of Workplace Well-being at Mind, will equip delegates with practical tools and strategies to support staff who are struggling with their mental health, including providing support when people are taking time off to recover or when they are returning to work after being off.
Innovative Approaches to Wellbeing in Practice: Panel Session
Andy Rose, Vet Fit; Debbie Cohen, Cardiff University & SPVS Wellbeing Award Winners
What could innovation for mental health and wellbeing look like? How can you practically implement change within your practice? Who could be involved? Every veterinary practice and team is unique with different needs and problems and there won’t be one solution fits all. Chaired by Debbie Cohen and with the help of the 2018 Vet Wellbeing Award Winners, Andy Rose, VetFit, and Emma Mamo, Mind, delegates will be invited to brainstorm innovative ideas and hopefully take away two or three appropriate for their practice.
Stream D: Equine
Chair: Safia Barakzai
Preventing and Learning from Mistakes in the Equine Operating Theatre
Catherine Oxtoby, VDS
What can the equine operating theatre learn from the human equivalent? How important are teamwork and communication in the prevention of surgical mistakes? How does stress effect teamwork and which processes can be easily implemented to reduce error? Catherine Oxtoby, an experienced equine and small animal vet with a PhD in patient safety and culture within the veterinary profession, will explore the practical use of briefings, huddles, check-lists and more as tools to prevent surgical error. When mistakes do occur, how do we ensure we understand and learn from them? Catherine will detail the benefits of root cause analysis and update delegates on the innovative new reporting tool, VetSafe, as an additional learning aid.
Supporting your Vets
Carolyne Crowe, VDS Training
The recent BEVA campaign, Don’t Break your Vet, has highlighted physical health and safety for the equine vet. But what about support and protection for your team’s mental health and wellbeing? What systems could and should be in place? Carolyne Crowe will explore the trio of managing self, managing clients and managing expectations. Taking the business manager and owner perspective, she will advise on the how to of building a team who won’t break under pressure.
Ten Top Tips for Recruiting into Equine Practice
Carrie Goodbourn, Liphook Equine Hospital
Gone are the days when you could just put a job ad in the Vet Record and wait for the CVs to role in. In modern equine practice you need a recruitment strategy. How do you build an equine brand reputation which sparks interest? Where do you connect with your team of the future and where do you advertise when you have a vacancy? How do you produce an accurate job description and person specification and assess applicants fairly to ensure a good match? Carrie Goodbourn, Liphook Equine Hospital, shares her top tips for recruiting an equine team to add value to your business.
Being Prepared for the Changes of Corporate Ownership
Oliver Crowe, B&W Equine Vets, CVS Group
Independent equine practices are being sold to the larger groups at an increasing rate, but, what does that mean for those who have sold or are working for new ownership? What changes, if any, are likely to take place? How will they affect you? Oliver Crowe, CVS, presents his experience of what to expect post-acquisition, preparing practices and the team to approach the new model with open, honest and realistic expectations. “To be prepared is half the victory.” Miguel de Cervantes
There Must be More Than This! Panel Session
To include Ebony Escalona, Vets: Stay, Go, Diversify and Renate Weller, BEVA President & CVS Group
Equine vet practices form a small niche of an already small profession. Diversification within your practice could not only provide new business opportunities but help upskill your team and improve recruitment and retention. What are the opportunities for career and business development within traditional equine practice? Ebony Escalona, an equine vet and Founder member of the Vets: Stay, Go, Diversify community discusses the opportunities for equine vets to become ‘intrapreneurs’. Renate Wellar, BEVA President and newly appointed Director of Learning at CVS, discusses the dilemma of facilitating learning within first opinion practice in order to keep young vets without creating over-qualified GPs who move on. Other contributors will share their stories of broadening skillsets and embracing opportunities within and outside the equine business with the aim of advancing both self-fulfilment and practice contribution.
Stream E: New to Management
Chairs: Georgina Hills and Renay Rickard, VMG
Managing to Lead
Susan Room, Professional Voice and Executive Coach
Moving into management can be daunting. Before, you were responsible for your own work and performance but now you are also responsible for that of your team. To enable others’ work you must lead them. But what does that mean? What are the differences between management and leadership? Where are the overlaps and boundaries, and how will you negotiate them? During this interactive session, Susan Room will offer definitions of leadership and management, and draw from her extensive experience to compare the key tasks and skills associated with each. The aim is that you leave with a better understanding of the possibilities and pitfalls, and a better sense of how to incorporate leadership skills into your own management style.
Reading Your Management Accounts
Georgina Hills, VMG and IVC
Do you know your gross profit from your operating profit? Can you tell your COGS from your EBITDA? And do you understand why any of this is important in day to day practice management and business planning? Georgina will run through the basics of a Monthly Management Account and explain some common financial terminology.
Introduction to KPIs: Why you need them and what to do with them
Tracey Morley-Jewkes, Blacks Vets
In this session, Tracey will look at both Practice and Client KPIs, considering which you should concentrate on to help you understand where your business is and what is really happening so that you can make evidence based decisions on what to do next.
Fuel your Fire without Burning Out
Krista Belcher, Elanco Animal Health
CVPM and other Management Qualifications
A look at the different courses and qualifications available to help you develop as a manager. Graduates of different courses will be joined by members of the examination board for the CVPM to share their experiences and help you decide which route is best for you.
Saturday 26 January 2019
Stream A: Profitable Practice
Chair: Mark Harwood, Hazlewoods
Profitability: A Whole Team Approach
Nick Steele, Zoetis
What are the profit centres within your practice? Do you know the break-even point for your operating theatre, your preventative health consultation, your nurse consultation etc.? How do you build and develop your team to advance the full value of your business? In this session, Nick Steele from Zoetis, will explain the how and why of focusing strategy on the different profit centres within the business to advance quality veterinary care, client compliance, team productivity and profitability.
Projecting your Financial Future
Mark Harwood, Hazlewoods
Can you interrogate your financials to anticipate and develop a strategy for the future? What do you need to consider? How do you produce a realistic budget? Mark Harwood, a Partner with Hazlewoods, works solely with veterinary practices, supporting the business and their owners with their finances. He will explain how managers and owners in veterinary practice can use the information available within year end and management accounts to monitor trends in practice profitability, efficiency and liquidity. Combining these trends with tools such as cost-benefit analysis, Mark will equip delegates to prioritise and direct sensible budgeting for the future.
Buying to Improve Profitability
Sara Armitage, CVS Group and Miles Russell, The George Veterinary Group & VMG
Within veterinary practice, is there too much focus on how much you charge over how much you spend? As an independent, you may not have the buying power of the large groups, but that doesn’t mean you can’t optimise procurement. Are you getting value from your wholesaler, pharmaceutical companies, capital equipment and others? Is there a strategy in place to benchmark and review to ensure you are minimising your costs and making wise business decisions? What questions should you be asking? Sara Armitage, Director of Product, Buying and Logistics, CVS Group plc, will share best practice, detailing tools and fundamentals every veterinary practice, small or large, can embrace to improve profitability. Miles Russell will add to the discussion, offering his experience of procurement in action within independent practice.
Business Case for Telemedicine: Threat or Opportunity?
Nuala Summerfield, Virtual Veterinary Specialists
Can modern technologies offer innovative ways to keep more of your patient care in-house, whilst at the same time increasing the use of your facilities and upskilling your vets and nurses? Telemedicine is a hot topic at the moment and in this session Nuala Summerfield, Virtual Veterinary Specialists, will guide you through the pros and cons, considering available telemedicine options; the practicalities of integration in practice; and the benefits of continuous learning, case control, client offering and infrastructure optimisation, enabling veterinary businesses to embrace telemedicine as an opportunity for improved efficiency and retained revenue.
What are the Biggest Barriers to Veterinary Practice Profitability?
Alan Robinson, Vet Dynamics + Case Study
Under-pricing, inadequate invoicing processes, ten-minute consultations. As a consultant and a vet owner, Alan Robinson feels he has spent the past 30 years sharing with other vets, the easy hits to improve profitability…. So why are so many of them still not routine practice? Why is 55% of potential work opportunity still leaving the consultation room? Are we simply too busy to improve what we have always done? Alan Robinson, Vet Dynamics, shares his experience of the many practices he visits, revealing the biggest barriers to practice profitability. He will be joined by two case study practitioners.
Stream B: Retaining Your Team
Developing Nurses for the Future
Louise Brennan, Royal Canin
Vet nurses are almost as hard to recruit and arguably harder to retain than vets. Research strongly suggests that pet owners desire more information from our veterinary practices, while reports cite that RVNs want to fulfil this role. Therefore, how do we create rewarding and valued career paths that deliver tangible business results? Louise Brennan, Royal Canin, presents the case for how the whole practice team can contribute to nurse development into specialist fields, management or pet owner facing services and considers the barriers that may exist in implementation. Come and join the debate!
Managing a Different Generation
There has been much about how to set up new graduate support and training programmes, but to do that successfully, you need to understand where they are coming from. Teaching emphasis has changed dramatically in the past decade to include employability skills and an understanding of how new graduates can contribute to practice. Graduates should be better prepared for practice than ever before, yet many are struggling to find their place. It will be argued that, to take full advantage of modern vet graduates, managers need to meet them half way with a better understanding of the training they’ve had and their expectations of life in practice. This may include trying to see their practice through the new graduate’s eyes and possibly making a few adjustments.
Engaging the Wider Team to Retain GPs
Joanne Reeve, University of Hull
What is the unique skillset of the general practitioner? Are GPs “jacks of all trades” who will inevitably become bored in practice? Are alternative business models worth consideration? How can your practice retain your vets, while empowering the rest of the team? In this session, Joanne Reeve, Professor of Primary Care Research at Hull University and a member of the Vet Futures Graduate Outcomes Working Group, brings her experience of the NHS to explore the possibilities of practice redesign, workload distribution, collective working, variety of role and non-technical skill building within your practice to support mastery, meaning and membership of the vet and wider team.
Learning and Development for All
Sally Clark, IVC
That’s the last exam I will ever sit! We’ve all said it but how important is it for the practice team to continue to learn? What are the benefits of L&D plans? Where do you begin? In this very practical and interactive session, Sally Clark, Head of Academy, IVC, will explain the importance of a joined-up learning and development strategy and plan for the whole practice that feeds into the practice needs and a wider business development plan. She will consider training needs analysis, the use of training matrix, the appraisal, training budgets and current recommendations to engage and support a learning culture within your practice.
Stream C: Customer Care and Communication
Chair: Brian Faulkner
Tune In: The elusive art of listening
Susan Room, Professional Voice and Executive Coach
How do you listen? Really listen? What do you hear? When was the last time you did or said something only to discover that your response would have been different had you listened better? In this interactive session, voice and executive coach Susan Room will introduce and explore different ways of listening and how the quality of your listening can make you a better manager and leader. She will share characteristics and effects of good or bad listening, and simple strategies for honing your skills both in everyday situations and when under duress. You will leave her session with a deeper understanding of how better listening can potentially diffuse challenging situations and positively impact confidence, communication and collaboration with pet owners and veterinary colleagues alike.
How to Provide an Outstanding Service to Clients: Case studies from PSS Award winners
When RCVS re-launched its Practice Standards Scheme (PSS) in November 2015, it included a number of new optional awards to allow RCVS-accredited practices to demonstrate the areas in which they excel. One of the most popular awards has been the Client Service Award which allows practices to demonstrate the high level of care they provide for their clients and the steps they take to improve the customer experience. This session will feature case studies from some of those practices who have received an outstanding Client Service Award, demonstrating how they met the criteria and the impact that winning the award has had on the business and the veterinary team.
The Preventative Health Consultation
Zoe Belshaw, Centre for Evidence Based Medicine, Nottingham University
How much do pet owners really understand the importance of preventative health for their pets? Does the preventative health consultation meet clients’ expectations while at the same time maximising the business opportunity? Are these two aims mutually compatible? In this session, Zoe Belshaw from Nottingham University, will present new practice-based research funded by MSD, on the preventative health consultation, considering the practicalities of optimal consult length and method of delivery. She will detail what clients say they really want and use case studies to demonstrate the results which can be achieved if practices embrace this opportunity to add value. MSD have produced 18 guidelines based on the results and these will have been piloted in practices by the time of Congress. Zoe will be joined by one of the pilot practices to share their experience.
Extending Customer Care through Social Media
Susie Samuel, Vet Help Direct
Love it or hate it, Social Media is not going away, and it can be an important part of how you deliver customer care to your clients. Susie Samuel from Vet Help Direct shares her experience, backed by research, on the online habits of veterinary clients; how to extend your preventative health offering online; and the realistic aims and the practical operation of an effective social media strategy for clients, ensuring a return on investment from digital marketing. She will compare the pros and cons of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and help you decide and evaluate how much time and money are worth investing online.
Building a Practice Insurance Strategy
Robin Hargreaves, Agria Pet Insurance
With ever-growing insurance options, it is little wonder that clients often purchase policies which don’t then deliver when they most need it. Avoiding client confusion will provide both patient and business benefits. However, what advice are you legally allowed to give? Do your team understand and support this? What are the benefits of having a registered insurance advisor? Is it worth investing resources in insurance advice? In this session, Robin Hargreaves details common client insurance scenarios; updates on current law; and explores how to build an insurance strategy to advise and add value to your client offering in practice.
Stream D: Large Animal
Chair: Kath Aplin, Boehringer Ingelheim
Being the Vet your Farmer Needs – even if they don’t realise it!
Farmers can be your best friend or your biggest headache. Do we, in large animal practice, ever stop to consider why? Victoria Bushby, a large animal vet and dairy farmer, will discuss the reality of farming from the farmers’ perspective. What impression are your team giving? How are actions and behaviours influencing the client relationship? How can you work with your farmers to mutual benefit and build trust? She will identify key areas for the farm animal business to address to enable their relationship with their farmers to be positive, productive and sustainable for both parties.
Innovation and Diversification within Large Animal Practice
Sally Wilson, Evolution Farm Vets & Jonathan Statham, Bishopton Vets
Large Animal Practice has changed; have you moved with the times? How do you remain competitive and adaptable to change? Sally Wilson founded Evolution Farm Vets in 2007 and understands the importance of finding your niche and thriving in a smaller, start-up LA practice. Jonathan Statham is a cattle vet and partner in Bishopton Veterinary Group, one of the UK’s longest-established and largest practices. In this session, they will explore innovation and diversification within two very different models, detailing core elements of strategy development and the art of remaining adaptable for the benefit of client, team and business.
Call Allocation Logistics and the OOH Rota
Jonathan Statham, Bishopton Vets
With growing concern around work-life balance, how do farm animal practices ensure calls are managed to maintain a great service for farmers and fairness to vets in the team? What should be considered to make sure that both emergency calls and pre-arranged calls are dealt with efficiently and sensibly? How possible is it to balance an OOH service, comply with working hours regulations and support vets in practice? In this session, Jonathan Statham, a cattle vet and partner in Bishopton Veterinary Group, discusses the challenges of providing a 24-7 LA rota to provide a first rate service for the farmer, maintaining communication within the wider team and supporting younger vets through the transition to independent working.
Building Rapport and Managing Conflict among an Ambulatory Team
Sophie Aylett, Meadow Farm Vets
How do you build rapport among large animal vets who rarely work in the same physical space? Can you facilitate communication to provide a quality farm service while at the same time minimising conflict and tensions in the team? An ambulatory team, with an unpredictable workload, adds to the complexity and challenges of communication and team building. Within this session, Sophie Aylett, Meadow Farm Vets, shares her experience and practical tips for team building and harmony, including what to do when things don’t quite go to plan.
KPIs for Large Animal Practice
Paul Horwood, Sandstone Communications
How do you measure, manage and reward performance in your large animal vets? What targets are relevant and useful? Can you maintain accountability among mobile, self-motivated veterinary professionals? Paul Horwood, a farm animal veterinary surgeon, owned Westpoint Vets, a multi-centred large animal business. In this session, he will relay his experience of setting and managing relevant KPIs while maintaining autonomy and motivation in your veterinary team.
Stream E: Vets Stay!
In partnership with Vets: Stay, Go, Diversify!
Chair: Ebony Escalona, Brooke and Vets: Stay, Go, Diversify
Stay With a Twist
Panel Session with Ebony Escalona, Vets: Stay, Go, Diversify; Nuala Summerfield, Virtual Veterinary Specialists; Fran Dunn, South Devon Referrals and Phillipa Page, Flock Health
Vets: Stay, Go, Diversify tapped into a huge appetite from young (and not so young) vets who were unsure of what direction their career should take. Sometimes this was disillusion with the reality of vet practice, sometimes just curiosity as to what options are out there. Does staying in clinical practice have to mean traditional first opinion practice vs further qualifications to become a specialist? In this session, Ebony Escalona talks to vets who have taken non-traditional routes, but remained in clinical practice, from a large animal peripatetic consultant to running a telemedicine service and including one vet who left the profession to train as an accountant… and then came back!
Making the GP Role Your Own
Lynne Gaskarth, Drove Vets
Is being a general practitioner still a valid career choice? Are you underachieving if you don’t specialise? Autonomy, mastery and purpose are often cited as factors leading to job fulfilment. But what are they and can you achieve them in general practice? Lynne Gaskarth, an owner of a first opinion practice, believes passionately that vets can still find fulfilment within first opinion practice. She is joined by two of her GPs who will discuss how to proactively progress within the role, looking for and engaging with opportunities to broaden your role, contribute to the business and achieve career satisfaction.
To Own or not to Own?
Jerry Dunne, Medivet; Struan Henderson, IVC; Amy Dyce, Vets4Pets; Sally Wilson, Evolution Farm Vets
With the increase in corporate practice ownership and diversification, the ownership landscape has become more complex. Is it an option which you should consider? Where do you start? Is independent practice a thing of the past, or of the future? Could joint venture partnerships be the best approach? Should you aim for a clinical directorship within a larger group? In this session representatives from Medivet, Vets4Pets, independent practice and IVC explain why they the choices they did, the hurdles they faced and the long-run pros and cons of their career path.
Developing your Career as a Locum
Ben Sweeney, Simply Locums
Can locum work provide better remuneration and a work-life balance within your control? Are you prepared for the challenges of independent working? What must you consider before choosing a locum career? Ben Sweeney, a vet, locum and founder of Simply Locums, will explore how to prepare mentally, considering what type of person makes an effective locum; how to plan your work commitments while maintaining a work-life balance and holiday allowance; and how to strategically develop your skills and ensure career development, maintaining alignment between your individual purpose and responsible contribution to the business purpose of those organisations you choose to work for.
How to Be a Successful Working Couple
Liz Barton, VetsNet and VetsMums plus case study couple
Does having children still mark the end of one partner’s career? The struggle to find a workable and satisfactory solution to dual parent working remains an issue within the profession and often it is still the Mum who gives up full time work and career progression to be the main parent. Liz Barton, founder of VetsNet and VetMums, discusses the challenges working parents face and practical solutions to help achieve the best outcome for parents, family and businesses.