• BVA promotes guidance as survey reveals over half of farm vets injured at work, VPMA
  • BVA promotes guidance as survey reveals over half of farm vets injured at work, VPMA
  • BVA promotes guidance as survey reveals over half of farm vets injured at work, VPMA
Latest News //
  • Petplan Veterinary Awards Practice Manager of the Year Winner 2017 - Anne Corson

    Petplan Practice Manager of the Year Winner, Anne Corson from Pennard Vets in Tonbridge, Kent demonstrates the type of work she carries out in a normal working day. Watch the Video.

     
  • APPRAISALS: A SIMPLE GUIDE



    Renay Rickard, VPMA president, armed new managers with a suite of tools to help conduct appraisals with a range of practice team members during her ‘New to Management’ webinar


    Conducting appraisals causes many new managers to pale at the thought, but VPMA’s president, Renay Rickard, put minds at rest with a straightforward guide to the ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ of staff appraisals, during VPMA’s second New to Management webinar held on March 15.

    The message was clear from the beginning: make appraisals in your practice a positive experience and something that members of the team actually look forward to instead of dread!

    “In the early days, when I first started to do appraisals in my practice, it was viewed as an annual telling off! We want it to be a positive experience all round. We now have people coming to me and asking when their next appraisal is – that’s when you know you’re doing something right,” said Renay.

    It’s important to make your team member feel at ease and special – this is time invested in them in a busy practice where time is pressured and not everyone always gets listened to, continued Renay. “It’s important to commit to a time you’ve set – I’ll allow a time to be cancelled once but the appraisal has to go ahead the next time. It’s a big deal for the person being appraised so make sure they feel important and that your meeting is held somewhere private and uninterrupted,” she added.

    Being clear about the purpose of the appraisal and giving the reasons why you’re holding one is important for clarity and consistency among staff. Key to this, said Renay, was having a structure and procedure in place, including making your key performance criteria available to everyone – publishing them in the staff handbook in Renay’s practice.  

    Stats

    Polls carried out during the webinar showed an interesting split between delegates in their concerns over conducting appraisals. When asked “What is your biggest challenge regarding appraisals?” the responses were as follows:

    33%  “Unsure how to keep emotion out of it”

    27%  “Worried about confrontation issues”

    22%  “Not having a formal process in place”

    16%  “Don’t have enough objective info”

    2%   “The team members are senior to me or at practice longer”


    When asked whether their practice had an appraisal process in place, the results showed almost one-third did not.


    62% Had a process in place

    31% Did not have a process in place

    8 % Were not sure


    The message from Renay for practices without an established appraisals process was to not be intimidated by the prospect and start one yourself. She said: “If your practice doesn’t have a review process, do start one in an informal way and do it yourself if you’re heading up a small team. Ensure that the person who does take on this task has the authority to make changes or raise issues with the bosses – there’s nothing more frustrating for staff than being promised a chat and airing their views only for it not to go any further.”


    Renay shared her protocol for appraisals, which will be distributed on the accompanying slides to webinar delegates. You may still sign up now to this and other webinars in the series; visit
    http://events-by-vpma.co.uk/


    The next webinar in the series is entitled
    Difficult Team Members and Disciplinary Processes and will be delivered by Simone Taylor from Citation on April 12 at 8pm. This webinar will look at how to handle difficult team scenarios and what might be expected of you in managing a disciplinary process.


    To sign up or for more information email
    secretariat@vpma.co.uk or visit http://events-by-vpma.co.uk/

     
  • RCVS Strategic Plan 2017/19

    Leadership, innovation and culture change focus for three-year strategic plan

    The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has published its Strategic Plan for 2017 to 2019, with a focus on developing leadership within the veterinary professions, encouraging innovation, and further extending a learning culture as a counter to the ‘blame’ culture that exists in some parts of the profession.


    The Strategic Plan was developed throughout the course of 2016 with input from a number of stakeholders including RCVS Council and Veterinary Nurses Council, key committees and College staff. Most importantly, the evidence for change came from the wide and deep consultations that took place within Vet Futures, the joint RCVS and British Veterinary Association project that aims to help the veterinary profession prepare for and shape its future.

    This process led to the development of five key ambitions for the next three years:

    • Learning culture: to establish the extent to which a ‘blame’ culture exists in the veterinary professions, the role that the RCVS may play in it, the impact it may have on the welfare of vets, veterinary nurses, owners and their animals, and how we can move towards a culture that has a greater focus on learning and personal development.

    • Leadership and innovation: to become a Royal College with leadership and innovation at its heart, and support this creatively and with determination.

    • Continuing to be a First-rate Regulator: continuing to build on the foundations that have already been laid, we will work to ensure that the legislation and regulations that support us are not only fit for purpose today, but enable us to make the UK veterinary professions, and those allied professionals who work alongside them, the best that they can be into the future.

    • Global reach: in part a response to Brexit and the need to be more externally-facing but with an emphasis to improve animal health and welfare on an international basis by raising veterinary standards overseas, contributing to the One Health agenda and ensuring that our regulation keeps pace in a global market.

    • Our service agenda: to continue to build on our service agenda to ensure that people not only find interactions with us to be efficient and fair, but seek out and take up opportunities to engage further.

    Nick Stace, RCVS CEO, said: “The hallmark of our 2014 to 2016 Strategic Plan was getting the basics right by clarifying our identity, improving our core functions, setting out our service agenda and strengthening our foundations. The plan gave us a firm foundation to build upon and improved levels of confidence in the College from stakeholders which has allowed us to be more ambitious and outward-looking with this new plan.

    “Within the new plan there are challenging ambitions and stretching objectives that address some of the big issues affecting the veterinary team, whether that’s playing a more global role post-Brexit, the importance of embracing new technology, or the pressing need to consider culture change within the profession to ensure it continues to grow and learn.

    “I would ask each member of the profession to take a look at the Strategic Plan and I am very happy to receive comments and feedback on the plan by email at nick@rcvs.org.uk.”

    To download the Strategic Plan please visit www.rcvs.org.uk/publications

     
  • VPMA / SPVS Congress 2017

    Join us at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport from the 26th to 28th January 2017.

    From behaviour economics to the ultimate front of house experience; resilience to understanding mindsets; practical H&S to managing social media, with speakers from home and abroad; within and outside the profession - you don't want to miss this event.

    Incorporating the New to Management Stream: whether you're a head nurse, a lead vet in a clinical role, an administrator or client care team leader, you probably have some management elements to your job; or are you moving into management but finding it a bit daunting?  This stream is pitched at introductory level.

    For full details about Congress, click here.

     

Veterinary Business Video Show - Latest Episode

You can click here to view any or all of the previous episodes of the Veterinary Business Video Show

BVA promotes guidance as survey reveals over half of farm vets injured at work

The British Veterinary Association (BVA)  is urging all vets, veterinary employers and farmers to read and act on its Farm Health and Safety guide and information leaflets as BVA’s Spring 2015 Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey reveals that over half of vets (53%) working with production animals on farms have suffered injuries in the last twelve months. The figures are released to coincide with the start of Farm Safety Week (6-10 July).

Almost 20% (18.8%) of production animal vets rated the injuries as very or quite severe. By far the most common injury was bruising caused by kicks, with almost 85% (84.8%) of production animal vets who had been injured reporting this. Other injuries reported included lacerations, crush injuries, head injuries caused by kicks and fractures caused by kicks.

Vets responding to the survey described some of the injuries they had received:

“Kicked in the side of the head while castrating a calf.”

“Most common injuries involve cattle crushes and squashed body parts.”

“Bruised and shocked – both attacks on same farm doing whole herd testing on separate bulls, one stock and one beef bull. Both attacked from behind on a farm with poor facilities.”

BVA’s resources include a Farm Health and Safety guide and risk assessment form for veterinary practices and an information leaflet for farmers.

For veterinary practices

 

The Farm Health and Safety guide includes information about:

·         the Acts and Regulations aimed at reducing on farm injuries and deaths

·         how to develop a practice policy including management of hazards and risks

·         a list of the most common risks to assess

·         reporting requirements when accidents occur

The guide also includes a section for employees identifying key points and principles to help them meet health and safety standards when working on farms.

Accompanying the Farm Health and Safety guide a risk assessment form gives employees an overview of the risks on each farm to forewarn them of potential problems. It also encourages effective communication with the client before attending the premises to make the visit as efficient as possible.

BVA members can download these resources at http://www.bva.co.uk/Workplace-guidance/Practice-management/farm-health-and-safety/

For farmers

BVA’s client advice leaflet ‘Is your farm a safe place to work?’ is publicly available and can be downloaded from the BVA website’s You and Your Vet section at http://www.bva.co.uk/You-and-your-vet.

Addressing the farmer’s responsibility to keep vets and anyone working on their farm safe the leaflet describes what should be in place for the vet to operate safely on the farm and points to further information. The leaflet can be used for vets and farmers to start a discussion about minimising avoidable risks on farm.

Shared responsibility

BVA President John Blackwell emphasised the importance of all parties taking health and safety on farm seriously:

“These figures show the risk of injury that production animal vets run in the course of their work. Health and safety assessments can reduce these injuries and save lives by informing action plans that help minimise the risks. Farmers and vets up and down the country have seen colleagues injured on farms and consequently unable to work. Many injuries are avoidable if veterinary practices, their employees and farmers all take action to minimise the risks.

“I want veterinary practices to understand their responsibilities and make use of our resources to help protect their employees on farm visits. I want vets going out on farms to keep updating existing risk assessments to keep their colleagues and themselves safe. I hope the client leaflet helps vets and farmers to start the conversation and take action to reduce the risks.”