Journal news

Herriots way inspired a generation

I write in support of Maureen Aitken (VR, 4 May 2019, vol 184, p 559). I am unashamedly one of those veterinary surgeons for whom James Herriot was a major inspiration.

In his books Alf Wight espoused the sort of selfless, compassionate, dedicated professionalism of which many non-veterinary business people involved in running our practices would do well to educate themselves. Of course the James Herriot stories were not complete, they were stories after all and to suggest that those of us who read them in our youth naively believed that they told the full story does slightly insult our intelligence.

As a practice owner I know only too well the need to keep the business financially healthy. However, to make the pursuit of money our number one priority rather than being one among those of service, sacrifice, compassion, caring and principles makes it very difficult to reap the...

Categories: Journal news

'Blurred lines on registering practice premises

In response to your request for comments on the news article ‘"Blurred lines" over practice premises rules’ (VR, 4 May 2019, vol 184, p 541).

I treat non-surgical cases for four small charities, as well as my own animals. Until the autumn I was having medicines delivered to a local registered practice using my own account with the wholesalers so that the practice did not become involved with the money. However, they were told at a Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) inspection that they should not be doing this and I had to register my home with the VMD. I have recently had an inspection, which went well. However, the cost – £350 – is probably more than the profit I shall make in a year from the charities, as I do not charge for my time, so I am having to seriously think about continuing.

I can understand that...

Categories: Journal news

'Blurred lines on registering practice premises

I have had a similar problem in regard to medicines as reported in a news article (VR, 4 May 2019, vol 184, p 541).

I am a veterinary behaviourist and have just left general practice to solely do this. I contacted a wholesaler this week and was told I would have to be registered to obtain any products from them. Most of the products I want are pet supplies – muzzles, Adaptil (Ceva), and so on, although it would have been nice to obtain drugs for my own pets.

I have since found an online store and can buy most of the products much cheaper from them.

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Working together to promote the mental wellbeing of farmers

This month, Peter Hynes, a dairy farmer in Cork, discusses mental wellbeing in the farming sector

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Holding yourself in high esteem

Research has linked low self-esteem to issues including depression and anxiety. According to practising vet and trainer Charlotte Whincup, key to combatting it can be changing the way in which you speak to yourself – as Claire Read reports.

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Finding your power source

After a particularly difficult period at work, Charlotte Whincup found she was asking herself a very serious question: did she actually want to be a vet any more?

She approached a coach and a nuanced answer was revealed. Yes, she wanted to continue in clinical practice. But she did not want it to be the sole aspect of her working life.

‘I realised that when I have days when I’ve got loads of challenging medical cases, I’m exhausted. Actually it’s talking to people that gives me energy and inspires me.’

It means she now juggles life as a veterinary locum with time as a trainer, using support skills built through voluntary work and further study. ‘Having that balance just works a lot better for me.’

Which is not to say, she emphasises, that it is the correct recipe for every vet struggling with thoughts about whether to stay within...

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