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Thanks to our vets

We're better with pets

Meet our colleagues from the film

  

Mal

Clinical Director and Veterinary Surgeon at Vets4Pets Handforth

Meet Mal

Describe your role
I am the Clinical Director of the practice and also a veterinary surgeon. It is my role to ensure that we all perform to the best of our abilities on a daily basis.

Give us an example of the state-of-the-art equipment
An example of some state-of-the-art equipment would be my favourite piece of kit which I requested especially for me on arrival - our laparoscope! This allows me to perform key-hole minimally invasive procedures and I aim to make Handforth the Cheshire centre for laparoscopic surgeries such as laparoscopic spays for female dogs.

What is your modern approach to running a practice? How are you trying to challenge the norms of a practice?
We have lots of modern touches to our practice from aesthetic features (such as our preserved moss wall) to forward-thinking team structuring. For instance, our surgical theatre is central to the practice with glass walls which offers a feeling of inclusion and allows those interested to look in whilst we operate. We encourage our clients to feel involved in our consultations with the provision of visual aids through programs such as VisioCare, video microscope and video otoscope.

We also have a team structure which creates a welcoming, inclusive feel for our clients and our support staff. Our ‘front of house’ colleagues are trained as Pet Health Advisors who introduce concepts of preventative healthcare, Health Plans and insurance to the client and accompany them into consultations. This has shown to improve the overall customer experience, compliance of the client and efficiency of the vets.

Who/what was the force behind feeling that a change within the industry was required?
The difficulties during the pandemic and recruitment crisis in this profession leaves us all wondering how we can improve practice to promote a good working environment, better services to cater for the huge pet keeping boom and improving the client experience.

Do you have a vision for the future of vet practices?
To create places in which the highest standards of veterinary services are upheld whilst being fun and happy places that teams love coming to work in!

What’s your team’s mantra?
To support each-other and maintain the overall ‘zen’ of the day, no matter how difficult it can get.

In your opinion what are the most important considerations for pets that visit you?
That the best can be done to improve an animal’s welfare in their situation. We aim to offer gold standard treatment for all animals that visit us but will do everything we can in the best interest of the pet when treatment options are limited.

Joanne

Practice Relationship Manager at Vets4Pets Handforth

Meet Joanne

Describe your role
Hi I’m Joanne and I am the Practice Relationship Manager at the new Handforth veterinary practice. After finishing school I attended Ridge Danyers college to study animal management and have worked in the animal and customer service industry ever since.

I previously worked for the Groom Room at Pets at Home for 10 years before moving into the veterinary industry. Being given the opportunity to re-join the company and manage a brand new state of the art veterinary practice has been amazing!

My daily routine includes managing insurance claims, rotas, and correspondents, but my favourite part of the role is when I get to spend time out front greeting clients and their pets. Also supporting the clinical team by providing much needed cuddles for the pets in our care, it’s a hard job but someone has to do it!

Give us an example of the state-of-the-art equipment
We have just invested in state of the art laparoscopic surgical equipment. This means we can now offer less invasive surgical procedures meaning a much quicker recovery time for our patients. We are one of only a handful of practices in the greater Manchester area that are lucky enough to have this equipment and are very excited that we can offer this service to our clients.

What is your modern approach to running a practice? How are you trying to challenge the norms of a practice?
We are a very open veterinary practice and are happy to let owners see “behind the scenes”. We even have a fully glass theatre so all procedures are visible. With the help of technology we can connect with owners and show them exactly what the veterinary team are seeing on their pets and what has brought them to a diagnosis. We have an interactive microscope so owners are able to view samples for themselves. The same with the otoscope, not only can the vet see down the pets ears, the footage is streamed onto the computer screen in the consult room so the owner can see exactly what is going on and hopefully have a better understanding of why the vet prescribes certain medications. We are leading the way with our post operative care, not only will the client receive a phone call after a surgical procedure, using our new digital practice platform, we are able to send pictures to the owner to show them how their pet is doing.

Do you have a vision for the future of vet practices?
Handforth is a practice of the future, taking the clients and their pets on a journey to achieve the best possible care available. Working alongside the store colleagues, the Groom Room colleagues, sharing knowledge to turn pets at home and Vets4Pets into a complete pet care centre. Somewhere a client can ask any member of the team a question and know that they will be given the best possible advice.

I would hope that all practices will adopt this way of practicing veterinary medicine, focusing as much on client care as pet care and pushing those barriers between the clinical and non-clinical.

What’s your team’s mantra?
Team work makes the dream work! We have taken a dream and turned it into a reality. Working together to achieve gold standard customer service and pet care standards.

In your opinion what are the most important considerations for pets that visit you?
That they are welcomed and made to feel at ease as soon as they enter the practice, that we do the upmost to keep them comfortable and free from pain, and receive the best medical care possible whilst always being treated with respect, as though they are a part of our family.

A special thanks
I would like to say a special thank you to our Pet Healthcare Advisors, these are the lovely ladies who are front of house leading the way in client care. They are the first person you see on arrival and are always ready to welcome each pet and owner with a smile. They are the backbone of the practice and without them, I and the clinical team would not be able to do what we do. They are a huge support system to us and the clients. They are encyclopaedias of knowledge and are always on hand to help clients during consultations or providing advice over the phone. I feel they are often overlooked or underappreciated, but they are all amazing!

Tyler

Registered Veterinary Nurse at Vets4Pets Handforth

Meet Tyler

Describe your role
I am a Registered Veterinary Nurse which means many things, but boiled down to a sentence my role is to oversee the general health and welfare of pets under my care. Some of my many responsibilities are anaesthetist, lab tech, surgical support, pharmacist and upholder of hygiene to name a few.

Give us an example of the state-of-the-art equipment
I think the most state of the art and important piece of equipment to me in practice is the multi-parameter monitor. Having this enables me as the anaesthetist during surgery to monitor my patient closely, looking at vitals such as pulse rate and heart activity, blood pressure, blood oxygen saturation and CO2 saturation.

By monitoring these parameters I can make judgements on the condition of the animal under anaesthetic that could point out problems occurring as soon as they happen, so we can take the steps to make sure the anaesthetic goes as smooth as possible.

What is your modern approach to running a practice? How are you trying to challenge the norms of a practice?
Having worked in both private and hospital practices I can say that Handforth and Vets4Pets really champion the client and patient experience. Making sure the owners of our patients feel that they are involved with the health of their pet and not kept in the dark. We make sure the information given is easy to digest and follow so that they can understand how they can also help to get their furry family member back to 100%.

Who/what was the force behind feeling that a change within the industry was required?
I think the general consensus of all of our peers across the country is the driving force behind the change in our industry. We elect representatives to sit on the RCVS council that we think will express our views just like in government. Recently there have been talks about reforming the role of Registered Veterinary Nurses in practice to give us more responsibilities that could help take pressure off our Surgeon colleagues which is very exciting.

Do you have a vision for the future of vet practices?
I think the future of vet practice should heavily involve the owner of the pet under our care. As said earlier, I feel sometimes people seem detached from the health care of their pet and don’t truly understand the jargon used, so making sure issues are properly explained in a way that is easily grasped can make all the difference when it comes to treating a pet with a chronic condition for example.

What’s your team’s mantra?
It would probably be something like “We’ll smash it” or something along those lines. I’m a very positive person when it comes to work ethic and I feel that positivity helps our productivity. Since the start of the pandemic it has been very hard to remain positive since being quite overworked and many clients not understanding the problems we are facing too, but trying to keep positive always gets me through a hard day.

In your opinion what are the most important considerations for pets that visit you?
My most important consideration is making sure the pets under my care return to their family at the end of the day and they are as close to perfect health as I can get them. I also make sure that I do a thorough job, working head to tail to make sure issues are not missed and all concerns are resolved.

Keith & Julie

Practice Owner/Veterinary Surgeon and Practice Owner/Practice Manager at Vets4Pets Leeds Birstall

Meet Keith and Julie

This campaign is all about saying thank you to vets, nurses and support teams, how important is that message to you?
Keith: It's a highly emotive thing that everybody's been through and because everybody cares so much, you cannot fault anybody in the veterinary profession from Client Care Advisors to the managers to the Veterinary Care Assistants, to the student nurses, for caring and giving 100%.

Julie: In our practice particularly, we were the same as the NHS workers, we were emergency care frontline. We are 24/7, our teams were working 12 hours on 12 hours off solidly for eight months. We've got to a point in our practice, as you'll see from the film, we have 67 team members, but we strongly still believe that we are a family run business, that care about all our team members.

What are you most proud of in your practice?
Keith: The culture we have created in our practice. It's the smallest of things that can make a difference, somebody notices somebody hasn’t had a dinner, that could be a Veterinary Care Assistant telling me that one of the Head Nurses hasn't taken their lunch. And that's critical, that they get that break and we all look our for each other.

Julie: I think fundamentally at the heart of any vet practice and particularly Birstall, we live and breathe creating a safe environment for our teams and clinicians, from the nurses to the vets. We have a blame culture and strive to be very positively driving forward and problem solving.

Is there anyone you want to give special thanks to?
Julie: I think the unsung heroes sometimes are the Client Care Advisors at the front desk. That job nowadays is not just saying hello. They are there to help our clients, they advise on what clients can do with their insurance, what's included in their Health Plan. When the client comes out from seeing the vet or nurse, they are there to guide them and support them. So I would want to thank them particularly.

Keith: I would say Julie. I can do the veterinary care, but managing the team, making sure everyone is looked after and has what they need, that’s all Julie.

  

Learn more about working with us

With more than 440 practices across the country, we offer veterinary professionals a range of opportunities. Find out more about working with us, and how we are supporting our industry.

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Keeping your pets happy and healthy

If you're a pet owner, we know your pet is a much-loved member of the family and that’s why we offer the very best veterinary healthcare and advice in our practices right across the UK.

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Watch our film

Our vet practice teams put their heart and soul into protecting pets every day. But there’s nothing everyday about it.

And with more pets to care for than ever before, the nation has never needed them more.

So we want to say thank you. To them, and the whole veterinary profession, for all that they do.

To vets, vet nurses, receptionists, practice managers and all the support teams for keeping hearts beating and tails wagging. 

Thanks to our vets, we’re better with pets.

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