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Deadline extended for Vet Wellbeing Awards

We and the Society for Practising Veterinary Surgeons (SPVS) have extended the deadline for the Vet Wellbeing Awards nominations to Friday 15 December 2017.

The Awards, first launched last year, were created to highlight wellbeing in the veterinary profession and to celebrate those practices that really value the health and engagement of their team. All UK practices, branch surgeries or other organisations who employ vets or vet nurses are eligible, and the prize for each category includes two registrations and banquet tickets for SPVS/VPMA Congress 2018 where the winners will be announced to the media and will be available for interview.

Practices that are thinking about applying can now access a free five-minute Wellbeing Checklist that can help provide examples of some simple activities that can improve the health and wellbeing of the veterinary team.

Nick Stuart from SPVS said: “Taking five minutes to fill out the Wellbeing Checklist is a great way to get a sense of how your practice is doing, and to identify ways in which you could improve. Practices are often doing a lot more than they realise and the Checklist shows how even such small steps as a having a fruit bowl in the staff room, or having a five-minute huddle at the start of the day, can make a huge difference.”

Lizzie Lockett, Mind Matters Director, said: “Having a supportive and constructive culture is key not just for the welfare of the staff, but for the animals they take care of. It allows all members of the team to feel comfortable coming forward with questions, clarifications, or even mistakes, and can ultimately lead to safer and more consistent care for patients.”

Entries can be made now via the website, as is the Wellbeing Checklist.

The closing date for entries is Friday 24 November 2017. You can follow the awards on Twitter and Facebook.

Vet wellbeing awards logo

SPVS/MMI WELLBEING AWARD

Dr Radha Modgil

Wellbeing on the mind for RCVS at SPVS/ VPMA Congress 2017

At this year’s Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons (SPVS)/ Veterinary Practice Management Association (VPMA) Congress we will be focusing on our current work around mental health awareness and wellbeing.

The Congress takes place at the Celtic Manor Resort near Newport, Wales from Friday 27 to Saturday 28 January 2017 with a full day’s programme based around the Mind Matters Initiative chaired by Dr Radha Modgil (pictured right), a GP and co-host of Radio 1’s The Surgery on the Friday.

The programme starts at 10.40am with a talk from Dr Modgil entitled ‘Work-related mental health’ in which she will outline how to recognise common mental health problems in oneself and colleagues and the steps to take once these have been identified.

At 12 noon this will be followed by the unveiling of the winners of the Mind Matters Initiative-supported SPVS Wellbeing Award which recognises practices that work to ensure a happy, healthy workforce.

Veterinary coach and mentor Carolyne Crowe adds her experience of working with practices across the UK to manage stress and tackle work-related mental health problems, while Nick Stuart, Senior Vice President of SPVS and chair of the Wellbeing Awards judging panel, shares ideas from some of the other highly commended entries.

The final session (at 2pm) is a discussion about how to build resilience in the workplace chaired by Dr Radha Modgil and featuring psychologists Andy McCann and Jamie Baker and Rosie Allister, a veterinary surgeon who has studied mental health and wellbeing within the profession with a focus on building resilience in undergraduates to help them cope with the stresses of clinical practice.

On the Saturday, from 10.00am to 11.30am, Mind Matters Initiative Director Lizzie Lockett and Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Council member Kate Richards will lead a workshop to consider how to improve mental health and wellbeing in large animal, equine and mixed practice.

The College will also have a team throughout the course of the event at stand C35 ready to answer any questions about our current initiatives including the Practice Standards Scheme, the Vet and VN Futures projects, the confidential reporting line and the ongoing review of our continuing professional development policy.

As part of the overall theme visitors to the stand will be encouraged to share their wellbeing tips via social media and will also have the chance of winning a Fitbit Alta wristband if they correctly guess the answer to a question posed by the College as part of the Congress’ overall exhibition competition.

New SPVS/Mind Matters Wellbeing Award

The Mind Matters Initiative is supporting the Society for Practising Veterinary Surgeons (SPVS) as they turn the spotlight on veterinary practices where wellbeing is valued, and invite them to share what they are doing via a new ‘Wellbeing Award’.

The award will recognise those practices with management systems and initiatives that motivate and engage their staff and who can demonstrate their commitment to being a better place to work.

Entries can be from branch surgeries or whole practices and there are three different categories, depending on number of employees. The prize for each category includes two registrations and banquet tickets for Veterinary Practice Management Association/SPVS Congress 2017.

Launching the awards at the British Small Animal Veterinary Association Congress on 9 April, SPVS Senior Vice-President, Nick Stuart, said: “There is much discussion within the profession about preventing mental illness and suicide. While this is vitally important, there can be a danger of painting too gloomy a picture of modern UK veterinary practice.

“These awards will help the understanding of mental wellbeing and the role this can play in job satisfaction, with the knock on effects of reducing staff turnover and increasing profitability. The awards recognise that there are many practices out there where the staff are motivated, feel valued, and look forward to coming into work each day!”

Neil Smith, Chair of the RCVS Mind Matters Initiative, added: “We are delighted to support this exciting new award. Celebrating what practices are doing well is important in terms of inspiring change, offering positive case studies and, perhaps most importantly, maintaining a positive approach to wellbeing as a key activity for all of the veterinary team.”

The awards website includes a Wellbeing Checklist which anyone can complete, whether or not they are entering, to audit their own practice performance and use to pick up tips on other activities they could implement.

The closing date for entries is 30 September 2016.