Congress Speakers

Helen Ballantyne, NHS

Helen graduated with a degree in Pharmacology in 2002, qualifying as a Registered Veterinary Nurse in the UK in 2005. She has worked nationally and internationally, gathering experience in referral medicine and surgery, charity practice, emergency nursing and exotics.

In 2013 she qualified as a human centred nurse, initially working in cardiothoracic intensive care. Currently she works as a Transplant Nurse Specialist. Day to day she supports living kidney donors through the process of donation. She also holds an on call role, managing the logistics of matching, retrieving and transplanting abdominal organs from deceased donors.

Helen remains a RVN and has developed a strong interest in the principles of One Health. Her first textbook, Veterinary Nursing Care Plans: Theory and Practice was published in 2018. Currently she is working on her MSc Healthcare Management.

Carolyne Crowe BVetMed (Hons), BSc (Hons), MSc, Dip Coaching, Dip Stress Management and Wellbeing, FRCVS

Carolyne is head of training at the VDS. She is an experienced equine vet, an award-winning high performance coach, mentor, international speaker, researcher, and lecturer.  Carolyne has specific expertise and interest in creating healthy workplace cultures, positive leadership and is passionate about helping others thrive at work and in their lives.

Carolyne has a Masters degree in Workplace Health and Wellbeing, diplomas in stress management and wellbeing, personal and team resilience and was awarded Coach of Excellence accreditation and her Fellowship to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2020 for her outstanding contribution to the profession.

Loving a challenge, in 2017, Carolyne ran 10 marathons in 10 days raising over £100,000 for the Brooke charity.

Louise Northway – RVN, Wendover Heights Veterinary Centre

Louise started work in practice in 2004 and qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 2009. Since then she has worked in various first opinion practices along with a referral hospital. She currently works in a large first opinion small animal and exotics practice in Buckinghamshire.

In practice her main interests are OOH, anaesthesia, analgesia and emergency & critical care nursing. Since qualifying Louise has completed two further certificates – the Vets Now VNCert(ECC) in 2015 and the ESVPS NCert(Anaesth) in 2017.

Louise is currently clinical nurse lead at her practice and is responsible for reviewing clinical standards, implementing quality improvement practices and training the team in her areas of interest.

Louise has a social media blog ‘Lou The Vet Nurse’ with over 11K followers. Through this platform she shares CPD, hints & tips and blogs about her life as a Registered Veterinary Nurse.

Alongside working full time Louise is a member of the BVNA council & VN futures career progression working group which she is very proud of.  Louise is keen to encourage nurses to view their career as one huge opportunity, to encourage lifelong learning, to find their niche and to know and value their self-worth.

Angela Rayner- MRCVS, CVS

Angela is Director of Quality Improvement for CVS, after working in small animal practice in Scotland.  She is passionate about the ecology of error and is currently enrolled in an MSc in Patient Safety and Clinical Human Factors at the University of Edinburgh, where interest in a systems-thinking approach to patient safety was first ignited.  She received an RCVS Knowledge QI Award in 2019 for improvements made in controlled drugs recording within CVS.

Angela believes that success lies in the celebration of error.  There is tremendous opportunity to transform a negative experience into a positive learning experience, to improve the safety of our patients and the wellbeing of our colleagues.  This transformation fosters trust and cooperation among teams, resulting in an open and supportive culture.

Systems thinking uses a structured, holistic approach to identify all factors that contribute to a significant event, with an emphasis on shifting away from blaming individuals toward a focus on systems performance, which can be designed to be more resilient to error.

Liz Somerville – BSc (Hons) PgCert VBM, Loch Leven Equine Practice

Liz is the Practice Manager and one of the founding Directors at Loch Leven Equine Practice, which was set up in 2005. The practice has grown from a one vet ambulatory practice to a thriving team of 15 people, working from a purpose-built clinic with full surgical facilities.

In 2018 Liz completed her Post Graduate Certificate in Veterinary Business Management with Liverpool University and is also a Director for the VMG. Liz is passionate about practice management in the veterinary industry, and she is particularly interested in the wellbeing of the whole practice team and creating a culture where the team can thrive in their individual roles. Liz is also responsible for the practice’s marketing strategy and has grown a thriving online presence utilising social media platforms and email marketing campaigns. The Practice’s popular client education programme has been running for many years and incorporates clients talks, practical workshops as well as a new podcast series.

Dan Tipney, VetLed Head of Evidence and Insights

Dan led the Human Factors training programme at a major UK airline and has since developed and delivered non-clinical training to both Veterinary and Healthcare professionals. He also represented Great Britain both as an athlete and a coach, helping  teams to consistently achieve their goals. Underpinning much of Dan’s work is the study of human behaviour and the associated impact of workplace environment and culture. At VetLed, Dan collaborates with experts from veterinary medicine, aviation, psychology and healthcare training to inspire, create and champion positive culture for the veterinary profession.