Lecture Programme

Please note: lectures cannot be pre-booked and some may be oversubscribed on the day.  Therefore, we can’t guarantee you will get into your first choice but there will always be alternative options available. 


8:00: Citation Business Breakfast:  Employment Law Clinic – Sarah Rhodes, Citation

9:00: Presidents’ Welcome and Congress Opener- Sponsored by VBJ
Keynote Speaker: Clare Balding

Don’t Miss

11:40:  An Introduction to Mindfulness in the Workplace
Sean Gilgallon, Citation

Why is everyone talking about mindfulness in the workplace? What is it? How does it help? Are you curious and would like to understand more about the reasoning behind and practical application of mindfulness at work? Sean Gilgallon, Citation, is an experienced mindfulness trainer. In this session, he will interact with delegates to set the scene and provide take away tools to reduce mind wandering and improve focus on the reality of the now.    Repeated Saturday 25th, 9:00.

STREAM A:  Wellbeing in Practice

10:40:  LGBT+ in Practice
Dan Makin, President, BVLGBT+

Anecdotal evidence suggests that within the profession there is both misunderstanding (leading to embarrassment or inappropriate behaviour and language), and outright discrimination when it comes to LGBT+ issues. Do you understand your legal and personal obligations with regard to sexual orientation and gender discrimination towards colleagues and clients?  This doesn’t need to be a minefield if you take the time to understand the issues.  Dan Makin, President of BVLGBT+ shares stories of discrimination leading to poor mental health as well as positive stories around those practices who get it right.  He makes the business, recruitment and legal case for introducing policies for your team to help educate, inform, and instil a sense of belonging and describes what those might look like.

11:40: Inclusion and Equality in the Workplace
Dan Makin, BVLGBt+; Navarathnam Partheeban, BVEDS; Ebony Escalona, VSGD

Is your workplace welcoming and non-discriminatory?  Do your team all have a sense of belonging?  Quite apart from your legal responsibilities around equality, a feeling of exclusion or otherness – or at worst outright prejudice – can contribute to poor mental health and low performance.   In contrast, a practice with good policies around equality and inclusion, who take this off the page and into day to day management, including their policies around client behaviour, can reap the benefits of a happy, healthy and neuro-diverse team. A panel including first hand experience of mental health, neurodiversity, BME and LGBT+ is chaired by Clare Balding.

13:30: Being the leader you and your team need
Caroline Pearson, Progressive Vet Consulting and Wellbeing Award Winners

Good leadership is central to team morale and wellbeing.  So what makes you who you are and how can you be the leader you want to be? We all have a past and, good or bad, it contributes to who we are and our strengths and weaknesses as leaders. Effective people and business leadership relies on exceptional self-leadership. What drives the leader you have become? How can you be the leader you aspire to be? Caroline Pearson will present current leadership thinking and challenge delegates to ask: Are you distracted or focused, selfless or egocentric, confident or diffident and, more importantly, why?  None of these are black and white, but understanding where you might be on the spectrums and how our upbringing and past experience may have influenced this will help you take a step on the journey towards becoming the leader you and your team need.
This is followed by a panel of Wellbeing Award Winners describing their own leadership journeys and styles and what they have learnt about themselves by leading others.

15:30: Civility in Practice
Dan Tipney, VetLed

It is likely that at some point everyone will encounter difficult people at work, but when that person is in a position of authority or seniority and their behaviour is not challenged, they can become a risk.  Not only can their behaviour impact on the wellbeing of others, it can put clients, the team and animals in danger.  Bad behaviour from consultants within the NHS has been recognised and researched and is now being challenged, and the impact on team harmony, productivity and patient safety is coming under scrutiny.  Dan Tipney will share the evidence from within the NHS and campaigns such as ‘Civility Saves Lives’ and considers how best to apply this learning to the veterinary profession.  He will make a strong case for linking wellbeing with both animal safety and quality improvement.

STREAM B:  Marketing

10:40: Marketing your practice in 2020
Graham Avent, Director of Marketing, IVC

Are marketing campaigns worth the time and effort?  With suppliers and pharmaceuticals trying to persuade you to run a different campaign every week, which ones really work and how do you execute them effectively?
Graham Avent worked in the car industry before taking up a marketing role with Bath Vet Group.  He is now Director of Marketing at IVC, responsible for strategy and campaign planning across the whole group.  He will describe the key elements of a successful campaign at practice level and how to measure the results.  Most importantly, he will describe the groundwork, leadership and culture that must be in place for any successful marketing effort to be cost effective.

11:40: America’s Best Practices and How They Do It
Bash Hallow, Hallow Consulting, New York

Sponsored by

Bash is back!  If you have never experienced one of his lectures, make sure you don’t miss this.  He will bring his usual high energy and enthusiasm to a session outlining what some of the best independent clinics in the states have done to attract and keep clients in an increasingly competitive climate.

14:00: Pimp up your Pet Health Plans
Charlie Barton, Virtual Recall

Pet Health plans are a focus for the vast majority of practices, but most hit a ceiling in terms of penetration and are also battling attrition.  On average, almost a quarter of new joiners drop out within 3 months and the average lifespan of a client ‘on plan’ tends to be less than two years. We know that a good PHP is hugely beneficial to pets, clients and the practice; a win-win all round.  In this session, Charlie Barton will encourage you not just to concentrate on new sign up numbers, but really focus on retention. They will share the results from several case study practices which identify the key intervention points in the customer journey, putting in place proactive, personalised communications to increase penetration & retention.

Sponsored by

15:30: Websites that Work (and those that don’t)
Andrew Rastall, Connected Vet

Unless you’re deliriously happy with your practice’s current website then this is a seminar you really shouldn’t miss.  Building a new website tends to be a once every 5 years or so job; if you haven’t redesigned yours for a decade then you probably should!  Andrew Rastall covers what you need to understand when buying and building a website and what you should expect to get for your money.   He will cover how builders cost their websites, what you should get as ‘standard’, what will cost you extra, what you should expect for different budgets, hidden extras to look out for and costs you can’t avoid, and how to decide whether to refresh or rebuild.  He will conclude by demonstrating how your website should integrate with other elements of your marketing mix, to efficiently do the job it was born to do… get you more & better business.

STREAM C:  Our Digital Future

10:40:  The Digital Vet 2030
Guen Bradbury, MRCVS and Greg Dickens,MRCVS, Innovia Technology

Whether or not you’re ready for it, the future of veterinary practice will be digital. What value is there in this shift for vets, nurses, and practice managers? Guen Bradbury and Greg Dickens trained as vets but now work for a large innovation consultancy with blue chip clients from all sectors and have run workshops for RCVS Knowledge.  They will lay out an inspirational vision of the digital benefits and costs of the practice of 2025, and what that might mean for the people that work there and then.

11:40: The Future Pet Owner
Chair: Gudrun Ravetz, Simplyhealth Professionals

Sponsored by

A number of different studies have been carried out recently on how pet owners are changing in terms of their digital habits, expectations and spending patterns.  Gudrun Ravetz quizzes those behind the work, including studies carried out by Simplyhealth.

13:30: Getting Veterinary Telemedicine Just Right
Thom Jenkins, Gula and Susie Samuel, Vet Help Direct

Thom will share the experience from his telemedicine platform for practices, showing how telemedicine can be used, not to replace in-person consultations, but to provide pet owners with an easy ‘low effort’ access to veterinary expertise that competes with Dr Google or “hoping for the best”. Susie Samuel will share research Vet Help Direct have carried out which suggests pet owners would welcome the opportunity to link up with their own vets on line such as using an app that lets vets run video consultations with their clients and that, far from being a threat to GP practice, telemedicine can offer an additional service to existing clients and bring in new ones. Both agree it’s not about uploading pets to the cloud but rather engaging pet owners in the care of their animal in a way that feels just right to them.

15:30: The Digital Debate
Guen Bradley, Greg Dickens & Thom Jenkins, Chair: Susie Samuel, Vet Help Direct

STREAM D: Leadership and Culture

10:40: Emotional Intelligence: What is it, how to Measure and Improve it
Margaret Burnside, Cake People

People talk about Emotional Intelligence (EQ) vs IQ but while there is a standard (if controversial) measurement of IQ few actually define what they mean by EQ, with a general feeling that it is more abstract and therefore not possible to measure.  But EQ has been defined and can be measured.  What’s more contrary to popular myth, it is not a fixed thing.  Once you have measured EQ, you can work on ways to improve it, in yourself and in members of your team.   Margaret Burnside describes the science behind the most widely accepted measure of EQ, the MSCEIT test and how you can use this effectively as a personal development and leadership tool.

11:40: Understanding Personalities
Jodi O’Dell, Engage and Penny Barker, VDS Training 

What exactly is personality, is it fixed and can it be measured?  In this double session, Occupational Psychologist, Jodi O’Dell reviews the current thinking on personality and mindset and how this influences people’s behaviour, in particular their decisions and choices.  Jodi believes in encouraging people to take more personal ownership of their own development and mindset.
Following on from this, Penny Barker from VDS training will present the benefits of using profiling tools with both individuals and teams to improve communication, management and teamwork, using case studies from the profession.

14:00: Mindful Leadership Explained
Vicki Curtis, Indigo Square

We all know women are brilliant at multi-tasking while men just can’t get it.  Or do we?  In fact, the evidence is that we are all equally bad at multi-tasking and whatever we do we do better if we give it our whole attention.  And that extends to leadership.  In this session, Vicki Curtis will summarise what she means by mindfulness and how it can be applied to the role of leader, sharing the evidence from both the UK and elsewhere including some very large workplace studies.   In the second session, Vicki Curtis will describe how you can apply the principles in practice to become a better, happier and more fulfilled leader.

15:30: Mindful Leadership in Practice
Vicki Curtis, Indigo Square

See above.

STREAM E: Management Mastery

Sponsored by

10:40: Analyse, Plan & Strategise: How to Plan your Business and Projects
Richard Casey, Blue Cross

How do I approach this? What do I include? I don’t know what’s going to happen next month yet alone in three years!  These are all questions or comments often uttered when discussing business plans. But what if planning of any sort didn’t have to be difficult or fill you with dread? What if planning could actually be fun? Richard Casey, Junior Vice President and Clinical Development Manager at Blue Cross will share simple and straight forward methods to make sense of the environment your operating in, get team involvement, and begin carving up your very own yellow brick road. This session will benefit anyone with an interest in, or responsibility for business plans, strategy or project management, no matter how big or small.

11:40:  Filling that Vacancy
Georgina Hills, VMG & IVC

What is reputation and why is it an answer to recruitment? In this session Georgina Hills, VMG Director & Operations Manager for IVC looks at what factors contribute to reputation, how to build your reputation and what this means for the recruitment process. Having worked in both independent and corporate practice and as an examiner for the Certificate in Veterinary Practice Management, Georgina has worked with a variety of practices with varying reputations over the years and brings this hands on experience to the session.

12:30: CVPM Update
VMG Certificate & Training Committee

14:00: Understanding Profit
Mike Clare, VetRunner

Recent surveys suggest many vet practices are underperforming with respect to profit.  But what is even meant by true profit and how do you measure and track it? Everyone in a management role should be able to read their monthly Profit and Loss (P&L) and yet many are not comfortable with a spread sheet and think this is best left to accountants and book keepers.  In this session, Mike Clare, goes back to basics and takes apart a typical vet practice monthly P&L, showing you what you should pay attention to and where you can make a difference.  He will show you how to extract the key figures you need to benchmark your profitability and produce the evidence to make business decisions and to start conversations with team members or ask your boss for investment in staff or equipment.

15:30:  Peace in a War Zone:  Managing Conflict in the Workplace
Tracey Morley Jewkes, Willows Referral Services & Veterinary Centre

Peace and harmony at work are things we all want.  Occasionally things go wrong. How do you handle the heat? How do you carve a new path to turn the raging torrent into a stream of serenity and synergy with a few simple questions? How do you transform handbags (or manbags) at dawn into harmony and happiness?  Join Tracey for a few easy tools to add to your kit bag to take some of the more stressful elements of management into a calmer, more effective place… fast!



08:00: Boehringer Business Breakfast: Behavioural Economics: What it is and how to use it
Leigh Caldwell, The Irrational Agency

STREAM A: Profitable Practice, Chair:  Suzanne Headington, Hazlewoods

9:00: How to Cost the Options and Measure the Returns

Most practices will reach the point where they are outgrowing their premises and want to expand.  You may want to refurbish your consult rooms, waiting room or operating theatre to help drive clinical standards and create amazing workspaces or build an extension to address capacity constraints or create a space for a new service such as a CT scanner.  In some cases, refurbishment or expansion will be impractical so you may be looking to relocate or perhaps open a feeder branch to capitalise on the local opportunity.  Maybe you don’t even know which of these you want to go for but want to weigh up the options.  For Clinical Directors in a practice owned by a large group, you will have to make the business case.  Owners should go through the same exercise, even although in practice there can be a tendency to let heart rule head.

9:55: The Psychology of Price
Leigh Caldwell, The Irrational Agency

Sponsored by

One of the most important questions for any business is: how much should I charge? Economics has an easy answer – just look at where demand and supply meet. But the easy answer is wrong: choosing the right pricing strategy is a more complex affair. Should you compare your prices to a benchmark? Offer discounts or maintain an expensive premium image? What about the effect of changing the timing on a payment? And how does a customer’s personal and financial circumstances affect their willingness to pay?  Whether you are a supermarket or a vet practice, price is a psychological issue and you can make the most of that knowledge. Behavioural economist, Leigh Caldwell and author of The Psychology of Price offers his views on how consumers think and purchase, demystifying a critical aspect of running a business and lucidly and logically explaining the science behind pricing and how you can apply that to a service business such as veterinary practice.

11:20:  Making the Most of your Labs and Lab Work
Lynn Mckeown, Zoetis

Sponsored by

How much billed income goes straight back out the door as lab fees?  Is this something you could be retaining to improve your profitability?  In this session, Lynn Mckeown looks at the steps you need to take to first assess your capability and then to determine the required investment required to increase in-house lab work.  She will also consider how to measure and track the true return on investment. The costs will be in equipment, expansion of your premises, training to upskill your team and/or recruitment. The potential benefits, in addition to increased profit, can be career development, job satisfaction and retention of key team members of your team and a better client service.   She will include case study practices as illustration.

12:15:  Working with Charities; making it a win, win
Adam Clowes and Runa Hanaghan Dogs Trust, plus case study

Sponsored by

If you have a dog and/or cat rehoming centre in your area, it could provide a good workstream.  A common model for the major charities is a partnership with a local practice, often with a vet and/or nurse running consults and doing minor surgery, neutering etc at the rehoming centre facilities. The contracts will be tendered and are competitive so it may not be the most lucrative work you do, but it can cover the cost of a vet and nurse, help your rotas and provide job satisfaction and foster your community relations. If the pets are rehomed in your catchment area, you are best placed to become their vet of choice.  In this session, Adam Clowes, Operations Director at The Dog’s Trust explains how they work with local practices and what they are looking for in a partner, while a practice that provides the vet service discusses how it works for them and what you should consider before putting yourself forward for this type of contract.

STREAM B: Adapt, Improve, Achieve, In partnership with RCVS Knowledge

09:00: Getting the Team on Board to Own and Deliver Improvement
Shobhan Thakore, Scottish Quality & Safety Fellowship (SQSF)

The SQSF is an international lead level training programme with participants from at Scotland, Northern Ireland, Canada, Norway and Denmark.  Shobhan Thakore is the Clinical Lead for the programme which develops improvement leaders by training them in the underpinning science and in leadership skills to help effect change.  In this session he tells the story of the evolution of a performance culture in the NHS and how Quality Improvement is being used to shift this towards a value based approach. He will outline recent initiatives such as Realistic Medicine in the Scottish NHS as a way to engage staff, manage expectations and deal with increasing fear of litigation. He believes everyone in healthcare has two roles each working day: to do their job delivering healthcare and to improve it.

9:55: Quality Improvement in vet practice: Where the Profession is Right Now?
Tom Ling:  Head of Evaluation and Senior Research Leader at RAND Europe

The recent emphasis on Quality Improvement (QI) in vet practice might suggest that there has been a lack of quality in the past.  Not so says Tom Ling who was commissioned by RCVS Knowledge to look at QI within the profession.  However he feels that systems and protocols do matter in a world where knowledge and expertise is increasing rapidly, new practices are being set up and older ones sold at a rate not seen before and where recruitment and retention is an issue and client expectations are very different to a generation before.  Tom has carried out similar work within human health and is therefore able to make comparisons. He will share the research he carried out and his reflections on what vet practice can learn from the NHS as well as the challenges and opportunities he sees as particular to the veterinary profession.
This will be an interactive session, inviting delegates to share their own views of what QI does and should look like in veterinary practice

11:20: Safety and the Human Factor: thinking differently
Suzette Woodward, Patient Safety Specialist, NHS

Suzette has worked on patient safety in the NHS for 20 years and has contributed to RCVS/NHS One Health events involving the UK veterinary profession. She believes that much of the learning from human health both in the UK and worldwide is transferable and the veterinary profession can learn from their achievements and their mistakes. Suzette looks in particular how the pursuit of patient safety and excellence within the NHS gave rise to an over emphasis on looking for negligence leading to a blame culture, and how they are trying to move on from that.  She will discuss the four levels of staff competence and why the highest level does not necessarily equate to the highest level of safety or excellence.

12:15: Systems Thinking for Safe Practice
Richard Killen and Angela Rayner, CVS

Mistakes in practice can be reduced by having good systems.  For example, ensuring that all animals are clearly identified from the moment they are admitted, will minimise the risk of medication errors, as will storing drugs with similar appearance in different places within the practice.
CVS are embedding quality improvement and systems design throughout their practices, led by former Director of Clinical Services, Richard Killen, and Director of Quality Improvement, Angela Rayner, who is currently studying for a Masters in Patient Safety and Clinical Human Factors.  This will be a practical session showing what system design looks like in practice.  They will discuss how to embed ‘systems thinking’ within your practice team, encouraging constructive analysis of significant events, as well as daily practices, leading to constant review of audits, checklists, protocols and guidelines.
Richard and Angela will concentrate on small animal practice.  Rachel Dean from Vet Partners will give a parallel lecture on QI in large animal and equine practice, see stream D

14:10:  How we Do It:  Quality Improvement in Vet Practice Case Studies
Louise Northway, Wendover Heights Veterinary Centre; Alison Thomas, Blue Cross; Liz Cox, IVC; Richard Byrne, West Bar Veterinary HospitalChaired by Dan Tipney, VetLed

A panel of vets and nurses from very different practices or groups of practices share their first-hand experience of quality improvement in their workplace.  From hand hygiene to temperature management of anaesthetised animals, Liz Cox, Group Nursing Advisor at IVC shares the value of audits, while ‘Lou the vet nurse’ Northway from Wendover Heights VC and Alison Cox, Chief Vet at Blue Cross explain what they did in their practices to become RCVS Knowledge QI Champions.  Richard Byrne, PSS Assessor and vet at West Bar Hospital explains the role his Practice Management System played in QI.  Dan Tipney brings his wide experience of quality improvement and safety from veterinary profession, interviewing the panel and chairing an audience Q&A.

STREAM C: Effective Leadership

Sponsored by

9:00: Performance Conversations
Margaret Burnside, Cake People

The effectiveness of Annual – or even 6 monthly – Appraisals is being questioned which might not be what you want to hear just when you’ve finally set up a regular team appraisal system that seemed to be working.  Margaret Burnside looks at the current thinking that suggests regular ‘conversations’ or ‘check ins’ are more effective, weighing this up against the practicalities of managing a busy overstretched clinical and non-clinical team.

9:55: Sleep: A Manager’s Responsibility?
Mike Farquhar, Guys and St Thomas NHS Trust

There is a growing body of evidence to show that lack of sleep is bad for your long-term health with acute sleep loss associated with type 2 diabetes, weight gain, heart disease and cancer.  In the short term, lack of sleep is dangerous; levels of fatigue and sleep deprivation commonly found at the end of night shifts produce a comparable effect as being at the legal drink/drive limit and was cited in the inquest into a recent road accident death of a junior doctor as probably the most important contributing factor.  Mike Farquhar is a sleep expert at Evelina Children’s Hospital, Guys and St Thomas NHS Trust, but he is also passionate about the importance of training health professionals who work night shifts (or who just find sleep difficult) and their managers in the basic physiology of sleep and some simple ways to improve it.

11:20: The Loneliness of the Leader
Penny Barker, RCVS, VDS Training

It can be lonely at the top, particularly if you have moved up within your team.  Overnight you may have had to switch from friend to boss and suddenly you feel you are expected to have all the answers.  In a small team it can be hard to learn that respect is more important than friendship and to step back from the day to day gossip while at the same time not appearing aloof or uncaring.  A good leader offers support and a listening ear to their team, but who do they have as sounding board?  In this session Penny Barker brings her experience as a vet, management consultant and coach, both within and outside the veterinary profession to a consideration of how to make this transition and support yourself in a challenging role. She’ll help you to identify who you need in your corner to coach, mentor, support and inspire you to continue to grow as a leader.

12:15: Practical Ways to Communicate Effectively
Caroline Pearson, Progressive Vet Consulting

For a team to really engage in new ideas, improvements and change, they need to have ownership.  To have ownership, they need to feel they have been fully consulted and informed and their responses and ideas have been listened to.  Things have moved on since the ubiquitous SWOT charts (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) and there are now a wide range of different brainstorming techniques on offer, some more inventive than others.  But what really works in terms of getting your ideas across and allowing everyone on the team to have an equal voice?  Caroline Pearson shares some of her favourites and, to prove that interaction works, she engages the audience to share their top tips for effective and creative team communication.

STREAM D:  Equine and Large Animal

9:00: Where is the money coming from in Large Animal Practice
Alan Robinson, Vet Dynamics and Jenny Bellini, Friars Moors Vets

Responsible anti-microbial use, rising salaries and alternative medicine suppliers are just a few of the financial pressures which may affect the income and expenditure of your large animal practice in 2020 and beyond. With the income shift away from the medicine trail, where should large animal managers focus their attention to ensure their practices adapt and remain profitable? How do you identify and maximise the sustainable profit centres within the business or find new opportunities? Large animal practice is arguably facing greater financial challenges than ever before and hunkering down is unlikely to lead to success. In this session, Alan Robinson will demonstrate how to keep ahead of the challenges and build your wider services before it’s too late. They are joined by Jenny Bellini, Friars Moor Vets, to explain how they have approached the Anti-microbial resistance (AMR)  “financial conflict of interest” with surprising financial results.

9:55: Flexitime and Continuity of Care in Equine Practice
Hattie Lawrence, Equine Director, CVS

There is a common misconception that Flexible working means part-time hours for mothers with young children.  In reality there are a great many different forms of flexible working such as full time hours across a working week, but at a time that works for you.  Nor are those requesting flexitime only fitting working hours around childcare; they may be studying for a diploma, training for a triathlon, or looking after their own horse.  In this session, Hattie Lawrence, Equine Director UK for CVS describes some of the options she has seen in equine practice from compressed hours to paid study leave; part time working to week on; week off rotas.   She will describe how to overcome the challenges and explain how Flexible Working can not only benefit employees, it can improve productivity and staff retention, and is our best chance to secure a sustainable workforce for the future.

11.20: Running Successful Equine & Large Animal Client Meetings
Liz Somerville, Loch Levin Equine Practice

Whether you are a new start up practice, looking to expand your catchment area or want to focus on building meaningful relationships to retain your current clients, educational client talks offer a great marketing opportunity for equine and farm practices alike. In this session Liz Somerville will take you through how to build clients talks into your overall marketing strategy, how to market your talks to maximise attendance and build your email list at the same time, as well as making sure your clients go away feeling enthused, engaged and recommending the practice to all their friend.

12:15: Quality Improvement: Walking the Talk in Ambulatory Practice 
Rachel Dean, Vet Partners 

Quality Improvement is the new holy grail in veterinary medicine but what does it actually mean?  Chances are you are doing QI already, just not calling it that, so why all the fuss?  In this session, Rachel Dean, Director of Clinical Research and Excellence in Practice at Vet Partners, explains why she believes it is important to formalise QI and bring the whole team on board with an understanding of why it matters.  Rachel worked in mixed, large animal and small animal practice as well as working in referral and research institutes. She took a masters in Evidence Based Healthcare with Oxford University and has spent time working on QI within the NHS.  She will look at the particular challenges faced by ambulatory practice when it comes to improving clinical standards and how these might be addressed.  This will be an interactive session allowing you to share experiences and ideas from others in similar practices. 

STREAM E: Sustainable Practice

9:00: Greening up the Vet Profession: the case for a professional approach
Ellie West, Davies Veterinary Specialists and April Sotomayor, Investors in the Environment

What exactly is sustainability? Is it carbon or waste or both?  And what could and should veterinary practices be focusing on to make the biggest impact? Ellie West is a leading light in veterinary sustainability, campaigning within the wider profession as well as leading by example in her own role at Davies Veterinary Specialists.  She has worked with and been advised by April Sotomayor from Investors in the Environment. Quite apart from the ethical obligations, they believe that sustainability makes good business sense.  From the PR angle, your clients will increasingly want to know you care, as will potential new staff members.  Legally you are obliged to adhere to certain regulations and these will continue to become tougher, and financially, saving energy and waste saves money.  Whether you are a business owner wanting to understand why you should do this, or an employee wanting the ammunition to persuade your boss, Ellie and April have the arguments.

9:55: Sustainability Saves Money… lots of it
Clare Topping, Northampton General Hospital

Clare Topping is a Chartered Environmentalist and self-styled ‘Eco Ninja’ who works for Northampton General Hospital as Energy and Sustainability Manager and has saved hundreds of thousands of pounds and won environmental awards with her campaign to green up the hospital. With a staff of 5,000 over a large site, the challenges are very different to the average vet practice or even large veterinary hospital, but there are still things that can be learnt and built into every-day management of practice.  Her role has to be self-funding and so saving money is a key driver for change, chiefly in energy consumption, but also in better systems for use of disposable items.  She also aims to enthuse and educate hospital staff to encourage greener behaviours.  From recycling crisp packets to greener ways to dry your hands; reordering theatre packs to a genuinely green solution dispensing drinking water, Clare will share some of her tips for greening up and winning hearts and minds.

11:20: Plastic and other Waste: Are you Compliant
Anne Woolridge, Independent Safety Services (ISSL)

Are you confident that you are compliant in waste management?  If so, whose advice are you taking?  Your local waste contractor?  RCVS PSS, the Environment Agency or the Health & Safety Executive?  You have legal, moral and professional obligations in terms of waste management and they are not always in complete alignment.  Rules and regulations also change regularly.
And even if you are putting all the correct waste into the correctly coloured disposal bins and bags, do you know what happens to it once it is collected?  Quite apart from your legal requirements, if you want to try and save waste and save the planet, it is good to understand where your effort will have most impact.  When it comes to medical use of plastic, the picture can be complicated, but by understanding the issues, you can do your bit to help.  Anne Woolridge, an independent advisor in waste medical waste management (human and veterinary) will try to bring some clarity to an increasingly complicated picture.

12:15: How we did it… and won an award!
Ellie West, Davies Veterinary Specialists

Ellie West will share her journey towards putting the principles of environmental sustainability into practice in her own workplace. She will explain how she brought the team and her bosses at a top referral practice with her and the benefits they have seen, from recruitment and retention of staff to customer approval.  She will describe how Davies Veterinary Specialists gained their Silver Level accreditation with Investors in the Environment. She will discuss the challenges and barriers to improving sustainability that you may face in your own practice and offer some positive solutions.

14:10: The Sustainability Q&A
Ellie West, Anne Woolridge and April Sotomayor answer your sustainability questions

Sustainability is a key priority for many of us both in our personal lives and at work, but it can be difficult to know where to start and what are the most effective steps to take.  This is your opportunity to quiz three people with some answers, Ellie West from sustainability award winning practice, Davies Veterinary Specialists, Anne Woolridge, waste management advisor, and April Sotomayor from Investors in the Environment who help businesses save money while reducing their environmental impact.


The above is a draft programme and is subject to change.