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Report urges more support for BAME students

Report urges more support for BAME students

Joint RCVS and VSC publication makes 14 recommendations to help institutions implement change. 

A new report setting out recommendations for how to improve support for Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) veterinary students has been published by the RCVS in partnership with the Veterinary Schools Council (VSC).

The BAME Student Support Working Group Report is the culmination of the work of the joint RCVS and VSC BAME Student Support Working Group, established to explore key issues in supporting BAME veterinary students during their studies. 

In the report, the group makes 14 recommendations to improve the experience of BAME students, including:
  • developing formal support and guidance documents for students going on placement and developing formal discrimination reporting mechanisms for students;
  • ensuring all staff and students are aware of the new RCVS Accreditation Standards in relation to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in teaching and placement settings; 
  • providing guidance and training to university staff on handling discrimination complaints;
  • providing EDI training to university staff, students and placement providers to improve awareness of equality legislation – including rights and responsibilities – as well as other key concepts in EDI, such as micro-aggressions;
  • resource, support and collaborate with BAME student groups and societies to better understand experiences;
  • improve the visibility of BAME role models to create a more inclusive and positive educational experience for BAME students;
  • provide access to support and advice for BAME students through internal and external mentoring initiatives;
  • review and adapt the guidance on religious clothing and belief for use within local settings. 
RVC graduate Stephanie-Rae Flicker, who co-chaired the Working Group with Professor Rob Pettitt from the University of Liverpool, said: “It has been a privilege to contribute to the VSC and RCVS BAME Student Working Group in the last year. Collectively, our members have been able to reflect on the experiences of under-represented students within our profession and produce recommendations for improvements in this Report.

“I hope this encourages and supports our veterinary institutions to actively implement change regarding discrimination faced during studies and placements, nurturing role models and helping affected students develop a sense of belonging and community during their studies and beyond.”

Professor Pettitt added: “I, and the rest of the team, am immensely proud of this report that is the result of many hours of hard work from many people; I cannot thank them all enough. It is however important to state that this is just the first stage and VSC will work hard to deliver the recommendations that have come from this report to ensure that everyone in the profession can work in a supported and safe manner no matter what.” 

In addition to the report, the RCVS has published separate guidance on religious clothing and beliefs. This guidance is designed to act as a template that can be adopted and used by vet schools, EMS placement providers, other veterinary educational establishments and any veterinary organisation.

European vets gather for FVE General Assembly

European vets gather for FVE General Assembly

The General Assembly was the first outside Brussels since Covid.

The Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) General Assembly has finally taken place after two years of delays, bringing together delegates from veterinary associations and regulators across the continent.

The event, scheduled for 2020 but postponed due to the pandemic, took place over two days at Church House, Westminster (17-18 June). Hosted by the RCVS and the BVA, the delegation also included the Association of Veterinarians of Ukraine, which gave a moving update on the Russian invasion and its impact on vets and animal welfare.

FVE president Dr Rens van Dobbenburgh and UK chief veterinary officer Dr Christine Middlemiss formally opened the proceedings, after which there were updates on eduacation, veterinary medicines, diversity and inclusion, and the activities of the Animal Welfare Group.

Day one also saw RCVS CEO Lizzie Lockett deliver an update on workforce issues affecting the UK veterinary professions and the College's work on mitigating them. This was followed by an address from the FVE president and Dr Ivo Claassen, head of veterinary medicines at the European Medicines Agency.

FVE’s key divisions and project groups, including the Food Safety and Sustainability Working Group and the One Health Networks, delivered updates on the second day. Guest speakers included talks from BVA President Justine Shotton on ‘Responsible use of parasiticides for cats and dogs,’ and European specialist Fergus Allerton on the European Union’s work to develop sustainable antimicrobial treatment guidelines. 

FVE president, Rens van Dobbenburgh, said: “This was our first FVE General Assembly outside Brussels since Covid. The event was extremely well organised by our colleagues from the RCVS and BVA. All of us were impressed by the exquisite locations where we had our meetings, our opening reception and the gala dinner. 

“The GA itself was very successful with the adoption of two FVE position papers, namely on animal welfare labelling and transport, and many high-quality presentations on the programme. Last but not least, the event was a perfect mixture of the formal parts together with countless opportunities for networking between European colleagues. Big thanks to our UK colleagues for organising such a splendid event!”

SRUC names new head of veterinary education

SRUC names new head of veterinary education

Professor Jim Anderson will help shape the development of the new SRUC veterinary school.

Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) has taken the next step in the development of its new veterinary school, appointing Professor Jim Anderson as its new head of veterinary education.

Professor Anderson, previously associate head and Professor of Veterinary Neurology and Neurosurgery at the University of Glasgow’s School of Veterinary Medicine, will play a leading role in shaping and growing Scotland’s first tertiary model of veterinary teaching and learning. 

He said: “It is a hugely exciting challenge to help shape and develop this vital new service which aims to provide a sustainable, resilient foundation for clinical excellence to support the animals and communities at the heart of Scotland’s natural economy.

“It is a great privilege to take on the delivery of this aim and grow a veterinary school that is truly embedded within an institution that embodies the development of the environment and agriculture and which will be a unique offering in the UK’s veterinary education space.”

SRUC chief executive and principal, Professor Wayne Powell, added: “The appointment of someone of Jim’s calibre and experience is vital in supporting our growth agenda in this essential area.

“He is a critical element of the new school’s set-up in order to support our contribution to the development of Scotland’s natural economy as a driving force behind the promotion of resilience, diversity and sector fit among our veterinary graduates, embedding them in real-world experience and practice from the outset.

“We have already made a number of key appointments in 2022, and they have all shared their excitement in our sense of purpose and mission, and we hope to continue that trend with the next tranche of vet school posts.”

SRUC intends to fill a number of other key positions in addition to the head of veterinary education. The first of these -  the director of veterianry partnerships - will lead on developing and managing a portfolio of partner clinical practices and animal enterprises to support the educational needs of students.

Other senior posts within the school and recruitment of year one veterinary lecturers are due to follow. 

Image (C) SRUC.

RCVS launches new digital learning platform

RCVS launches new digital learning platform

The RCVS Academy has been built to support professional development.

The RCVS has launched a new digital learning platform to support veterinary professionals in their career development and help them meet professional standards.

Created in partnership with members of the veterinary professions, the new RCVS Academy also promises to help vets stay up to date with the latest professional developments.

The platform provides learning resources - including video, activities and reflective practice - for every career stage, including graduates and registrants. Courses currently available include:
  • leadership and coaching
  • working in the UK
  • ownership and consent
  • resolving complaints
  • CPD recording and reflecting.

RCVS chief executive Lizzie Lockett, said: “We’re aware of the pressures that veterinary professions are facing and the Academy has been built to respond to changing learning needs.

“The learning resources available on the platform have been designed to help vet teams develop their understanding of the RCVS professional guidelines and also how they can apply them in their everyday role. 

“We will continue to collaborate with the professions on new courses and resources for the RCVS Academy to ensure that we continue to support them for the benefit of their patients, clients and team.”

Courses completed through the platform count towards annual RCVS CPD requirements, and users can add learning hours to their 1CPD account through the RCVS Academy or by scanning a QR code.

WSAVA names its 2022 Future Leader

WSAVA names its 2022 Future Leader

Dr Muhammad Hasan Mahrous launched the Egyptian Chapter of IVSA. 

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has named Dr Muhammad Hasan Mahrous, a veterinary surgeon from Egypt, as the winner of its 2022 Future Leader Award.

Dr Mahrous won the award in recognition of his contribution to association building in his home country and increasing access to continuing education (CE) for Egyptian veterinary surgeons.

He will receive an engraved plaque and certificate during the WSAVA's World Congress, which takes place in October.

As a student, Dr Mahrous formed the Egyptian Chapter of the International Veterinary Students Association (IVSA). A not-for-profit association, the association aims to promote the international application of veterinary skills and knowledge to benefit animals and people. 

After qualifying as a veterinary surgeon, Dr Mahrous helped to found the Egyptian Small Animal Veterinary Association (ESAVA), the first association for companion animal veterinary surgeons in the country. In 2020, ESAVA joined the WSAVA to take its place in the global veterinary community and support the development of companion animal practice in Egypt.

Commenting on his achievement, Dr Mahrous said: “I am always inspired by the Thomas Jefferson quote – ‘If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done’. I am honoured to receive this award.”

Dr Geeta Saini, chair of the WSAVA Leadership and Nomination Committee, added: “The WSAVA is a firm believer in the importance of associations to support and connect veterinarians and to promote education and best practice standards.

“Dr Mahrous’ work as a student to launch the Egyptian Chapter of IVSA has enriched the experience of all veterinary students in Egypt as they are able to participate in the meetings, exchanges and other educational opportunities offered by IVSA to its members.

“He should also be very proud of the creation of ESAVA which is helping companion animal veterinarians in Egypt to work together to develop the profession, and we are delighted to have welcomed them into the WSAVA family.”

The WSAVA Future Leader Award honours a veterinary surgeon who has contributed significantly to the development of companion animals, the veterinary profession, and society at large since graduating within the previous ten years. 

Dr Colin Whiting resigns from RCVS Council

Dr Colin Whiting resigns from RCVS Council

Decision follows Council’s approval of a ‘How we work’ statement.

Dr Colin Whiting has announced that he is to resign from RCVS Council with immediate effect, stating that he “cannot accept” a requirement to support externally all decisions taken by Council members.

Dr Whiting was elected to RCVS Council in 2021 and served on the College's Education Committee, PIC/DC Liaison Committee and the Advancement of the Professions Committee as Council Deputy Lead for the ViVet innovation programme.

He said: “My decision follows Council’s approval of a ‘How we work’ statement at its June meeting, which includes a requirement for Council members to support externally all decisions taken by Council, which I cannot accept.
 
“Nevertheless, may I wish the ongoing leadership team, my colleagues on Council, and all the staff at RCVS the very best for the future. It has been my privilege to meet many passionate, determined and very hardworking colleagues during my short time on Council, who are seeking to progress and support our profession very admirably indeed.”

Under the rules set out in the RCVS Election Scheme, the newly vacant position on Council has since been offered to the candidate who received the next highest number of votes during the same election in 2021.
 
Veterinary surgeon Will Wilkinson has formally accepted this offer and will sit on Council for the remainder of the four-year term, until July 2025, and be eligible to stand for re-election thereafter.

RCVS President Dr Kate Richards said: “We were sorry to learn that Colin has decided to step down from Council, but understand that this was his personal decision and one that he has considered carefully and taken time to make."

BVA opens applications for committee vacancies

BVA opens applications for committee vacancies

BVA encourages members to 'help shape the future of the profession'. 

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is inviting members to join BVA committees, with applications open for several vacancies.

Members with a range of experience and professional expertise are being sought, with opportunities to get involved with BVA Council, advisory panels, branch councils and other committees.

All of the positions are voluntary, and all work carried out by the successful applicants will count towards their CPD.

One vacancy is available on BVA Council for a recent graduate member, who can provide the Council with the views of their peers, and actively participate in discussions and decision-making.

Four spaces are available on the Policy Committee, and members from all sectors of the profession are invited to submit an application. 

MRCVS members are also invited to submit applications for the Ethics and Welfare Advisory Panel, which currently has two vacancies. The successful applicants will be chosen for their expertise in animal welfare science, ethics and law.

BVA president Justine Shotton said: “If you are keen to help shape the future of the veterinary profession, want to share your views on the topics which are important to you and your colleagues, and have the expertise and passion to help drive forward change, we want to hear from you.”

There are also opportunities to join the Member Benefits and Events Committee, with four spaces available, including one for a student member. 

The BVA has also said that a number of opportunities are available across its Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland branches. 

“This is an exciting opportunity for individuals who want their voices to be heard to get involved in shaping BVA policies,” Dr Shotton continued.

“I’d urge anyone interested to apply for these positions, which are sure to be both rewarding and highly interesting. We look forward to hearing from you.”

The deadline for applications is 9am on Monday 18 July 2022, and all applications will be assessed in August. Further information about the job descriptions and person specifications can be found at bva.co.uk/committee-vacancies.

Blue Cross names new veterinary services director

Blue Cross names new veterinary services director

Dr Paul Manktelow joins the charity in its 125th year.

Animal charity Blue Cross has named Dr Paul Manktelow as its new director of veterinary services.

A graduate of the Glasgow Vet School, Dr Manktelow has a wealth of experience across the veterinary, business and media sectors. He also has an MSC in Wild Animal Health from the RVC and an Executive MBA from London South Bank University. 

Before joining Blue Cross, Dr Manktelow was principal of vet services at the PDSA, responsible for operational delivery and strategic service planning across their hospital network. He is also a TV personality, public speaker and presenter of the lifestyle podcast, 'The Consult Room'.

Commenting on his appointment, Dr Manktelow said: “I am really excited to be joining Blue Cross in this symbolic year which sees the charity celebrating its 125th anniversary.
 
“The profession is facing significant challenges and yet the demand for charitable veterinary care has never been greater. I’m passionate about people and eager to support the clinical teams whilst we work together to develop innovative and sustainable ways in which we can meet this societal demand for pets in need. 
 
Blue Cross is a unique welfare charity in that it helps pet owners across a number of areas, and I’m excited to scope out opportunities to collaborate and add veterinary expertise to these vital services.”

Image (C) Blue Cross.

WSAVA awards Dr Faouzi Kechrid for Global Meritorious Service

WSAVA awards Dr Faouzi Kechrid for Global Meritorious Service

Dr Kechrid to be recognised for One Health contribution.

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has announced the next recipient of its Award for Global Meritorious Service, Dr Faouzi Kechrid.

WSAVA member representative for Tunisia, Dr Kechrid will receive the award in recognition of his contribution to the One Health movement.

Alongside his achievements in the One Health movement, the award will also celebrate Dr Kechrid's contribution to the profession in Tunisia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. 

Dr Kechrid commented on his award: “I am very humbled and proud of this recognition by the WSAVA and I want to express to all of its members my deepest gratitude.”

Having worked in several different fields of veterinary medicine throughout his long and celebrated career, Dr Kechrid has contributed meritorious service across many sectors of the profession, including working as a consultant and advisor to the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH).

Working on projects including an assessment of avian influenza and transboundary animal diseases in the Middle East and North Africa, and the coordination of many high-profile veterinary conferences, Dr Kechrid's contribution to One Health has been influential and significant. 

Dr Kechrid is currently the president of the Association Vétérinaire Euro-Arabe and the African Veterinary Association, and founder and vice president of the Fédération des Associations Francophones des Vétérinaires (FAFVAC).

Dr Kechrid continued: “Thanks to your recognition and the Global Meritorious Award you have honored me with, I feel even more energized to continue to serve my profession and to encourage the development of our new active veterinary generation.”

In addition to his role as WSAVA representative for Tunisia, Dr Kechrid is a member of WSAVA's Translation Access Taskforce, which makes the organisation's resources accessible to Arabic speakers. 

Dr Siraya Chunekamrai, WSAVA president, said: “It is a privilege simply to know Dr Kechrid so the opportunity to honor such an altruistic, generous and brave leader of the veterinary profession is a real honor for our community. 

“I am so happy to be able to express our gratitude to Dr Kechrid for all that he has done – and continues to do - for our profession.”

The award will be presented to Dr Kechrid at the WSAVA World Congress, taking place from 29-31 October 2022 in Lima, Peru.

 

Image (C) WSAVA

Veterinary suicide prevention study seeks participants

Veterinary suicide prevention study seeks participants

Study aims to discover profession-specific preventions. 

A study aiming to better understand how to prevent veterinary suicides led by the University of Edinburgh is seeking participants, as a letter published in Vet Times (Vol. 52, No.3, p.31) discusses.

The cross-disciplinary study, 'Suicide Prevention in Veterinary Workplaces Project', led by Dr Rosie Allister, will explore profession-specific factors in veterinary suicides, such as access to tools that may be used to cause harm to one's self.

To explore these factors, veterinary surgeons, researchers and mental health professionals will be carrying out interviews, with an aim to provide insight into factors influencing methods of suicide attempts among veterinary professionals and attitudes to restriction of access to means of suicide in the workplace.

Alongside this, the study will seek to explore other factors that may assist in veterinary suicide prevention.

Any volunteers selected to participate in the interviews will do so in a one-to-one setting, and any data provided will be used under pseudonym, so participants will not be identifiable.

The research team are looking for participants who:

•  have experience of a suicide attempt or suicidal thoughts in a veterinary workplaces
•  have been bereaved by the suicide of a veterinary professional
•  have worked in a veterinary workplace and been affected by a suicide attempt or death by suicide there.

Anyone interested in participating can visit this link to the Edinburgh University website or email rosie.allister@ed.ac.uk to find out more or to take part.

Walk for suicide prevention in memory of beloved vet

Walk for suicide prevention in memory of beloved vet

John Gibson will walk 1,200 miles for his son Cameron. 

The father of a Scottish vet who died by suicide will set off today (13 June) on an incredible 1,200 mile walk from Land's End to John O'Groats to raise awareness of suicide prevention.

Professor John Gibson tragically lost his son Cameron in 2019, which devastated him and the whole family. Cameron was a farm veterinary surgeon at Clyde Veterinary Group in Lanarkshire, who graduated from Glasgow vet school in 2018, and was a popular member of the veterinary team. 

Cameron loved his livestock, his dog, travelling, skiing, climbing the Munros in Scotland, surfing and cycling, and from a young age, always knew that the veterinary world was for him. 

John said: “Cameron never wanted to be anything apart from a vet. We arranged work experience so he could see if he might be interested in human medicine, but he said he didn’t like being inside all the time. He wanted to be outside and working as a farm vet.”

John, emeritus professor of Oral Medicine at the University of Aberdeen, set up The Canmore Trust with his wife Isobel, and children Malcolm and Eilidh. The Trust aims to provide support and advice for suicide prevention, and to support those bereaved by suicide. 

Alongside raising vital funds for The Canmore Trust, John hopes that his challenge will inspire conversation about suicide, and help to prepare young people with suicide safety planning, so they stay safe when suicidal thoughts arrive. 

Using the hashtag #onemanwalkingamilliontalking, John aims to bring conversations about suicide into the light, raising awareness of the issue. Averaging 20-plus miles per day, John's walk is expected to take around two-and-a-half months.

Isobel will join her husband for most stages of the walk, and John will visit Callander, where he lives, to thank the community for their support.

“I’m excited about the challenge but I wasn’t prepared for how emotional it would feel, because the one person who would have loved to accompany me on this adventure is Cameron, who loved walking and the great outdoors,” said John.

“We are doing this for Cammy. We miss him dreadfully and don’t want any other family to go through this. 

“When Cameron died, I had to walk to cope with my grief. I would walk for many hours because I struggled to stay indoors and I also met mothers and fathers affected by suicide.” 

For anyone wishing to support John's challenge, a justgiving page has been set up to support The Canmore Trust.

 

Images (c) John Gibson

RSPCA publishes essay collection

RSPCA publishes essay collection

Global thinkers highlight importance of animals.

The RSPCA has launched a collection of essays, entitled 'What have animals ever done for us?', in a bid to transform animal welfare into a mainstream policy position.

Urging people to rethink the human-animal relationship, the collection is made up of essays from global thinkers on animal welfare and related topics, including Kate Darling, human-robot interaction researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Philip Lymbery, global CEO of Compassion in World Farming and Peter James, author and animal advocate. 

Dr Jane Goodall, world-renowned primatologist, has written the foreward – discussing how humans can reconnect with animals. 

An incredibly diverse range of topics and opinions are explored, including the economic value of the natural world, animals in religion, what technology can teach humans about their feelings toward animals and the influence of animals on the legal system. 

Director of advocacy and policy at the RSPCA, Emma Slawinski, said: “The RSPCA is proud to have brought together such established, experienced thinkers to discuss the role of animals in society; with these essays clearly highlighting the importance of the world urgently reevaluating its relationship to animals.

“Worryingly, humankind is fast approaching a turning point of our own making concerning our fortunes as a species. 

“Inequality is growing, climate change and the destruction of the natural environment are devastating concerns; while the relentless march of technology increasingly impacts our daily lives.

“But rethinking the role of animals in our society could have many of the answers.”

The collection features essays such as 'Zoomorphising humanity', 'Battle for the planet: Why animal welfare holds the key', 'Following dogs following us' and 'When is an animal not an animal?'. 

“From combating social loneliness, to regenerating natural resources through new approaches to farming, and even the interconnectivity between improving animal and human health, more just treatment of animals is not only the morally right thing to do - it will also benefit, and maybe even save, humankind,” said Emma.

“We know these are uncomfortable questions. But humans have developed the capacity to determine not merely our own fate but that of millions of other individual species and trillions of individual animals trying to live alongside us. 

“We hope this essay collection will help kick start a conversation humans need to have - for our sake, and for animals."

'What have animals ever done for us?' is available to read for free on the RSPCA website

 

Image (C) RSPCA

RCVS Council votes for temporary OV registration

RCVS Council votes for temporary OV registration

The FSA requested a further year of the scheme to protect abattoirs. 

At an RCVS Council meeting yesterday (9 June), the Council unanimously voted to continue temporary registration of non-UK European veterinary surgeons as Official Veterinarians (OVs).

The request to allow the temporary registration came from the Food Standards Agency (FSA), who submitted a similar request in March 2021, allowing non-UK European veterinary surgeons to fulfil meat hygiene tasks in abattoirs for a year. 

Requesting the temporary registration for a further year, the FSA proposed: “We ask that the RCVS admit to its temporary register, vets who (i) have a contract of employment to work as an OV providing meat hygiene controls in England and Wales; (ii) have the necessary skilled worker visa including IELTS at level 5; and (iii) hold European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE) accredited veterinary degrees and iv) have completed and passed the meat OV training course. 

“The FSA would then authorise them as an OV on confirmation of their status as a temporary registrant.”

At the meeting, director of veterinary services at the FSA, Jane Clark assured the Council that standards are high, and that 104 temporary registrants are currently working as OVs, with most of them on track to achieve full RCVS registration within a year.

Voting on the motion, the RCVS Council agreed to an extension of 12 months, after which it will be subject to another council vote. Under the agreement, the temporary registration will be reviewed jointly by Defra, the Welsh government, the FSA and the RCVS after six months. 

Speaking on its Twitter platform, the FSA said: “We are delighted that the RCVS agreed to extend Temporary Registration.

“This decision will continue to allow appropriately qualified veterinarians with Level 5 English to temporarily register (TR) with the RCVS and work as Temporary Registered Novice Official Veterinarians (TRNOV).

“This will allow them to help carry out meat controls in abattoirs, whilst further developing their English language skills.”

Vetlife launches suicide postvention guidance

Vetlife launches suicide postvention guidance

The charity offers personalised support for affected workplaces.

Vetlife, a wellbeing and support charity for the veterinary community, has recently launched guidance for veterinary workplaces that have experienced a suicide.

Intended for people who have been affected by the suicide of a veterinary professional, the postvention guidance aims to support the recovery of those affected. 

As Vetlife says on its website, the guidance features information on suicide bereavement, responses to suicide loss and who can help, veterinary workplace considerations after a suicide – with both long-term and short-term impact considered. 

The guidance also discusses communication around veterinary suicide, with direction on how to discuss the suicide with colleagues and clients, and how best to handle it publicly and on social media platforms. 

Also included is an action checklist tool for veterinary practices bereaved by a suicide, providing immediate, short term and ongoing actions to support colleagues and the practice.

Alongside the guidance provided, Vetlife is also able to provide personalised support to veterinary professionals and workplaces who have experienced a suicide. 

Vetlife confirmed on its website: “If you are a UK veterinary professional who has been affected by suicide or wants support for a veterinary workplace, please contact 0303 040 2551.”

MMI launches mental health course for rural vets

MMI launches mental health course for rural vets

The free online training focuses on mental health first aid. 

Mind Matters Initiative (MMI), the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons' (RCVS) mental health initiative, has launched a mental health training programme for rural veterinary surgeons.

Created in collaboration with Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England, the free training programme will be held online on Monday 11 July, Wednesday 20 July and Thursday 21 July.

Angharad Belcher, MMI director, discussed the importance of the training programme: “Veterinary surgeons working in rural and ambulatory services are often integral members of their local communities with a deep connection with farmers, animal owners and the wider rural community.

“However, as MMI-funded research conducted by Scotland’s Rural College with vets has demonstrated, veterinary work in such areas can often be very challenging which is compounded by working alone or having relatively limited contact with professional colleagues.”

The training will boost understanding of common mental health problems, help rural veterinary surgeons to identify signs of mental ill-health and provide tools for support.

MMI has identified that isolation and loneliness are significant issues on the rural veterinary community, and aims to form a network of mental health first aiders in the profession.

Head of client delivery and MHFA England, Vicki Cockman, commented: “It is wonderful to see the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeon’s commitment to reaching all its vets in the UK, no matter their location.

“MHFA England is proud to be working with RCVS on this initiative. Our evidence based Mental Health First Aid training gives people an in-depth understanding of mental health and the factors that can affect wellbeing.

“This approach will help vets support the communities that they work closely with and help them manage their own mental health.

“Those trained will have the confidence to start a conversation, reassure and support a person in distress and the tools to create and consider their own self-care strategies.”

Each training session will last two-and-a-half hours long, and will be split into morning and afternoon sessions for different groups. Interested veterinary surgeons need to register by 5pm Friday 10 June on the MMI website.

MHFA has organised an online Q&A session for any veterinary surgeons unsure of whether to join the course. This will take place at 7pm on Tuesday 7 June. Anyone wishing to attend this session should contact Lacey Pitcher on l.pitcher@rcvs.org.uk for details.

Central Qualifications drops fees for Ukrainian refugees

Central Qualifications drops fees for Ukrainian refugees

Organisation hopes the offer will help those wishing to move to the UK.

Central Qualifications (CQ) has dropped registration fees for Ukrainian refugees wishing to enroll one of its veterinary nursing courses.

In a press release, CQ said that it has already donated much-needed items to support people fleeing Ukraine, including medical and veterinary supplies, and hopes the offer will help those who wish to move to the UK.

CQ offers a range of veterinary and animal-related qualifications, delivered through its network of colleges, private training providers and employers. Courses available in the offer include

  • L2 Diploma for Veterinary Nursing Assistants (DipVNA)
  • L3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (DipVN) – Small Animal Practice
  • L3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (DipVN) – Equine Practice.

CQ operations manager, William Barrow, commented: “Everyone at CQ is appalled by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and we’re looking to do whatever we can to help those fleeing the situation. We hope our offer of free registrations can help CQ colleges and centres to provide support for Ukrainians moving to the UK.”

For more information about the offer, visit cqual.org/contact us