Boost for role of veterinary nurses as VetPartners shows commitment to profession

Boost for role of veterinary nurses as VetPartners shows commitment to profession

VETPARTNERS has underlined its commitment to developing the clinical role of veterinary nurses across its practices.

We employ more than 2,000 Registered Veterinary Nurses (RVNs) across our 160 UK practices, and believe the profession is playing a bigger role than ever in progressing the care of patients.

RVNs are also playing a key role in clinical research and the advance of evidence-based veterinary medicine.

The growing impact of the role of RVNs on clinical matters is among the findings in VetPartners’ newly published Clinical Board report entitled Progressing Practice Together.

Dr Rachel Dean, VetPartners Director of Clinical Research and Excellence in Practice, pictured left, praised the role of veterinary nurses following the launch of two major projects in 2022.

VetPartners has developed a greater understanding the role of Registered Equine Veterinary Nurses (REVNs) through the eyes of our clients through Project NURSE. Nurse Evolve was launched to deliver a free clinical CPD programme for all nurses in practice, from students to newly qualified RVNs to experienced and senior RVNs

Dr Dean said: “Veterinary nurses are a force for change, and our Clinical Board has increased the ways we work with our nurses as they are critical to the delivery of care for our patients.

“When we engage with and listen to our nurses, they love it and have great ideas. In the past, they have sometimes been overlooked when it comes to clinical research and we want to change that. Our nurses are showing us they want it, they can do it and they can make a difference, so we are increasing opportunities for them as they are critical for the care of our patients.

“Veterinary nurses have a clear place in evidence-based veterinary medicine and clinical research. They deliver a totally different aspect of the healthcare pathway for the  animals we treat and manage, and help us to deliver the whole package of care. In 2022, we made so much progress with our nurses who have been involved in every single aspect of what the Clinical Board does and helped to make a difference.”

Anna Saul, an Equine RVN at Aireworth Vets, pictured right, said: “As a loyal member of one practice for so many years, being part of VetPartners and sitting on the Equine Clinical Board (ECB) has allowed me to network with many experienced veterinary professionals.

“It has provided me with the voice to share my passion for evidence-based medicine and encourage the next generations of nurses to utilise their skills. The encouragement I have received from newly formed friendships with colleagues from a wide range of practices has been so important for my career progression and continuing enthusiasm for providing quality care for clients and patients.”

The Clinical Board report, which has been issued to practices and is available online, also reveals further improvement in surgical outcomes following the biggest ever audit of routine surgical procedures carried out across VetPartners’ practices.

The group’s quality improvement work examining the outcomes for pets being neutered over a six month period, shows more than 92.6% of patients had no, or only minor problems in 2022, compared to 92.1% in 2021.

Dr Dean said: “Our data has grown and is consistent which makes it more reliable, and outcomes are improving year on year with the number of complications after surgery dropping, giving us confidence in our outcomes. This is quality improvement cycle in action. Sharing the data with everyone and talking about what we do is critical to our activities as we can all improve together.

“We spent 2022 talking tirelessly about the importance of optimising outcomes for our patients. It is the many interventions in our practices that our teams undertake that make a real difference to our patients, and it reflects great team work.”

Antibiotic stewardship remained a key activity for VetPartners’ Clinical Board in 2022 as the group seeks to establish the quantity of antibiotics in use by its practices so the usage can be reduced and refined and in some cases antibiotics can be replaced with something else.

Dr Dean added: “During 2021 and 2022, we developed a way of monitoring antibiotic purchasing over time within our practices. We now have two full years of data and will continue to track this throughout 2023.

“Between 2021 and 2022, the total grams of antibiotics purchased per full-time equivalent (FTE) vet fell by 21% [from 4407 to 3480 grams/FTE vet)]. We are so proud of these results. Tracking antibiotic purchasing across the group over time is one way in which we can start to examine the efficacy of our interventions.”

View the VetPartners 2022 Clinical Board report here:

For media enquiries, please contact Amanda Little, VetPartners PR and Communications Director. Email