‘100% Increase in Client Complaints During Pandemic’: Your Weekly Veterinary News Crunch 3 September 2020
The weekly rundown of veterinary news for the time-poor vet, presented by VetX International
Client Complaints in UK Have Increased by 100%
According to research conducted by Nockolds, the solicitors which administer The Veterinary Client Mediation Service (VCMS), over the course of the pandemic client concerns have increased by 100%.
These complaints are mainly linked to remote prescriptions. They are concerned about misdiagnosis, the cost of providing a prescription, and the possibility of the vet being unable to prescribe over the telephone.
Jennie Jones, Head of VCMS and Partner at Nockolds Resolution, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown period has impacted many pet owners and veterinary practices. The increased use of remote consultations, and online and remote prescription services has been a great help to many during this time, but it also has its challenges as we all adapt to different ways of working. At the VCMS, we are well-equipped to take on complaints that eventuate in these circumstances, drawing on our past experience with prescription-related grievances and their resolution.”
US Scholarship Aims to Boost Diversity in Veterinary Profession
A new scholarship program at Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine (TUCVM) aims to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within the veterinary sphere.
Starting with the 2021-2022 academic year, the college will identify awardees annually, of whom the $45,000 fund will be distributed to.
“We at Tuskegee focus on our students being career-ready veterinarians when they complete the curriculum and encourage their pursuits of the vast areas of career choices in the veterinary profession,” says TUCVM’s dean, Ruby L. Perry, DVM, MS, PhD, Diplomate-ACVR. “The generosity of Hill’s will help our students achieve this goal.”
Tuskegee is the alma mater of 20 percent of Black veterinarians practicing in the U.S., AVMF says.
“Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine, under leadership of Dean Ruby Perry, has been the veterinary school that promotes diversity within veterinary medicine and all professions associated with our great profession,” says Jolle Kirpensteijn, DVM, PhD, DACVS, DECVS, chief professional veterinary officer for Hill’s U.S.
The Effect of Coronavirus: 22% of UK Vets Fear ‘The Worst is Still to Come’
New research by Braemar Finance details the impact of the pandemic on veterinary professionals as of the end of July.
Key figures include:
- 68% said it will be up to six months before they are fully operational again
- 22% said the worst is still to come (for example, they expect a second wave, the revenue to decrease, restrictions to continue or tighten)
- 80% made use of the furlough scheme
- 58.5% had made use of the government Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
- When asked how supported you feel by your professional body, 18.5% said ‘very’ and 78.5% ‘Somewhat’.
Triumph for Veterinary Union in Private Hospital, USA
Support staff at Columbia River Veterinary Specialists in Washington state have recently ratified what they believe is the first union contract at a private veterinary hospital.
Union members at the emergency and specialty care facility voted 53 to 1 to approve the contract, which will establish wages, benefits and workplace rights for about 75 support staff, including veterinary technicians, assistants, maintenance personnel and customer service representatives.
“The vote shows the bargaining committee did an amazing job representing others,” said Liz Hughston, a registered veterinary technician and founding member of the National Veterinary Professionals Union.
As well as a base rate pay for all support staff, wages will now be transparent. All raises will be automatic and consistent. The practice hopes this is a foundational first step towards improving the experiences of support staff.
“The most important thing was saving this industry, and making it something you want to be in in the long term,” said Kat Bennett, a licensed veterinary technician specializing in internal medicine.
Australian Vets Call for Essential Border Permits
Following coverage of last week’s news where Australian vets voiced concerns over strict guidelines regarding border control, vets are now calling for border permits.
The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) has joined the National Farmers Federation in calling upon the Federal Government to urgently establish a nationwide permit for the safe movement of agricultural workers, livestock and equine veterinarians.
“Border restrictions vary between each state and territory government; for a workforce that needs to cross borders to do their job, it is completely untenable,” AVA president Dr Warwick Vale said.
“Using postcodes to determine border permit eligibility does not recognise the essential requirements of veterinarians who need to react when required, and on many occasions on short notice.”
American and Djiboutian Veterinarians Partner to Treat Local Livestock
A veterinary exchange in the rural village of Ali Oune, Djibouti, Africa saw US veterinarians partner with local veterinarians to provide care for livestock.
Veterinary care and welfare for animals is essential throughout rural villages of Djibouti, where animals are interconnected with residents’ livelihoods.
“Their whole world depends on the livestock,” said Dr. Elmi Ali Ahmed, Ministry of Agriculture veterinarian in Damerjog. “They use their milk, eat the meat, and also sell them, so their life is dependent on these animals.”
“We learn a lot from these types of missions,” U.S. Army Maj. (Dr.) Mark Cunningham said. “As veterinarians from the U.S., we are often working in different positions back home, so we benefit from seeing and working with different breeds and species of animals and especially learning about different diseases and parasites in Africa than we would see back in the U.S., so this is broadening our experience and our knowledge base.”
Lunch Break Yoga Poses for Beginners!
If you’re having a stressful day and need to take 5, why not practice some simple yoga positions? That’s right, even busy vets can practice yoga, and even 5 minutes will help you to relax when you feel like things are getting on top of you. Taking a quick break to breathe deeply will help you to put things into perspective and make you more productive in the long run!
Besides the immediate relaxing effect of practicing yoga, there are many longer term benefits if you make it part of your routine.
According to Harvard Medical School, practicing yoga regularly can help you get to sleep quicker and have better quality sleep, reduce stress, anxiety and irritability, and increase physical and emotional energy.
Research shows that there is a “dose-response” effect—meaning that the more you practice yoga, the fewer sleep disturbances you are likely to experience and the more restorative your sleep will be. Even if you don’t have problems falling asleep, yoga can improve the quality of your slumber.