Founded by vets and led by vets, VetPartners is passionate about the profession and about creating a great place to work, where colleagues enjoy thriving careers.
Here, Aireworth Vets clinical director Peter O’Hagan talks about how his career and his practice have both gone from strength to strength with the support of VetPartners…
AS a vet who cares passionately about the profession, my practice colleagues and the animals we care for, being part of VetPartners has been one of the most positive experiences of my career.
My practice, Aireworth Vets in Keighley, joined VetPartners in October 2019. We felt we were doing things well and VetPartners have encouraged us to continue, while helping us to improve some areas and support our aim of enabling vets to enjoy a work-life balance.
VetPartners is led by vets, who love the profession and that shines through in everything they do. They understand the unique demands of practice life and put people and animals at the heart of everything. They’re receptive to ideas because they are like-minded people who are on your wavelength as a vet.
Whether it is the generous CPD allowance, investment in the latest technology, career development opportunities, or helping us to achieve the highest standards of clinical care, they have supported us.
As a progressive practice, we want to do the best we can and to do that we need the best equipment and education and resources, and we can rely on these being provide by VetPartners.
Support to develop skills
We have a fantastic CPD allowance. The cost of undertaking postgraduate certificates can be eye-watering, but VetPartners provides support for clinical teams to further their knowledge and skills to develop their careers.
Our team of small animal vets and nurses are actively engaged in further education courses with VetPartners’ support. In the next two to three years, we expect eight of our vets and nurses to gain postgraduate qualifications in a diverse range of disciplines, including internal medicine, animal behaviour, emergency and critical care, cardiology, diagnostic imaging, anaesthesia and surgery.
We also have a vet enrolled on the VetPartners new graduate programme and I’ve received lots of help and support to maintain my RCVS Advanced Practitioner status. Our fabulous team of nurses include several who have trained as clinical coaches and as a result we’ve a thriving team of trainee nurses.
Best possible care for patients
As well as investment in CPD, VetPartners has a really progressive attitude to helping us provide the best possible care. We are in the process of installing a new CT scanner, which is incredible and will be hugely beneficial in terms of the level of diagnostics we can perform in house.
All our vets and nurses have the back up and support of the Clinical Board, which appraises the evidence and produces resources for our own bespoke learning platform. I successfully applied to join the Small Animal Clinical Board and, as a vet, it is so important to be part of an organisation that has clinical standards high on its agenda. This encourages and helps clinical teams to continually improve standards of care keeping evidence-based veterinary medicine at the forefront of everything we do. We’ve also received great support with the RCVS Practice Standards Scheme from the VetPartners Central Team.
Sharing ideas, knowledge and experience across our family of practices is one of the many advantages of being part of VetPartners. It is one of the key ways for us to become even better at what we do and provide outstanding care for patients. We’ve established some great relationships with other local practices.
During challenging times during Covid, with practices under enormous pressure, myself and my colleagues considered ourselves extremely fortunate to have be part of the VetPartners family of practices because of the support we received.
VetPartners helped to navigate us through the challenges. When Government messages changes, VetPartners were incredibly agile and adaptable in their response. Other practices would share ideas and strategies to cope with the new ways of working. Having that support and camaraderie on hand meant we didn’t feel isolated.
VetPartners values its people
Practice teams thrive on recognition for the work they do and VetPartners have put a huge emphasis on making us feel valued, which has also been such a positive experience.
Several members of our team have received Nettie awards, which are presented each month across our family of practices to team members who have demonstrated VetPartners’ values of being supportive and approachable, working in collaboration with others, and showing respect and commitment. Social events, like our Christmas party and practice barbecues, are important to VetPartners who encourage us to make them a priority to keep morale up.
As a vet and a clinical director, I don’t think I could have asked for a better home for our practice than VetPartners.
- Peter O’Hagan qualified from Glasgow University in 2001 and spent a year in mixed practice in Yorkshire before moving into small animal practice. After three years at Liverpool PDSA, he moved to Aireworth Vets in Keighley, West Yorkshire, where he is clinical director, in 2011. He completed his surgery certificate in 2013. After joining VetPartners in October 2019, he was selected to join the Small Animal Clinical Board.