Ever wondered what it’s like being part of VetPartners’ family of practices?
Here, Lancaster Vets clinical director Helen Griffin gives a first-hand insight about what it’s like being part of our growing family….
JUST as no two graduates are the same, neither are all corporates, or indeed all independent practices.
The purpose of this article is not to bash or shame other corporates or the hard-working independents, but to give the next cohort of graduates an insight into the massive upsides I have found as a general practitioner to working for UK veterinary group, VetPartners.
So, let me start by saying that I have no motive or financial incentive, other than my own personal experience, to be an ambassador for VetPartners.
To save your tired brains, and to try and avoid you stopping reading at this point, I’ll list the important bits (we all know most vets just read the abstract anyway!).
This has a huge impact on the day-to-day management decisions from the top. Having worked hard as vets themselves, they understand the pressures faced daily first-hand. This has never been more evident than throughout the pandemic when we were given clear guidance and navigated through weekly changes with management meetings, encouragement and support for all team members, including those on furlough. Hard work and commitment were rewarded with an additional holiday bonus.
Animal welfare and excellent clinical standards are promoted heavily, with a Clinical Board, new graduate training and mentorships and ongoing generous CPD budgets. There are also additional free CPD days for practicals, such as ultrasound and cardiology across the group.
Benefits that support mental health and wellbeing
Taking care of employees’ mental health and wellbeing are championed across the group. VetPartners has its own wellbeing group, as well as regular stress questionaries, a Health Shield plan for employees, which includes access to counselling, and we even have our own online yoga group!
Self-growth and career pathway opportunities
VetPartners is aware of the disillusionment and dissatisfaction that can set in within the profession, particularly within the five to 10-year qualified bracket. As a company, they strive to continue to motivate vets to achieve their goals and make plans to realise career aspirations.
Mentorship for new graduates
For you as a new graduate, this would include peer support, as well as two designated mentors (one in-house and one external). As part of your first job, you would have 15 days new-graduate specific training as paid work time.
Collaboration across the group
Corny though it may seem, there is a real feeling that it is a business to be proud to work for. There are inter-practice fundraising challenges, friendly competitions, as well as groupwide comedy nights and quiz nights (or you can just go home and run a bath if it’s not your cup of tea!)
Fairness and equality for all
VetPartners motto of “everyone makes the tea” is a testament to the value seen in all job roles across a practice. If all team members are respected and valued, you will benefit from their support in a more positive work environment.
The practices owned by VetPartners are not run as a one-size-fits-all model. Different systems will work for different demographics and, although targets and profits are monitored, there is clinical freedom to work as fits best within your team.
So, in short, with so much uncertainty around, I am here to reassure you that, if you find the right job for you, you can have an exciting and fulfilling career as a vet.
Social media is full of negativity surrounding our profession, but I can tell you that VetPartners is an overwhelmingly positive group and will support you in becoming the vet you’ve always wanted to be.
Helen Griffin BVetMed MRCVS GP CertSAP
Helen qualified from Royal Veterinary College in London in 2001 and is senior vet at Lancaster Vets in Bowerham, Lancaster. She enjoys the variety of cases seen in a busy general practice.