Members of the Advisory Board for Preventative Healthcare, researchers from The University of Nottingham and MSD representatives at the “Optimising preventative healthcare in practice” day.
Members of the Advisory Board for Preventative Healthcare, researchers from The University of Nottingham and MSD representatives at the “Optimising preventative healthcare in practice” day.

Vets who prefer consulting to theatre work should be tasked with front-of-house duties to help practices better meet preventive health care challenges in the 21st century.

The suggestion was made during the day-long inaugural meeting of a new advisory board, set up as part of efforts to put preventive health care and pet well-being at the heart of veterinary practice.

Vet practices should also consider introducing longer, more specific health check consults, in part to challenge the concerns of pet owners armed with potentially dubious information sourced from online.

Best practice

The University of Nottingham Centre for Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine (CEVM) and MSD Animal Health joined forces to host the “Optimising preventative healthcare in practice” day. It also incorporated the first meeting of the Advisory Board for Preventative Healthcare (ABPH), formed to help formulate preventive health best practice.

Zoe Belshaw, one of a team of three at the CEVM conducting research in improving preventive health in practice, said more time needed to be found for well-pet consults – and vets with the best people skills should be deployed to carry them out.

She said: “We maybe need to start thinking about our vets and saying ‘actually, we have got vets who are really excellent people to be front of house, and vets who would be better doing mainly surgery’.”

Stress

Dr Belshaw pointed out the time pressures faced by vets during traditional consult times could potentially impact on their own welfare.

She said: “I think we need to recognise, potentially, there is a mental health impact on the vets where they are feeling quite stressed by these consults, where they feel they are potentially almost having a failing consult if they are not able to get owners to do what they think they should do.”

She also said it was vital vets confronted head-on in the consult room any incorrect knowledge gleaned by owners from the internet.

  • Read the full story on the 17 April issue of Veterinary Times.
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