A West Midlands practice has become the first in the UK to be awarded platinum accreditation after its entire team completed the Compassion Understood Pet Loss Support Training Programme to assist bereaved owners.
All nursing and reception staff at Clent Hills Veterinary Group’s surgeries in Bromsgrove and Hagley underwent the online training, with practical advice on protocols and veterinary procedures to make a pet’s end of life as smooth and trouble-free as possible.
It also taught staff more about the different stages of grief and understanding how owners feel – including feelings such as guilt, shock and despair.
Whole team training
Points are awarded according to the percentage of a practice team that has undergone training, with four levels of accreditation: platinum (200 points), gold (150 points), silver (100) and bronze (50).
Clent Hills has also set up a dedicated bereavement room and ensures clients have enough time in appointments to discuss what will happen during euthanasia, as well as being able to sit quietly after the event. A trained receptionist is also available to talk to clients.
Clent Hills’ director and practice manager Rebekka Fiorani said: “We are thrilled to be the first platinum accredited practice. Staff have gained so much confidence when faced with those difficult conversations about end-of-life care. It is no longer something they shy away from.
“The team now has lots of ideas and plans for ongoing improvements that we can make to our process and I am keen to capture their enthusiasm for this often-tricky situation.”