A record number of delegates attended SPVS/VPMA Congress at Celtic Manor (January 23-24).

TV presenter Monty Halls delivers the plenary lecture.

According to official figures, more than 470 people attended the event which was the third Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons (SPVS) and the Veterinary Practice Managers Association (VPMA) combined congress.

Many practices brought several members of their teams and more than 200 different practices were represented. Over two days, an impressive line-up of speakers from the UK and overseas and from inside and outside the veterinary profession offered insights into management, marketing and business for veterinary practice.

Speakers from outside the industry included television presenter, expedition leader, leadership trainer and ex-Royal Marine, Monty Halls who opened Congress with a talk on the importance of pushing your own personal boundaries. Psychiatrist, broadcaster and journalist, Max Pemberton presented a guide to mental health problems for vets and managers.

A debate on Friday evening, run along the lines of BBC’s Question Time, included Nick Stace, chief executive of the RCVS, and Mark Welch, operations manager of Vets4Pets/Companion Care on the panel.

Questions ranged from out of hours service provision to work life balance and how the profession might change as more woman move into ownership.

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