The Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons (SPVS) is launching a ‘5:15 Lunch’ at its congress later this month.

The event, taking place at the SPVS/VPMA Congress at Celtic Manor Resort in south Wales from January 22 to 24 is for vets who have been qualified for between five and 15 years.

The lunch, hosted by members of SPVS Council, was piloted at last year’s congress and proved a big hit. The idea may be extended to include lunches at 2015’s BSAVA Congress and London Vet Show.

Any vet who has been qualified for five to 15 years, is not yet a SPVS member and is attending the congress, will receive their first year’s membership of SPVS for free, in addition to an automatic invitation to the 5:15 Lunch on January 24.

SPVS president elect Nick Stuart said: “SPVS is about supporting vets to develop their practices whether they are a sole owner, joint venture partner, in a traditional partnership or undecided.

“While all vets should join SPVS, we believe the networking benefits are particularly pertinent to the five to 15 years qualified, which is why we have launched this lunch series.”

This year’s congress has more than 30 speakers. Broadcaster, author and psychiatrist Max Pemberton leads the stream on mental health and Michael Pagnotta, Celtic Manor’s head of learning and development, will share his experience of training staff to deliver five-star service.

Back by popular demand will be Brian Faulkner, Alan Robinson, Nick Steele and Alison Lambert – all delivering new material and new insights into age-old problems.

The seminars will be full of case studies and many will include vets and nurses in practice sharing their experiences.

The equine management stream will be repeated with talks tailored specifically to equine business issues, including Chris Pearce on winning back your dental work and Steve Headon from Moore Scarrott on equine benchmarking.

American guest speaker Ian McKelvie heads up the leadership programme. Mr McKelvie advises companies across the globe, including Microsoft and the Gates Foundation, on individual and organisational culture, behaviour and strategy.

Also from the US, veterinary business consultant, Bashore Halow will share his thinking on how to connect with clients.

VIP guest at the opening ceremony will be BBC presenter and explorer Monty Halls, an ex-Marine who worked with Nelson Mandela during the peace process in South Africa before setting up his own expedition company, leading trips to some of the world’s most inhospitable areas.

For further details about the congress, go to

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