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The south-west's premier CPD event

25th and 26th September 2024
Sandy Park Conference Centre, Exeter

TWO DAYS OF TOP-CLASS CPD: 25th and 26th September at Sandy Park Conference Centre, Exeter

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The Conference

TWO DAYS OF TOP-CLASS CPD: 25th and 26th September at Sandy Park Conference Centre, Exeter

The programme is now available and the booking form is open. So what are you waiting for? Take advantage of our early-bird rates (until 25th July) for two days of great value sessions and workshops.


NEW FOR 2024

The Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons (SPVS) is running a two-day leadership/management programme aimed at both practice managers and aspiring managers, with a top line-up of speakers to be announced shortly. This must be booked separately but includes access to the congress exhibition along with catering, refreshments, etc. SPVS programme attendees may attend lectures on the main programmes but not vice-versa.

The Vets in Mind Alliance is organising two-days of interactive sessions, led by Dr Donna Gurney and others, on mental health issues affecting the veterinary community and how to cope with them.


With workshops on wound management (with the ever-popular Bandaging Angels), dentistry with Matthew Oxford, ophthalmology with Dr David Williams, and electrosurgery and suturing techniques with Dr Alasdair Hotston Moore, there's lots to choose from. 

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Leadership and Management with SPVS

Alongside the two clinical streams, SPVS will be providing a third stream covering leadership and management, which will be of great value to any veterinary leader working in practice.

Delivering on the SPVS Thriving in Practice theme and designed to empower veterinary leaders, this event is your passport to developing your business, managing your practice finances and inspiring leadership.


• Two days of expert-led talks and workshops: gain invaluable insights from renowned experts with proven strategies to streamline operations, enhance client satisfaction, and boost practice profitability 
• Further expand your knowledge of the changes in the veterinary marketplace to help refine your future focus and identify opportunities
• In-practice case studies – explore practical solutions to common challenges faced by veterinary practices 
• Networking opportunities: connect with peers and industry leaders and exchange ideas with fellow attendees 
• Personal growth and development: unlock your full potential as a leader and inspire your team to achieve 


Leadership/team dynamics
Explore the core principles of effective leadership in the veterinary context. Learn how to inspire trust, motivate team members, develop a strong practice culture, and understand the basics of conflict resolution for when things don’t go to plan. Get ahead of the game by using some simple top tips on how best to recruit, motivate and retain the best people.

Business development/finance
Are you ready for the impact of CMA changes, while maintaining control of your practice’s financial health and securing long-term success? Gain invaluable insights into the financial aspects of running a successful veterinary practice, from pricing/estimates and communicating pricing with clients, financing expansion plans and managing debt to making use of technology to improve the client experience. 

This section will cover a wide range of topics essential for maximising your quality of service, productivity and ultimately becoming a successful, profitable practice.


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Registration on the SPVS programme includes access to the congress exhibition, catering and refreshments. SPVS programme attendees may attend lectures on the main programmes but not vice-versa.


To secure your place, complete the main booking form. To take advantage of the discounted SPVS member saving, why not join SPVS?
Other SPVS member benefits include discounted SPVS Congress tickets, access to SPVS Salary, Fees and Profitability surveys, preferential rates and discounts, access to SPVS learning hub and resource library, etc. Email for more information.


A great opportunity to improve your wound management techniques

The Bandaging Angels, led by Shelly Jefferies, are again running a series of workshops at the VETcpd Congress. Each workshop is limited to eight participants. There will be three sessions on the first morning, which will be repeated in the afternoon and again on the morning and afternoon of day two to give the maximum number of people the chance to learn about improving their wound management techniques. 

The first workshop will examine practical solutions to common problems; the second will cover suturing – with some theory basics followed by participants being able to practise with different suturing techniques; the third will feature case studies – looking at a number of both common and shocking wounds and discussing how they should be treated, including dressings, etc. The workshops must be booked in advance


• 9am – practical solutions, etc.

• 10.05am – suturing, etc.

• 11.20am – case studies, etc.

• 1.15pm – practical solutions, etc.

• 2.20pm – suturing, etc.

• 3.25pm – case studies, etc.

Shelly Jefferies

Mental health psychoeducation sessions with Vets in Mind

Vets in Mind, a charity that aims to be a source of quality information about mental health and wellness for the veterinary community, is to run a programme of lectures and workshops at the VETcpd Congress on mental health issues. The same programme will be run each day so delegates can choose which sessions they wish to attend and when.


The programme is being led by Dr Donna Gurney, a consultant clinical psychologist, assisted by Dr Tshidi Gardiner, a veterinary surgeon and wellness coach. They will provide insights as to how we can assess our own mental health and provide practical ways that we can help ourselves to improve our mental health and welfare; and how, when and where we can seek additional support for ourselves, colleagues and friends in ways that protect our identity and yet enable us to start the journey for improvement.


Both are trustees of Vets in Mind, which provides information from credible sources, case studies from the profession, and signposts people to programmes run by various associations, organisations, charities and support groups around the world for all members of the veterinary profession, whether they are in practice, academia or companies and charities in the veterinary sector.


Each day will begin with a one-hour session led by Dr Gurney under the heading Acknowledging the toll: trauma-informed care in veterinary work, discussing the unique challenges and emotionally-charged situations faced by vets and nurses that can lead to trauma, along with chronic stress and burnout. This psychoeducation session aims to educate veterinary professionals on the principles and practices of trauma-informed care and the importance of adopting a trauma-informed approach in their line of work. Dr Gardiner, an expert by experience, will speak about her personal journey.

A two-hour workshop will follow on Navigating stress: a clinician-led workshop for thriving under pressure. Led by Dr Gurney, it will address the challenges of high stress levels in vets and nurses and provide practical tools for managing stress effectively. The session will delve into the sources of stress in veterinary practice and offer evidence-based strategies for coping and resilience. This workshop will be highly interactive, with participants engaging in small group activities to foster collaboration and deeper understanding.

A second two-hour workshop led by Dr Gurney will follow after lunch each day, this one titled Strength in self-compassion: an evidence-based workshop to preventing burnout. It will focus on preventing burnout by harnessing the power of self-compassion – a vital skill that strengthens resilience and promotes well-being. Participants will learn practical techniques rooted in the science of self-compassion to help them maintain their mental health and professional satisfaction. This workshop will again be highly interactive with small group activities.


Each day will conclude with a one-hour session featuring both Dr Gurney and Dr Gardiner on Breaking the silence: knowing when to seek help for your mental health. This psychoeducation session is specifically designed for vets and nurses to help them recognise the signs and symptoms of common mental health problems. It aims to provide the knowledge and resources necessary to seek appropriate help, ensuring better mental well-being and professional longevity. 

Dr Gurney is the founder of Tutum Psychology and RAW Mental Health, bringing two decades of extensive experience in mental health, both within and outside the NHS. Specialising in adolescent and working-age adult mental health, her areas of expertise encompass affective and anxiety-related disorders (such as depression, generalised anxiety, and OCD), trauma and stressor-related issues (including PTSD, stress, and burnout), and eating disorders (such as anorexia, bulimia and BED). A fervent advocate for workplace well-being, Donna provides consultancy and delivers mental health training and workshops within the veterinary industry, underscoring her commitment to improving mental health support across diverse professional settings.


Dr Gardiner qualified as a vet in 2004 and now as well as working in first opinion practice in Devon is a wellness coach who specialises in mindset and well-being mentorship and is a passionate burnout prevention advocate. She holds a postgraduate Certificate in Small Animal Surgery, a Life Coaching Diploma and Nutrition Coaching Certification, is a qualified Mental Health First Aider and holds an award in Mental Health Awareness.

• To attend any of the sessions, tick the relevant box(es) on the booking form.

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Dr Donna Gurney

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Dr Tshidi Gardiner

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SCAS and Our Special Friends charity to focus on the bond-centred practice
Understanding and appreciating the human-animal bond for continued practice success

In a bond-centred veterinary practice, staff can play key roles in delivering “One Health-One Welfare” through their deeper understanding of the human-companion animal bond as advocated by the Society for Companion Animal Studies. 

Delegates who attend these sessions at the VETcpd Congress are bound to learn interesting and practical information that they can apply in practice. The presentations and workshops will cover a wide range of topics including practice protocols that support and strengthen practice-client bonds and clients’ bonds with their pets. Delegates will also learn how to respond to challenging situations – e.g. to suspected cruelty and domestic violence; demands for unwarranted euthanasia; aggressive clients.

The benefits of cross-disciplinary working will be discussed, and especially the growing awareness of the role of veterinary social work. The groundbreaking work of Our Special Friends will illustrate a new and developing public health role for our profession, working in collaboration with the other health and social care professions to support those most vulnerable.

Knowledge of the human-companion animal bond empowers veterinary staff, allows them to deliver a higher standard of care and thus increase practice profitability. The bond-centred approach also increases public perception of a veterinary practice – and the profession.

The Society for Companion Animal Studies (SCAS) is the leading human-companion animal bond organisation in the UK, established to promote the study of human-companion animal interactions and raise awareness of the importance of pets in society with members drawn from many professions including health, social care, education, and veterinary medicine, and encourages best practice and influences the development of policies and practices that support the human-companion animal bond.

The UK charity, Our Special Friends, was set up by veterinary surgeon Bin Johnston and helps people continue to benefit from animal companionship by providing physical and emotional support during illness, bereavement or other crises.

The speakers lined up include Liz Ormerod, Rebecca Stephens, Bin Johnston, Brin McNeill, Clare Thomas-Pino, Jon Bowen, Hamish Morrin and Katie Gray. Topics include “Attachment through the life-span”, “The relationship between humans and service, emotional support and medical detection animals”, “The link between the abuse of people and animals”; “Dealing with pet loss”, “Human-animal interactions”, “Community outreach”, “Companion animal behaviour in practice”, “Communication skills”, “Supporting clients with special needs”, “Veterinary social work” – and more.

• To attend all or parts of this two-day programme, tick the relevant boxes on the booking form.

Liz Ormerod

Bin Johnston

Rebecca Stephens

Speakers past and present

Some of the leading lights in veterinary CPD...


Confirmed so far for VETcpd Congress 2024:

 Infusion Concepts – also generously sponsoring our Happy Hour!

 Forte Healthcare

• Elanco

• HeartVets

• Summit Veterinary


• Medifinance

• Pioneer

• Antech Diagnostics

• Citation

• Millpledge

If you'd like to exhibit, please contact David Kimberley using the button below.

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