Bell Equine, Kent
Bell Equine is an equine first opinion and referral clinic with hospital facilities. As the only equine practice to be Highly Commended in the awards, it highlighted some of the specific wellbeing issues around ambulatory vets and the subsequent isolation and lonliness they can face. Bell Equine demonstrated how they tackle this.
An Ambulatory Equine Vet will spend much of their time away from the main clinic. As a result they can have very little contact with their colleagues, and this results in less supervision, guidance and mentoring, things that can be so useful, particularly for younger vets. Bell Equine hold regular meetings and social outings and encourage good communication. All ambulatory vets aim to start and/or finish the day from the clinic so that the team do spend time together and vets are encouraged to attend hospital rounds when they can.
There is a new graduate programme whereby they start as interns within the hospital for 12 months, gradually integrating ambulatory calls on one day a fortnight after the first 3 – 4 months. Check lists are used throughout the 12 month internships to ensure each new graduate has the opportunities to master the necessary clinical skills.
Nurses are encouraged to train to EVN standard, and with this increasing knowledge and skills, they are given opportunities to match, for instance primary responsibility for the acquisition of diagnostic images within the hospital, including radiography, scintigraphy, MRI and CT. They have proved to be extremely competent in this role.