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‘Exemplary’ nurse named VN Educator of the Year
CQ chair of governors Martin Barrow, keynote speaker Lucy Cooke and award winner Kira Sutcliffe.
Kira Sutcliffe honoured for her work training veterinary nurses 

An ‘exemplary’ veterinary nurse, Kira Sutcliffe, has been named VN Educator of the Year Award at an awards ceremony hosted by Central Qualifications in London.

The awards recognise the hard work and commitment of all staff who support veterinary nursing students. This year’s event was held at Central Hall in Westminster on Saturday (22 June).

Kira is head nurse and clinical coach at Stanley House Veterinary Group in Burnley, where she began her career as a trainee in 1999. As a clinical coach she supports her students during the course of their training, guiding them through their learning and inspiring them to grow into responsible professionals.

Commenting on her award, she said: “I am extremely grateful for the recognition I have received and I would like to thank all the staff at Stanley House Vets for their support throughout my career.”

Those who nominated her described her as an ‘exemplary’ nurse and a ‘fantastic leader’ who has trained many nurses to an incredibly high standard.

Robin Hargreaves, one of the directors of Stanley House vets, said he had “no hesitation” in recommending Kira for the award.

“She has all the qualities I admire in a teacher,” he explained. “Having trained with us to get her own veterinary nursing qualification she has huge experience in first opinion veterinary practice and the challenges that students are being prepared to face. She is thorough, consistent, empathetic and understanding.

“I think the greatest quality she has is the example she sets, when things get difficult she is the first to roll up her sleeves and do the extra bits required to get the tasks completed, and with endless good humour.

“Whilst setting rigorous standards for herself she is immensely understanding of the struggles students can have balancing work, home and study. Above all she is kind, kind to her colleagues and kind to her patients and if the veterinary professions wanted to create nurses to a template then I would hold her up as a shining example to anyone.”

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RSPCA braced for ‘hectic hedgehog month’

News Story 1
 The RSPCA says that it is bracing itself for a ‘hectic hedgehog month’ after calls to the charity about the creatures peaked this time last year.

More than 10,000 calls about hedgehogs were made to the RSPCA’s national helpline in 2018, 1,867 of which were in July. This compares with just 133 calls received in February of the same year.

Evie Button, the RSPCA’s scientific officer, said: “July is our busiest month for hedgehogs. Not only do calls about hedgehogs peak, but so do admissions to our four wildlife centres as members of the public and our own officers bring in orphaned, sick or injured animals for treatment and rehabilitation.” 

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ASF traces found in seized meat at NI airport

More than 300kg of illegal meat and dairy products were seized at Northern Ireland’s airports in June, DAERA has revealed.

A sample of these were tested at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, resulting in the detection of African swine fever DNA fragments.

DAERA said that while the discovery does not pose a significant threat to Northern Ireland’s animal health status, it underlines the importance of controls placed on personal imports of meat and dairy products. Holidaymakers travelling overseas are being reminded not to bring any animal or plant products back home.