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VN Futures Board appoints new chair
The VN Futures Board oversees and helps to coordinate the work of the VN Futures Initiative.

Racheal Marshall is the current chair of Veterinary Nurses Council

Racheal Marshall has been appointed as chair of the VN Futures Board, a collective that oversees and sets priorities for the VN Futures Initiative (VNF).

Ms Marshall, who is the current chair of Veterinary Nurses (VN) Council, took up the position at the fourth meeting of the Board, which took place at the Kennel Club’s offices in London in June. She will sit alongside VN Council vice-chair Liz Cox, BVNA president Wendy Nevins and BVNA vice-president Jo Hinde.

Launched in 2016 by the RCVS and the BVNA, the VN Futures Project aims to identify and draw up solutions to issues facing the veterinary nursing profession. The same year, the VNF published the VN Futures Report and Action Plan, which set out 31 actions under six broad strategic aims.

To see these actions through, six working groups were formed to look at the broad strategic areas. The VN Futures Board was established in June 2018 to oversee and help coordinate the work of these groups.

Wendy Nevins commented: “In its first 12 months, the VNF Board has really got to grips with the direction and legacy of the VN Futures initiative. The clarity and direction it has brought is reinvigorating the Working Groups. The next 12 months will see a real focus on delivery of the original findings of the VFN Futures initiative.”

During the meeting, the Board reviewed the first 12 months of its work and agreed on plans to communicate the gains that have been delivered so far. These include the development of two new Diplomas in Advanced Veterinary Nursing, more resources to help VNs and vets navigate Schedule 3 and the publication of career case studies to illustrate the diverse array of roles available in the profession.

Wendy added: “The VN Futures project has a fixed five-year horizon to make sure we keep focus on what the profession said it wanted – and needed – to be delivered. At the end it will be for the profession to decide how well this has been done – and what comes next.”

It was also agreed at the meeting that the Board would have a presence at the Royal Veterinary College’s Student Veterinary Nursing Fest as well as the BVNA and BSAVA Congresses.

Racheal Marshall said: “The energy and life of the VN Futures initiative comes from veterinary nurses so we are excited to be taking this back out to meet nurses and ask them for their thoughts and comments on how these issues – like career progression, further qualifications, and emerging agendas like One Health – matter to them.

"We are really looking forward to a busy program of congress events in order to hear from people!”

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Endangered turtles rescued from smugglers

News Story 1
 A group of endangered turtles have found a new home at London Zoo after being rescued from smugglers.

The four big-headed turtles arrived at the zoo at the end of last year, after smugglers tried to illegally import them to Canada, labelled as toys.

One of the turtles, named Lady Triệu after a Vietnamese warrioress, has moved to a new exhibit in the zoo’s reptile house. She is the only one of her kind in a UK zoo.

Big-headed turtles have such large heads that they cannot pull them back into their shells. To compensate, they have armour plating from head to tail and a very sharp beak to fend off predators. They are ranked number 18 on ZSL’s EDGE of Existence reptile list, which puts threatened species at the forefront of conservation action. Image © ZSL  

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RCVS Fellowship board chair elections get underway

Voting for the 2019 RCVS Fellowship Chair election is now underway. This year four candidates are standing for election, including Dr Robert Huey, Professor John Innes, Professor Liz Mossop and Professor Ian Ramsey.

The Chair will attend and preside over Fellowship meetings and take the lead in consolidating the Fellowship’s position as the learned society of the RCVS. Fellows will receive an email containing a link to the online voting form, as well as candidates’ details and manifestos. Voting closes at 5pm on Thursday, 5 September.