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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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Cats Protection launches Christmas animation

News Story 1
 Leading feline charity Cats Protection has launched a heartwarming Christmas animation to raise awareness of the important work it does. The animation is based on a true story of a kitten that went missing earlier this year. Freezing cold and hungry, the kitten was dumped in a box on a roadside and somehow became separated from her brother and sisters.


Thankfully there is a happy end to this tail, and Libby - now named Misty - was eventually reunited with her littermates. Misty’s owner, Amy Smith, said: “Misty has settled amazingly well into our home, she has found a best friend in my daughter Lily and likes to follow her around the house. She also loves to chase bugs in the garden. We feel very lucky to have her.” 

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News Shorts
WSAVA launches certificate programme focusing on companion animals in One Health

The first certificate programme focusing specifically on the role of companion animals in One Health has been launched by the One Health Committee (OHC) of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA).

The online programme, which is free of charge for WSAVA members, has been developed in recognition of the growing impact of companion animals in human society. Pet ownership is becoming more popular globally, and this has increased the implications for One Health, regarding the human-companion animal bond. The WSAVA OHC hopes that this course will bridge the knowledge gap between veterinary surgeons and human physicians. New modules are being added weekly, with a total of 20 modules expected to be available by early 2020.