10 November 2021

Welcome to our newsletter for veterinary practice owners and managers.

This quarterly update provides you with information to help your practice, including useful guides and resources.

In this issue, we give some answers to common questions from veterinary businesses about the COVID-19 vaccination and workplace testing; offer guidance to help businesses prepare for exposure to COVID-19; provide advice for dealing with after hours care; and more.

Answers to COVID-19 vaccination and testing questions

On our website, we have answered some commonly asked questions from veterinary businesses about the COVID-19 vaccination and testing in the workplace. We strongly recommend that you consider the risks of COVID-19 and decide whether to allow unvaccinated clients on to your premises. Whether a client vaccine mandate is needed for your business will depend on your circumstances.

You can read the FAQs here .

Preparing for the possibility of COVID-19 exposure in your business

Some brief guidance for businesses has been prepared to help you be ready for the possibility of your organisation being affected by exposure to COVID-19.

With the nationwide move to a COVID-19 suppression strategy, and an increasing number of positive cases, it seems likely that a veterinary business will be directly affected at some stage. We suggest that all businesses (who haven’t already done so) start planning for the possibility that this will happen to them.

The good news is that climbing vaccination rates and changing public health strategies are reducing the likelihood of veterinary businesses having to close for a significant length of time if they are exposed to COVID-19, particularly if the right precautionary measures are already being taken. We will update our guidance as more information about the Government’s expectations and approach becomes available.

Maintaining care after hours

We’ve been speaking with businesses around the country about the veterinary shortage and its impact on the ability to provide an emergency after hours service. We appreciate that the shortage is creating real pressure and that many clinics are having to reconsider how they cover after hours care.

If your clinic is struggling to provide an emergency after hours service, please contact VCNZ. We are very happy to discuss options and do what we can to help resolve this issue. We have also been speaking with groups of clinics in various regions to encourage greater cooperation in the provision of after hours care. In the current environment, cooperation can be key to providing this service more efficiently and helping to ease the pressure on veterinary teams. If you feel we could be of assistance in your district, please get in touch.

Earlier this year we released a series of articles on after hours:

This month, we have published a discussion paper ,aiming to prompt thinking and korero in the veterinary profession about how recognition and reward for on-call and after hours work is handled. As a starting point, it sets out the relevant legal requirements and general principles of good employment practice.

Other recent publications

Here are some of our recent publications, which we have included in our latest updates for vets:

A message to employers of 2021 veterinary graduates

The Australian Veterinary Association; New Zealand Veterinary Association; Veterinary Schools of Australia and New Zealand; and the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council (of which VCNZ is a member) have published a message to employers of veterinary graduates.

This year’s students continue to express concern that potential employers may view them as underqualified compared to pre-COVID cohorts. The purpose in writing this letter was to assure employers of our confidence that, given attentive support and capable mentors, this cohort has the necessary skills and knowledge to be practice-ready on graduation. This is no different from others who have gone before them.

Read the full letter

Thank you

We hope you found our newsletter interesting and informative. If you’d like to provide feedback or send us a topic or story for next time, please email [email protected]