Update for vets August 2022

Welcome to our August update. This issue includes recently published news and guidance, an update about foot-and-mouth-disease, and an introduction to Vet Futures. There is a reminder about the upcoming VCNZ Council elections and a link to watch our webinar, some information about the upcoming Mental Health Awareness Week, and a summary of our quarterly Council meeting.

VCNZ recent articles and guidance

Here are some of the articles and pieces of technical advice we’ve published on our website since our last update.

Technical advice: Authorising critically important antibiotics for future use

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a recognised global issue and one of the World Health Organisation’s top ten global public health threats. The veterinary profession is responsible for authorising antimicrobials and is obliged to manage the associated risks.

Technical advice: Informed consent

Getting, and documenting, informed consent can be difficult and this advice tries to help simplify the process. It includes some example or template consent forms for both companion and production animal contexts.

Technical advice: Authorising medicines for procedures done by non-veterinarians

The Animal Welfare (Care and Procedures) Regulations 2018 permit non-veterinarians to undertake some specific surgical procedures, subject to conditions. Many of these procedures require pain relief or local anaesthesia, which can only be authorised by a veterinarian. This advice helps with decision making around when it is appropriate to do so.

News: Foot and Mouth Disease update

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), Veterinary Council of New Zealand (VCNZ), and the New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) are working together on communications to veterinarians about foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).

News: We are proud to introduce you to Vet Futures Aotearoa

Vet Futures is an industry-wide effort to grow a sustainable future for veterinary professionals. This work is being driven by AVPRC; Massey University School of Veterinary Science; Ministry for Primary Industries; NZVA; NZVNA; VCNZ; and representatives from allied veterinary professional education institutes.

You can read all about the work that is already underway on the new Vet Futures website:  https://www.vetfutures.co.nz

Article: Some Comparisons

This is an expanded version of the article by our Professional Advisor, Dr Seton Butler, in the June edititon of Vetscript, discussing salaries and employment conditions.

Election webinar and nomination reminder

VCNZ recently held a webinar involving members of the Council to talk about what they do and share their experiences of being on the Council. If you didn’t manage to watch it at the time,  you can see it here . We hope it will be useful to anyone thinking of standing in our upcoming election or wanting to know more about the function of VCNZ and what being on the Council entails.

Nominations for the three elected positions on our Council are open now. All nominations must be received before 5pm, 10 October, and voting will follow soon after from 21 October.

More information and resources about the election, including the nomination form, are  available here . If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us for a confidential chat.

Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness week (26 September - 2 October) is coming up and now is a good time to think about how you and your team could make the most of it. This could be planning to regularly check in with each other, or doing a feel-good activity like a shared morning tea to give yourselves a morale boost. This year’s theme is all about reconnecting.

Resources are available at:  Mental Health Awareness Week resources | Mental Health Foundation

Council meeting summary

At the end of August, the Council held its quarterly meeting.

Some of the highlights included discussing the recently completed external review of Council effectiveness. The review was positive and highlighted areas for the Council to work on to ensure its continued growth.

The Council completed a review of the current VCNZ  strategy  which directs our work. The review helped develop some short and medium term goals for the next few years, including reviewing our emergency care requirements and developing more consumer-facing communications materials to help people get the most out of their relationship with their veterinarian. Both of these are planned for 2023.

Other items discussed included the results of an external review of VCNZ’s Privacy Act compliance which found that we are performing well and highlighted some steps we could take to continue improving. Reports were also received from the Chair, Committee Chairs and senior staff.

Also on the agenda were discussions about making our policies and procedures more transparent and visible; a decision to invest in enhanced cybersecurity support to ensure we keep our data safe and secure; and an agreement to work on our cultural capability to help us meet the needs of all New Zealanders.

The Council approved a revised set of principles for the  Code of Professional Conduct . The principles capture the fundamental expectations of veterinarians at a high level. The revised versions provide a shorter, easier to digest summary of the Code and in the coming weeks we will be making some resources for veterinarians available.