Shipston Veterinary Centre - Newsletters

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Awards all around for Shipston’s Reception Team!

A number of our receptionists have put their studying hats on recently and their hard work has paid off!

Shipston Veterinary Centre is registered with the BVRA. This is the British Veterinary Receptionist Association. We are a member of the BVRA because we recognise the hard work, dedication and commitment shown by our reception team and the extreme value they bring to the practice, to our clients and to our patients. The BVRA recognises and wants to raise the status of the UK’s veterinary receptionists within the profession, and we share this vision.

You will have all come across our receptionists when picking up the phone or coming into practice. They are the backbone of the practice, making sure the day to day running of the practice is tip-top, and are a great support for our busy clinical team.

The BVRA run a number of training programmes and award schemes to help our receptionists keep up to date with the very latest veterinary receptionist skills.


The most recent achievements by the team are:

Natalie Hampson – Gold Level Accredited Veterinary Receptionist Award (Companion Animal)

Abi Hancox – Competent Veterinary Dispenser Award

Jules Tutt – Bronze Level Accredited Veterinary Receptionist Award (Companion Animal)


We are extremely proud of them all and want to share their success with you. Here they are with their certificates. Well done!

We have been awarded the Silver-Level 'Cat Friendly Clinic' status!

We have recently been awarded the internationally recognised International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) Silver Level Cat Friendly Clinic (CFC) status. ISFM established the CFC programme with the aim of promoting well-being and high standards of care for cats when they visit the veterinary practice.

As cat lovers ourselves, and for many of our staff cat owners themselves, we felt very passionate about improving the welfare of cats in our care and trying to make our practice environment as welcoming as possible within the confines of our beautiful old building. We understand that it can be quite stressful bringing your cat to see us, and stress has a major impact on cat welfare. We therefore became a member practice of the ISFM and nominated ourselves for accreditation.

This means we have undergone (another!) inspection, and have proven adherence to a rigorous criteria, which includes the provision of facilities and the demonstration of staff activity and attitude all aimed at reducing stress in cats when they visit the practice.

For the silver accreditation, this includes:

-having a separate cat waiting area

-feline friendly hospital kennels

-specific veterinary equipment for treating cats only.

Importantly, the scheme ensures that we maintain staff training not only on up-to-date feline medicine as new knowledge emerges but also on their sensitive and respectful approach to handling of cats. We are now committed to maintaining these high standards and will undergo periodic inspection.


What have we done in practice?

When you visit the practice you will now be invited to sit in the cat-only waiting area, where we have feliway spray covered blankets and a carry box shelf for carriers. This partitioned area and the blanket gives your cat a little bit of privacy whilst they wait. The carry box shelf allows the cat to be in their preferred location, up away from floor level.

Our recent building work has included the development of our cat-only kennel room. This is positioned away from the sights, smells and sounds of our dog kennel ward. The kennels are not at floor level, the room is feliway infused and we have lots of cat castles for them to hide under or on. Should your cat need to stay with us for a procedure or to be hospitalised, this is where they will stay.

We offer cat-only vet and nurse clinic consulting times on Mondays and Tuesdays mornings. As much as possible, within our control, we ensure that only cats are waiting and being seen in the consulting spaces during this time. The consult room has been thoroughly cleaned down to remove the trace of other animals. We have already noticed how much more at ease our feline patients are during these clinics. If you wish to book during these times, please discuss with reception. These clinics are generally run by our ISFM Cat Advocates Vet Victoria Organ and Nurse Jasmine Hill.


We are extremely proud of the whole team at Shipston Vets who have worked very hard to achieve this accreditation. Their ongoing dedication to provide the best possible care to their patients is truly wonderful.


We have achieved a Practice Standards Accreditation Promotion!

We are extremely pleased to announce that we have recently achieved General Practice Accreditation under the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Practice Standards Scheme. Previously, the practice has been proud to be accredited at Core Level, but through a lot of hard work and dedication by all of the team at the practice, we have achieved a promotion at our most recent inspection. We are extremely proud of this achievement, because it not only demonstrates the huge commitment our wonderful team have to their work in caring for the pets of our community but also the ongoing dedication to staff training, well being and career development, compliance with medicine safety and regulations as well as clinical governance, and our contribution towards a more sustainable way of working amongst other things; we are delighted that our Royal College recognises these, too.

The Practice Standards Scheme is a voluntary initiative to accredit veterinary practices in the UK which aims to promote and maintain the highest standards of care. The accreditation means that our clients can be assured that the practice and staff meet stringent standards. Currently, around 2/3rds of veterinary practices are accredited at various levels under this scheme.

To achieve this accreditation, we volunteered for a rigorous assessment, which takes place every four years. We are also subject to spot-checks between these assessments. This year, we asked to be inspected for the next accreditation level up. We have therefore met general practice standards expected in areas such as patient care, staff training, certain types of equipment, hygiene regulation and control, staff wellbeing and sustainability efforts.

We are proud to display the logo that shows our accreditation.


Practice Makeover

Thank you to you all; you have all been very patient whilst we have been carrying out much needed renovation and redecoration projects on the building (inside and out) over the last 18 – 24 months. We are nearly there, and we think it has all been very much worth it! Our biggest projects are yet to come, with the arrival of new equipment too, and your cooperation during that time will also be gratefully received.

As with every building, they all need a spruce up every now and then. The building is particularly old, so we also had to have some structural repair work done to keep it safe and sound.

Our reception area was the first to get a make-over, and is now bright, light, and fresh, with comfy new chairs. We've got a cat-only waiting area, to try and give the cats a little bit of privacy whilst they wait to help their stress levels. Please use the cat box stand and feliway sprayed carrier covers when you arrive in this area. We’re proud to support local artists, and you’ll find their work displayed on the walls around the waiting room and consult rooms, and you can purchase them direct from us.

We then focussed on our operating theatre and imaging suite, both getting new floors and furniture as well as being decorated. More recently we have been working on our inpatient facilities. As everyone knows, building work never runs entirely smoothly but we were very lucky to have such fantastic local teams working with us, and working around us so that we could continue to run almost as normal! In our dog ward we have had all new kennels fitted, which range from small and snug for smaller breeds and puppies, right up to lovely large walk-in kennel space for large-giant breed dogs to stretch out their legs in. In addition, we now have kennel bank socket points and drip hooks for more monitoring and support equipment to be nearby, that can reach patients at their bedside.

Our feline patients now have their very own room! We are extremely pleased to now be able to offer a cat-only ward. This space is away from our dog kennels and any busy activity; the room has a feliway diffuser plugged in (comforting pheromone) as well as smooth, classical music playing in the background, all of which has been shown to improve a cat’s experience at the vets and allow them to calm and settle more quickly. The cat kennels are elevated off the floor as we know cats feel more secure at height. They also have access to hide-away castles. Both spaces have had new flooring and wall coverings too.

In addition, our canine isolation unit has had an upgrade, although is still not a space we hope to use all that often. In January 2022, all of our facilities underwent and passed the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Practice Standards Scheme inspection, which takes place every three years, something we are very proud of.

Recycling our way through the pandemic

We have been so glad to support the TerraCycle PPE scheme throughout the pandemic. This scheme involves the provision of a zero-waste cardboard recycling box to our practice, in which we can dispose of all the single use PPE (personal protective equipment) our staff have been wearing to keep them and you safe whilst in practice, during this time. It has been so important our staff have been able to wear PPE throughout the pandemic but there has always been a concern about the effects of waste PPE on the environment.

These waste boxes have allowed us to continue wearing PPE in the safe knowledge the waste will not be incinerated or go to landfill, but instead be recycled. When the box is safely and securely collected, all the PPE is reprocessed and then used in the manufacturing and construction industries.

We think this is great and it is just one step our practice is taking towards a more sustainable way of operating!