VetPartners awards clinical research prizes - Veterinary Practice
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VetPartners awards clinical research prizes

VetPartners has awarded its first prizes for excellence in clinical research

The new awards recognise innovation, creativity and excellence in clinical research across the group’s UK veterinary practices and associated animal healthcare businesses, whether carried out by team members who are dipping a toe in the water for the first time or an established and experienced researcher.

Four awards were given for abstracts or papers, and two were given for new, early-stage projects.

Although all the awards were open to people in any role, one was specifically earmarked for nurses, SQPs and vet techs to ensure team members in different roles were recognised. Any project started after January 1st 2021 was eligible to be included.

The awards were judged by members of the VetPartners clinical board support team and guest judge Pam Mosedale from RCVS Knowledge.

The work was judged on its relevance to practice, whether primary care or a referral practice, the quality of the work, and its accessibility to the people who would like to use it.

VetPartners clinical research manager Jenny Stavisky said: “It was inspiring to see the range and diversity of projects led by colleagues in so many different roles across the business to keep progressing care. It shows how people in different roles, working with a variety of species, have followed their passions and discovered new ways to help patients, clients and each other.”

Dunedin Vets clinical director Margot Hunter, who jointly won the best first abstract award for her abstract entitled, “Canine ovariohysterectomy – a retrospective study,” said: “Although I have been a vet for more years than I care to remember and never been involved in academia, I have always challenged myself to carry out little projects that would hopefully benefit general practice and our patients.

Dunedin Vets clinical director Margot Hunter & Lucy

“These awards encouraged everyone in practice to undertake research on a subject that interested them. Canine ovariohysterectomy is an extremely common surgical procedure and I wanted to see if there were reasons why some pets took longer than others to recover after surgery and what we could do in practice to improve patient recovery.”

Liphook Equine Hospital equine veterinary nurse Phillippa Pritchard who received the award for the best abstract by a veterinary nurse, veterinary technician or SQP for her BEVA abstract entitled, “Progressing the clinical roles of equine veterinary nurses (EVNs) in practice,” said: “I’ve never carried out a research project before, and the support from the VetPartners clinical board team was invaluable in encouraging me to move forward with this project.

“The project came from the equine nurse Clinical Interest Group where it became apparent that the majority of us would love to carry out more client-facing roles, and it was decided that I would push forward with researching the client’s perception of us as a profession. I never felt like I was just a nurse and had the full support and backing of the vets involved.”

Phillippa Pritchard Liphook – Equine Hospital

The winners are:

  • Best first abstract (awarded jointly): Margot Hunter from Dunedin Vets, “Canine ovariohysterectomy – a retrospective study” and Andreia Mota from Gortlands Veterinary Clinic, “The relationship between specific gravity and refractive index for cats and dogs: an equivalence study” which was presented at WSAVA
  • Best first peer-reviewed paper: Rebecca Dobinson from Westway Veterinary Group, “Exotic bloodborne parasites and dogs imported from Africa”, which was published in The Veterinary Record
  • Best abstract by a veterinary nurse/veterinary technician/SQP: Phillippa Pritchard from Liphook Equine Hospital for her BEVA abstract “Progressing the clinical roles of equine veterinary nurses (EVNs) in practice”
  • Projects most likely to promote responsible use of medicines (awarded jointly): Christina Ford from Kingshay, “Changes in dry cow therapy in dairy herds from 2018-2022 –  an antimicrobial review” and Lucy Clarke from Ash Tree Vets, “Prevalence of subclinical bacteriuria in dogs with diabetes mellitus”
  • Most innovative project: Alice Addis from Three Counties Equine Hospital for her paper “Zuclopenthixol decanoate toxicity in an 8-month-old colt causing extrapyramidal neurological signs”, which has been accepted for publication by Equine Veterinary Education.
  • Changemaker Award: Tom McGinley from Liphook Equine Hospital for his project “Measurement of indicators of stress including salivary cortisol and behavioural markers in horses undergoing routine dentistry, with and without intravenous sedation.”

The winner of each category received a prize of £50.

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