Care is core to our success
As IVC Evidensia becomes a key player in the veterinary sector, CEO David Hillier is eager for the group to be a positive force for change.
Since our foundation, we have always wanted to be at the forefront of the profession. Now that we are the largest veterinary group in Europe, we believe we have a responsibility to put our resources and ideas at the service of the wider community. Whether it’s infection prevention, promoting the responsible use of antibiotics or championing different animal welfare issues, we can raise awareness and change attitudes. Likewise, our focus on quality enables us to support lifelong careers through education, coaching and defining best practice in every aspect of clinical work.
Working across borders
One of our greatest advantages is that we can draw on the experiences of a huge number of talented people who may be approaching similar issues in subtly different ways. For instance, Finland is at the forefront of identifying the importance of good dental health in pets. We’re taking that as inspiration to ask whether we could be doing more in other countries to help educate our clients, to train in dentistry and to invest in new technology. My ambition is that this incredible network of leading practices will work ever closer to share the best examples of modern veterinary care that exist across Europe. Making it easier for staff to move around, to share ideas and to learn together – these are some aspects of the business that give me the greatest satisfaction. They are what make the group a group. We support this through our new intranet, which facilitates networking and discussion, as well as by encouraging meetings and exchange trips to, for example, promote referral work, or discuss marketing, HR or good clinical practice.
Supporting lifelong careers
Our size means that we are in an unparalleled position to offer our vets, nurses and managers structured career plans at every stage of their development. This might mean training within specialist hospitals, focusing on individual species, or even working in different countries. We can offer practitioners the move into management and we can do so not just on a much broader canvas than any other group, but also in a way that we ourselves could not have done a few years ago. Whether you’re a graduate vet or a nurse with six years of experience, we should be able to offer you a tailormade career. It’s my ambition that this should be available to anyone who wants to take advantage of it. Going back a decade, it was becoming clear that a new generation of vets was less attracted by the burdens of owning a practice and more interested in developing their clinical expertise and exploring opportunities for personal development.
This wasn’t a trend limited to small animal vets. Over the last few years, we have also been delighted to welcome many leading farm animal and equine practices into the group. With staff putting a greater emphasis on work/life balance, they now want to work within an organisation that encourages that, while maintaining the highest standards of clinical care. We’re well placed to make that happen. There’s nothing I’m more proud of than our Graduate Academies in the UK and northern Europe. Opening up possibilities for young vets and giving them the skills, tools and confidence to succeed is thrilling to see. We offer structured training alongside coaching and mentoring, so they never feel alone. Again, it’s all down to being part of something bigger.
While our focus on clinically-led decision-making and personal advancement will never go away, over the coming year I think we will see a lot more of our innovations in the digital space. And we’ll be doing some exciting work around wellbeing to improve the lives of animals under our care. We will also be celebrating the opening of a number of hospitals and specialist facilities. By pushing out the walls on some clinics and investing in others, we will offer a far greater degree of advanced care. These concentrations of skills, combined with our network of first-opinion practices, mean that once again, by acting as a group, we are able to improve our outcomes: for our staff, for our clients and, of course, for the pets and animals who are at the heart of everything we do.
David Hillier CEO, IVC Evidensia