Head Nurse Congress

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About the course

Are you a head nurse or practice manager? Or perhaps you’re aspiring to become a head nurse in the future? If so, Head Nurse Congress is the event for you!

Back by popular demand, this two day event, sponsored by the Veterinary Practice Management Association (VPMA), is set to cover some of the biggest issues facing veterinary practices today. Experienced speakers will guide you through staff well-being, recruitment, managing difficult situations, leadership and coaching skills, Neuro-Linguistic Programming and more!

Not only will Head Nurse Congress increase your confidence in your everyday leadership and management skills, it will provide 12 hours of evidenced Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Furthermore, due to the fantastic feedback we received about last year’s venue, we are returning to the wonderful Whittlebury Hall Hotel and Spa which has onsite accommodation for those looking to stay overnight. Delegates can receive a discounted room and evening meal rate. We look forward to seeing you there!


Day One: Saturday 19 May 2018
GDPR is Just a Week Away: Have you covered all your bases?
Dr Charlie Barton BVSc CertVOphthal MRCVS, Director, Virtual Recall Ltd
The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) is the biggest change to data protection since the Data Protection Act was introduced in 1998. You will look at the implications of the changes on your practice to ensure that you remain compliant. Marketing and client communications will be considered in greater detail, with a view to ensuring that all your client details are maintained and consent is accurately obtained.

Why Invest in Apprenticeship Training?
Leslie Heaton-Smith, Marketing and Development Director, The College of Animal Welfare
In May 2017 the government pushed through major reforms to encourage employers to invest more in apprenticeships. This session will look at how the first year has been, the impact the reforms have had for small and large businesses and how you can use apprenticeship funding to your advantage.

Prioritising Staff Well-being
Debbie Frost RVN Cert Ed Dip Couns, Group Trainer and Mental Health Support, Medivet
Poor mental health is now the number one reason for staff absence. It is well documented that, for all sorts of reasons, those within the veterinary profession can sometimes find themselves vulnerable. During this session you will look at the common signs of mental health problems, how to have that “difficult” conversation as painlessly as possible, accessing external sources of support and considerations to make for the rest of the team.

How to find the right person for the job and keep them!
Robert Schuler, BVS Veterinary Recruitment
Many practices often find themselves having to hire more staff at short notice, meaning there is little time to assess applicants. The wrong hire can be costly, while the right hire can be buried under an ever-growing stack of CVs. This session will look at the recruitment process and how you, as an employer, can attract and keep the best candidate for the vacancy and provide hints and tips for job adverts, how to screen CV’s, interview techniques and when to use personality profiling.

Everything Doesn’t Always go to Plan
Sarah Verzijl Chartered MCIPD, Senior HR Advisor, CVS Group Ltd
In this session we will look at some of the more challenging aspects of people management, such as disciplinary & grievances, absence management and (the part no one enjoys) ending contracts. We will look at managing difficult situations and best practice advice around what you can AND can’t do when things get difficult.

Behind Leadership: Creating personal meaning and impact
Anne-Marie Svendsen Aylott MRCVS, Leadership Coach, NLP Master Practitioner, Purple Cat Coaching
Think of leadership as a car or a bus that takes people on a journey... Vehicles tend to run out of fuel and good leadership can be hard work. In order to be a great leader it is important to recognise what your fuel is, what drives you and what gives you the passion that makes people get on the bus with you. This talk will help you identify what is key to YOU so you can stay focused no matter what is going on around you.

Happy Hour
Day Two: Sunday 20 May 2018
KPIs: Measuring the health of your practice
Georgina Hills RVN CVPM, Veterinary Practice Management Association
You’ve probably heard the term KPI (Key Performance Indicator) thrown around before but how can you use them in practice? During this session we will look at what KPIs are, how to measure them and how to use the data. KPIs can be business based, client based and patient based; all giving you the information you need to make decisions to benefit the practice and your patients.

Customer Service: It’s not just all about customers!
Alison Lambert BVSc MMRS MRCVS, Managing Director, Onswitch
When we hear the words ‘customer service’ we naturally tend to think about our clients and how their experience of your practice influences your profitability. But they are not the only customers we should be thinking about - we should also be thinking of our employees, as their experience is just as crucial to our success. Both our clients and our staff should embody the ethos and values of your practice so they remain a committed part of your business. We will take a look at practice reputation and client recommendation as well as looking at how engaging team members really pays off.

Who’s to Blame? Defending your reputation
Dr Catherine Oxtoby PhD, Risk Manager, Veterinary Defence Society
Everyone makes mistakes – as the saying goes “we’re only human”. Whilst for most people, their mistakes do not come to the public’s attention, for those working in professions such as veterinary medicine, the consequences of an error can be severe, even fatal. During this session you will consider blame culture, negligence, how to mitigate the frequency and severity of mistakes and how to avoid common claims.

Unfollow the Leader!
Melanie Young FCCA, PGCE, MInstLM, QTLS, Academic Manager, The College of Animal Welfare
Whilst some people are natural born leaders, for others it is a skill we have to master. But what makes a good leader? Leadership is not all about telling people what to do and ensuring they do things your way. Of course there has to be consistency in a team, but good leaders inspire others, listen to ideas, treat all team members fairly and ensure that everyone is performing to their best so that all team goals are met. We will take a look at leadership styles and give you ideas and techniques to get your team running smoothly.

Lifelong Learning: Where are you heading?
Debbie Gray RVN BSc (Hons) Cert Ed QTLS, British Veterinary Nursing Association
With the amount of CPD available to veterinary nurses nowadays, it can be a minefield trying to figure out what to choose! Reflecting on your current skills and having a planned approach to CPD can allow you to map out a career pathway and make the most of your time and money!

NLP Coaching
Bevis Moynan BSc MABNLP, Magenta Coaching Solutions
Do you sometimes feel like life is passing you by? Like you are never going to get all the things done that you really want to do or achieve? Through Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) we will help you understand the issues that are holding you back so that you can move forward and break down the psychological barriers to move out of your comfort zone and live the life you want to.


Dr Charlie Barton BVSc CertVOphthal MRCVS
Director, Virtual Recall Ltd

Leslie Heaton-Smith
Marketing and Development Director, The College of Animal Welfare

Debbie Frost RVN Cert Ed Dip Couns
Group Trainer and Mental Health Support, Medivet

Robert Schuler
BVS Veterinary Recruitment

Sarah Verzijl Chartered MCIPD
Senior HR Advisor, CVS Group Ltd

Anne-Marie Svendsen Aylott MRCVS
Leadership Coach, NLP Master Practitioner, Purple Cat Coaching

Georgina Hills RVN CVPM
Veterinary Practice Management Association

Alison Lambert BVSc MMRS MRCVS
Managing Director, Onswitch

Dr Catherine Oxtoby PhD
Risk Manager, Veterinary Defence Society

Melanie Young FCCA, PGCE, MInstLM, QTLS
Academic Manager, The College of Animal Welfare

Bevis Moynan BSc MABNLP
Magenta Coaching Solutions


Start date Location / delivery
19 May 2018 Northamptonshire NN12 8QH Book now
20 May 2018 Northamptonshire NN12 8QH Book now

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