Small Animal Vet - North Dorset

5 days left

Competitive salary package
23 Oct 2019
20 Nov 2019
Contract Type

Contact Details


Owing to continued expansion and the retirement of a director we are now looking to recruit a small animal vet. Friars Moor Veterinary Clinic is based in the Blackmore Vale region of north Dorset it is historically a traditional mixed practice founded in 1957. Due to growth and the need to provide more focused services, it has now been divided into specialist SA and LA departments.  

Our main and longest standing surgery is located in Sturminster Newton and we have branch surgeries in Shaftesbury and Blandford. Cases requiring more major surgery, investigation and hospitalisation tend to be treated at the Sturminster site but both the Blandford and now Shaftesbury, after its recent move to a new purpose-built surgery, have full operating facilities. We are in the early stages of planning refurbishment of the Sturminster Newton site.

We are a proudly independent practice, plan to remain so and are supported in this by being members of XLVets This is a community of independently owned, progressive veterinary practices that work to achieve the highest standards of veterinary care. Subscribing to XLVets provides us with support such as CPD, Health and Safety and marketing ideas but all decision making, control and ownership remains with the directors of Friars Moor. We aim to give an excellent first opinion service and be the practice of choice in the local area but also be a place where people enjoy coming to work. We do not believe in the corporate pressure of selling and targets. As an independent practice there is always the possibility of longer-term progression to Directorship.

As we are looking to replace a long-standing director our ideal candidate will have some experience and want to work full time. Having said that we have several vets who work part time and have had some great new graduates in the past so are prepared to be flexible for the right candidate. For new graduates we have our own mentoring scheme and have taken advantage of the XLVets New Graduate Scheme to help introduce them to the practical challenges of SA general practice. There could be the opportunity to develop by having sole charge at a branch surgery on some days.

Our consultations run between 8.30 to 6.00 during the week and 8.30 to 12.00 on Saturday mornings. We try to keep most consulting sessions to less than a couple of hours without a break and we have recently changed to 15-minute appointments which has reduced the stress of time pressures. Operating rotas should allow people to do surgeries on their own cases if they want to.

Consistent with our practice values we run our own out of hours service, but with 7 full time equivalent vets and the rota shared equally between us it is not too bad. During the weeknights we expect to get a call out every other night and probably 5 or 6 over a weekend on average. Most cases are not too serious, and it can be a great way to develop your confidence and skills. Full timers get time off in lieu for OOH work meaning that they work less than a four and a half days per week on average.    

We have a good mixture of youth and experience in our team which now totals 9 vets with a combination of areas of clinical interest and expertise. Currently we have one certificate holder in Advanced Veterinary Practice focussing on emergency and critical care. We supported study for this certificate and would be happy to do the same again. We try to deal with as many cases inhouse as we can but there are also good local referral practices if required.

Our nursing team is excellent with 8 qualified nurses and one student coming to the end of her training.

A testament to the sort of place we are is the number of vets, nurses, receptionists and admin staff who have worked here for many years.


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We have a management group called POG (Pet Organising Group) consisting of the directors, senior vets, head nurse and practice manager. Other members of staff are asked to contribute at POG meetings when appropriate and we often get any new vet along to see what goes on. Regular clinical, nurse and receptionist meetings are also held.

We have had outside recognition of the quality of our practice team over the last few years including:

2017 Winner of Blackmore Vale Magazine Awards.  Best Place to Work

2018 Justine (our practice manager) won Blackmore Vale Magazine Awards. Best employee

Our support staff are currently finalists in this year’s Dorset Business Awards for Team of the Year

We are members of the RCVS Practice Standards Scheme and examples  of  things an assessor said after our last inspection were “extremely impressed with the efficient manner in which Friars Moor is run allowing all team members to be fully involved”, “clearly a very supportive practice”, “patient care is of a very high standard”, “compassionate, thorough and well trained veterinary and nursing team”, “this is an excellent practice”.  

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The Blackmore Vale in Dorset is an area of small market towns where we have our surgeries located surrounded by beautiful countryside and villages. Though rural, there is lots going on and our staff seem to be involved in a remarkable variety of societies, sports clubs and other activities outside work. The larger towns of Bournemouth, Dorchester and Salisbury are not a million miles away. The world-famous Jurassic coast lies just south of us for those interested in water sports or simply going to the beach.

We will provide a competitive salary package including RCVS fees, BSAVA membership, funded CPD and private medical insurance.

If this looks like the right job for you and you want to know more or have any specific questions, feel free to phone or email.

We are very happy for you to speak to any of our current assistants or staff. 

In conclusion Friars Moor Vets core values are

TRUST -   We earn the trust of our clients.

CARE   -   We care about what we do and how we do it.

TEAM -   We value our team

CLIENT -   We work in the best interest of our clients.

COMMUNITY – We are part of the local community.

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