How does never having to treat a hamster again sound to you?
Interested now? Read on!
James Horner vets has grown quickly, so something must be going right! We are just 9 months old and are now looking for a third vet. Our success is down to the team and central to this is we all really enjoy working here and collaborating with our clients to deliver care we can be proud of. We are young practice, and this is great! Every member of the team has a say, has influence and can guide how we grow. Without precedents, we are truly free to develop our client interactions and our ways of working.
My own work history is eclectic, it is one of horses, injuries and internships, smallies and corporates, poultry, certificates and the pharmaceutical industry! From this I have pulled the best of what I experienced and am trying to build a workplace that both honours our abilities, respects our workload, and delivers a professional service to clients who value our advice.
My intention was to create a workplace in which a good vet is better off with us than working as a locum. Along with a good basic salary, there are two bonus pots: a revenue-linked award paid monthly, and a share of the profit the whole practice makes. Both are uncapped! Whilst the intention was to award the team profit share annually, after the first three months we had exceeded expectations so much that the team gained a £500 bonus each to share in the financial success!
Knowing what we don’t want helps us care for what we do want, is an ethos the whole team discusses and brings to the table. We know the type of client we want, and we actively seek to gain and retain them. This starts with the species we help to care for. Our focus starts with only treating cats and dogs. No rabbits, reptiles, hamsters… and this goes down well with our clients! Having spent a lot of time in multiple species (including production poultry!) I realised that fear of failure is a big barrier to our own wellbeing, and fear of rabbit anaesthetics is not an uncommon sentiment within the profession. So, with a new practice and no existing precedents, why start where you don’t feel confident? Clients who enquire about rabbits or other exotics are guided to colleagues in other practices who have a greater expertise, and no one tries to “fake-it-till-you-make-it”. This is well received purely on the honesty of our own limitations.
Culture is spoken about widely in all circles, and the truth is the culture is what the team make of it. Enjoying clinical practice and working with our clients provides some of the satisfaction, but we have also set ourselves 5 aims; to be a rewarding practice to work in, that is team led, with continuous improvement, that is goal driven and success orientated. But how do we actually implement it? To make sure we’re getting it right, we take time every 3 months to sit down individually and discuss how things are going. Building confidence and spotting areas that need more support early is so important to our success.
In addition to the individual development, every 2 months we close the practice for the day and have a team lunch and training day. Here we reflect on our successes, focus on initiatives brought by the team, and discuss clinical interests amongst all levels of staff. The afternoon is set aside for an external speaker, generally following a leadership theme and includes all types of topics for example, how to have difficult conversations.
We believe in face-to-face care and compassionate service. To facilitate this our Wellness Subscriptions are the principal model we work to. Having worked as a locum and a full-time vet in many practices that have Health Care plans, the concept is good, but the execution is not always great. We want the right clients to subscribe, these subscribed clients literally buy into the ethos and us, they visit more regularly and build a greater rapport. This leads to better advice, less pressure on selling “stuff” and a deeper trust between our clients and our team.
Face-to-face extends to how we report lab results: face-to-face! This means no late-night phone calls, no voicemail tennis, no distractions of tea when talking on the phone. The reporting of results is as important, if not more important, than the sampling process. All lab fees include a reporting consultation booked at an appropriate time to allow for results to be processed, considered, discussed with colleagues and a plan to be made.
As a team we are great believers in developing the RVN nurse practitioner status. Schedule 3 is actively trained and not merely given lip service to. Our nurses undertake training and practice to allow them to complete dental scale and polishes, stitch-ups, x-rays and anaesthetic control so share the work-loads with our vets. Online-booking systems and our triage-system allows vet consults not to be disrupted and keeps everyone running to time. All-in-all, I think we have only finished late once since opening, and that was a Saturday c-section!
We have the usual equipment to conduct good workups, and being new, we can invest in many potential directions based on the interests of our vets and team. We are already an ISFM silver practice, an RVN training practice and working towards our RCVS Practice Standards Scheme award this year.
What do the team think about working here?
- “My experience at James Horner Vets can only be described as refreshing. Working for an employer that takes pride in both developing the skills of his team, whilst also actively encouraging a good work-life balance is a breath of fresh air. I believe that the modern approach of James Horner Vets is the future of the veterinary industry, and I am proud to be a part of it.” Sophie D. RVN
- "I like working here because it's a calm environment. I don't feel rushed or overwhelmed with appointments. The team is excellent, and everyone gets along very well. Clients are cooperative and I have the feeling that I am respected as a vet and not feeling like a supermarket cashier! I am still excited to go there every day like on my first day, so I guess that if I have that feeling the place is great!" Catalin S. Vet
- “I really like the strong network in and outside the practice. Add in the good working hours, a small close knit friendly team, and support to always better yourself; I couldn’t be happier.” Sophie L. RVN
- “I enjoy the friendly and happy environment. We are all focused on teamwork and the opportunity to progress really inspires me”. Katrina N. VCA
We are growing and want someone to grow with us. A start-up has so many opportunities to influence how we develop and to bring the great elements from their previous work, whilst sculpting the business to avoid pitfalls noted elsewhere. Change is good when we are making the changes ourselves. Trying ideas is key, if they work, perfect, if not, perfect, we can learn from everything!
- The salary between £50,000 - £60,000 dependent on experience, with the bonuses discussed above on top.
- No OOH, Sundays or Bank holidays. 1 in 3 Saturdays 8.30-12.30 only.
- The rota is a true 40-hour week spread over 4 days and the 1:3 Saturday mornings.
- £1500 CPD budget is a guideline, for the right development this can be expanded including certificates.
- Visa Sponsorship for Residency if required.
If this sounds interesting give us a call for an informal chat or click the apply button now!