SPVS VMG | Focus on our Digital Future

Focus on our Digital Future

SPVS and Veterinary Management Group would like to invite you to join us for "Focus on our Digital Future", an online CPD event about telemedicine and communications in a post Covid-19 world.

This event consists of 8 hours of CPD content.

Tickets for this event are £75+VAT or £50+VAT for SPVS/VMG members. Simply choose your option below, discounts are applied at checkout.

Secure your ticket now


Claim VMG member discount


Claim SPVS member discount


If you're interested in buying bulk tickets, please contact the team on office@thewebinarvet.com

The Webinar Schedule

There will be 2 webinar streams running online simultaneously, and both streams will be available for you to view on demand after the live event.
The agenda for the day is as follows:

Stream A: Telemedicine in a Post Covid-19 World

1. Teleconsults Post Covid-19

Susie Samuel, Vet Help Direct

Almost every practice will have carried out some form of video consultation by now, whether as a What’s App phone call, Facetime or via an established video consultation platform. What are the key challenges that practices have faced, and what are the hurdles to be overcome to truly embed this in your practice. Do you now understand the technology? Is it working as well as it might and how successfully are you integrating this to your PMS and other existing systems. And crucially, how are you selling it to your clients?

Susie Samuel helps you capitalise on the experience of teleconsulting when it was a necessity to offering it as an integral part of your service. She is joined by two practices; one was catapulted into telemedicine by the Corona-crisis, the other had an established telemedicine service before. They share their frustrations and successes and how they market teleconsulting to their pet owners.


2. Creating a Virtual Referral Service in your GP Practice

Nuala Summerfield, Virtual Veterinary Specialists (VVS)

In this session, Cardiology Specialist and founder of VVS, Nuala Summerfield will explain both the benefits and the steps required to bring Specialist-level care into first opinion practices, seamlessly and immersively. Nuala will share real-life case study examples of internal referral streams that have been developed in first opinion practices in UK, across multiple specialist disciplines including cardiology, diagnostic imaging, dermatology and neurology. She will also cover the many knock-on benefits to your team. First opinion nurses now have the opportunity to become “specialist nurses”, working regularly under the guidance of Specialists, within their own practice. First opinion vets have the opportunity to be mentored by and to work closely with a multidisciplinary team of Specialists, in all areas that they wish to develop further, again all within their own practice. The virtual future has had an unexpected boost from Covid-19; here is a chance to turn some of that to real positives going forward.

3. Adapting your consultation styles to the small screen

Ruth Serlin, Lecturer in Veterinary Professionalism, Royal Vet College

Consulting online requires different communication skills to consulting in the surgery. Much of the theory remains, but the way you put it across requires different emphasis. Online, body language is harder to read and empathy can be harder to portray or pick up. There can be a difference in the perceived relationship too, particularly when the client is paying. It becomes even more important to compartmentalise the different sections of a consultation and to be really clear as to what you are asking the owner to do and what you are proposing as next steps. Ruth Serlin worked in first opinion practice herself before becoming a lecturer at RVC where she consulting skills at the RVC. She shares some of her research into owner/vet communication and takes you through an online consultation step by step. She will consider everything from what you should wear, the backdrop you choose, to how you react (or don’t react) to whatever might be going on in the background of the home you have been invited into.

Stream B: Communications in a Post Covid-19 World

1. Client Communications in a Post Covid-19 World

Thom Jenkins, PetsApp

Everyone’s digital experience has changed in the past few months. Zoom is a household name and virtual socialising is a thing. Within a veterinary context, you will have clients who have now experienced video consulting and may be wondering why you are now asking them to bring their pet to the surgery. So why not capitalise on this and take your practice and your clients on the next step of the digital journey. Build digital relationships with them via text and online apps so that you become a part of their digital world, not just somewhere they turn when their pet is sick. Thom explains how to make this work, who in your practice team might be best to lead it and how to use it to improve your business, increase pet welfare and build owner engagement.

2. Practice Management Systems for a Digital Age

Nick Lloyd, VetXML and SPVS JVP

The Covid 19 crisis has really tested remote access of PMS systems and how well they could adapt to more digital communication with clients. Even before the crisis, there were a huge range of new technologies coming on the market from smart wearables to paperless workflow systems to owner apps. For the vet or practice manager trying to navigate through these and decide which will work for their practice it can come down to how well their PMS can cope. At the moment, for most practices, it is the Clinical Director or Practice Manager who is having to connect the dots and make the different applications somehow work together. No one wants the upheaval of changing their PMS unless it is absolutely necessary, but practices need to be confident their system is fit for the future. How do PMS providers need to adapt and are they doing so? Nick Lloyd describes lessons learnt from Covid 19 and what he thinks a future proof PMS system might look like.

3. Making more of emails and why your data base may be your most underused resource

Andrew Rastall, Connected Vet

Many practices spend large amounts of time and money on social media, Facebook in particular, and only email their clients to remind them when a flea or worming treatment or a vaccine is due. This ignores and underuses a hugely valuable resource. But proceed with caution as overuse or inappropriate use of emails can do more harm than good. Emails should deliver useful information and set up a dialogue; if you are using email to communicate with clients then emails from them must be answered and most importantly of all, emails should not be used as a blatant sales pitch. Then there is the problem of extracting your emails from your PMS in an easy, user friendly fashion. Andrew Rastall explains how to set up and measure a simple email marketing plan and is joined by a case study who shares examples of how their practice does it.

4. The Digital Debate (plenary session – both streams together)

Thom Jenkins, Susie Samuel, Nick Lloyd, Nuala Summerfield. Chair: Ben Sweeney

What have we learnt from Covid 19; what will remain, what will be lost or put back on the shelf? From increased home working to online morning huddles, will practices communicate amongst themselves in a different way? With regard to pet owners, how can we best capitalise on a public who are much more tech savvy then they were 6 months ago! Will the loosening of the online prescribing rules remain or will there be a call for them to be reinstated? Maybe we will find some middle ground or use the existing rules more creatively. These are just some of the topics the panel will discuss.

About the speakers

Susie Samuel

After working as a vet for several years Susie was struck by how difficult it can be for pet owners to decide how urgently they need to call a vet, especially in the middle of the night, when their pet is showing signs of being unwell. Given a pet can’t tell you what’s wrong sometimes it can be difficult to work out how serious their symptoms are. Susie wanted to provide a professional resource for concerned pet owners that would help them to decide whether their pet needed veterinary attention, and would provide them with vital first aid advice that was customised for their pet’s situation. Susie is a small animal vet, with a particular interest in small animal medicine. She works in a practice near Fareham and has a very lively terrier called Freddie.

Nuala Summerfield
BSc, BVM&S, MRCVS, DipACVIM (Cardiology), DipECVIM-CA (Cardiology)

Nuala graduated from the University of Edinburgh and completed a residency in Veterinary Cardiology at the University of Pennsylvania, USA. In 2002, she obtained her Diploma in Veterinary Cardiology, after which she spent 15 years working as a specialist Cardiologist in both academia and private practice. During this time, Nuala recognised the need to improve access to specialist knowledge and support for first opinion vets wanting to do more for their patients in-house. Seeing the opportunity to do this through a real-time, collaborative and educational telemedicine platform, Nuala founded Virtual Veterinary Specialists (VVS) in 2017. VVS is now working with an increasing number of forward-thinking, ambitious practices throughout the UK and beyond. Through these close collaborations, VVS is bringing specialist healthcare delivery directly to vets and their patients in their own practices, thus helping them to deliver exceptional veterinary care with improved patient outcomes.

Ruth Serlin

Ruth qualified as a vet from the RVC in 1989 and has spent much of her time in both charity practice and primary care emergency clinics. She has spent 11 years teaching at the RVC in both clinical and formal settings. Her areas of interest are all aspects of primary care, including communication skills, charity and shelter medicine. She has an RCVS Certificate in Veterinary Anaesthesia, a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice and has recently completed the online 'Maddie's' Graduate Certificate in Shelter Medicine with the University of Florida. Ruth is also interested in pegagogy and is a tutor to veterinary professionals working towards the PGCert in Veterinary Education.

Nick Lloyd

After qualifying at Bristol University, I joined a mixed practice in Devon in 2002, becoming a partner 2004. I moved away from practice in 2018 and I am now involving in testing clinical software for IVC Evidensia. Clinically my interests still are dermatology and client communication. During my limited time away from work and SPVS, my interests are sailing, dancing and hockey, and spending time with my growing family. Within SPVS my main role as been as chair of the Vet XML Consortium, working to improve the transfer of data between practice and industry.

Thom Jenkins, Founder, PetsApp

Thom is the Co-founder and CEO of PetsApp, a mobile-first veterinary telemedicine platform enabling veterinary clinics to better engage with pet owners and better advocate for their patients. He has served as the Chief Operating Officer of multi-site private-equity backed veterinary groups in both Europe and Asia, operating clinics in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore and the UK. Thom is Chair of VetForum, an international series of B2B veterinary sector events across the USA, Europe and the APAC region. He is also Non-Executive Director at Recruit4vets – a leading veterinary recruitment agency, and on the Advisory Board of YLD – one of London’s fastest growing software engineering and design consultancies, working with brands such as The Economist, the Trainline, Condé Nast and Thomas Cook.

Andrew Rastall, Connected Vet

Andrew Rastall founded Connected Vet in 2013 to provide digital marketing consultancy for independent veterinary practices. His presentations draw on over 28 years’ experience in PR & digital marketing. They often reference his work with 150 or so independent veterinary clients as well as complementary experience from other industries, that have lots to teach the teams that run veterinary practices. Andrew regularly presents in person and through live webinars, most recently on chatbots, digital marketing strategy and data compliance