Dear Reader

In 1927, the then Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) made a speech to the British Industries Fair. In it he said: “The young business and professional men of this country must get together round the table, adopt methods that have proved so sound in the past, adapt them to the changing needs of the times and wherever possible, improve them”.

This phrase proved to be both prophetic and inspirational; because in the same year, the first branch of the Round Table was formed in Norwich. And it’s motto – Adopt, Adapt and Improve.

The founder, Louis Marchesi, was a young member of Norwich Rotary Club who felt there was a need for an organisation aimed more at the younger businessmen of the town. His vision was for them to exchange ideas, learn from the experiences of their colleagues, and together contribute to the civic life of the city.

It takes no great stretch of the imagination to begin to draw parallels between the aspirations of the Round Table and the role that the British Veterinary Nursing Association plays in the lives of the UK’s veterinary nursing profession – facilitating the exchange of ideas, sharing best practice, and helping its members fulfil their essential social responsibility of ensuring the well-being of companion animals, and hence, their owners.

Adopting. Adapting. Improving.

I was minded of this connection by the content of several articles in this issue of VNJ – perhaps mostly so by Helen Ballantyne’s entreaty to adopt an holistic approach to nursing our patients, whilst adapting and improving techniques gleaned from the nursing of humans.

In her article, Helen writes: ‘While researching this article, I spoke to a group of veterinary nurses, and each admitted they would avoid any lecture or paper with ‘holistic care’ in the title…’ She continues: ‘This trend is unfortunate as it dismisses a valuable resource of tools and models from human-centred nursing that may improve levels of nursing care for veterinary patients…

‘Holistic care can be considered the gold standard for nursing in veterinary hospitals. To develop a method of working to ensure care is patient-centred, the veterinary nursing profession can borrow and adapt from long-established human nursing theory.

‘There is a significant amount of useful information already available that, with careful consideration and slight adaptation, can translate to useful and practical instruction for the veterinary nursing profession.’

So maybe our corporate goal for 2014 should simply be to heed the original royal plea to adopt, adapt and improve?


David Watson BVetMed MA MRCVS 


To cite this editorial use either

DOl: 10.1111/vnj.12107 or Veterinary Nursing Journal VOL 29 pp 34

• VOL 29 • February 2014 • Veterinary Nursing Journal