Dear Reader

Now that the dust has settled following ‘that documentary’ it’s useful to reflect on what we have learned. Whilst there was a disturbing level of poor treatment of inpatients and unprofessional behaviour I do think that it would be unfair to tar all Medivet staff with the same brush.

I am confident that the majority of the staff that are employed by Medivet were as appalled as the rest of us! We must also take into account the fact that the Panorama team focussed on the elements of that made for compulsive viewing. Having said that what we saw was a continuous thread of poor nursing care by unqualified staff with little or no apparent direction which left the patients extremely vulnerable. What has this taught us? Veterinary nurses have proved their worth as essential members of the practice team over the last half century. They have developed professional aspirations and expectations and it’s time that this was formally recognised, the Veterinary Nurse Council has done a great job in paving the way for Regulation but I would like to see this taken one step further. We must have a Statutory Register for qualified veterinary nurses, similar to the one that is already in place in Eire! I know that this cannot be achieved at the drop of a hat and will require significant political pressure but it is a goal that we must work towards with increased vigour!

This marks my final editorial as Executive Editor, Helen Field is taking over the role and I know that she will do a great job. The development of the VNJ has mirrored that of the veterinary nursing profession itself, for evidence of this look through your souvenir issue of the journal, published 25 years ago, and compare it to the journal of today. Whilst for many of you this will seem like ancient history, for me it is a memory of an early life as a veterinary nurse in practice when cat flu was rife and flea control involved organophosphate sprays! In this issue Amanda Rock completes her review of parasiticides with an overview of the latest in flea treatment, an article that I must bring to Percy’s attention! We also have two in-depth articles on MRSA as well as articles by Sarah Caney and Anne McBride and that’s only a fraction of what’s on offer in this bumper issue!

Coincidentally as I write this on the 12th of August, I note that it is the birthday of John Cadbury who along with his fellow Quakers, gave us the staple diet of many busy VNs, chocolate! In fact he also founded the Animal Friend Society which later gained royal status and became the RSPCA in 1840. A man who gave us a means of protecting animals and chocolate should be commemorated don’t you think?

I have enjoyed all aspects of the Executive Editor experience, not least the opportunity to sound off about things in my editorials, they have been a great outlet for me and I trust that reading them has not been too onerous for you – if they have please accept my apologies now and if you catch up with me at Congress I promise to buy you a drink in recompense.


Sue Badger MEd CertEd VN Executive Editor


• VOL 25 • No9 • September 2010 • Veterinary Nursing Journal