Four in 10 vets and nurses feared for safety in pandemic

Four in 10 vets and nurses feared for safety in pandemic

Four in 10 veterinary surgeons and nurses had concerns for their personal safety during the Covid pandemic, the RCVS has found.

Surveys of both professions carried out between July and August last year by the Institute for Employment Studies found safety concerns extended beyond catching the virus, and mainly related to client interactions at practices either during the day or out-of-hours.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given number of pets bought during lockdown, the vast majority of respondents said they had seen an increase in caseload, while 49% of veterinary nurses and 40% of veterinary surgeons worked additional hours due to others being furloughed – with 23% of vets and 37% of nurses were enrolled in the furlough scheme.

In addition, 38% of veterinary surgeons and 40% of veterinary nurses had to self-isolate at some point during the pandemic, while 7% of vets and 8% of nurses had to shield at some point during the pandemic due to being clinically vulnerable.

A total of 6,000 vets and 3,000 nurses completed the surveys on behalf of the RCVS.

Lizzie Lockett, RCVS chief executive, said: “The surveys make it clear it has been a tough time for the professions. However, a good proportion of respondents also acknowledged that positive developments have come from the past two years, including the way the profession has demonstrated remarkable resilience, flexibility and adaptability, as well as forging a stronger team spirit under such difficult circumstances.”