Non-practising vets could be asked to ease staffing crisis

Non-practising vets could be asked to ease staffing crisis

The RCVS could turn to non-practising vets on its register and ask them to consider a return to the profession to help ease a UK staffing crisis.

The College is also in touch with EU vet schools about supplying more vets and is convening a workforce summit of all stakeholders this autumn.

Speaking at RCVS council, chief executive Lizzie Lockett said: “We know there has been a workforce issue in terms of a shortage of skilled veterinarians for some time, but I think the ongoing impact of COVID has exacerbated the problem really. There is burnout, illness, various restrictions, so teams are struggling.

“We are also looking at recruitment from overseas, so ongoing considerations around direct accreditation of veterinary schools that have an overproduction in the EU, although there are capacity issues across Europe and the rest of the world, too.”

‘Gathering research’

Ms Lockett said a large pool of vets and VNs had left the profession or moved to the non-practising register, and that some of those could return to work.

She added: “At the moment we are gathering research on this – who is on the register, which categories, factors in terms of where they are moving to – to try to build a full picture of what is going on.

“We have a lot of info on the register, but we also need to supplement that with a more detailed quality of work as well.

“Then we are going to feed that data into a workforce model, so it will match up with what the market demands are, so we can get both sides of that. And then we want to bring the data, or at least as much as we have got at that point, to a workforce summit, possibly in November time.”

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