Staffing woes and a journey from East to West and East again
The founder of an East Belfast practice has told the NI Vet Yearbook the biggest issue facing his industry remains staffing.
Peter Herold, who opened Cornerstone Veterinary Clinic at the start of 2011, said: “If I am asked about the biggest challenges in front of us, keeping the people we have and trying our best as leaders to enable the people around us to work and perform to the best of their abilities is No1.
“That involves fair pay and fair working hours, it involves watching out for them to see if conditions need to be changed within the workplace.”
Peter, who began studying veterinary medicine in the old East Germany also told the Yearbook how the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1990 opened a world of possibilities and led him, eventually, to setting up business on the Castlereagh Road.
“Travel was suddenly possible, and as jobs for vets were hard to come by in Germany at that time I decided to look for work in UK,” he said.
“My English was poor, and my skills were just the skills of a new graduate. I started out on this journey with a wide-eyed naivety.
‘The best job’
“Why I finished up in Northern Ireland I don’t know, but in hindsight I am very glad I came over here. I like the way of life and the professional relationships I formed with colleagues.”
Just over a decade on from opening Cornerstone, Peter also reflects on how he has has been embraced by those around him in the place he chose to make his home.
“The welcome within the community was very warm and even today we find our customers kind, reasonable and understanding.
“Ten years have flown by in a blink. People from all backgrounds together trying to make the best out of each day.
“To me being a vet is still the best job I could have wished for. I feel privileged to be able to work in this profession and of course I feel very privileged and proud to be the director and owner of Cornerstone Veterinary Clinic.”
Read the full feature on Peter and the Cornerstone team in the 2022 Yearbook & Marketing Guide.