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New BSAVA President plans to build on virtual success

New BSAVA President plans to build on virtual success

Dr Sheldon Middleton has been appointed President of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) for 2021/2022. He took over the role from Professor Ian Ramsey on 22 April 2021 and plans to use the successes of last month’s BSAVA Virtual Congress to help shape his Presidential year.

Dr Sheldon Middleton is managing director of RVC Veterinary Practices Ltd (an arms-length company owned by the Royal Veterinary College) and principal at Acorn House Veterinary Hospital in Bedford. He has been with the practice for 14 years. A graduate of Cambridge University he has a particular interest and a GP Certificate in ophthalmology. He has been a member of the BSAVA Board for the past five years and a volunteer since graduation.

The Presidential handover usually takes place at BSAVA Congress but took place at the virtual AGM this year (given the restrictions of COVID-19), following the success of BSAVA Virtual Congress in March. 

During his Presidency one of Dr Middleton’s key focus areas will be to shape Congress 2022 into the ultimate veterinary get-together as the country begins its release from the challenges and constraints of the pandemic.

“With more than 3,300 registrations, the turnout for and particularly the engagement with BSAVA Virtual Congress 2021 was phenomenal, given the challenges the profession is currently facing as a result of the pandemic,” said Dr Middleton. “We still have incoming On Demand registrations to add to the total. We far surpassed expectations and targets, particularly in relation to the virtual exhibition. No one really knew what to expect, but the verdict is that it worked extremely well.”

Social media engagement during Congress also surpassed expectations with #BSAVA21 generating more than two million impressions and reaching 385,133 people. Feedback on the quality of the CPD showed that delegates particularly enjoyed the integration of the professions with the sessions and the extensive interactivity during the event.

Dr Middleton said: “We intend to build on this for BSAVA Congress 2022, by deploying a cleverly blended format to retain the high degree of accessibility and flexibility that delegates have so enjoyed this year. We will be releasing further details on BSAVA Congress 2022 in the early summer.”

During his Presidential year, Dr Middleton will also be focusing on BSAVA’s support for the small animal veterinary community as it emerges from the pandemic. 

“The profession has shown incredible resilience and dynamism in responding to the changing demands of our patients,” he said. “But we need to be careful that this is not at the expense of our own wellbeing.  BSAVA’s community support, practical education and science resources and leadership are all there to support the profession as it pivots to a new way of working.”

Retiring president Professor Ramsey wished Sheldon Middleton every success in his Presidential year and said: “With our plans for BSAVA Congress 2022 already significantly underway and our commitment to returning to a face-to-face event in Manchester in March, Sheldon has an exciting year ahead.”

BSAVA Virtual Congress 2021 content is accessible for another 6 weeks. Visit https://www.bsavaevents.com/bsavacongress2021/en/page/home to register and enjoy an event that takes virtual learning to a completely new level.

For information on how to become a BSAVA member visit https://www.bsava.com/Membership/Member-categories

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