As part of BSAVA’s 60th anniversary celebrations, Dr Sally Everitt, BSAVA’s Head of Scientific Policy, has created a stream at Congress that will help us time travel through the history of key clinical practices to see how understanding our past can help us plan for our future.
This year is BSAVA’s 60th anniversary. The association was set up in order to foster and promote the cultural, scientific and professional interests of veterinary surgeons and practitioners engaged in small animal practice, teaching and research. In the opening address to the first every BSAVA Congress in 1957 the President, Woody Woodrow, noted that the sessions would fall into three groups:
1. The presentation of papers by speakers who are generally recognised as masters of their subjects
2. The discussions on subjects of general interest to the small animal practitioner, intended to encourage discussion amongst members
3. Political discussions, which may be somewhat inconclusive but are sure to be well attended and debated
This is a formula that has served BSAVA and the profession well ever since. Yet while it is probably fair to say that the majority of sessions at Congress fall into the first group, the Big Issues stream provides us with an opportunity to discuss issues that are of importance to small animal practice.
A great deal has changed in both small animal veterinary practice – and the world – in the last 60 years. However, looking back at the Proceedings of those early Congresses it is interesting to see that professional fees, pedigree dog health and dietary management of chronic disease were all topics of discussion – matters that remain under the spotlight today.
Anniversaries are of course a time to look back – but also to look forward. So this year in the Big Issues Stream on the Friday in Hall 6 we will be looking at some of the areas of practice where we have seen significant change over the last 60 years, and where we may see significant changes in the future. There will be four thought-provoking lectures and a panel discussion.
The lectures will cover four broad areas in which we have seen significant change. The first of these is surgery, where John Innes will look at the impact of science and technology on orthopaedics. This is an area where the range of options for treatment seems to be constantly changing, although it is probably fair to say that the evidence for some of these may not always stand up to scrutiny.
The second lecture, by Ian Self will look at anaesthesia and analgesia where and consider how changes in our understanding and approach have enabled us to carry out a far wider range of procedures that would previously have been possible, as well as ensuring that our patients are more comfortable.
The third lecture by Penny Watson will look at changes to the way that we feed our dogs and cats and the implications that this has for their health. Raw feeding is probably the current hot topic, but this lecture will enable us to look at this in a broader context and understand that how we feed our pets is affected by a many factors.
In the final lecture, Jerry Davies will talk about changes in radiology and diagnostic imaging and the impact that this has had on the diagnoses we are able to make in small animal veterinary practice.
The last session in the stream will be a panel discussion on changes in the delivery of veterinary services. The purpose of the session will be to discuss the changes that have occurred in veterinary practice over the last 60 years, look at some of the issues facing the profession in historical context and consider what changes may take place in the future. We have a range of panellists, each with extensive experience of different areas of the profession. Each panellist will be given a few minutes to outline the changes that have occurred in their own area and highlight the current challenges and opportunities for the future. The discussion will then be opened up for discussion and questions from the audience. Please come and join the conversation.
These lectures and the panel discussion are not only a chance for us to hear the views of experts – but also an opportunity to widen our own understanding and understand these key subjects in context.
Big Issues – in detail
The following sessions are taking place on Friday 7th April in Hall 6 of the ICC.
11.05 – 11.50 “Ladies and Gentlemen, we can rebuild him” – the impact of science and technology on orthopaedics, now and tomorrow - John Innes
John is a recognised RCVS specialist in small animal orthopaedics and a past president of the European Society for Veterinary Orthopaedics. He was formerly professor of veterinary surgery at University of Liverpool where he led research in canine arthritis. He is currently referral director at CVS.
12.00 – 12.45 Veterinary anaesthesia and analgesia: the journey from darkness to light - Ian Self
Ian holds a European Diploma in Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia and is Clinical Associate Professor in Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia at the University of Nottingham. Ian’s clinical interests are peri-operative anaesthetic management including pain control methods. He is particularly interested in pain assessment and management for patients at home.
14.05- 14.50 Caned, extruded or raw meaty bones: the changing palate of pet food over the last 60 years - Penny Watson
Penny is a Recognised RCVS Specialist in Small Animal Medicine and Senior Lecturer in Small Animal Medicine at the University of Cambridge. She is jointly responsible for running the small animal medicine referral service and teaching small animal medicine in all areas, but particularly gastroenterology; hepatology and clinical nutrition.
15.00- 15.45 Radiology through the dark (room) ages - Jerry Davies
Jerry holds European Diplomas in Diagnostic Imaging and Veterinary Surgery. He is a past president of the RCVS and is a Scrutineer for the BVA/KC HD and ED schemes. He has worked in University, private referral practice and established Davies Veterinary Specialists in February 1998.
16.50-18.30 Panel discussion: changes in the delivery of veterinary services
Patricia Colville - Business Development Director at Vets Now and Senior Vice President at BSAVA
Nicola Martin - Head of Pet Health and Welfare at PDSA
Ross Allen - Partner of The Pets'n'Vets Family, Glasgow and BSAVA Public Relations Officer
Huw Stacey - Director of Clinical Services at The Pets at Home Vet Group
Lynne Hill - Chief Executive Officer at the Linnaeus Veterinary Group
The purpose of the session will be to discuss the changes that have occurred in veterinary practice over the last 60 years, look at some of the issues facing the profession in historical context and consider what changes may take place in the future. Each panellist will be given up to 4-5 minutes to outline the changes that have occurred in their own area and highlight the current challenges and opportunities for the future. There will then be the opportunity for other members of the panel to comment on any of the issues raised and for questions from the audience.
Some of the issues that we may want to cover in the discussion include:
- Changes in the services we are able to provide – including advanced diagnostics and procedures
- The effect of increasing specialisation
- The effect on changing demographics of the veterinary profession (feminisation, increase in part time working) and role of veterinary nurses
- Expectations of pet owners, in terms of range of services, accessibility and costs
- What do you see as the next big development in the delivery of veterinary services
- How do you see technology changing the delivery of veterinary services in future