Menu Menu


/ News
Friday, 1st July 2022 | 11,497 veterinary jobs online | 88 people actively seeking work | 5,210 practices registered

Veterinary Industry News

Send us your news

SPVS Congress 2009 Welcomes New President

13 years ago

14th May, 2009 00h00

THE Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons (SPVS) was delighted to inaugurate its new President Iain Richards BVSc CertVA Cert SHP MRCVS at Congress 2009. Former President Richard Hillman with President Iain Richards Former President Richard Hillman with President Iain Richards SPVS Congress, which was held this year at the Belfry Hotel in Warwickshire from May 7-10, sought to address the challenging issues that practices are now facing. Feedback from delegates has been excellent with the standard of the CPD, presenters and social activities, very highly rated. Congress also thanked Richard Hillman for an excellent and very busy Presidency during which he has helped raise the profile of the Society considerably. Please find below details of some of the key issues that Iain Richards would like to address during his presidency. The reform of the Veterinary Surgeons Act will be a big part of the SPVS year. Any changes of the VSA are likely to hit practitioners hardest of all. It was to ensure public confidence that the RCVS was formed, and it is with the public that we have our daily interactions. It is satisfying to note, despite what some of the EFRACOM committee felt, that the proportion of actual complaints in comparison to public interactions is very small indeed. This point must not be lost on the RCVS or government. The profession is already held in high esteem by the public and any new act has to reinforce that. Alongside the VSA are the closely related aspect of 24hr cover and the Working Time Regulations. Indeed, it is no coincidence that our high public esteem is in part due to the willingness of the practicing arm of the profession to make itself available at all times. The WTR has a long way to go, but has the potential to make this aspect of our work untenable. Farm practice continues to have its own challenges. Despite opinion suggesting that farms do well in a recession, the challenges are still out there. It is a rapidly changing field with issues of medicines supply still causing problems. TB will spread and more practices will have to look hard at the return LVI work provides. By adopting SPVS advice on fee construction and cost centre analysis, practices can accurately assess the true impact of this and any other revenue stream. Small animal and many equine practices will potentially feel the recession the most, as both operate in a luxury market. The 2009 Congress theme, and that of the SPVS stream at the BVA Congress in Cardiff, is “Surviving the Recession”. The Society will be at the forefront in providing solid advice to practices to enable them to thrive in such circumstances. Recessions have come and gone and we have a wealth of experience from previous SPVS members to draw upon. One thing is clear, providing a quality service is vital. To the client, this has to be a value for money service as well. Marrying these two is key to business success and SPVS council will be working towards these objectives. It is likely that those practices that adapt and survive a recession will be in a strong position in the future. Quality and value apply to practices, regardless of their species grouping. At home in Kendal, my practice is pushing standards forwards in equine, farm and small animal work. Because of this I am lucky to be able to indulge in being a mixed practitioner who has a keen interest in all aspects of veterinary work. This places me in a good position to represent the Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons at all levels and to all bodies. SPVS is a great society; it is a pleasure to be picked for the team. My vision goes beyond the year, however, and would encapsulate a desire that SPVS works with the other divisions of BVA to ensure that the veterinary profession provides the foremost view of all aspects of animal welfare and disease. Iain Richards BVSc CertVA Cert SHP MRCVS Qualified from Liverpool in 1988 and spent the next seven years in mixed practice in Yorkshire, Cumbria and Derbyshire. After attending a SPVS seminar on “The Next Move”, he purchased a five vet mixed practice in Kendal in 1996. This was followed by the acquisition of a neighbouring practice in 1999. The practice has since expanded to a two centre, eleven vet practice; of which Iain is a co-director. He was President of the Lakeland Veterinary Association in 1999 and has served as its BVA rep since then. He elected to SPVS Council in 2001 and served as PRO from 2003-2006. Iain retains a fascination for the disease of all species as well as having a particular interest in anaesthesia and analgesia and sheep medicine. Beyond practice, Iain enjoys skiing, walking, sailing, golf and has a passion for cooking. He is married to Gerry and they have three, at times, wonderful children and one always wonderful Labrador pup. For more information about SPVS, please contact the SPVS office on 01926 410 454 or email

More from