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Business & Innovation
Vet nurse consultations could help financial recovery from Covid-19

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Vet nurses (VNs) offering consultations in areas that fall within their remit could help generate significant revenue once practices are fully operational following the Covid-19 lockdown. This would also free up vets’ time to deal with more complex cases.

Animal health data company Veterinary Insights has used its Vet Viewer benchmarking tool to calculate the value of VN consultations and their impact on practice turnover. The results, released as part of Vet Nurse Awareness Month, show that practices are not making the most of their VNs in terms of their ability to generate revenue, it says.

The calculations found that VNs carry out 6.5 per cent of all practice consultations, and that 71 per cent of these are provided free, compared to 21 per cent of vet consultations.

The data show that when practices charge for VN consults, the average charge is around 30 per cent less than for a consultation carried out by a vet. Routine services such as emptying anal glands are charged at a lower rate if carried out by a VN compared to a vet – on average £14.05 when performed by a nurse, compared to £15.91 when performed by a vet.

Alexander Arpino, managing director of Veterinary Insights, said: ‘There’s a real opportunity during Vet Nurse Awareness Month, not just to celebrate VNs, but to be really aware of what they are being allowed to do within the bounds of practice protocols, compared to what they are capable of doing. Practices can value the skills of VNs more and charge accordingly. By acting at a level commensurate with their skills, VNs are more likely to feel truly appreciated and motivated. It also means they can be rewarded for their financial contribution to practice profits.’

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Veterinary Insights is asking practices to submit their practice data to Vet Viewer weekly. It aims to generate nationwide data, charting what is being done to help maintain practice revenue and identify the pace of recovery when lockdown starts to lift. Practices that are not part of the Vet Viewer programme can join at any point.

The free service allows practices to compare their data with regional and national benchmarks, with anonymity for any business that takes part.

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  • Vet Viewer, Veterinary Insights, Unit 5, The Old Stables, Hoadlands Farm, London Road, Handcross RH17 6HB, telephone 01403 800135.

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