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Latest Covid-19 survey provides good news
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By Georgina Mills

Results from the latest RCVS Covid-19 survey show that things are getting back to normal for vet practices in the UK.

The fourth iteration of the college’s survey, which looks at the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, found that over half of practices (58 per cent) were providing a ‘near normal’ caseload and over a quarter (27 per cent) were operating as ‘business as usual’.

The latest survey showed significant improvements from the previous one, which was carried in June. In this, over half (58 per cent) of respondents reported a reduced caseload, while the latest figure stands at just 11 per cent.

There is also good news for practices’ finances. While in June, the majority of respondents said their practice turnover had reduced, in the latest survey 56 per cent of respondents said that it had stayed the same or increased.

Furthermore, 80 per cent of practices stated that their cash flow position had stayed the same or even improved compared to pre-Covid-19 times.

Looking at workforce, the recent survey found that just 10 per cent of practices now have vets furloughed, compared to almost half in June. Fewer practices had staff working remotely too – in the September survey, this figure stood at 26 per cent, while in June and April it was 45 per cent and 55 per cent, respectively.

The survey was carried out between 1–7 September and was sent to 3077 UK vet practices for which the RCVS holds a unique email address. It had a response rate of 8 per cent, totalling 241 responses.

The results indicate that business continues to progress towards normality

RCVS CEO Lizzie Lockett said: ‘The results from this latest survey indicate that, for many practices, business continues to progress towards normality...however, the pandemic is far from over, with many areas of the UK entering into new periods of greater restriction even since our survey was carried out.

‘In light of the ever-changing situation and new regulations set out by the four UK governments, we would encourage as many practices as possible to engage with our fifth survey – scheduled for November – to allow us to best gauge developments and identify where support and further guidance is needed.’

All four survey reports can be downloaded from www.rcvs.org.uk/coronavirus-surveys

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