SUMMER 2015 EDITION
plus...Volunteering abroad,Opening St. Helensand much, much more
White Cross Fund
Keeping you up-to-date
Florida 15Orlando was magic!
In 2015 White Cross Vets will provide more than 30,000 in discounts to pet charities2
12My White CrossJourney - Alvaston
18A personalexperience ofeuthanasia
In March we celebrated another listing in The Sunday Times Top 100 Small
Companies to Work For list. An all-time high of 19th position was achieved
with White Cross ranking 6th in this company is run on strong values. With
family values at the heart of our business, this accomplishment is a real
endorsement, by our team, of the culture of our practice. Principles, values
and culture are the things that dierentiate us from everyone else and it is
of paramount importance that we live these every single day in our practices.
Training and development has taken centre stage this year with record
numbers of vets undertaking post graduate certicates as well as new
leaders starting the Institute of Leadership and Management Certicate,
CCCs continuing their development programme (including the upcoming
and much anticipated trip to Nice and Monaco), and an exciting programme
being devised for our own Congress in September.
Business wise, the year ending March 2015 was a very successful one with
all sales and prot plans being met. The Group sales rose to 5.7 million,
an increase of almost 24% on the previous year. This coming year we are
planning for sales growth of 15% excluding any new practices. Regarding
new practices, May saw the opening of our newest venture in St Helens,
Merseyside under the stewardship of Kelly Whitelaw. At just a few weeks
old, the practice is proving very popular with client feedback being
Life continues apace across the White Cross Vetsgroup with our talented team now numbering overone hundred and thirty!
By Tim Harrison, managing director
Our stand at B
I was nally being
given the chance
to do the job I had
since I was 14.
Donation Days will provide 12 months of work for charity how are you spending yours? 3
22Volunteering inthe Caribbean
28Keep rollin, rollin, rollin!
I believe we are
doing clients a
34Laughter; the best medicine
32 Removing barrirers to care
UpdateLater this year we hope to open in Wolverhampton and by the end of the
nancial year in Widnes. We will be recruiting in the coming months
so let us know if you are aware of any potential White Cross people.
The most exciting news is the recent relaunch of our Complete Wellness Plan.
We have merged in to one single plan with many more enhanced benets
including unlimited free consultations, top level Hills discounts and cover for
the prevention of lungworm. Along with a new package, we are changing the
system so that the majority of the administration will be done in-house at
CTSO. Karen Lawrence has been appointed Wellness Plan Administrator
working within the Service and Finance Department. Having contributed in a
number of roles during the past few years, Karen will now devote her entire
time to manage this very important part of our practice. There are new
marketing materials to support you as well as in depth training for all teams.
These Wellness Plans will extend pets lives and every pet deserves such a
comprehensive health plan.
Finally, I would like to highlight the great work many of you do for the White
Cross Fund to keep owners and their pets together for longer. Many of you
undertake fund raising on a regular basis, for example the sponsored runs
done by the West Derby team (including climbing in Snowdonia), and Cammy
Sneddon (Wendys son) completing the Tough Mudder. A special thanks
must go to Rod, James, and Duncan (James brother in law) for completing
the almost unheard of feat of cycling from Lands End to John O Groats in
just seven days. Enduring thirteen hours in the saddle every single day and
riding a total of 920 miles, the trio have raised three thousand pounds for
Turn to page 28 to read about
James and Rods incredible cycle
White Cross Vets treat all school pets for free4
By Nishi Jani, clinic director, Northampton
When my name was drawn at congress for an all-inclusive
trip to a congress in Europe, I was shocked, partly because
I had no idea I had been entered into the draw but mainly
because I never normally win anything.
However, when this was later upgraded to a week-long trip to NAVC (North
American Veterinary Community) Conference in Orlando, Florida, I couldn't
believe my luck. Plus, not only were there a huge amount of varied and
interesting lectures but the trip also included loads of fun extras.
First a quick ight across the Atlantic
Day 1: After checking in to the hotel, we enjoyed dinner and drinks at
Day 2: First day at NAVC, mainly spent getting my bearings between
the Marriott and the Gaylord(!) exhibition centres. I must say, the
dierence in size between NAVC and BSAVA is astounding. More
than 16,000 people attended NAVC 2015 and there is already talk
of moving the event to larger premises as the conference has
outgrown the hundreds of square metres it already occupies.
That evening we had a lovely meal at a Mexican restaurant at
Universal Studios followed by my joint highlight of the trip -
Pat O'Brien's duelling piano bar. Two adjacent pianos on
a stage play any audience requests and everybody
has a sing-a-long. It was a really electric
atmosphere and a great warm up for the
VIP section of the Tier nightclub, where
some of us ended up into the small hours.
Friends for life: Elisia, Hayley,
Jade and Cheryl
A visit to a Baneld HospitalFine dining with Virbac
Use your Ales to say thanks to team members that have gone the extra mile 5
Day 3: Despite a slightly later start to congress for
some of us, a tour of the local Baneld Hospital
awaited. It was great seeing the inspiration for White
Cross and comparing the similarities and
dierences across the two companies. I particularly
liked how their name badges had a place for a
picture of their pet on them. After a quick stop o
at Hooters, we headed to an Orlando Magic vs.
Oklahoma City basketball game.
Day 4: After a breakfast lecture on Cushings
(where I realised that a bus full of people at
6am on their way to a lecture can mean only
one thing: jetlag) there were some great
lectures on cytology and a wander around
both exhibition halls. Here, rather
conveniently, being from the UK meant you
could easily avoid signing up to things you
had no interest in, yet still collect as many
free pens as you wanted. After a long
day, we were treated to dinner at
award-winning restaurant Hawk's
Landing Steakhouse and joined by
our friends from Shor-Line. I can
honestly say that was the best steak
I have ever had.
Day 5: This was dental day at NAVC, and these
lectures were by far the most popular ones at the
entire conference. There were some really
interesting tips on dental radiography, nerve
blocks/pain relief and extraction techniques. In the
evening, we were taken to Deep Blu Seafood Grille
Day 6: The day of my second joint highlight of the
trip - DISNEYLAND! While Tim, James and Wendy
wrestled alligators and learnt how to shag (it's a
dance move - Google it), the rest of us headed down
to the Magic Kingdom. It was a great day, made
extra special by spending it as a group, and was
topped o by magical Disney reworks.
Day 7: Starting o with an All-American style
breakfast at the Cracker Barrel, we had a surprise
helicopter ride over the area we had been staying in
over the past week. On our way to the airport we
stopped o at two outlet malls for a nal shopping
spree, and then headed home.
I feel really lucky to have won a place to NAVC. It'll
denitely be something I will never forget and if I
had to describe it in one word, it would be:
When White Cross Vetswent to Orlando
Pet Fit Club, at NAVC
Elisia, Hayley and Kelly
Introduce a friend to White Cross Vets and you could receive up to 2,0006
A nurses tale: Orlando was magic!
FloridaBy Cheryl Sands, RVN, Coulby Newham.
I won my trip to Florida at last years congress. Each year, a vet,
nurse and CCC are randomly drawn, and 2014s event was my year!
The NAVC is somewhere you only ever dream of attending. However, the closer it came to the trip, the
more anxious I started to feel as I only knew a few of the ten people going. Luckily, White Cross employs
people who have a very similar outlook and attitude, so the whole group got on brilliantly.
The conference was huge and based across two hotels. Each had an exhibition and numerous lectures
to accommodate vets, nurses, receptionists and practice managers and the lectures I attended were
brilliant and very informative. I have taken a lot from them as well as the stands at the exhibitions.
The biggest surprise for me, however, was the dierence between nurses in the
UK and nurses in America, known as veterinary technicians or vet techs. Talking
to them, as well as US vets, it seems UK nurses have come a long way over the last
few years in comparison, not only showing the UK profession our role is
important, but having the qualication recognised and respected. For most vet
techs, however, although respect for the role is there, it seems there is no real
incentive for any formal training. For example, salaries dont increase a great
deal to reect the qualication, yet they still have to pay training fees.
For me, this highlighted not only how fortunate I am to be a qualied VN in
the UK, but also to work for a company that respects and rewards its
Away from the conference, White Cross made the trip even more
special by organising some extracurricular activities. Highlights
included going to an NBA basketball game, going on a helicopter
ride over Orlando, having a look around a Baneld veterinary
hospital and enjoying two amazing meals with fantastic people
from Shor-Line and Virbac. We also had an evening out at a
nightclub and experienced the epitome of Orlando - a trip to
Disneys Magic Kingdom.
I had the most amazing time and I made
some fantastic friends. It really was the
trip of a lifetime.
Over 15,000 has been raised for the White Cross Fund mainly through the practice teams 7
For this years congress, held at the tastefully-
restored 19th century Cranage Hall in Cheshire
on September 18-20, our theme is Removing the
Barriers to Care, and, as always, weve got a
The full programme is to follow, but I just want to bring your attention to
On Friday night, following leadership and level one training during the
day, we will be having a Fijian-themed buet while we watch the England
v Fiji rugby world cup match. A relaxed aair is the plan.
Then, on Saturday morning, the leadership team are back in session, and
theres some Principles One training as well as a Voice meeting. Tim will
then do his address to the nation, and after Kristie Faulkner from
Onswitch takes us through the customer journey, its gladrags on for our
awards dinner, ceilidh and disco.
On Sunday morning (after your 9:30am lie-in; you can thank me later)
there is a choice of sessions from tips on avoiding claims and complaints,
advice on how to manage Facebook, Instagram and online reviews, and
updates on wound management. Then theres an update on wellness
plans or a fresh look at the way we deal with pet loss in practice.
After that, its outdoors for some Skool Sportz fun with Team Spirit,
with an expected nish time of 4pm.
You will shortly receive a congress booking form. Please complete
this in full and when the whole team have completed one each, return
We are really looking forward to spending time with you all!
Congress timecomes around again!By Wendy Sneddon, operations manager
White Cross Vets sponsors over 20 sports and community groups and teams8
I joined the practice in August 2009, andwhen Im not here, I enjoy spending time withmy young family. I have two dogs too, calledStan and Charlie.
Angie Hardy, vet
Meet the team...Introducing
Im Sammii and I started at White Cross in 2011as a receptionist. I am now, however, a secondyear veterinary nursing student and I am due toqualify after my practicals next year. I have aDalmatian called Lexi, who not only keeps the vetsbusy, but who I enjoy showing all over the countryand have qualified for Crufts four years in a row. I also have two spotted rabbits called Lottie and Lillie.
Sammii Jenkins, SVN
Hi, Im Emily, and I joined White Cr
oss in February 2009.
Outside of work, four pets keep me
incredibly busy. I have
two dogs - Pebbles is a five-year-old
Collie-cross and Louie
is a four-year-old Doberman - and t
wo rabbits called Acorn
and Peanut. I also enjoy spending ti
me with family and
friends and spa days. I love to go ri
Emily Duffell, head nurse and clini
I have been working at Alvasto
n for three years,
15 months of which as clinic di
rector. Most people know
Stig my dog who often visits ou
r practice, and I also have
two degus. Outside of work I s
pend my time walking with
Stig and my wife Emily, as wel
l as travelling and cooking.
If I'm not doing any of those, I a
m likely to be found on a
river in a rowing boat.
Will Newbury,clinic director
#19 in the Sunday Times Best Small Companies to Work For 2015 9
Hello, my name is Helen, and I started here just over a
year ago. I live in Derby with my husband Andrew and
our gorgeous cat, Mike. We very recently got married
(Andrew and I, not Mike and I) so now that we are not
organising a wedding, we mainly spend our time out of
work socialising with friends and family.Helen Henstridge, vet
My name is Sarah and I have been at Alvaston
since the beginning of time. I have a 14-year-old
Princess who is my life and comes on all our
caravan/cottage holidays with us, enjoying every
minute of it. I started out my career as the young
trainee in the practice, and now find myself, 24
years on, the oldest, ha! I am a keen walker, often
seen up in the hills of Derbyshire, or cycling the
canal paths, or better still reading a good Phillipa
Gregory book, wishing I had been born in a
different time, wearing posh frocks, going to
fabulous balls and jousts and
hopefully just managing to keep hold
of my head. Yes a weirdo I know,
but hey, I study health and safety.
You dont get weirder than that.
Sarah Srih, RVN
Hi, my name is Kirsty. Im a CCC and I love guinea pigs. I
own three little piggies: Woody, Mickey and Oswald. (As
you can see by the names, Im also a little obsessed with
Disney.) All of my pigs have been rescued. Woody was
adopted nearly a year ago and hes still a little a shy but will
do anything for a spinach leaf. Mickey and Oswald,meanwhile, were rescued from the RSPCA in Derby. They
had been homeless for s...