The College of Animal Welfare

Head Nurse Congress solely focuses on head nurses, the role they play in practice and the challenges they face on an everyday basis.


The two day event allows delegates to listen to a variety of relevant lectures from industry speakers, network with a range of exhibitors from across the field and share ideas with like-minded individuals; all while earning 12 hours of evidenced Continuing Professional Development (CPD).


Head Nurse Congress 2019 was held at the East of England Arena and Events Centre in Peterborough (PE2 6XE) and saw lectures on effective management, the millennial generation, recruitment challenges, communication and many more.


Prices for the 2020 congress are as follows:

Early bird prices - deadline 31 March 2020

  • One day only - £175
  • Both days - £249


Full pricing

  • One day only - £199
  • Both days - £299

Day one

Chairman’s Welcome
Frank Taylor, Vice Principal of Veterinary Studies, The College of Animal Welfare

How to be an effective Head Nurse
Lindsey Dodd, BSc(Hons) VPAC VTS(ECC) PgCert in HE FHEA RVN, Lumbry Park Veterinary Specialists, CVS Group
The role of head nurse is a challenging one, and with it carries many responsibilities: a leader, mentor, colleague and manager, to name a few. Throughout her session Lindsey will explore what it means to be an effective head nurse in practice; sharing her ideas and experiences of how to get the best out of your team. She will highlight how you can create and maintain practice culture, develop standards of practice within your team and look at some of the responsibilities of being a head nurse and the skills required to work effectively in the role.

The gift of feedback – how you can use it to build trust, and go beyond what you thought possible!
Richard Casey, Veterinary Management Group
There are many reasons why feedback could, and often should, be given. But, unfortunately, it’s often a task put off or carried out in a way where the outcome isn’t positive. A recent VMG survey in partnership with SPVS found that 49% of veterinary leaders were not confident regularly providing or receiving feedback. In addition, of the respondents who did not manage others, 80% reported that their line manager was not effective at providing or asking for feedback. Therefore, what does good feedback look like and how can it be used to improve performance in practice and beyond?
This session explores the various uses of feedback in the workplace, the benefits it can bring and how it can help contribute to a practice learning culture. It introduces various feedback ‘models’ which can assist in providing ‘structure’ to the conversation and help to avoid the conversation turning sour.

7 Sector Business Model
Emerson Patton, Bright Business Advice
Often many professionals experience frustration as a result of not having the right systems in place, the right training protocols to develop their team and huge gaps in their budgets.
The Bright Business 7 Sector Business Model will help you take your team to the next level, by ensuring your department is working like a well-oiled machine.
• Systemise and organise to make effective use of your time and save thousands of pounds in unnecessary costs.
• Achieve Rapid Sales Growth: Discover strategies that will allow you to generate large amounts of revenue, through better conversion rates in a shorter space of time.
• Recruit, Lead, and Motivate your staff to increase productivity and reduce staff turnover.
• Help you design your business plan structured around the key business areas of; Leadership & Management, Finance, Operations, HR, Marketing & Sales.
• Give you the structures and systems proven to increase efficiency, effectiveness and organisation.

Time Management & Delegation Skills
Whilmari Swift, RVN, Vet Dynamics
How good is your time management? We will look at where you are spending most of your time right now using Stephen Coveys 4 quadrant matrix and how to get things done more effectively.
Delegation, is there an art to it? During this session, we will explore different leadership styles and the 9 steps of effective delegation. Both sessions will be interactive. We will cover:
• Be Directive with people who are just learning a new skill
• Support people who are learning skills but are still gaining experience.
• Encourage people who may be highly competent, but who may lack self-confidence.
• Delegate to highly motivated and experienced people.

Increasing energy and purpose – a personal workshop
Anne-Marie Svendsen Aylott, MRCVS, PurpleCat Coaching Ltd
All of us have times where we may find work and/or personal life harder than usual, and even if we don’t, there is no doubt that the higher our energy levels and our sense of purpose, the better we feel about what we do and who we are. This workshop focuses on helping delegates connect with what is important to them and how to translate that into their everyday lives. The format is interactive, practical and personal.

Social Activity & Exhibition

Day two

Chairman’s Welcome
Frank Taylor, Vice Principal of Veterinary Studies, The College of Animal Welfare

How your team provide the necessary ingredients for a successful practice
Desmond Burke, Flavours School of Cookery
Refreshing, interesting and of course full of Flavour! Des “The chef in a suit” will deliver a thought provoking talk that will make you think and see different perspectives.
Working from the grass roots of the kitchen through to the business side, Des has a gift for understanding the psychology of different people and how the influence of others can make your business flourish or fail.

Learn how to recognise each of your team members unique skills that when blended together can make your practice rise to perfection.

Conducting Vital Appraisals
Ali Chadwick, The Vital Consultancy
Appraisals. We all know they should be ‘done’ but doing them well takes skill and confidence and that means that doing them at all is sometimes avoided. In this short, lively, interactive session Ali will take you through the top tips for running successful appraisals for your Vet Nurses and give you some key takeaways which will enable you to formulate an outline plan for structuring, running and reviewing your own successful appraisals.

VN Futures – What Does it Mean To You?
Jill Macdonald, DipAVN (Surgical) RVN FHEA, Royal College for Veterinary Surgeons
The VN Futures project exists to address the challenges and exploit the many opportunities available to us in the Veterinary Nursing profession. From creating careers ambassadors to encourage schoolchildren to consider veterinary nursing as a career, to helping nurses play an active role in One Health, to emphasising the value of veterinary nurses to practice; the aims of the project stretch across many aspects of the profession.

‘What’s holding you back?’ Barrier Beliefs and How to Smash Them
Libby Kemkaran-Thompson MA VetMB MRCVS, Vet Dynamics
Life has a habit of pulling you down. So how do you get back up? Measure your GRIT, learn how to change those limiting beliefs that keep you ‘stuck’ and challenge yourself to set a new standard. Growth Mindset for those completely new to the subject, and a deeper dive for those already started on this path. WARNING! May include a game that might just change your life forever…

Enhancing Relationships
Bevis Moynan, Magenta Coaching Solutions
In this workshop learn how you can:
• Enhance your positive Influence with people professionally and personally
• Overcome negative judgement of self and others to become more authentic and congruent
• Challenge yourself to learn from those whom challenge you the most to develop greater flexibility in your communication style

 Frank Taylor CertEd RVN
Vice Principal of Veterinary Studies, The College of Animal Welfare








Lindsey Dodd, BSc(Hons) VPAC VTS(ECC) PgCert in HE FHEA RVN
Lumbry Park Veterinary Specialists, CVS Group

After graduating from The University of Bristol, following a period working in GP practice, Lindsey worked at The University of Liverpool SATH as ICU nurse where she set up and ran the ICU. After 4 years there she joined Vets Now Referrals Glasgow as Head Hospital Nurse. In 2013 she joined the team at Pride Veterinary centre to set up and run the ICU where she gained her credentials to sit her VTS(ECC) exam. She has lectured for BSAVA, BVNA, various private UK CPD companies and international events.

In 2015 she became a Lecturer in Veterinary Nursing at Harper Adams University, during which time she achieved her PgC in HE, became a FHEA, and a recognised Veterinary Technician Specialist in ECC.

Lindsey is currently Head RVN at Lumbry Park Veterinary Specialists where she gets to use her full skill set; leading the team of RVNs, SVNs and VCAs, teaching and her clinical practice.


Richard Casey
Veterinary Management Group








Emerson Patton
Bright Business Advice

Emerson Patton is a multi-award-winning coach and business advisor with over a decade of corporate experience and a further 14 years of coaching experience focusing on the 7-sector model of business structure and growth.

Emerson helps businesses to organise their leadership and management, efficiency, emotional intelligence and time management resulting in business improvement, structure consistency, efficiency, outstanding customer service, and business growth.


Whilmari Swift, RVN
Vet Dynamics

Whilmari previously worked, for Barclays bank, as small business manager before moving into project management. After which, she spent 3 years as a business manager for Vets Now and for 2 years she has supported joint venture partners, as a business manager for Companion Care/Vets4Pets Vet Group, before joining Vet Dynamics as a business development coach.

Over the years, she has achieved numerous qualifications including an Advanced Business Development Diploma and Management certificate, Level 5 in Management and Leadership, a LEAN business qualification and a Diploma in NLP, emotional intelligence and mindfulness. She is currently completing her coaching qualification.  Whilmari recently also opened up her own business along with her partner (non-veterinary).

She is passionate about helping independent veterinary practices grow to their full potential and enjoy working with each business; not only as their coach but as a business partner to achieve their ultimate vision.


Anne-Marie Svendsen Aylott, MRCVS
Purple Cat Coaching Ltd.

Anne-Marie is an Inspirational Leadership coach and trainer. Her focus is on helping organisations and individuals create a culture of positive change both within themselves and in the organisation where employee motivation and happiness is in focus. Her training focuses on the skills of strong and inspirational leadership. All her training is grounded in research and psychology and provides in-depth skills in superb communication, emotional intelligence skills and driving high end resilience in leaders and their teams. Anne-Marie has a background as a veterinary surgeon and has worked for many years with sales, marketing and training.



Desmond Burke
Flavours School of Cookery

Having owned many successful businesses Des has also consulted, trained and coached others to not just learn the rules of business and life, he has, as he puts it, teaches people "how to win in the game of life" (don't just learn the rules, learn how to win)

He is a regular guest on BBC Solent radio giving talks about current affairs, appeared on the TV show "The Hotel inspector", "5 mile menu" and The BBC Best Christmas Food Ever were he featured each episode and has written a book about life and food called ‘The Food Mechanic’.

Eating out, traveling and reading are how he spends his spare time as well as raising money for charity for the likes of The Brain Tumour Charity, National Deaf Children Society, Des has also made time to train and complete in two London Marathons.


Ali Chadwick
The Vital Consultancy

Ali is a trained ‘GROW’ management coach and a Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming. Ali’s client base includes VBD, with whom she has worked for 15 plus years.

Ali launched The Vital Consultancy in 2001 and specialises in delivering inspirational training and coaching in sales, management, customer services, self-management, emotional intelligence, confidence-building and communication skills generating measurable results for clients.

In her personal life, Ali enjoys the performing arts and creative writing whilst grappling with the long-distance challenges of parenting a young adult through drama school. Alongside running Vital, Ali volunteers each month for ChildLine running assemblies and workshops in primary schools helping children understand how to ‘speak out to stay safe.’ She balances a fondness for all types of chocolate with a varied fitness regime.


jill mcdonald clinical coach congress 2019 speakerJill Macdonald, DipAVN (Surgical) RVN FHEA
Royal College for Veterinary Surgeons

Jill qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 1999, and achieved her advanced diploma in 2006. She has worked as a head nurse, clinical coach and assessor, and in veterinary undergraduate and postgraduate education. Jill owns and runs ONCORE ePD, which she has managed since its beginnings in 2011. She recently took up post at the RCVS as VN Projects Coordinator, with the main remit of her role being to project manage the VN Futures initiative. This is a challenge which Jill relishes, since it aligns perfectly with her passion for advancement of the veterinary nursing profession.


Clinical Coach Congress Speaker Libby Kemkaran-Thompson

Libby Kemkaran-Thompson MA VetMB MRCVS
Vet Dynamics

Before moving into Management Consultancy, Libby worked in the city as a consultant. After retraining to be a vet at Cambridge, where she also did a degree in Behaviour, Libby worked in Essex and Cambridgeshire as a first opinion small animal vet for 5 years.

Following a car crash which left her unable to perform surgery, Libby moved back into the field of business consultancy but this time specifically for vets.

Now, Libby works passionately, for the UK’s largest veterinary consultancy company, Vet Dynamics, where she offers a portfolio of coaching and bespoke development options for independent practices and their teams, to improve their performance and their quality of life in practice.


Bevis Moynan
Magenta Coaching Solutions

Bevis Moynan is a Senior Motivational Map Coach Trainer (one of only five in the country) and a certified Trainer of Neuro Linguistic Programming.

Bevis is committed to helping people raise their conscious awareness and his work enables people to connect to who they really are, overcoming their own unique challenges in the process. Bevis is the only coach globally to be both a Senior Trainer of Motivational Mapping and a Trainer of NLP. He is the founder of Magenta Coaching Solutions and their work helps people to improve motivation at work whilst also magnifying their ability to positively impact people personally!



Confirmed exhibitors for Head Nurse Congress 2020:

Independent Vet Care

Independent Vet Care

Since IVC was established in 2011, more than 900 practices across the UK have joined the family. IVC Group is Europe’s leading veterinary care provider based across 10 countries including the UK, Sweden, Netherlands and Germany. We invest in our people, premises and processes to provide clinical excellence across the continent.



J.A.K Marketing

J.A.K Marketing

J.A.K Marketing continues to provide the veterinary industry with quality instruments and equipment from may global leading manufacturers. J.A.K Marketing develop and manufacture an extensive range of quality products at affordable prices and we will do our upmost to fulfil your requirements and cater your everyday purchasing needs.



Millpledge Veterinary Logo

Millpledge Veterinary continue to supply innovative products designed specifically for the professional. Ranging from pharmaceuticals to nutraceuticals, bandaging, dressings and fluid therapy, encompassing products for companion and large animal use. Providing complete peace of mind for the veterinary profession.


Veterinary Management Group

VMG logo

The Veterinary Management Group (VMG) represents and supports veterinary professionals in leadership or management roles.  Offering a range of resources for professional and personal development, the VMG is a collaborative community within which veterinary leaders can share experience, build relationships and work together to advance their practices and the wider profession.



Summit Veterinary Pharmaceuticals LTD

Summit Veterinary Pharmaceuticals LTD

Summit is a UK based veterinary specials manufacturer, licensed by the VMD. We are committed to providing high quality innovative solutions exclusively to veterinary surgeons and their patients. We understand the compliance and dosing challenges that veterinary surgeons face and offer a variety of products in strengths and dosage forms that you may find appropriate in your practice, therefore eliminating application and dosage problems. Precise manufacturing, affordable pricing, enabling veterinary surgeons to fulfil their commitment to their client's health and well-being. Products are for use under the provisions of the Cascade.


Pioneer Veterinary

Pioneer Veterinary Products actively work to encourage staff to improve patient care, maximise time and reduce stress daily. We achieve this through promoting best practice and providing high quality branded products at affordable prices with bespoke support to suit individual needs.


Invicta Animal Health

Invicta Animal Health

Invicta Animal Health is a fast-growing veterinary pharmaceutical company. We provide innovative products such as ChloraPrep surgical skin preparation applicators and EthyCalm vapocoolant for easy needle access.



Pet Remedy

Pet Remedy

A unique and clinically proven natural de-stress and calming product for mammals and birds. Valerian based with vetiver, basil, and clary sage essential oils. Ideal for settling pets in a new home and other stressful situations such as bonding, travel, fireworks and separation anxiety. This product works with the pets own natural calming mechanisms and starts to help instantly. The range comprises of calming sprays, handy individual calming wipes, diffuser and battery operated atomiser. For 2018 we have calming bandanna kits and grooming kit with de-tangle calming pre-wash, calming shampoo and conditioning spray with rosehip, moss and bramble extracts. Products are developed and made in England.



Vetskill logo

VetSkill is an Ofqual and CCEA approved awarding Organisation and professional regulatory body. Our aim is to empower learners to recognise and achieve their full potential through the provision of inspirational qualifications. We have a growing portfolio of qualifications available for delivery by VetSkill approved Centres, and welcome inquiries from those who are interested in delivery our qualifications and supporting our mission.



Leucillin Antiseptic Skincare is a Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) based high efficacy solution. With a wide range of uses and benefits this incredibly versatile antiseptic provides protection against infection caused by invading microorganisms or pathogens (bacterial, viral and fungal.) A natural occurring chemical, HOCl is produced in the mammalian body by Leukocytes or Neutrophils to fight infection, being skin pH neutral at 5.5 - 6.0 pH Leucillin is safe to use on all skin types. Leucillin is a fast, effective, versatile and safe, results driven alternative to other standard antiseptics, dramatically reducing bacterial load with no hypersensitivity reactions or usage constraints of other toxic or potentially harmful alternatives.


Kong Veterinary Products

Kong Veterinary Products logoKONG Veterinary Products (KVP) has been manufacturing a wide range of high quality veterinary products since 1964. Exclusive supplier of the KONG range to the veterinary sector, we also offer a range of Rehabilitation products, E-collars, surgical supplies and patient care products. Contact us on 01308 867020 or visit for more information.


VN Recruitment

VN Recruitment Logo

VN Recruitment is a specialist Veterinary Recruitment company, formed independently by Laura Buss in 2015. We pride ourselves on forever striving to be the most personable, friendly, approachable recruiters in the current marketplace and as a result, have the pleasure of constantly building strong and longstanding relationships with our clients and candidates alike.
We are firm believers that honesty is the best policy and care deeply about matching the perfect person to the perfect role, always prioritising both our candidates and clients’ needs above all else.


Photizo Light Therapy

Photizo Light Therapy is an effective and affordable LED phototherapy tool (with red & near infrared light) to accelerate natural healing of many acute & chronic conditions and for drug-free long term pain management. Recommended worldwide by animal health professionals, Photizo is a simple and safe solution for home use as an alternative to practice based laser so daily/frequent applications can continue to maximise therapeutic effects in accordance with low level light therapy research. Photizo Vetcare, CE marked for animals is ideal as a cost effective practice based device and for hire/selling to clients to extend the services available at your practice.

Both Days
Day 1
Day 2
Full Price
Early Bird

Early Bird pricing is available until 31 March 2020. All prices are listed without VAT and savings including VAT.

Interested in exhibiting at Head Nurse Congress 2020?

Head Nurse Congress is a unique congress aimed at head veterinary nurses, practice managers and those aspiring to those roles.

Why exhibit with us?

  • Limited exhibitor numbers - Unlike larger congresses where hundreds of exhibitors often mean that visitors will not remember everyone, exhibition space for these events is strictly limited. As such you will get the opportunity to engage with all of the delegates attending our congresses personally.
  • Make meaningful business connections – Network with those that influence decision making in veterinary practice face-to-face and make relevant industry contacts.
  • Cost effective – with exhibitor packages starting from just £250+VAT, our prices offer value for money and fall considerably below that of larger events within the industry.

Book a stand before 31 August 2019 and get a 10% discount! Download a booking form or call Tracey Croucher, Short Course and Events Manager, on 01480 422060.

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A discounted rate of £90 per night (single occupancy) and £100 per night (double occupancy) has been agreed at the Marriot Hotel in Peterborough. To book, delegates must make a reservation online via the designated page for Head Nurse Congress bookings. A card will be required for the reservation payment taken at check in.