The College of Animal Welfare

What is Head Nurse Congress?

Head Nurse Congress is an event which solely focuses on head veterinary nurses - exploring all aspects of the role, from the many different responsibilities, to the challenges a head veterinary nurse faces on a daily basis.

Throughout the two-day congress, you’ll get the chance to listen to a variety of relevant lectures from expert industry speakers including Libby Kemkaran-Thompson, from Kemkaran Consulting and Bevis Moynan, Creative Director at Magenta Coaching Solutions.

Who should attend?

The congress is aimed at new, experienced and aspiring head veterinary nurses or practice managers. But you may find it particularly useful if you are:

  • New to the head nurse role and looking for some guidance
  • Interested in learning more about management
  • Aiming to progress within your role
  • Interested in keeping up-to-date with everything happening in the industry

Why attend?

  • Listen to 10 lectures from a range of speakers who will be sharing their experiences and knowledge
  • Q&A sessions mean your questions will be answered by the speakers themselves
  • Network with a variety of exhibitors from across the industry
  • Get the chance to share ideas with like-minded individuals
  • Gain practical takeaways on a variety of topics that you can implement in your practice
  • Earn 12 hours of evidenced CPD
  • Social activity held after day one allows you to network in a more informal setting
  • Gain online access to recordings of all 10 lectures and lectures from previous congresses up until the 2021 event


Don't take our word for it - see for yourself what Head Nurse Congress is like by watching the 2019 event video:

Download the agenda (PDF)

Tuesday 3 November 2020

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 the Head Nurse is a challenging one, and with it carries many responsibilities. 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.

The Gift of Feedback - How you can use it to build trust and go beyond what you thought possible!

Richard Casey, Veterinary Management Group

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.

7 Sector Business Model

Emerson Patton, Bright Business Advice

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.

Time Management & Delegation Skills

Whilmari Swift, RVN, Vet Dynamics

During her two-part interactive session, Whilmari will cover both time management and delegation skills – using Stephen Coveys 4 quadrant matrix to explore how to get things done more effectively, as well as looking at different leadership styles and the 9 steps of effective delegation.

Increasing Energy and Purpose - A Personal Workshop

Anne-Marie Svendsen Aylott, MRCVS, PurpleCat Coaching Ltd

There’s no doubt that the higher our energy levels and sense of purpose, the better we feel about what we do and who we are. During her interactive workshop, Anne-Marie will focus on helping you connect with what’s important to you and how to translate that into your everyday life.

Social Activity & Exhibition


Wednesday 4 November 2020

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

Working from the grass roots of the kitchen through to the business side, Desmond has a gift for understanding the psychology of different people and how the influence of others can make your business flourish or fail. Throughout his thought provoking talk you’ll 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

In her lively and interactive session, Ali will take you through her top tips when running 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 emphasising the value of veterinary nurses to the 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

Dr Libby Kemkaran-Thompson MA VetMB MRCVS, Kemkaran Consulting

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. An interactive session on Growth Mindset, for those completely new to the subject and a deeper dive for those already started on this path.

Enhancing Relationships

Bevis Moynan, Magenta Coaching Solutions

In this interactive workshop you’ll 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

Lindsey DoddLindsey 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

Before joining the veterinary world seven years ago Richard spent a number of years working in HR and people development for a variety of companies like First Choice Holidays, Amazon and T-Mobile. However pets and working with others have always been two of his great passions so when the opportunity came to combine them Richard jumped at the chance and joined PDSA in 2011. Since then Richard has had the great privilege of working on a number of operational and people projects; before joining Blue Cross in 2016 as Clinical Development Manager. Here he oversees the development of veterinary services and manages partnerships with private veterinary practices. A particular interest and focus is to improve the way we interact and work with our clients, ultimately influencing them to do something different for the benefit of their pets welfare. From his time in the charity sector and on a personal note he has seen first-hand the benefits pet ownership can bring to people and the loyalty provided in return. Over his time on the VMG board I hope to raise awareness of the social and economic issues facing pet owners today and the ways in which we as a profession can support those who are facing difficult times.


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 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.


Libby Kemkaran-Thompson MA VetMB MRCVS
Kemkaran Consulting

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.

She built Kemkaran Consulting because city clients kept asking her to return to the Big Smoke to train their sales teams in ethical, trust-based sales after her creation of TAMETM Neurocoaching and ‘Who Do You Think You Are’.  This is a scientifically proven set of methods that blends together delivering organizational culture using Behavioural Psychology strategy training in Management, Communications, Personal Success, and Sales, utilizing Conversational Intelligence, Flow, and Emotional Quotient in a Growth Mindset. Libby coaches executives and management teams in the corporate world and is a keynote speaker at conferences and events worldwide.


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

J.A.K Marketing

J.A.K MarketingJ.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 fulfill your requirements and cater your everyday purchasing needs.


Millpledge Veterinary LogoMillpledge 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 logoThe 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 LTDSummit 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 fulfill 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 HealthInvicta 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 RemedyA 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 logoVetSkill 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 LogoVN 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.

Bright Business Advice

Bright Business Advice logoBright Business Advice. Discover how we can transform your business. Improve profitability, save time, grow sales & motivate staff. Over the years Bright Business Advice has helped hundreds of businesses achieve their true potential. We have more than 20 years’ experience in the Corporate Sector and SME business market and we understand the challenges businesses and their owners face. To-date, we have successfully offered business coaching and workshops to over 200 clients across a diverse range of industries. We help businesses to design their business plan structured around the key business areas around of Leadership & Management, Finance, Operations, HR, Marketing and Sales.

Eickemeyer Veterinary Products

Eickemeyer Veterinary Products logoEICKEMEYER is an independent, family-owned veterinary equipment company providing a full range of quality veterinary instrumentation and equipment for all your clinical needs. For over 50 years EICKEMEYER have become experts not just in the science of veterinary medicine, but also in how to build and grow a successful practice. We have always sought to supply the finest instruments and equipment available, carefully sourcing the best and most practical products from all around the world. And where we can't find a product which meets our exacting quality and value criteria, we design and make our own.


essity logoEssity is a leading Global hygiene and health company, dedicated to improving well-being through its products and solutions, essentials for everyday life. Essity, best known in the veterinary market for key brands such as Soffban© and Tensoplast©, is excited to introduce the Advanced Wound Care range through out Cutimed© and Leukomend© product portfolios. Visit our stand to find out more.

Vita Animal Health

Vita Animal Health logoVita Animal Health has a passion for researching, developing and bringing to market innovative products for companion animals.

Veterinary Wound Library & Bandaging Angels

Bandaging AngelsOffering annual membership with in house CPD, our Bandaging Angels come to your Practice to teach the whole team and are trained to independently review your product choice while giving you the latest tips for dressing selection and bandaging techniques. Membership with The Veterinary Wound Library includes resources such as specialist telemedicine support for unlimited wound cases, discount on VWL CPD events plus educational resources and webinars.


MedivetMedivet is a veterinary led group of over 300 branches with 22 24-hour veterinary centres across the UK. Underpinned by its partnership ethos, it is forging a national community of passionate vets, offering exceptional veterinary care that’s always there.

Dogs Trust - Generation Pup

Generation PupDogs Trust Dog SchoolDogs Trust is the largest UK-based canine welfare organisation. The Canine Behaviour & Research department delivers the technical resources and skills to enable Dogs Trust staff to provide the best possible support for the dogs within its care and evidence-based advice to external stakeholders in order to improve canine welfare worldwide. The Generation Pup study is a cohort study funded by and run by researchers at Dogs Trust. The aim of this study is to investigate the extent to which management practices, genetics and environmental factors influence the development of health and behaviour problems as the dogs get older.

Albert Waeschle

Albert WaeschleALBERT WAESCHLE Veterinary continues to forge ahead with the successful launch of the OPTICLAR Diagnostics range. From supplying the Veterinary profession for over thirty years, our first class technical knowledge has enabled us to develop products in conjunction with leading specialists to ensure superb product performance

Both Days
Day 1
Day 2
Full Price
Early Bird

Early Bird pricing is available until 30 September 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.

Download a booking form or call Tracey Croucher, Short Course and Events Manager, on 01480 422060.

Get directions from your post code


A discounted rate of £88 per night (single occupancy) and £98 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.