We have over 50 members of staff at Millennium shared between our main site on Millennium Way and at our branch practice in West Street, Coggeshall. As an independent veterinary practice, we work as a tight team with a family atmosphere, all sharing the same ethos - 'Treating Your Pets as Our Own'. As pet owners ourselves we know how important these family members are to us - regardless of species, age, colour and size! Our team falls into 9 groups: Our Directors who are also our most senior vets; our veterinary surgeons; registered veterinary nursing team who support our student nurse team; ward assistants; receptionists; pharmacy staff; office staff including our practice manager and finally our cleaning team. A lot of the care and client support we provide is behind closed doors - in our wards, theatres, diagnostic rooms, laboratory and the office.
So lets here from our staff, to give you more insight into what we do in our vocation to care for your pets and you!
So lets here from our staff, to give you more insight into what we do in our vocation to care for your pets and you!
Millennium Vets DirectorsThere are 3 directors of Millennium Vets. Robin Creighton, Stefaan Van Poucke and Lindsey Nice. We all oversee the day-to-day running of the clinic, actively practice as vets and are responsible for maintaining the high standards we are committed to deliver. Each of us bring different attributes to the director team that enables us to proactively continue to ensure that MVP remains the largest independent veterinary clinic in Essex. We continue strive to deliver excellent client experiences with our primary objective being ensure you know that we care. We know your pets are part of your family and that’s how they are treated by us. We are exceptionally proud of the MVP team, who work tirelessly to help and support you, in the loving care of your pets.We are committed to continuing to invest in our staff and facilities to optimise your pet’s health and experience with us.
Vet TeamWe have 10 vets at Millennium, both full time and part time, with a wide range of interests and qualifications. All our vets are registered with the RCVS, and we also have Advanced Practitioners in Medicine and Surgery. We provide a referral service for dermatology, oncology, orthopaedics, soft tissue surgery and poultry medicine to clients of other veterinary practices in our area.
Supported by our nurses and receptionists, we are involved in all aspects of your pet's care. Our day is shared between consulting and operating and where time allows, house calls.
Our duties range from routine appointments, such as vaccinations and health exams; managing symptomatic and sick patients, both in the consult and as hospitalised in-patients; performing diagnostic tests such as blood and urine testing in our laboratory, imaging (including x-rays, ultrasound and CT imaging); and performing a number of surgical procedures. We are also involved in checking prescriptions for repeat medication requests, contributing to the development of practice protocols, and providing advice. Above all, our primary focus is on providing the best care for you and your pet.
Nursing TeamBecoming a veterinary nurse takes years, and a lot of training. But, it is the most rewarding job being able to look after patients, as well as communicate with clients.
We rotate around the practice doing a variety of different roles, such as theatre where we prepare a patient for their surgery and then monitor their general anaesthetic right through to where they wake up, through to being in wards, where we place catheters, take bloods, recover patients after their surgery and care from them to the very minute they go home. We also have nurses who do consults throughout the day, where clients are able to go and see us and we can provide them with advice, help your pet gain build confidence when visiting here and even give them their vaccinations! We also do a lot of diagnostic work, such as running blood samples, and doing CT scans to help better understand your pet's condition.
Some nurses are clinical coaches for our students, meaning that we train and support them throughout their time of developing and learning how to become a veterinary nurse. We supervise them, and give them one to one support to develop and progress their skills. We also work hand in hand with the vets, ensuring that plans are made for our patients throughout the day and we keep them up to date with everything.
Many of our nurses have completed further certificates to develop their knowledge in areas such as emergency critical care, anaesthesia and analgesia, feline nursing and behaviour. We all work together as a team, utilising our skills and interests every day to make each day enjoyable and rewarding.
Being a Veterinary Nurse means that no day is ever the same, but the core of our job is to deliver the utmost care for your pets. We love them just as much as you do!
Student Nursing TeamStudent Veterinary Nurses (SVN's) often start as a ward assistant, gaining experience in practice and learning basic skills to kick start their SVN career. This involves enrolling with a college to attend one day a week and learning the theory behind the veterinary nursing patient and client care we will be qualified to do. Understanding how a veterinary practice works is also taught. The rest of the week we work in practice in the full nursing rota alongside another Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN) - hands on with our patients. Our role is the same as that of the RVN, however we are closely supervised by either Veterinary Surgeons or RVN's.
Every student has a 'Clinical Coach' in practice throughout their training. The coaches are all experienced RVNs. They teach us all of the necessary skills and provides support with our personal development. They undertake further training and qualifications to become a Clinical Coach.
The roles and responsibilities of SVN's are to learn and develop in all areas of veterinary nursing practice. This includes: ward management, medical management of inpatients, taking blood samples, placing intravenous catheters, animal handling, nurse consultations, diagnostic imaging (radiography (x-ray), ultrasonography, computed tomography (CT), preparing patients for surgery, monitoring anaesthetised patients, preparing and sending off laboratory samples, maintaining and sterilising surgical equipment, and deep cleaning after surgery and around general practice. Our level of support decreases as we learn and develop in all of the above until qualifying around 2.5 to 3 years after starting college, up to which point we still have a certain level of supervision.
Our end goal is to become a fully qualified veterinary nurse - registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. At Millennium we wear the traditional green and white striped tunics which change to bottle green once we qualify. Getting your 'greens' and the red and silver RVN badge, shows all the hard work has paid off! Then our focus is to hone our skills and be the best nurse we can. And after that we'll be encouraged to look into the future and more specific areas of nursing interest.
Ward Assistant TeamWe have different shift patterns to cover the whole of the day, which includes weekends. Each shift has a variety of different roles. This includes helping the nurses and vets restrain patients for procedures (such as placing an intravenous catheter, pre-med injections before surgery or holding a patient for a blood test). We also help recover patients, under the nurses' direction, that have returned from surgery. We monitor their heart and respiratory rates and their temperature at pre-set intervals. We work closely with the registered nursing staff who are the ward nurses at that time. Another main role of ours is running the laboratory, we have to run in-house tests for blood and urine. After liaising with the vets we communicate with outside laboratories and send samples off for further in depth tests. Also on our lab shift we have the responsibility of making sure the consult rooms are topped up and are cleaned on a daily basis as part of the practice's infection control procedures. We also do the same in the morning and evening in wards as we could potentially have an infectious patient. General infection control is a very important part of our role.After operations have been performed we have to scrub and sterilise the kits that have been used, they go through the autoclave which is a machine that sterilises instruments at 134 degrees! We also run the laundry, washing bedding from day patients or inpatients, to get clean ready for the next day. Then it all starts again the next day!
Reception TeamWe are a team of 16. Team work makes dream work is very much our ethos. We are the frontline friendly faces that greet you and are here to help you and your pets when you arrive at either of our practices in Braintree and Coggeshall, on the phone or online! We are also involved in many of the administrative tasks for the practice. Our team work in various shifts from Monday - Saturday to cover the practices opening hours, starting at 7.45am and finishing at 8pm (often a lot later depending on what emergencies we have). There are many aspects to our veterinary receptionists and administrative roles which include:
- At Braintree, the team is divided up between our reception in the main building and the cabin at the rear of the practice. If you haven't visited the cabin before, this is where we organise all the medication and food orders once they have come through from our pharmacy. Picking up these orders and making deliveries happen here in drive through style! The cabin is open from 7.45am-6pm in the week and 8-1pm on a Saturday
- At Coggeshall, our branch practice, we have one receptionist working alongside the duty vet. This is a quieter environment, which is not to say our appointment diary isn't full! Our branch is open each week on a Tuesday and Thursday
- Managing the diary - we are a very busy practice at Braintree and run consultations throughout the day. With 5 consulting rooms, we often have 4 vets and 1 nurse consulting at the same time - making our waiting room a hub of activity especially when our external and internal phone lines need answering. (Our cabin staff also answer the phones). We regularly check the diary for online appointments, ensure pets have been booked in with the right person for the correct length of time and if there are any other needs - such as a pet who has difficulty being here and needs to stay in the car or come via the back door. Its all go!
- Keeping the reception and waiting room clean, tidy and checking our shop and food stock alerting our pharmacy staff if anything is getting low / needs ordering
- Petsapp (if you haven't down loaded this yet, then please do its a great way of contacting us!) and email messages come through to us all day long - these need answering and fielding to other members of staff. This can be anything from medication requests and patient referral requests to checking clients reminders and advising on appointment needs depending on the pet's current condition
- While much of our work is computerised we still use paper! Consent forms, hospitalisation records, written prescriptions, dental charts and diabetic stabilisation charts all need to be scanned and attaching to the corresponding pets' file. This is vital to ensure that all the patient's information is in one place
- Contact with other practices for patient history requests and referral to complimentary services such as hydro or physiotherapy
- We actively support all our clients and this includes when they are going through sad and upsetting times
- We all have our individual areas of interests and expertise. This includes Kelly our Head Receptionist, who has her British Veterinary Receptionist Association - Accredited Veterinary Receptionist Gold Award (a number of us are working on the different levels of this too); Tracey who has further qualifications in bereavement and is our Bereavement Support Advisor and Becky who is committed to reviewing our Environmental impact.
Pharmacy TeamThe team is headed by Claire Easter and supported by additionally trained members of our reception team. Orders are sent to our wholesalers every day in response to client orders and the drugs, food and consumables and many other items we use each day. Without our ordering system we would grind to a halt! Orders arrive each morning and take a few hours to unpack and process. We will often have 2 members of the team working at the same time:
We ask for 48hrs working day notice for all repeat prescriptions and food orders and ask you to please collect these as soon as you have been notified they are ready for collection. As we think you will see from our role above, there are good reasons for these requests.
- organising repeat prescription and written prescription requests, all which need to be checked and authorised by one of our vets
- dispensing medication constantly throughout the day as a significant number of our consults will generate the need for medication and/or prescription food there and then. This can include anything from routine parasite treatment to controlled drugs
- stock rotation and date checking is regularly carried out as well as monitoring the temperature of our pharmacy fridges. These are full and contain a lot of stock, it is vital they are running at the correct temperature so no stock is spoilt and have to be disposed of. This would be very expensive indeed!
- on that score, we are also involved with the disposal of returned, out-of-date or damaged stock. This becomes more complicated when it involves controlled drugs, but luckily this is a rare occurrence. We also have to process waste items such as needles - often these are returned to us by clients with diabetic pets requiring daily insulin injections
- we liaise with our Coggeshall branch too, organising and sending orders over to them when needed each week
- our pharmacy email and internal requests need checking several times a day - this takes a fair amount of time on a daily basis as our email address is connected to our client monthly reminders for their pet's parasite treatments and we have a lot of pet's registered here at MVP!
- and its definitely worth a mention that we have tight rules and regulations in our pharmacy. Like human pharmacies we also double sign medications that leave the building. Once they have left the premises we cant take them back / exchange or refund them and this is due to Veterinary Medicine Directive rules which like all other veterinary practices we have to conform to
Office TeamOur office team is a collective mix of talents! Headed by our Practice Manager, Lisa Birnie (also a Registered Veterinary Nurse) its a hub of different activities. This is where you will find our accounts, client manager, PR, insurance and care plan teams. Our Head Nurse has her desk here too (when she gets a chance to sit down that is!) and we have an open door policy for any member of the team. There is another RVNs in the team, and a previously registered veterinary nurse so we have a good balance of understanding when it comes to the needs of the clients, their pets and our staff. Many of us have been here a very long time and are well equipped to manage the administrative needs of the practice. Client care and the health/ welfare of our patients continue to be at the forefront of what we do across the practice and very much includes the roles in our office too.
Domestic StaffWe are a team of 4! Generally you will not see us as the waiting room and consults rooms are cleaned at the end of each evenings consulting time. It's a big practice so we have a team of two working each day - cleaning and tidying up the upstairs offices, staff room and toilets; stairwells; corridors; cabin; bereavement room; pharmacy; reception and of course the waiting room and 5 consult rooms! We also pop over to the Coggeshall branch on occasion - its only 3 rooms but obviously needs cleaning too. A high standard of hygiene is important for us all too. We come from a variety of backgrounds - including hospital, school catering, adult caring support and hotel industry so know the importance of keeping to these high standards. As cleaners we feel very much part of the MVP team and get plenty of job satisfaction from keeping the practice ship-shape and brightening the day of the hard working staff on late shifts!