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Dr Martin Chamberlain


Martin Chamberlain, RCVS Council 2023 election candidate Candidate 3 of 10

Proposers: Dr Robyn Campbell-Dahl, Lynsey Doyle

Address and contact details

Vets4Pets Cleveleys, 186 Victoria Road West, Thornton-Cleveleys FY5 3NG

T 01253 858 665

M 07943 900 769


Candidate biography

2001-2002 – Dipartimento di scienze veterinarie, Universita di Pisa, IT

2002-2007 - University of Bristol, vet school

2007-2010 - mixed practice; various locations, Yorkshire and Lancashire

2010-2012 - Vetsnow Bradford and Preston, latterly as lead vet for Vetsnow Bradford

2012 – present: Cleveleys Vets4pets JVP and lead vet.

I grew up in the northwest of Lancashire. Largely thanks to James Herriot, I wanted to be a vet. Academic achievements didn’t match my aspirations and after school I was faced with a choice; give up or think outside the box – a skill which I have continued to use ever since.

Since qualifying I’ve worked in both independent and corporate practice as well as mixed practice, companion animal and emergency work. This breadth of experience has been valuable in helping me to be the best GP vet I can be and helps me find creative solutions to problems.

I always felt I ought to be achieving ‘more’ but the challenges and experiences of COVID-19 made me realise the value of being there for our patients, colleagues and friends. Although academic achievement is most visibly celebrated, we don’t all need to be aiming for those lofty heights and everyday vetting should be more widely celebrated.

Candidate statement 

There is lots going on we should be having a say about.

The RCVS has a really important job to do. It therefore, ought to be representative of everyone, whatever your circumstances. If elected I would strive to find new ways to communicate with members. Ensure we find simple, innovative ways to hear people, from all parts of the profession. Everyone should have a say in what is happening. You might not have an hour to spare and some subjects are complex but, if we can find a way to be brief, get to the crux of the matter when talking to clients, surely we can do so for colleagues?

I’ve never met a vet who doesn’t have an opinion – on almost anything. So what’s stops us contributing? Few, have time or willpower to wade through the comms, fill in the forms. We go unheard, leaving the direction of the profession to be influenced more by those with time such as large academic or corporate bodies, rather than everyday vets, just focussed on getting to tomorrow.

During COVID, I was frustrated by the time and lack of clarity from the college. I decided to be more involved in responding to council and encourage others to take an interest. It transpires, being involved isn’t that easy, clear or quick. I’ve waded through pages of consultations, questionnaire’s and meeting minutes, trying to make informed choices, give appropriate views and feedback. It’s not easy. These changes are desperately important to us all, we need to find a way to have a say.

Our honours and awards process should be simple and clear and reflect the majority of incredible, everyday vets, in normal practice rather than skewed to academic or high office success.

Thanks for reading this far, why not give me a go?

Questions from the profession and the candidate's answers 

  • I would like to ask all the candidates how they will ensure that the veterinary profession is being pro-active in ensuring that sustainability (reduce, re-use & recycle) is being incorporated at every stage in the veterinary world?

We are currently, a plastic heavy, single use, throw away profession. Our guidance is rightly patient-focussed but is also dated and ready for review.

A ground up review of best practice could see what and where the opportunities to adjust or improve ways of working sustainably are.

There is an opportunity, to learn from other industries and countries, take what is working well and what has been learnt elsewhere.

Our Practice Standards accreditation scheme should include and promote green practice and include awards to recognise those that are achieving.

In my own practice we are currently working towards gaining accreditation for ‘Investors in the Environment’ and have experienced the challenges this presents. Our partners and suppliers are not yet geared towards this future and knowledge levels are often quite low, even when you want to do the right thing, so awareness and guidance is important for all parties.

  • How beneficial do you view the involvement of the effect of corporates on the reputation of the veterinary profession?

Since the corporates began there are obvious positive changes to the profession, by accident or design; introduction of care-plans, purpose-built premises, new employment opportunities and so on.

In many instances, their arrival and competition made us up our game, ensuring the client service was as good as it should be.

However, as with everything, a bad egg, in any sphere tarnishes the whole. A corporate group is a larger target for disgruntled voices than a one-person practice and that can also be made more visible to others. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are worse. We all get grumbles and we all make mistakes. 

Our clients all differ, as do we. There is a place for independents, corporates and hybrids like mine. We should be heard and considered but should also present a united voice as to how amazing the people within our profession are!