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Dr Sinéad Bennett


Candidate 2 of 14

Proposers: Dr Shelley (Anna Michelle) Cook, Professor John Innes

Contact details

M 07920 826 060
E [email protected]

Candidate biography

Sinead Bennett, 2024 RCVS Council election candidate I qualified from Dick Vet in 2008 and started in mixed practice, before moving in to out-of-hours work. After a period as a locum, I took on a role as Clinical Director of a CVS multi-site clinic, followed by a large hospital. In 2018 I took on the role of Hub Clinical Lead where, as part of an amazing team, I was able to inspire others with my passion for high clinical standards and improve the services we offered across the group – gaining RCVS Knowledge Awards for the small animal division in 2021 and highly commended in 2022. This most recent role brought me into contact with vets and nurses from all sorts of backgrounds, serving communities of all types, and working in practices of all shapes and sizes. I have now returned to locum work whilst I set up my own practice.

Due to my diverse experience I have come to really understand the challenges faced by many different types of practice and how the work of the Royal College impacts on the day to day work that vets and nurses perform.

I am a member of SPVS, BVA and BSAVA and I have a young daughter.

Candidate statement 

Standing for Council was always something of a distant thought for me, something that those ‘other’ vets might do. However, in the last year several vets I greatly respect have suggested I run, so here I am. I’ve realised that, much like having children, often the time is never “right”. A current Council member encouraged me think about the positive impact I could have, this conversation inspired me to stand this year.

I’m a “say it like it is” sort of person, I will ask the awkward questions and I will challenge the dogma. I’m genuine and honest and have learned that life sometimes calls for a grey area. Whilst working in a veterinary corporate I gained a reputation for saying what needed to be said, even when that may have been unpopular with those in charge.

As I look to open my own practice, I’m seeing the challenges in the profession from both corporate and independent viewpoints. I want to ensure that there are voices in the room that are common sense voices; voices that say, “hold on, have we thought about the impact of that decision on vets and nurses in real day to day practice?”

I believe that how we communicate change is supremely important, this is where I feel my experience could make an impact.

I believe in a culture of honesty, openness and integrity, admitting to mistakes and talking about them; encouraging others to do the same. I’m an evidence-based vet who is respectful of the stance of others, happy to explain why I make the decisions I make and eager to listen to what others have to say. I will always choose what I feel is right over what is easy.

I would be truly honoured to be a voice on Council.

Candidate answers to questions from the profession

Do you agree with the RCVS moving to a fully appointed council and removing our democratic influence on our professional membership?

No, I do not agree with the RCVS moving to an appointment only system. I firmly believe that we should retain a democratic election process to have veterinary surgeons in the majority when making decisions about the governance and future of the profession. I can see that there may be space to change the system to ensure fair representation for all, however, I do not think that the answer to this is to remove the democratic process. I believe that it is really important that general practitioners are more proportionately represented on council, as these are the people who understand fully the day-to-day stressors on the profession. I also believe that an appointment system is more open to potential abuse and risks a greater corporate sway over the profession as a whole. Part of our governance of the profession is not just in creating an environment in which people feel that they can be open and honest about their mistakes, using them as a platform to learn from, but also about keeping a cap on corporate influence within the profession.

What can we do to encourage vets to utilise their veterinary nurses properly and therefore increase clinical output and job satisfaction? 

There is an amazing opportunity to protect and enhance the role of Veterinary Nursing with the up coming change in the legislation governing Veterinary Professionals. I firmly believe that with one of the core tenets of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons being to protect animal health and welfare, that we can look to protect the title of veterinary nurse expand their potential role within practice, giving greater job satisfaction and career pathways to these individuals; not to mention the fact that this will allow wages to increase as nurses are able to generate more revenue for practices. It is also an opportunity to give greater governance to all paraprofessionals. This is a once in a generation chance to improve things for the better, for both veterinary professionals and the patients that we serve, future proofing the profession as we go. As a general practitioner I can see every day how a better utilisation of the skills of our nurses could have a positive impact on all that we do, and to this end, work with them to allow them maximum scope of job satisfaction within the current bounds of the law. I am acutely aware of the need to get this right as the profession is reaching crisis point over retention of the brilliant individuals who enter it.