Professor John Innes


Candidate 5 of 10


John Innes Proposers

Gudrun Ravetz, Robin Hargreaves


Address and contact details

ChesterGates Referral Hospital, Unit E, Telford Court, Gates Lane, Chester CH1 6LT

T +44 (0) 1244 853823

M +44 (0) 7970 247322


Twitter @johnfinnes


Candidate biography

Raised in London, I qualified from Liverpool in 1991 and then worked at Bristol Vet School for 10 years becoming a RCVS Specialist. I was professor of small animal studies at Liverpool from 2001-13 where I gained experience in management and leadership. At Liverpool, I was sequentially Head of Small Animals, Head of Hospitals, Associate Dean for Knowledge Exchange, and Head of Department. Clinics and research remained important to me throughout and I supervised PhD students and residents. I engaged with vets in industry through knowledge exchange activity. Other duties have included external examiner and advisor at vet schools nationally and internationally, and I have worked on RCVS accreditation. I have experience with RCVS disciplinary and VDS as an expert witness. I have been chair of BSAVA Scientific Committee and President of the European Veterinary Orthopaedic Society (ESVOT). Since 2013, my job has been Referrals Director for CVS and a member of the company executive; this has given me wide exposure to the issues facing practising vets and nurses throughout the UK and a good feel for the challenges facing the veterinary sector. I am still an active clinician and live in Wirral with my young family.


Candidate manifesto

My extensive experience in veterinary education will inform me in a key area of RCVS activity. Having spent the last five years in practice engaging with practitioners from across the UK, I now see veterinary education through a different lens giving me a balanced view; this will be important as the vet school membership of Council decreases. Postgraduate structures need review such that those wishing to reach specialist status can get there in a more flexible way without the necessity for major financial sacrifice.

Brexit will cause significant issues for our profession. Colleagues from abroad enrich our sector and RCVS must continue to lobby on our behalf to navigate the choppy waters ahead.

I am enthusiastic for legislative review to allow RVNs to reach their potential and have satisfying careers; I believe that such modernisation will also enhance the satisfaction of veterinary surgeons because they can be supported by highly skilled nurses and regulated paraprofessionals. Further uncertainty comes from the potential disruption caused by technological innovation and telemedicine. Disruption need not be negative and RCVS should be at the forefront of this area to protect our profession in UK and to safeguard animal welfare and animal owners.

I have previously campaigned for better conditions for young colleagues (Innes JF, Vet Rec 1994; 134: 455; Vet Rec 2011;169: 212). This is more important than ever with issues such as student debt, disillusionment and attrition from the profession. I am enthusiastic for mental and physical health initiatives; RCVS Mindmatters and RCVS/BVA VetFutures are excellent projects; there are still significant challenges ahead which will need focus and resource, and I would like to contribute to the ongoing graduate outcomes project.

I would ask for your vote. My firm intention is to argue for sensible, pragmatic solutions to the challenges facing our profession.

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