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Dr Huw Stacey

Dr Huw Stacey, RCVS Council election candidate 2021BVetMed DipAS(CABC) MRCVS

Candidate 10 of 14

Proposers: Dr Karlien Heyrman, Dr Orly Simkin

Contact details

Isambard House, Firefly Avenue, Swindon SN2 2EH

E hstacey@btinternet.com

Twitter @huwstaceyvet

Candidate biography

After graduating from The RVC in 2000, I spent 10 years in first opinion practice where I performed a mix of small animal, farm, equine and zoo work. During the Foot and Mouth outbreak of 2001 I was seconded to MAFF in a TVI role.

After four years, I transitioned into small animal practice, concurrently undertaking a three-year postgraduate diploma in behaviour at the University of Southampton. The many elements of this diverse course included human psychology, welfare, ethics, anthrozoology and law.

In 2011, after a short time in industry, I joined Companion Care. I now hold the position of Director of Clinical Services for the Pets at Home Vet Group, where I support our joint venture partners with clinical and professional matters.

I have previously been a member of the Vet Futures Action Group and BVA Policy Committee, and I am a currently member of the RCVS Knowledge Quality Improvement Advisory Board, the Veterinary Patient Safety forum and the Major Employers Group.

My wife Donna is also a vet, and outside of work we are kept very busy by our two young boys and many animals.

Candidate manifesto

As with other high-achieving professions, the veterinary profession has historically been blighted by a blame culture which has been to the detriment of our members, our patients and our clients. There is a need for cultural change throughout our profession, but this can only take hold when the RCVS truly models a ‘just’ or ‘learning’ culture in all of its activities.

Nowhere is there greater need for this than in our disciplinary system. Fear and misunderstanding of the disciplinary arm of the RCVS is still widespread in our profession, and this is not without some justification. In my career I have on multiple occasions witnessed its shortcomings: veterinary professionals experiencing unnecessary distress and anxiety as a direct result of the cumbersome, protracted process that can take months or even years to reach a decision. When finally reached, these outcomes can seem inappropriately heavy-handed or ineffective, in large part due to the inflexibility of the current system.

Elements of the proposed legislative reform have the potential to improve the system to the benefit of all, but it is essential that we ensure these changes do not overstep the mark or create entirely new shortcomings.

Only when professionals feel confident that they will not be disciplined or blamed for genuine mistakes, or failings of the systems within which they work, will we be able to learn from such incidents to the benefit of all. Such a cultural change would offer improved welfare and psychological safety to our members. In addition, it would bring benefits in improving clinical standards, and would help to uphold the reputation of our profession with the public.

If elected, I would be proud to serve you, the members, and would be a strong advocate of a kinder, more empathetic, more just approach to the regulation of our profession.

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