Vets and vet nurses have been asked to share their experiences as individuals working through the Covid-19 pandemic by a new industry survey run by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS).

The confidential survey will ask professionals questions on the impact of the pandemic in areas such as hours worked and working patterns (for example, changing hours or working remotely), as well as how caring responsibilities, homeschooling, self-isolation and other pandemic-related factors have affected their ability to work.

It will also ask participants to sum up their own experiences of the pandemic. For example:

  • How well supported they felt by their employers;
  • The mental health impact of the pandemic and its associated restrictions;
  • Work-life balance;
  • Stress and anxiety.

For those who work in clinical practice, the survey will also ask questions about their access to personal protective equipment, remote consultations, how ‘in person’ consultations have had to be conducted, personal safety at work, and impact on caseload, among other things.

RCVS chief executive Lizzie Lockett said: “While our previous six coronavirus impact surveys have involved taking a snapshot of the more immediate situation for veterinary businesses at the various different stages of the crisis, this survey is about taking a deeper, retrospective look at the impact on the personal and professional lives of our members in the last year and a half.

We know that it has been an extremely tough period of time for the professions, and that our veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses have carried on doing their vital work for animal health and welfare, while under considerable personal and professional worry and strain.

“This survey, which is confidential, is an opportunity for members of the professions to give a frank and honest account of what has happened since March 2020 and how they have felt.

"We would strongly encourage people to engage with the survey as it will help us at the RCVS to gain a deeper understanding of your experiences, help us to respond to any future waves of the pandemic, supply evidence to the government about any impact to support future guidance changes, and capture a snapshot of this historic period.”

The online survey will be conducted by the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) on behalf of the RCVS and will run until Monday, August 23, 2021.

Emails containing the link to the survey will be sent by IES to all veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses in the UK for whom the RCVS holds an email address.