VetPartners is set to become the first UK veterinary group to offer members of the profession a chance to become partners in clinical research.

The York-based veterinary giant wants to raise the standard of healthcare across the industry and believes that improving the evidence base through practice-based clinical research is one of the ways forward.

As a result, the firm will now offer vets and vet nurses, universities, charities, drug companies, professional organisations and others the opportunity to work in partnership to conduct high-quality clinical research.

VetPartners’ move follows the appointment earlier this year of one of the world’s leading authorities in the field of evidence-based veterinary medicine.

Rachel Dean took up the position as director of clinical research and excellence in practice at VetPartners, where she is also co-chair of their Clinical Board, in June.

Dr. Dean previously founded the Centre for Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine at the University of Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, where her group identified an urgent need for more research relevant to veterinary practice to improve healthcare.

A career development opportunity

Dr. Dean said: “As a group, VetPartners wants to improve knowledge across the profession so our plan is to conduct our own research and become the business of choice to turn to by members of the profession wanting to do research.

“We acknowledge the deficiencies of the existing evidence and how this hinders good clinical practice and we plan to do something about that. One of the problems in the veterinary profession is that we don’t have enough research or enough of the right research.

“To provide clinical excellence in practice and deliver quality healthcare, you have to have research to back it up and, at VetPartners, we are going to provide both. We will implement our own research and partner with others to be the best we can be.

“This is a good career development opportunity for our staff and for other members of the veterinary profession and we can clinically develop by doing good quality relevant research."

Any research projects will be overseen by Dr. Dean and she is looking for interested vets, veterinary nurses, pharmaceutical companies, charities, professional organisations and universities to work in partnership.

It is open to members of the profession working across all species groups, including small animals, equine and production animals.

VetPartners will provide the facilities, resources and apply for funding for the research projects.