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Clare and Sophie

March is Adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig Month

It was a big change for Bob and Barry, our rescue guinea pigs from B.A.R.K.S. Banbury, when they came to live at A1 Locums.

They were adopted and collected by Sophie and Clare to come to their new home in the Northamptonshire countryside almost six months ago and they now enjoy their daily life in the bustling, lively environment. Their run takes centre stage, literally in the middle of the open plan office, with their individual coloured homes, play tubes, tepees and bowls of delicious vegetables and hay.  When the weather is good, their pen is taken into the garden that borders rambling countryside.

Our guinea pigs are great stress relievers, always ready to have a cuddle or sit in their tepees on staff desks, while we are working! They are curious little creatures with very different personalities. Bob is a little nervy, always looking around and careful of his steps, while Barry is the thug, bold as brass and ready to give the occasional nip in exchange for a cuddle or a hug! Barry is a Peruvian guinea pig and they are typically born with short hair and two rosettes on their hindquarters. Hair from one of these rosettes grows forward and the other grows backward. Hair below the rosettes grows downwards.

Clare and Sophie cuddling the guinea pigsAs the hair begins to grow in length, it should part evenly along the spine, creating a curtain of hair around the body. He must be bathed regularly, and his coat trimmed, something which he does not enjoy.

Bob is easier; a Dutch Guinea pig. Dutch is a colouration characterised by a white body with eye patches and a rump of a different colour. Although nervous, he is much lower maintenance than Barry. Barry is the boss.

They keep us amused, squealing to get attention when people visit the offices but bold and happy enough to be looked upon by TC the cat and Wilbur the dog. Not only are they part of the team, they are also firmly in the public eye, having starred on leaflets, banners and social media posts for A1 Locums.

Since getting our pair, Ryan has joined the veterinary recruitment team and so taken by the guinea pigs when he arrived, he has now adopted two guinea pigs himself, dad and son, Finn and Jake. If he had not taken them from a breeder, they were going to a rescue centre, but Ryan stepped in and now they too, have their forever home.

Clare and Sophie

A1 Locums Supports Wildlife Charity

Our third charity to benefit from a Christmas donation from A1 Locums is Saving the Survivors, which is our international favourite. One of our locums is working with the charity and doing a superb job in helping save some of these wonderful beasts.

Saving the Survivors was founded in 2012 by Dr Johan Marais to attend to injured endangered wildlife that have fallen victim to traumatic incidents. The charity has three vets, Dr Johan Marais, Dr Zoe Glyphis and Dr Andy Fraser.  Due to the escalation in poaching incidents, the number of victims is rapidly increasing. Fortunately, many poaching victims have been given a second chance after undergoing various interventions and surgical procedures performed by the team. Most of these animals are treated in their natural habitat as transporting injured wildlife increases the risk and trauma they experience.
Saving the Survivors has been awarded multiple conservation awards including:
• Rhino Conservation Awards 2014 – Winner in the category Best Science, Research and Technology
• SA National Parks Inaugural Kudu Awards 2015 – Winner in the Professional Stakeholders category
• Rhino Conservation Awards 2015 – Runner-up in the category Best Science, Research and Technology
• Enviropaedia Eco-Logic Awards 2017 – Eco-Angel Bronze Award

Joao Simoes de Almeida, one of the vets who is involved in this charity, started working as a locum with A1 Locums in 2014.

Saving The Survivors
Saving The Survivors

He says “One of the most important moves in my career as a wildlife vet was moving to London and completing the MSC in wild animal health with the Royal Veterinary College and the Zoological Society of London. This was only possible because I had the full support of Clare and Sophie from A1 locums, they worked tirelessly with me to find locum work in small animal practices around London that would ‘fit’ my masters schedule. The locum work allowed me to pay my bills that year and complete the MSC successfully while improving my clinical skills in the competitive small animal practice world in the UK.

I can honestly say that A1 locums is in part responsible for my current position with Saving the Survivors in Mozambique and deeply thank them for it

A1 Locums are pleased to support this charity and we hope that our donation can go towards a piece of necessary equipment to help this amazing charity.

Clare and Sophie

Spaniel Charity Benefits From Christmas Donation

A1 Locums is delighted to announce the name of the second charity that will benefit from donations this Christmas after a decision was made to support a charity rather than send cards and gifts.

Cocker and English Springer Spaniel Rescue believe that every Spaniel should have the opportunity of a happy and fulfilled life in a loving home and that everyone who owns one, should have a positive experience and one that enhances their quality of life.

This was the aim of two retired couples, who having worked for a previous charity,  set up Cocker and English Springer Spaniel Rescue in March 2010. Passionate about the breeds and owners of many dogs, they wanted to ensure that these loving breeds found the best possible homes. In August 2010, CAESSR gained Charity status and are now recognised by the Kennel Club and listed in the Kennel Club Rescue Directory.

The charity, with its network of volunteers, has been able to expand its operation from its initial starting point in the Midlands, to throughout the country. It has a team of rehoming folk, who go out and check that the new homes would be suitable for the dogs which are to be rehomed. They are also supported by a band of foster parents and homes, as well as the support of two kennels. Some dogs are better suited, because of age, illness or trauma, to go into a foster home, rather than kennels.

CAESSR is constantly raising money to cover the monthly veterinary and kennel bills; the latter can be over £1,000 per month, plus veterinary bills, grooming bills, transportation and supporting the foster dogs, who without the charities support, would not be rehomed.

The veterinary bills are also a large cost of the care, with bills between £1,000 to £4,000 per month. For our elderly dogs and those with long-term illness, the charity supports them where necessary through their lifetime. A dog with a pacemaker or long- term heart surgery, can be draining on the charity, but with the help of donations, this amount is met.

A1 Locums has a special interest in this charity as one of the A1 team, Anna Robertson, volunteers as a rehomer, going out and chatting with couples and families, looking to take on one of the dogs from the charity.  She said “I have worked with the charity from the beginning, having taken on a 5-year-old springer, who was adorable one minute, but had aggression tendencies. The group helped us and supported us with training and advice from a gun dog trainer and some good veterinary advice. We had Digger for 10 years and we finally said good-bye to him at the age of 15 in July.

“We are now blessed with a 4-year-old golden working cocker called Bertram, who is adorable, full of energy and as mad as a hatter. Sadly, we are already his third home, but this one will be his forever home now without a doubt. I love working with this charity and am always amazed by the circumstances of some of these dogs which come to us. I also love going to visit their new homes and listening passionately over a cup of tea to the new families who are looking to take on a new dog and listening to their stories of the ones who they have sadly lost and how they are now ready to take on a set of new paws.”

John Powell for the charity, was delighted that A1 Locums were going to donate to the charity and assured them the money would be well spent!

A1 Locums is a specialist recruitment agency for the veterinary sector, placing vets and nurses in jobs throughout the UK.

Clare and Sophie

Christmas Cheer for B.A.R.K.s Banbury

A1 Locums brings Christmas Cheer to Guinea Pig Charity

This Christmas, instead of sending gifts and cards, A1 Locums has nominated three different charities to support. As a recruitment company that specialises in veterinary placements, we feel it is only right to choose animal charities!

The first charity we will be supporting is B.A.R.K.s Banbury. It’s been four months since we adopted our two gorgeous guinea pigs, Bob and Barry from this charity and the boys have brought us nothing but joy.  They happily keep our staff amused with their antics. Both have settled in well and are very chatty! They’re a special addition to our office team, and can frequently be found on the lap of a staff member, wrapped in a cosy blanket. They’ve each made their modelling debut too, having been featured on the company leaflet and on many social media posts.

Ann from the B.A.R.K.s charity says “Thank you so much to A1 Locums. BARKS’ main expenditure is medical bills, typically £2000-£3000 per month, covering neutering, vaccination and of course health issues. We neuter all domestic animals and vaccinate all cats, rabbits and puppies (we only handle a small number of dogs, all youngsters).

“The second largest expenditure is on bedding, food and litter. Over and above this we have to maintain the pens and run a safe environment for both animals and volunteers, but admin, travelling (home visits) and website costs are, where possible, kept to zero levels by means of the core team donating out of their own pockets. We struggle to cover costs each and every month.

With such practical needs and recognising the excellent work they do, A1 Locums is proud to be supporting this worthy charity.

More on our next charity very soon.

Bob and Barry, our two guinea pigs
Bob and Barry, our two guinea pigs
Clare and Sophie

Staying at the cutting edge of veterinary science

Smart people never stop learning…

Staying at the cutting edge of veterinary science often means you have to keep learning and studying, even after you have qualified as a vet or nurse.

That’s sometimes easier said than done when you have years of study behind you, a busy family life and a burgeoning career.

Oncore knows exactly what those challenges are and they have devised CPD modules to make your learning as interesting and rewarding possible. They have been providing online education to the profession for just over 6 years, and have developed courses in a wide variety of disciplines.

A1 Locums is delighted to be teaming up with Oncore to host a competition during London Vet Show, offering the winners each a free CPD course of their choice.

A1 Locums Managing Director Clare Alderton says “Many thanks to Oncore for providing the fantastic prizes for our competition to promote our app. It’s a pleasure working with them as we recognize the value of their training and know that you’ll come away from each course with personalised, practical learning that is relevant to you, your practice and your team. You’re able to discuss current challenges from practice (and find the solutions) alongside your tutor and other participants.”

ONCORE is run by veterinary nurse Jill Macdonald who says “Our CPD is a little different from other providers – our courses provide expert tutor guidance and support, an interactive and engaging learning experience, and the opportunity for assessment and feedback on coursework. Most of our courses are suitable for both vets and nurses, and if you take a look at the current course selection you can see why. Many of these skills are needed by both members of the practice team, and it’s really useful for both vets and nurses to study alongside each other, and understand each other’s perspective better, whether it be a management topic, or anaesthesia, or client care.”

Courses run over set start dates as group courses, and for each 3-week course you will receive ongoing guidance, support and advice via ONCORE’s active learning forums, with your final week allocated for self-study to complete your coursework.

Discount for A1 locums clients
ONCORE have been proud to work with A1 Locums over the past few years, and offer a 5% discount to all bookings that come through A1 Locums, using the code that they provide you with.

Jill used to perform locum nursing work, and A1 Locums were her locum agency of choice. She says “The team at A1 are brilliant. They are so knowledgeable about the profession and understand the different roles, and what will suit each locum. They are also really friendly and helpful, and I will always use A1 should I ever find the time to slot in some locum work again!”

Future plans
ONCORE plans to develop two courses in the near future: a further course to enhance the nurse’s role in managing medical patients in practice, tutored by Nicola Ackerman, and a course to help nurses with out-of-hours and ECC work, tutored by Lou Northway.

Partnerships
ONCORE has some great partnerships with associated veterinary businesses, and is always looking to collaborate, so if you’d like to know more, please contact them.

A1 Locums is currently exhibiting at Stand T59 at the London Vet Show.  TO WIN A FREE CPD course of your own choice: See our A1 Locums Facebook posts on how to enter the London Vet Show competition.  Closing date is at noon on 19 Nov 2018. The winner will be drawn at random on the same day.

Please visit the Oncore website to see the full range of CPD courses available.

ONCORE ePD
Contact email: info@oncoreepd.co.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)121 663 1971

A1 Locums works with Oncore to provide CPD courses for vets and nurses
A1 Locums works with Oncore to provide CPD courses for vets and nurses.