Dr Stacey, director of clinical services at Vets4Pets, headed up the leadership area of the Vet Futures Action Group, and it is their recommendation that the profession develops a new veterinary leadership programme by drawing on the work of the NHS Leadership Academy.
His presentation at The Vet Futures summit also highlighted how effective leadership enhances colleague engagement and quality of care.
He said: “The Vet Futures Action Group recognises the benefits for every individual in developing leadership skills, whether they are in a formal leadership role or not.
“But to date, the profession had given leadership insufficient focus and concerns have been raised over the number of vets and vet nurses stepping forward for leadership roles.
“Although there are events and short courses available, the report found that mechanisms to identify tomorrow’s leaders were lacking and there is a requirement for a more sustained programme.
“The report sets out an ambition for a diverse range of leadership opportunities to exist throughout the profession, from government, research, academia and politics to business and industry.
“The Action Group’s recommendations include developing a veterinary leadership programme using the NHS Leadership Academy Healthcare Leadership Model.
“This model describes leadership behaviours and helps users across a whole variety of roles to see how they can develop as a leader, and how their leadership behaviours affect the culture and climate that they, their colleagues and teams work in.
“It would be good to mirror the success of the NHS’s programme – lower absenteeism, better service and healthier patients.
“Leadership is non-clinical, but no less important, because when it is properly channeled it can have such a positive impact on the working environment in a veterinary practice.”
Dr Stacey is keen to support the BVA and RCVS as they develop the ideas generated by the action group, and believes that all vets and nurses will benefit from the personal development that a leadership programme will provide.
He also hopes the programme will be successfully developed and launched by 2018 and is able to attract funders to support it.