Mount Vets

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Mount Vets's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Mount Vets is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Practice Owners and Directors:
Ian and Rebecca Wright
French bulldogs are
one of the many breeds
increasingly being imported
into the UK
Situated on the Fylde peninsula, in the coastal town of
Fleetwood, Mount Vets have become an integral part of
their local community. As well as making sure that local pets
are healthy, their practice provides a social element, especially for
older residents, and their size means that they are more able to
go out into the community and conduct house visits. Alongside
his work in the practice, Ian Wright is the head of the European
Scientific Counsel for Companion Animal Parasites and works to
protect UK biosecurity. Ian tells
TheParliamentary Review
When we bought the business seven years ago, one of the retiring owners told me
that if we embraced the people of Fleetwood, they would embrace us back. I have
found this coastal town on the Fylde peninsula to be a wonderfully rewarding place
to work.
We are an independent, small, three-vet practice on a peninsula stretching out
into the Irish Sea. Relatively isolated and serving a small community, one may think
that our practice has little relevance to the wider veterinary profession. I believe,
however, that this small practice and its links with the European Scientific Counsel
for Companion Animal Parasites represents the vital role that veterinary practices
play in helping vulnerable pet owners and protecting UK biosecurity.
The veterinary practice’s role in the local community
The veterinary profession has seen a lot of changes over the past two decades.
Corporate chains have arisen, opening new practices or buying existing enterprises.
»Managers/Directors: Ian and
Rebecca Wright
»Founded in 1980
»Based in Fleetwood,
»Services: Companion animal
veterinary healthcare and
parasite control advice
»No. of employees: 12
»Ian Wright is also head of
ESCCAP UK & Ireland
Mount Vets
Highlighting best practice
This is not a bad thing. Corporate
clinics can cooperate and bring
large amounts of investment into
the profession, increasing clinical
research and countrywide strategies
for marketing and animal health
campaigns. There will always be
a tug and pull in the corporate
veterinary sphere, however, between
the need to maximise profits and
satisfy shareholders when serving the
needs of distant rural and isolated
communities. Here, corporations may
be less willing to open practices or
invest long term. Small independent
practices such as ours serve this role.
Pets are members of families, and
there is a wealth of research showing
how beneficial to physical and
mental health owning a pet can be.
When they become ill, this can be a
hugely worrying and stressful time.
Medical care is sought after, but so
is a reassuring word or a sympathetic
hug. For many elderly pet owners in
Fleetwood, their pets are their only
companions, and the reception area
is not only a time to seek medical care
for their pets but also a time to chat
and share a coffee with staff who
know them by name and have built
relationships with them, often over
many years.
Practices serving relatively small areas
are more easily able to provide house
visits and care for pets in the home,
providing a lifeline that larger concerns
may not be able to. I view our practice
as more than a source of medical help
for animals or a purely profit-driven
business: it is part of the community,
sharing highs and lows with our clients
and striving to help them to care for
their pets. We are there for puppies’
and kittens’ first vaccines and ensure
that good preventative healthcare is
in place, and we are also there at the
end when we can ease the suffering of
a much-loved family member beyond
further medical help and provide some
solace at a time of terrible grief.
The importance of parasite
control in home-grown pets
As a parasitologist and head of
ESCCAP UK & Ireland, I am aware
that as well as the tremendous health
benefits and companionship that pets
bring, there are also risks to human
health in the parasites they carry. Even
the smallest vet practice plays a vital
role in ensuring that adequate flea, tick
and worm control is in place to reduce
risks to human health.
Promoting good hand hygiene and
regular flea and worm treatments
can greatly reduce the risk of these
diseases, and recent innovations such
as practice health plans have helped
clients to remember when treatments
are due and make them more
affordable. Public health campaigns
to raise awareness of common pet
parasites that can harm human health,
such as Toxocara and Toxoplasma,
require cooperation between vets,
drug companies and the government.
This needs to happen at a national
level but also locally. An example is the
Guide Dogs for the Blind Association
that we serve in the community of
Fleetwood but that I also advise
regarding parasite control at a national
level on behalf of ESCCAP.
The Mount Vet
building, currently being
Pets are
members of
families, and
there is a
wealth of
showing how
beneficial to
physical and
mental health
owning a pet
can be
Exotic parasites in imported
I believe that the greatest challenge
that the veterinary profession and
the pet-owning public face comes
not from uncertain economic times
but from imported dogs. Increasingly,
people seeking new pets are rescuing
them from abroad and importing them
into the UK with the best of intentions.
In our practice alone, we have seen
dogs imported from Brazil, South
Korea, Spain, Greece and Eastern
Europe. With them come exotic ticks
and parasites.
The most worrying of these is a
tapeworm called Echinococcus
multilocularis, which, if established
in the UK, would cause significant
morbidity or a reduction in life
expectancy in those infected. There is
a compulsory tapeworm treatment in
place before pets enter the UK to try
to prevent it arriving here, and it is vital
that vet practices from the smallest
to the largest lobby and campaign to
keep this treatment in place. There
are many exotic pathogens entering
the UK with imported dogs, however,
for which there is no preventative
treatment. Every vet practice, alongside
groups such as ESCCAP, has the
responsibility to raise awareness
regarding the risks to animal and
human health, as well as wider
biosecurity, that the importation of
foreign pets may represent.
The privilege of working as a
Working as a vet in a community vet
practice with wonderful, dedicated
staff is truly a privilege. We, like
hundreds of vet practices around
the country, are an integral part of
the local community, providing both
routine and emergency healthcare
to pets, sharing the happiest and
saddest of times with owners while
also forming a vital piece of the jigsaw
to maintain UK biosecurity. Small vet
practices, like all small businesses,
require help from the government
through tax reliefs, a reduction
in business red tape and greater
economic stimuli but also cooperation
to help the UK public to continue to
have healthy, loving relationships with
their pets.
Working as a
vet in a
vet practice
staff is truly a
Our dog Bella loves the
beach at Fleetwood

This article was sponsored by Mount Vets. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster