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Millcroft Veterinary Group

  • Social Links:
  • Sectors Small Animal
  • Posted Jobs 0
  • Flexible work environment YES
  • Support for global candidates/visas YES
  • Remote/work from home NO
  • Benefits YES
  • Company overview

    Organisation background

    Millcroft Veterinary Group Ltd is a fiercely independent, XLVets mixed practice consisting of six surgeries: Cockermouth, Keswick, Workington, Maryport, Aspatria and Egremont. We employ 22 vets, 20 nurses and 20 support staff.

    In its current form, Millcroft is the product of an amalgamation of six small local practices over the last 20+ years. Our story began in 1999 with the merger of two long-established local practices: Millfields Veterinary Centre, based in Cockermouth, and Croft Veterinary Group, based in Brigham, Workington and Maryport. In 2010 the JRW Sedgwick practice, another long-established, local family practice, based in Cockermouth and Egremont, joined the group. The final practice to join was the Keswick based, Greta Bank Veterinary Practice, belonging to Mr & Mrs Gilbert, which joined in April 2011.

    The corporate takeover of a local practice in Aspatria in Spring 2018 unsettled the veterinary service in the area for local pet owners and farmers. Millcroft’s response to the new corporate practice in the area, true to its commitment to independence, was to set up a branch practice in the same town to directly compete with the corporate and stabilise veterinary care.

    Organisation aims & mission

    We aim to offer the best level of client care and veterinary services; always acting in the best interests of our patients and their owners.

    How we do this is simple:

    1. We aim to have the right human resources in the form of excellent, highly trained staff – and plenty of them!
    2. The right physical resources – modern well-equipped premises.

    We are well-staffed with a solid foundation of support staff meaning the vets can be vets and the nurses can be nurses.

  • Company values

    “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” – Richard Branson.

    At the heart of Millcroft is the team. Our human assets are way more important than any business assets and reducing staff turnover trumps increasing financial turnover every time. We have a steady team of familiar faces with an average of 10.3 years worked at Millcroft across our 22 vet team. Hopefully, this means something is working well! Our practice is service-driven NOT profit-driven. Happy staff deliver a better service. It’s as simple as that.

    In Spring 2021, we moved from a Partnership to a Limited Company. Although this is a more costly and formal arrangement it allows much easier succession opportunities for the vets in our team who have aspirations of becoming business owners. The days of working your way up in practice to become an eventual owner are NOT over!

    Independence means there are no financial targets, no unnecessary diagnostics and no rigid procedures. All of our vets have full, unrestricted clinical freedom. If you want to try out a novel new therapeutic which has a good evidence base – go for it, I want to know if it works! Not every case has to make money. Dealing with people and animals means you will inevitably be faced with difficult decisions. Independent ownership means super-flexible financial arrangements can be made. In some cases, where referral is simply not an option, in-house options can become available at substantially reduced costs. This can be as much of a benefit for the vet as it can be for the pet.

    Having lots of team members means lots of people to learn from and discuss cases with, lots of different opinions, different ways of doing things and when wrapped in an environment with full clinical freedom, vets can be the best vet they can be.

    We have 4 VetGDP mentors and close links to XLVets Mentoring Matters to allow us access to internal and external mentors. We give a £500 yearly bonus to vets who have become VetGDP accredited in the same way we reward clinical coaches in the nursing team. We do this to encourage and create a genuine culture of continued learning and improvement.

    As a mixed practice, we have lots of slack in our system. Our large animal team are almost all mixed vets and wholly in addition to the small animal team. Unexpected house visit? Our LA vets are on the road anyway. Consults fully booked and more need to be seen? LA vets can step in to take the pressure off. Somebody off sick? We have the numbers of staff and flexibility to manage.

    We really encourage the pursuit of further qualifications and certificates. We have seen the benefits downstream with the improvement in clinical service and also upstream with the upskilling of our vets. We currently have certificate holders in Surgery, Exotics, Cardiology, Imaging and more on the way. Because of this, our vets have access to expert support in these topics and therefore their knowledge and capabilities in these areas are much improved.

    We take mental health seriously and are proud to subscribe to a 24hr Employee Assistance Programme providing access to support for: home life, work-life, physical and emotional support, a host of wellbeing resources and even mini health checks to keep regular tabs on your own wellbeing.

  • What makes your organization a great place to work?
    • We don’t stand still.
    • We have a really great team.
    • We are independent.
    • We have business ownership opportunities.
    • We have lots of vets and nurses to learn from and knowledge share.
    • We give time back in lieu of overtime worked. If you work an extra 30mins, you get it back.
    • We are winners of XLVets “Inspirational Teams”!
    • We are a social bunch. Sponsors of the Cockermouth beer festival, have our infamous Christmas party and Vets Awards night and you will never struggle to find company for a Friday night post-work pub session.

    But… hands down the best part of Millcroft is WHERE we are. Vets tend to come for the job but then fall in love with the area. Our practice sits in the quieter North-Western corner of the Lake District National Park. We have all the beauty of the lakes but less of the tourism. There is a wealth of opportunities for walkers, runners, climbers, mountaineers, skiers, cyclists, kayakers, horse riders, wild campers, sailors and paragliders. You can even join Millcroft’s own ‘Blue Tits’ for a pre or post-work wild swim! The best part of the lakes is that you can enjoy full-sized adventures, but never be more than an hour away from a pub.

    Veterinary practice is undoubtedly stressful at times, but there is something to be said about the outdoors and its effects on calming the mind and improving mental health. Sometimes after a hard day at work, the answer isn’t a bottle of wine in front of the TV, it’s getting out into the Fells or walking by a lake. Sometimes it is the wine though!

    In addition to everything going on outdoors, Cumbria has one of the highest numbers of pubs per person in the UK. There are 72 bars, restaurants and cafes listed on Tripadvisor for Cockermouth and 133 for Keswick! Pretty impressive for towns with populations of 9000 and 5000 respectively. There are also theatres, art centres, small independent cinemas, local independent shops, music groups, sports teams, markets and an active arts and crafts community with a number of our staff selling art and jewellery.

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  • Describe an ideal employee at your organization

    Our ideal employee would be:

    • A team player.
    • Passionate about veterinary medicine.
    • An excellent communicator.
    • Intent on delivering a good service.
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