We are an 11 vet, mixed practice with large animal work making up around 3/4 of our work load. Predominantly beef suckler with some dairy and sheep. We have 3 branches & are well equipped for equine & our rapidly expanding small animal work too.
Located just off the northern tip of Scotland we enjoy beautiful sandy beaches, stunning scenery, visiting Orcas, wildlife, a great music scene with festivals throughout the year, art, culture and world famous archaeology. No wonder it appears on the top 20 best places to live in the UK! We have an opportunity for a new vet to join our friendly and supportive team. A genuinely mixed position is on offer with a bias in large or small animals considered. Unique rota allows good time off. Competitive salary on offer plus a car & accommodation. CPD encouraged and funded plus other benefits.
Please fill out the application form which is attached below and forward to lynn@northvet.co.uk. If you would like further information about the role, please email lynn@northvet.co.uk or call 01856 873403.
Northvet Veterinary Group is a long established independent veterinary practice in Orkney, a group of islands off the north coast of Scotland. Our main surgery in Orkney is in Kirkwall, where most small animal consultations and all surgery takes place. This modern surgery is where most of our vets and staff are based. We also have a surgery in Harray, where we have
facilities and more space for seeing large animals and horses. A branch surgery in Stromness is open three times per week for small animal consultations. We have a good range of diagnostic equipment - digital & dental radiography, small and large animal ultrasound scanners, endoscopy, ECG, motorised equine dental equipment, in house Idexx Lab etc.
At present we have eleven vets in the practice - three are directors in the business, most are ful time assistants and we have three part time assistants. The share of the work at present equates to three vets on small animals with the rest involved mainly in large animal and some equine work. Our office hours are 8.30am – 6.00pm Monday to Friday. We have a unique rota system where each vet does a week on call at a time (Saturday to Friday) with time off during the day Monday – Friday. During spring we also have a second vet on call each day.
Veterinary Post
This mixed vet position would be an excellent opportunity for someone with a keen interest in large animal work as the majority of our work is with beef suckler herds. Having said that our small animal work is rapidly increasing so there is an opportunity to be a genuinely mixed vet with a bias in either large or small animal work. We pride ourselves in having a very good support network and run regular clinical club meetings for vets. This role would be suitable for an experienced vet or someone who needs a bit more support. We are looking for an enthusiastic person who is a good communicator and will fit in well with our team.
Large Animal work
Farming in Orkney is predominantly beef suckler herds – mostly family run enterprises. Herd numbers vary from 20 – 300 with the average being around 70. There are approximately 25,000 beef cows in Orkney plus followers. Orkney has a spring calving pattern so from the middle of February until the end of May we have a second vet on call. There are a relatively small number of Dairy farms in Orkney and we carry out routine fertility visits on approximately half of these. We see a mixture of pedigree and commercial sheep and we do see pigs from time to time but there are not many in Orkney. In general Orkney farmers are very progressive and the majority are involved in health schemes the most recent to control Johnes disease. Our routine work during the winter is mainly blood testing, TB testing (4 yearly) scanning for pregnancy, bull fertility work, feet paring using our roll over crush. Some of our vets carry out FarmSkills training courses for farmers and these courses can be run on the outer Isles too. The summer months are usually spent blood sampling sheep and carrying out health plans etc.
Trips to the Isles
We spend approximately 2.5 days per week carrying out routine work on the Isles. Out of our seventy islands, seventeen are inhabited. Travel is by ferry or plane and most trips are day returns. Occasionally we may stay for a few nights for TB testing. Most work in the Isles is of a large animal nature but we do see small animals too and can book rooms for small animal consultations. During spring time we charter smaller licenced boats to attend calvings and caesareans in the Isles.
Equine work
This remains a relatively small part of our work although the number of horses in Orkney is constantly increasing. We have motorised dental equipment, ultrasound, endoscope and mobile X-Ray for working up cases. We also have stocks at our Harray surgery.
Small Animal work
Most of our vets carry out small animal work as well as large. Each day we have two vets operating and another consulting. In order to avoid a vet consulting all day we share out the surgeries so often an operating vet will also be consulting later in the day. Consultations in Kirkwall are between 9.00am – 11.30am, 2.00pm – 3.00pm, 4.00pm – 6.00pm Monday – Friday and 9.00am – 11.30am on Saturday morning. We have recently opened an additional consulting room at our Kirkwall branch to cope with demand. In Stromness our appointments are from 3.00pm – 5.00pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. We tend to tackle most things in house as referral is not quite as easy as it is for clients on mainland Scotland. This means we have a good range of diagnostic equipment and small animal work is steadily increasing. We employ 5 RVNs, a VCA trainee and an ANA. As well as their day to day duties, our nurses run clinics daily and help out with home visits, equine visits and blood testing on farms where required.
Remuneration package, holidays and CPD
We offer a generous remuneration package which is dependent on qualifications / experience. A car and accommodation can be provided by the practice. CPD is encouraged and funded, the majority via XLVets of which we are members, and we often have trainers coming up to the practice to run group CPD for vets. We also fund RCVS, VDS and BVA membership. Medical and dental insurance is provided and local ‘Active life’ gym membership is also on offer. Holiday entitlement is 26 days per annum plus two days at Christmas and two days at New Year although there will be a share of on call over this period. 
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