A letter from the BVHA JVP, 2020


July 2020

Dear Colleagues,

I hope this Newsletter finds everyone well and coping in these extraordinary times.

I am currently proudly serving as the Junior Vice President of the British Veterinary Hospitals Association and hope for your approval to take over the reins as President this winter. 

My involvement with the British Veterinary Hospitals Association began in 2011 when I booked my place on the BVHA Glasgow-Edinburgh Hospitals Tour. Upon hearing that one of the featured Hospitals had had to pull-out at short-notice, I (rather hastily) offered our newly built branch practice as an alternate.

The weekend approached and I was humbled to see my own 1800 square foot premises feature on the agenda alongside giants such as Glasgow University’s Small Animal Hospital and Vets Now’s Flagship Glasgow Hospital. On the day, very positive feedback from the gathered industry experts together with the chance to discuss specific design features of our little practice was an absolute thrill. I don’t think I mentioned then that I had, in fact, forgotten to include a lab-space in my initial design, having to squeeze one in at the very last minute!

As the tour moved from exceptional to even more exceptional premises we were treated to real innovation and beautifully-executed Hospital design. I relished the opportunity to delve deeper into each of their specific features and how they might shape team work-flow, morale and clinical care delivery.

Indeed, it was on that weekend that I was inspired to design and build my own Veterinary Hospital one day – and towards that end I ordered (via the BVHA, of course) two recommended and remarkable books, “Design It Right, A Pre-architect Primer for Planning Your Veterinary Facility Flow” by T E Cantanzaro and “Designing the Future – Innovative Solutions for the Veterinary Medical Facilities of Tomorrow” by Hafen and GHC Architects, titles I would have been unlikely to have come across otherwise. I was hooked!

In the years since my introduction to the BVHA, my Partners and I have indeed built our own Hospital, the Roundhouse, which went on to win a President’s Award in the 2017 BVHA Practice Design Awards, and my wife and I attended a most-enjoyable Visiting Weekend in Berlin as well as the BVHA luncheon and meetings. 

Also, in the intervening years, I have designed and built a number of new practices and have found the BVHA to be an invaluable source of advice and inspiration.

In addition to design, I have come to appreciate the enormous value in having the benefit of advice from those experienced in successful navigation of the peaks and pit-falls of running Veterinary Hospitals and larger practices. Equally valuable is the vital role that the BVHA plays in representing Veterinary Hospitals to the greater Veterinary community. 

Whilst serving on the British Veterinary Hospital Council over the past two years, I have greatly enjoyed being more involved in the Association’s running and decision-making. It has been an honour to be exposed to the expertise, dedication and innovation of the council members, not least out-going President Martin Smith whose level-headedness, consideration and leadership are attributes that I would seek to emulate if I am to take over the position this coming year. I congratulate him and thank him on and for his incredibly successful four-year tenure as President. 


The experience of running a Veterinary group during the ongoing Pandemic has underlined to me the unique challenges associated with the organisation and service delivery of Veterinary Hospitals; and also how important it is that these establishments should benefit from separate consideration and representation.

Should I be successful in gaining the position of President I would hope to be able to continue the legacy of those before me, ensuring that strong representation exists in both the Veterinary and broader community.

I would aim to ensure that via Visiting Weekends and Tours and the BVHA Practice Design Awards we bring together the very best and most innovative ideas from Hospital and first-opinion practices of all types, showcasing them as an inspiration to our community. And in doing so help to drive forward Veterinary innovation whilst shining a spotlight on the benefits on patient welfare, practice efficiency, business and team-morale.

There is lots to do and I hope for the opportunity to get started.

Best wishes,

Mike Jackson