RCVS and BVCIS remind professionals and students to complete disability and chronic illness survey

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and British Veterinary Chronic Illness Support (BVCIS) are reminding veterinary professionals and students that there is still an opportunity to part take in their ground-breaking survey looking into disability and chronic illness within in the UK veterinary sector.


The survey, which was first launched 4 May 2023, is open to all – participants do not have to be disabled, chronically ill, have mental ill-health, or be neurodivergent to take part. The aim of the survey is to help gauge a better understanding of the experiences of current and budding veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses working or studying with a disability or chronic illness in order to help understand where the support and knowledge gaps currently lie, as well as gaining an insight into differing perceptions and perspectives.


Angharad Belcher, RCVS Director for the Advancement of the Professions, said: “We, along with our partners in this important project, BVCIS, have been overwhelmed by the amount of support we have received for this survey so far, and we are extremely grateful to everyone who has taken the time to complete it.


“We have received 1400 responses so far but are hoping to receive many more in order to build up a more accurate picture of the experiences of disabled, chronically ill, mentally ill, and neurodivergent individuals currently working as veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses, as well as students.


“All of our experiences, both in personal life and working life, are shaped by those around us. This is why we are calling on individuals from across the entire veterinary community to complete our survey – the views of disabled and chronically ill colleagues and students are instrumental to this work, but it’s about building a community which is safe, understanding, willing to learn, and that can be inclusive for all. So, if you are not disabled, chronically ill, mentally ill or neurodivergent, but are working as a veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse, or are studying to do so, we need to hear from you too.


“This survey is the first of its kind and it is important that we make the most of this opportunity to hear from as many people as possible, so that together we can create the best educational and working environments possible for everyone – environments which are free from prejudice and allow everyone to work to the best of their abilities.”


If you would like to complete the survey, but have not yet done so, you have until midnight on Friday 16 June 2023. If you have started the survey but not completed it, you can save and track your progress and return to complete it anytime you wish. It takes around 20 minutes to fill out and is being conducted on behalf of the RCVS and BVCIS by the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) – survey responses will be anonymous and neither the RCVS nor BVCIS will see any individual answers. The IES will produce a report summarising the main survey findings and all personal information will be securely deleted from the IES systems once the project is complete (currently estimated for October 2023).


To complete to survey, and for more information about the project, visit: https://www.rcvs.org.uk/news-and-views/our-consultations/disability-and-chronic-illness-survey/