Dundee is a small city in the East of Scotland, situated on hills on the North of the River Tay estuary. The industrial past of whaling and jute spinning has given way to hi-tech industries and research through its 2 Universities and Teaching Hospital. The game, Lemmings started here as well as Grand Theft Auto! Journalism is also a big employer, producing the Dandy and Beano, many female magazines, the Broons and Oor Wullie and the local daily Courier (as well as the Sunday Post!). More specialised textile production is still present, having developed from the jute manufacturing of the past. The centre of Dundee is undergoing a major 30 year change and the new V and A museum (the only one outside London) will take central place on the waterfront development, being built over 2015/2016 and beyond.
The many beautiful beaches contrast with the hills and glens of the hinterland, beyond the rich agricultural land which grows all crops, with a special emphasis on seed and malting barley, potatoes, soft fruits (strawberries and raspberries) and vegetables (peas, carrots, sprouts, leeks, broccoli and turnip). There are a few animals interspersed in this very fertile area of Scotland!
Have a look around for yourself at angusanddundee.co.uk
Dundee has the lowest rainfall of all the Scottish cities. A golfers' paradise, the area hosts many championship courses within half-hour travelling and there are parks throughout the city. The 2018 Open will be hosted again at Carnoustie (15 minutes from Dundee centre). Gleneagles and St Andrews are 30-40 minutes away. There are 2 premiership football teams based in the city. Gyms for those who do not want to cycle or walk are dotted over the city. Good pubs and restaurants too - but we could do with a few more, but getting better since Malmaison opened in the waterfront! Roads are quiet, rush hours last 20 minutes and Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh are 1- 1.5 hours away by car, with good rail links too. Skiing, when snow permits, is 1 hour away (Glenshee) and hillwalking and beach walking is on our doorstep!
See dundee.com for a feel of what's happening.
Parkside has grown from 2 Vets in 1980 to 19 vets now (4 part-time) and we work from three small-animal centres, with our Parkside Equine treatment centre based at our large Dundee surgery, where 4 vets are involved full-time. Dundee surgery was a new build in 2004 while Barnhill was rebuilt in 2014. Four Vets cover Parkside Equine and farms, while the other 15 deal exclusively with the ever-specialising small-animal side. We have a practice manager, many dedicated receptionists and qualified VN's, most of whom have trained in-house and block release (and stayed with us!) and we are a Registered Nurse Training Practice. We employ nursing assistants too. We encourage professional development and training and are Tier 2 Accredited for pets and for equine and farms. CPD is encouraged and financed. Contract cleaners cover most areas in the large Dundee surgery.
Consulting room 2 at Dundee
We have X-ray facilities in 2 surgeries which have been upgraded to digital and so avoid the need to develop X-ray film, giving finer detail. We also have a mobile digital unit for horses. We can bring horses in to the Equine Unit at the Dundee surgery. We can carry out ultrasonic dental scaling at all surgeries and we use Isoflurane in all 10 anaesthetic machines, with Propofol for induction. 3 ultrasound machines cover both large and small animals with multiple heads, high definition, and doppler. New one recently added for the rebuilt (2014) Barnhill surgery and a new one for cattle and horses is battery powered and "worn" by the vet. We can monitor blood pressure, carry out ecg, and use endoscopy, via a Storz video endoscope system with 2 sizes of scope. SA, who is an advanced pactitioner in orthopaedics can now use video arthroscopy for a number of joint problems. Most of all, we are proud of our well trained staff, who are also great fun to work with and we enjoy a night out for everyone, every few months. Staff members are encouraged to undertake more specialised training, though it is not essential.
Nurses covering pet emergencies work a one-in eight (+) on-call rota with no phone duties. The small-animal vets' team works a whole week of on-call at one time, starting work at 4-45pm each day, then has no on-call for at least 10 weeks. A nurse is always on-call with a small-animal Vet. Nurses' on-call is done on a single night basis, but they work Friday night to Monday morning when on-call at the weekend. Another Vet covers farm and equine work on a one-in-four, on-call rota, with one night on-call per week, plus every fourth weekend, with the Monday following, off, to compensate. On-call call-outs for nurses are at overtime rates + callout fee. Late-finish days (on-call) for nurses have late starts. An on-call day for a small-animal vet has a 4.45pm start with evening surgery from 5.30pm followed by inpatient checks or/and ops and on-call finishes at 8.30am next day and so on.
Veterinary assistants have 5 weeks and 7 days holiday (32 days), including 4 days at Christmas/New-year and bank holidays In addition, all full-time staff have a half-day off during the week - We aim to work a 40 hour week and all on-call is shared equally. We have a low staff turnover.
Reception at the three surgeries is covered by a mix of full and part-time receptionists and everyone shares the late finishes and Saturday morning cover. Full training is given and we encourage attendance on customer-care training courses. Reception work is very intensive and demanding at times and is a critical point-of-care. Receptionists and nurses have 4 weeks and 9 days holidays (29 days) including bank hols, with 4 days kept for Christmas/New year. The surgeries are open on local holidays. We undertake secret shopper and secret phone calls to give its feedback on how good we really are!
In the office we have our practice manager, our full-time secretary and full-time accounting/book-keeping person, who work together while having their own areas of responsibilities. All take a part in reception lates and Saturday mornings, so all need to be accomplished in reception roles. The more staff who do these less sociable hours, means that each person has fewer of them to do!
Accomodation for Vets is not provided and is reflected in the salary. Houses and flats are readily availabe for rent in Dundee at varying costs and generally much cheaper than the bigger cities. We can help with contacts. We have stopped providing cars for Veterinary assistants as you are better off buying your own and charging us mileage (tax-free at Governement rates). We have a bed-sit onsite if any on-call vet needs to stay on the premises.
Dundee from the Law Hill, looking towards Newport, Fife
Dundee Surgery in Kings Cross Road:-
Barnhill Surgery with the rear view below:-