North East

The BVA Council regional representative for the North East is Paul Freeman.

Members in the North East can contact Paul via the North East forum on the BVA community or via email: northeast@bva.co.uk.

Paul Freeman

Paul FreemanI am a general practitioner, now working only with small animals. I qualified in 1978 and was a practice owner for 29 years until CVS bought the practice in 2015, although I still work full time in the practice. I have adapted to my new role as employee rather than employer; a valuable experience if I am to represent the views of all BVA members in the region! I have enjoyed a fulfilling career, despite its ups and downs, and have never had any regrets about becoming a veterinary surgeon. However, I am very aware that there is a significant number of recent graduates who do have doubts about their chosen career, and I am very receptive to ideas that will retain more of the these younger members within the profession. I have always taken an active interest in the changes and challenges which the profession and its individual members have had to deal with, and I would hope that my experience and long term perspective will help me to effectively represent the views of BVA members in the North East, and to play an active and effective role on BVA Council. Relinquishing my responsibilities as a practice owner will allow me to devote the time and energy that is needed to successfully fulfill the role of BVA regional representative, and to continue the excellent work undertaken on our behalf by Douglas Palmer, our regional rep for the last six years.

I have for many years been actively involved in the North of England Veterinary Association, serving on its Council for over 20 years, with two terms as President. For the last three years I have sat on the Members Services Group of BVA, and am now on its newly constituted Members Benefits Committee. This experience has given me a valuable insight into the workings of BVA, and an appreciation of the pro-active steps that are being taken to ensure that BVA is going to be an even more effective voice of the profession, and will have the capacity to respond quickly and coherently to the many issues that are likely to impact on us. BVA’s membership increases year on year, but there is no room for complacency, and the organization must continue to listen to its “grass roots” so that it increases its appeal and relevance to all members of the profession. I would welcome the opportunity to play a part in this development.

In recent years I have also been actively involved in Vetlife, which has given me a very real, and sometimes raw, insight into the stress (and distress) suffered by individual vets and nurses. BVA has a role to play in making all branches of the profession more supportive to those who work in them, so that their careers can be as enjoyable and fulfilling as mine has been. It is clear to me that the Young Vets Network is doing a great job for the younger members of the profession, especially in the North East, but I am also aware that it is not always reaching those who most need its support. The local YVN has a good and productive relationship with both NEVA and BVA, and I would like to see this relationship developed and reinforced.

In conclusion, I am keen to continue to contribute to the profession of which I have been a proud member, and I would relish the opportunity to represent the North East on the national Council of BVA.