Head nurse says policy has improved her work-life balance

It’s not easy juggling work with family life.

This is especially the case for people in frontline and shift-based roles who often struggle to find a healthy work-life balance.

There can surely be no starker evidence than the fact a staggering 56,000 workers have cited a lack of work-life balance as their main reason for quitting the NHS over the past eight years.

But it doesn’t have to be this way — and, at Vets Now, we’re determined to enable as many people as we can to carry on in jobs they’re passionate about while balancing their responsibilities at home.

Head nurse Clare-Marie Carter, who is based in Ipswich, is among dozens of staff to have benefitted from our approach to flexible working.

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Mum-of-one Clare works on a four-week rota, working between one to four shifts a week.

She said: “This suits me perfectly as I get to be a mum as well as continuing to enjoy a job I love. I can do the school run and I never miss a parents’ meeting or school play. I feel very lucky to have a rota pattern that works with my home life.”

All employees have the right to request flexible working — not just parents and carers.

At Vets Now, we recognise some people may need to change their hours or shift patterns to fit in with their lives and we make every effort to accommodate their requests, provided their duties can still be effectively carried out and there’s no disruption to our service.

Clare said she hasn’t looked back since requesting a change to her working arrangements.

"The change of hours has really helped me achieve a better work-life balance and I’m there for my son more as well."

Clare-Marie Carter Head Nurse

Clare added: “Prior to changing my hours, I felt I was working too much and it was affecting my home life. But Vets Now listened when I explained my situation and, along with my district manager, we came up with a rota that suited us both.

“I’m lucky to have great colleagues as well, which means we can discuss rota patterns that suit everyone’s needs. The change has really helped me achieve a better work-life balance and I’m there for my son more as well.

“For example, it’s reduced the need for my husband and me to use childcare and it really works during school holidays when childcare can be tricky.”

Clare, who has a dog called Paisley, two cats named Charlie and Pumpkin, two rabbits, Hank and Shadow, and a Chinchilla called Gordon, has wanted to work with animals for as long as she can remember.

“After school, I went to college for three years to study two diplomas in animal care,” she said. “But it wasn’t until I started working as a kennel assistant at a local mixed vet practice that I realised I wanted to be a vet nurse.

“I spent the next four years splitting my time between college and work. I qualified in 2008 and joined Vets Now two years later. I enjoy the ECC environment and the variety of cases we see. I also enjoy the management side of my role.

“I am so lucky to do a job that I love.”

For further information about vet nurse opportunities at Vets Now or our flexible working policy, please contact our Talent team on 01383 841 181.