CVS to hold live session on supporting autism in the workplace

22nd Apr, 2024

  • Colleague Benefits

CVS is holding a live webinar session dedicated to supporting those with autism in the workplace on 23rd April.

The event is being run as part of the company’s focus on neurodiversity during this month, as part of its annual calendar of wellbeing initiatives.

The session will discuss the neurodivergent characteristics of autism, seeking a diagnosis, typical workplaces stressors, and how we can support our colleagues in practice.

Colleagues will also be able to pose questions live or submit them in advance by email for them to be debated and answered by their experts.

Hosted by Emma Cooper from Bell Equine and Ian Bellis from Equicall, discussions will be led by Kirstie Pickles - a freelance equine internal medicine specialist, and Brad Hill - an equine vet who is part of the equine teaching team at Nottingham Vet School.

Kirstie and Brad have co-worked in equine practice, won the Sarah Brown Grant from the RCVS Mind Matters Initiative in 2021[1], looking at “Workplace Stressors and Reasonable Adjustments for Autistic Veterinary Professionals[2] and have extensive knowledge and experience in this area relevant to our veterinary practices. Their research together has led to the publication of a paper entitled "Mental wellbeing and psychosocial working conditions of autistic veterinary surgeons in the UK"[3].

Brad now works in academia with a strong interest in Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity; retention and recruitment within the equine profession in addition to bridging the gap into practice.

Kirstie, who has been diagnosed as autistic, has trained as a deliverer of the National Autism Trainer Programme, commissioned by NHS England to support staff to improve the care provided to autistic people whilst in mental health services. Kirstie is passionate about supporting and advocating for neurodivergent individuals, and has now set up Unedited Minds as a result.

CVS Group operates across small animal, farm animal, equine, laboratories and crematoria, with over 500 veterinary practices and referral centres in the UK, the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands. In the last five years the company has invested nearly £80 million in its sites, facilities and equipment, in addition to industry leading training and support, to give the best possible care to animals. 


[1] The RCVS Mind Matters Initiative: The story so far... - Professionals

[2] Supporting neurodivergent veterinary staff - Veterinary Practice (

[3] Mental wellbeing and psychosocial working conditions of autistic veterinary surgeons in the UK - PubMed (