Clinical Director & Veterinary Surgeon
Regan Veterinary Centre
Miller and Swann
Rossendale Pet Crematorium and Memorial Gardens
The Pet Crematorium
Silvermere Haven Pet Cemetery and Crematorium
Laboratory Accounts Manager
Castle Veterinary Surgeons
Operations Director - East
Former owner of the Falkland Veterinary Clinic, Newbury
RCVS Specialist in Small Animal Surgery (Orthopaedics)
Chestergates Veterinary Specialists
Regional Director – Surrey & Sussex
Groomer and Pet Bereavement Advisor
Larwood & Kennedy Vets
Head of Histology
Valley Equine Hospital
I work a really flexible working pattern around a family and 5 children, which is one of the main things that attracted me to my role at Regan’s and CVS. This means it has been possible for me to progress within my career and work up the management pathway to Clinical Director level, whilst still having the ability to balance this with my kids/family.
One of the main gripes I hear from my non CVS vet friends is that they don’t see their kids/put them to bed/get to drop them at school etc. and I find that none of these are an issue for me due to the flexibility my role offers.
In 1990 I started as a Receptionist at Miller and Swann and through hard work and dedication I worked my way up to become the Practice Manager. In 2013, I was briefed that the practice was being taken over by CVS, as you can imagine it was a very daunting time not only for me but also all my work colleagues. I was full of trepidation as I knew that processes and procedures would change to align with the other CVS practices around the UK, however, CVS were truly professional and the transition went through without a hitch.
I have learnt so much over the past 4 years and have attended various development courses covering subjects ranging from; Health and Safety Compliance, Performance Review Appraisal to Finance for Non Finance Managers. I would very much like my career to progress through CVS and going forward, this is what it’s all about, developing yourself and the business by taking things "up to the next level ".
The annual conferences are also a fantastic way to network and meet colleagues who work within different sectors of the company. What I have witnessed is the true passion of the CEO/Directors when they talk about the future of the company, which backs up what I have already seen and what I know. My personal benefits are also much better – CVS Share Plan, yearly wage reviews, sick day entitlement, cycle to work scheme, pension - these are all benefits which I very much appreciate as I either didn’t receive them before or they have vastly improved through my new employment package.
I love my job because every day holds a variety of different challenges whether it is marketing, IT, personnel or health and safety related. I know I am a more rounded person and I hold a better knowledge and understanding of the day to day running of the business, giving me the confidence to handle whatever comes my way!
I started with CVS in May 2011 as Office Administrator at Greendale Pet Crematorium and Memorial Gardens. I was warmly welcomed into the team and enjoyed the diversity and early challenges that the role brought.
I thoroughly enjoyed the accounts and finance challenges and found this to be my forte and strength and was subsequently asked to implement a Sage 200/bespoke crematorium finance package across the entire crematorium division. With thanks to my colleagues I was nominated on 2 separate occasions as a finalist for crematorium employee of the year at the annual CVS Conference and was awarded runner up in 2015 and winner in 2016.
I have been able to progress my career and was awarded the position of Office Manager over 3 crematoria – Rossendale Pet Crematorium, Whitley Brook Pet and Equine Crematorium and Greenacres Pet Crematorium, which has brought with it many new challenges and responsibilities, such as staff training and management.
I am currently working towards my COTC level 4 in waste management, something that will enhance my skills and knowledge and will stand me in good stead both for my current role and for future advancement and opportunities.
I started working at CVS in December 2015 within the Customer Service Team at The Pet Crematorium in Durham. After a 22 year career in the NHS, this was a big step and my day to day work involved dealing with grieving pet owners and veterinary practice customers. I really enjoyed offering members of the public the support needed to help them come to terms with their loss and knowing that they are comforted by the service we provide will always big a big reward for me.
In 2017 I was promoted to Office Manager and have thoroughly enjoyed the new challenges tis has brought me.
From the start, I have found CVS to be very supportive in terms of my personal development and feel appreciated as a valued member of both The Pet Crematorium and the wider CVS Group. I feel that there are exciting times ahead for CVS and I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds.
I joined Animed Direct in 2012, in the very early days of the business. Initially I was the Customer Service Supervisor and led a small team of Customer Service Advisors, however, our order volumes grew so quickly that before long we needed to refit our warehouse to allow us to hold much greater levels of stock. I had some previous experience in warehouse management and took on the challenge of overseeing the installation of the new warehouse racking, source a forklift truck & ensure our warehousing staff were properly trained to use it and to make sure all the changes were in line with health & safety best practices (which involved me undertaking some more advanced health & safety training). Before I knew it, I had my own safety boots & high-vis jacket and knew that I wouldn’t be going back to Customer Services!
Things continued to grow and grow until we burst out of our warehouse and moved to new premises in Diss, Norfolk in March 2017 where we now work alongside our Support Office colleagues.
I was involved in setting up the new warehouse and it was brilliant as we had been working in space that had grown too small for our ever increasing size and moved to a space more than five times the size. When we first moved in, it almost looked empty and we all said we would never fill the space, however, we just keep growing and are very quickly filling up!
I have met some lovely people at Animed and it’s great to now have chance to meet and work with other lovely colleagues from Support Office.
Having spent my career in engineering and then running my own tennis court construction and maintenance business for a number of years. I joined CVS and Silvermere Haven as Site Manager in March 2014, having previously gained a small amount of experience with crematoriums.
Having displayed an aptitude for the financial side of the business, I was promoted in April 2016 to General Manager and I’m thrilled to see and be involved with the growth and development of Silvermere as part of the CVS Group.
I joined Finn Pathologists as part of the Administration Team in 2004 working in a very busy office, my role quickly expanded to take on additional responsibility for the software development on a bespoke database system which was a very enjoyable challenge.
In 2006 I took a move outside of the industry for 12 months, before returning to the veterinary industry and Finn Pathologists in 2007. The first period of my return saw me split responsibilities between Accounts Management and Deputy Administration Management, however, we continued to grow and grow as a business and it soon became time for me to decide whether to concentrate on accounts or administration management – I chose accounts and in 2015 CVS supported me to achieve my AAT Level 3 qualification.
In 2015 I was promoted to Laboratory Accounts Manager and took on responsibility for the sales ledger for Axiom Veterinary Laboratories in the process. Greater responsibility led to me attending the CVS internal management development programme (LEAP) and recruiting my own team member, who now works alongside me to manage the sales ledgers for Finn Pathologists, Milab Supplies, Rest Associates, Axiom Veterinary Laboratories and Greendale Veterinary Diagnostics.
I have now been back with CVS for nearly a decade now and feel very fortunate to have received the opportunities and support to progress into a position which is so varied and challenging.
When Castle Vets first became part of the CVS Group in 2014, I wasn’t sure how the change would affect my career. However on talking to fellow colleagues within the Large Animal Division, it quickly became clear that any change would be positive.
The focus of the division is on raising clinical standards and this has led to us rethinking how we work in some areas and the creation of initiatives such as our Teesdale Herd Health Clubs which aim to improve herd health and productivity. The changes we have made are helping us to achieve optimum health status for animals and have been very well received by our clients.
Over the last few years, I have had the opportunity to work with colleagues from right across the division, which has helped me to gain new experience. Part of this has been helping some of our smaller mixed practices to build their farm animal clinical skills, which is something that I find very rewarding. I have also been given the opportunity to attend a wide range of management and clinical training and have recently been successful in gaining promotion to the Clinical Director role at Castle.
I’m proud to be a part of the growth and development of CVS’ large animal division and am thoroughly enjoying the new opportunities it’s giving me.
The opportunity to sell my business while retaining the premises and complete clinical freedom for my team was an ideal solution when it became part of the CVS Group eight years ago. It meant that we could concentrate on delivering clinical excellence and a great experience for our clients and their animals, whilst benefitting from the central support of functions such as Finance, HR and Marketing. For me, no longer having to produce monthly management accounts and VAT returns was heaven!
I was encouraged to apply for a management role within CVS and became a Regional Director in 2011, a role which eventually saw me managing ten practice groups. Today, I’m Commercial Director for our Southern hub, providing strategic direction and leadership to drive enhancements in clinical standards, client care and financial performance, while also looking out for new business opportunities. Looking back, I find it hard to believe how far I have come in the last eight years.
I knew before graduation that I loved surgery and was fortunate to be given plenty of training and surgical experience during my EMS placements and, even before my graduation, I enrolled in a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery. Having completed the internship I worked in mixed practice in rural Scotland where I had a large amount of exposure to surgery in cattle, sheep and small animals. I was often working alone and this gave me a great amount of experience in using my training and education to deal with what was in front of me at the time.
After eight years in general practice (both mixed practice and small animal) I knew that I wanted to perform more complicated and challenging soft tissue and orthopaedic surgery and sought out my contacts in referral practices. I was able to spend my free time shadowing consultations and surgeries and I was then fortunate enough to be accepted for a residency in small animal surgery.
I am a firm believer that you must enjoy the work you do and specialising in surgery has enriched and fulfilled my working life (although I would say that this has been achieved through a great deal of hard work and sacrifice). Seeing a positive outcome and the differences to patients is extremely satisfying and I also relish the contact and the interaction with my clients. Working within a referral setting also allows me to share knowledge and interact with colleagues from the different disciplines - and there is always something to learn.
Working for CVS has been an excellent experience for me - I have been able to join Lumbry Park whilst it is still in its early stages of development and have been heavily involved in how the surgery and orthopaedic department runs operationally. I wanted to come on board due to the facilities that are on offer and to join a brilliant team of clinicians. Overall my time at Lumbry Park has been a great journey and I am looking forward to continuing to develop the range of services we offer here at the hospital.
I set my sights on veterinary orthopaedic surgery even before starting vet school, however, it was not until some eight years post-qualifying that I decided that I had to achieve specialist status. By that stage, surgery was my main focus and I felt it was important that I was as good as I could possibly be.
I enjoy every aspect of orthopaedic clinical work, however, it is the challenges and rewards of the surgery itself that drives me the most. Additionally, I really enjoy being part of a team of surgeons and other specialists and am constantly learning from them.
Working at Chestergates and CVS has allowed me to focus entirely on clinical work, supported by an experienced and talented team of other specialists, nurses and support staff. This has been so important and allowed me to learn a great deal from the constant and complex case load that we receive.
When I joined CVS in 2009 as a Head Nurse at The Village Animal Hospital, my goal was to have a greater influence on what happened in my practice – from the care of patients and clients to the equipment and services available.
Within a year I had the opportunity to move into a Practice Manager role and was proud to win the CVS Practice Manager of the year award in 2011! Then in 2012 I completed the internal Aspirational Leadership Programme, which gave me the confidence to apply for Regional Director role. I am now the Regional Director for the Surrey & Sussex region and a total of 19 sites.
I really enjoy supporting my team to develop and grow their practices by encouraging them to expand their clinical knowledge and look for ways to excel at client care. Being part of a support network that helps colleagues achieve their goals is so rewarding.
From my own experience, the opportunity at CVS has been brilliant – whatever direction you want your career to take. As a student nurse at 18 little did I think I would be where I am now and I am proud of my achievements and proud to be part of CVS.
Joining CVS has given me the opportunity to use and develop my clinical skills in a state-of-the-art environment, while also enabling me to lead a growing team of dedicated colleagues who share my passion for equine veterinary care. I could only have achieved this with the support and training given to me by CVS. It has been a steep learning curve, but I am now enjoying my career more than ever.
My vision for CVS’ Equine Division is that we will provide the highest standard of clinical care for our patients in a great working environment. The best part of my job is the opportunity it gives me to work with a wide range of great people, both within the company and outside it. Whilst encouraging new practices and colleagues to join us and supporting their integration and growth is the part of my job that gives me the most satisfaction.
Following an annual appraisal, I was encouraged to take on additional responsibility to my RVN position and to apply for a module leader role in our MiNurse Academy. A few months later I was at the launch day presenting an introduction to the surgical module in front of 100 nurses!
The MiNurse Academy was originally set up to provide extra online CPD for our qualified nurses and encourage them to think critically about the way they work in practice, whatever their particular area of interest. The Academy is now in its third year and is continually developed based on feedback from our nurses. We also offer a number of face-to-face training days available for nurses in a variety of clinical and non-clinical subjects.
Last year I moved on from my module leader role and am now a Regional trainer, involved in the running of the whole Academy alongside delivering multiple training modules (a mixture of clinical and business specific) to colleagues across the CVS business. No two days are the same and I enjoy it immensely! We have some great developments coming up in the future so it is a brilliant time to be here!
I have had nothing but good experiences with CVS both in practice and now in the training team. I would recommend CVS for anyone looking to build their career and challenge themselves as a nurse.
I joined Ayres Veterinary Hospital in 1983 and qualified in 1986, soon after which I became Head Nurse – a position I still hold.
We became part of CVS in 2006 which opened up so many more career opportunities to nurses, both clinical and non-clinical. If you are passionate about nursing, CVS support you with quality CPD to help you advance your clinical knowledge in your areas of interest. I am one of three clinical coaches at Ayres and really enjoy helping our students to achieve their goals. At the same time I am focused on working with my team to ensure that we are providing the highest standards of care to our clients.
I also enjoyed serving time on our employee consultation committee, MiVoice, which was set up to listen to fellow colleagues so that we can continue improving as a business.
I have found everyone at CVS really friendly, approachable and professional. I love my job here – even after nearly 34 years! – and would encourage any nurse to consider working for CVS as, from my experience, they really do respect their nurses and encourage their progression.
Studley Road Vets
When I was leaving RVC, I didn’t know loads about CVS but I knew I wasn’t interested in some of the other grad schemes out there because of people who’d gone through them.
Studley Road Vets was great for me and the location was ideal. I currently do a 4 day week - 2 long, 2 short. A short consult day is 8.45am - 6.30pm and the long days are 8.30am - 8pm - which I don’t mind as I then get a day off. I love that.
After spending rotations at vet school in a referral unit, it is completely different in practice and you need a good team around you to support you. When you’re working in practice, what you are responsible for hits you - that animal under anaesthetic is your responsibility, it’s on you. All the teaching in the world can’t prepare you for that moment. That’s why the support on the graduate programme and in practice is so vital.
On EMS placements you don’t always get fully involved, so it is a huge change when you start work. Initially, I first concentrated on doing vaccines and progressed at the speed that was right for me. I’m now comfortable to be on my own on evenings and Saturdays.
The CVS New Grad days are so worthwhile and they are more than enough to cover your CPD in the first 2 years. The days are very hands-on and interesting and you get to meet grads from the other CVS practices in your region. The days cover a variety of topics - such as a practical day on emergency surgery and another on ultrasound.
I joined CVS at Larwood & Kennedy in Dereham in 2015 as a Receptionist. Since then I have become a qualified Dog Groomer and CVS paid and supported me City & Guilds 2 & 3 in Dog Grooming and am hoping to go on and study for my Diploma in Professional Styling.
I really love my role her and would love to get involved in Asian fusion/colourful grooming.
After I finished my studies in Biomedical Science in 2011, I was looking for a challenging laboratory job to put the skills I had learnt to use. I was lucky enough to find a job at CVS and Finn Pathologists as a Trainee Histology Technician (I had completed 2 weeks work experience at Finn Pathologists when I was 15). I found I quickly fitted in as part of the team and I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to cross train in all the other laboratory disciplines which kept my job varied and interesting.
In March 2014 the position of Head of Histology came up and I got the job. Since being in the position I have received great support from the other managers at Finn Pathologists who have helped me develop my managerial skills, something I previously didn’t have experience in. This has also been complemented by a range of training from CVS starting with LEAP training (a CSV designed programme which is designed for newly promoted managers and managers with no prior formal training) and has included recruitment training, appraisal training and assertiveness training.
I really enjoy the variety and challenge of my job – there is always a new problem to solve and working with some great people makes it really worthwhile.
I have worked at Valley Equine Hospital for 5 years, having spent almost my entire career of 20 years working in various roles in equine practice in the Lambourn Valley. CVS acquired the practice in April 2016, and I took over as Clinical Director in April 2017 having become increasingly interested in the management side of equine practice as my career has developed. I still do a significant amount of clinical work and have particular interests in poor performance in the racehorse, especially lameness and overground endoscopy.
Being part of CVS has given me the opportunity to develop my management skills whilst receiving excellent support from senior management and head office, and for the first time in my career I can see a clear and positive pathway for interesting professional development. At the same time, CVS has enabled us as a practice to focus on clinical and management excellence so that we can develop and grow in an increasingly competitive market place.
I started working at Pet Medics in November 2015, having previously worked in a busy emergency clinic and a first opinion day practice. I was working towards my ECC certificate at the time and knew that I needed to make the move into a large clinic with a big caseload when I saw the opportunity advertised at Pet Medics. I had always heard good things about the cases they saw and that they were managed to a high standard and saw lots of emergencies.
I initially started working day shifts as a senior vet, providing cover for the evening and night shifts as needed and then in November 2016 there was an opportunity to move onto the evening shifts, which I leapt at. My rota means that I have all the benefits of night work, without the hangover on my sleep patterns. At Pet Medics we provide ECC cover for a large number of practices across Manchester so are always on the go – no shift is ever the same and even a ‘normal’ shift for us can involve some complicated (and fun) critical care cases.
Recently I have started managing the clinical governance side of things within the practice and love being able to see how we can work to make our already great care even better. We are also involved with Glasgow University and host students doing their tier 2 ECC rotations - being able to teach and watch the students skills develop throughout their placements is very rewarding and we have recently hired one of our students on the CVS New Graduate Programme for 2017.