Everyone at our practice is committed to providing you with the very best in pet healthcare. Our veterinary team bring a wealth of experience to the practice and have individually obtained high standards of professional qualification. Most staff are pet owners, and understand the trauma of coping with an ill or injured pet.
Who are you speaking to ? Our vets wear dark blue tunics or polo tops when it's hot. RVNs (registered veterinary nurses) wear dark green with pride! VN trainees wear antracite/pewter (grey). VCA's (veterinary care assistants) usually wear maroon. Receptionists wear light blue. In the summer, if very hot we may relax the uniform rules in favour of staff comfort, and the nurses produce a range of brightly coloured, patterned scrub tops !
Miss Maxwell - 'Gill The Boss' - qualified from Glasgow in 1981, and started work in the PDSA in Newcastle before being promoted to Senior Veterinary Office of the South Shields branch. Leaving the PDSA in 1988, she worked for a short period in mixed practice in Linconshire, before returning to the area to a small animal practice not far from Chester-le-Street. Leaving there in 1995, she then worked for a year in the Lake District, followed by two years in a large mixed practice in Leeds, before joining Cestria in 1998. She took over in 2001. A genuine 'all rounder', she is particularly interested in orthopaedics and will treat all species. Gill has Border Collies and is a Kennel Club Assured Breeder. She is an A1 Gold Examiner for the Kennel Club Good Citizins Dog Scheme. She is interested in Breed showing (Kennel Club affix Gilestria) and Obedience, and her partner Dave (also an Assured Breeder with the affix Baindream) runs Baindream Dog Training Centre, which shares our building. After many years treating a limited number of conditions with acupuncture, she has completed the British Veterinary Acupuncture course and is happy to treat most species.
Mrs Welch - 'Mo The Manager' - our practice manager, working for us before even Gill. See Mo for anything to do with accounts or bills, or if you have any problems with Reception staff.
Mr Henry Sheen - 'Wor Henry' - returned to the practice after a spell tasting life in Alnwick and Durham. He is particularly interested in the cattle side of the practice, but is also a very capable small animal clinician and surgeon. He has two daughters, and is settled in Chester-le-Street. Look out for him on his bike around the local area.
Mr Allan Wright - Allan the Vet - Allan joined us after spending time in a small animal practice further south. His wife is also a vet, and has started a job in a Newcastle practice, so we hope the they will both be happy in this area. They own horses and dogs, and Allan wants to gain more experience in the mixed side of the practice. Alan celebrated the birth of a son last year and welcomed a daughter in November. Allan has a special interest in exotics - see him for problems with pet reptiles and exotic mammals.
Miss Rebecca Young - Rebecca the Vet - the latest member of our veterinary team, Rebecca has joined us after a year in another local mixed practice. She lives locally, and is relishing the thoughts of shorter travel times to work out of hours in particular. She is interested and enthusiastic about all aspects of our work, and has yet to decide on her favorite area of practice.
Miss Ardene Patterson - Ardene Nurse - joined in 2013 just before our move. She has rabbits and a budgie at home, and recently took on a rescue rabbit which had suffered greatly, but is now enjoying a life of comfort. Her latest addition is a British Giant ! Ardene has recently completed a further education course in rabbit welfare, and is happy to discuss the latest thinking on rabbit care and environmental enrichment for them with clients. Adrene will be completing the first year of her VN training this summer.
Miss Melissa Charlton - Melissa Nurse - also joined in 2013 just prior to the relocation. She also has completed her initial college training and has progressed in house. Melissa has also started year one VN training.
Miss Leah Oliver RVN has joined the staff having been doing VN training with us as a placement student from Houghall College. She has qualified last summer, graduated January 17 and is thrilled that her hard work and cheerful disposition has earned her a permanent job wearing her dark green, RVN uniform at last! Leah has now been promoted to Deputy Head Nurse.
Miss Maria Murphy RVN was a classmate of Leah's at college, and has also passed her exam, graduated and is wearing dark green! We are delighted that we have persuaded her to join us. Maria is particularly interested in running our weight reduction clinics, and has been propmoted to Deputy Head Nurse..
Two new VN students have joined us.
Jessica Cawthorne came on VCA placement from Houghall for two years and completed her level two Veterinary Care Assistant course with us, and has been helping out on Reception on Saturday mornings. We are pleased to welcome her onto the full time staff as a nursing trainee.
Abigail Sumner has completed the level two Veterinary Care Assistant training at another practice, and joins us as a nursing trainee on placement from Houghall.
Daniel Eitheridge had been a placement Veterinary Care Assistant for the last two years, developing professional skills and growing into the role so proficiently this past year that we rewarded him with a permenant position. He is going to progress onto the VN training next year.
Receptionists - Head Receptionist Marie joined the practice eight years ago, Lynda H joined in 2013. Kate joined us following Nicolas' decision not to return from Maternity Leave and Linda Ss' retirement. Emma is the newest member of the team and is enjoying her training. They are your first point of contact with us. Contact them for appointments and prescription orders. If you call with an emergency, they will arrange veterinary attention for you as soon as possible.
We have always employed a cleaner, of course. A succession of lovely ladies have come and gone over the years and thanks to them all for keeping us fresh and clean. 'Magic Carpets' are now fulfilling this important role and sending us Pauline every night.