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PDSA appoints new Chief Veterinary Surgeon

Richard Hooker BVMS MRCVS, has been appointed Chief Veterinary Surgeon for PDSA, Britain’s leading veterinary charity.

The role provides PDSA with a focal point for the ethical and professional considerations that it faces as the largest private employer of veterinary staff in Britain. It also aims to raise awareness of the charity’s objectives and activities within the veterinary profession itself.

Richard, who is now based at the charity’s head office in Telford, Shropshire, takes up the new position having previously spent six years as a Senior Veterinary Surgeon at the PDSA PetAid hospital in Stoke-on-Trent. The position of Chief Veterinary Surgeon reports to PDSA’s Director of Veterinary Services, Jan McLoughlin, who was appointed in April 2003.

PDSA’s Director General, Marilyn Rydström, said: "PDSA currently employs over 200 veterinary surgeons and 240 veterinary nurses and strong leadership of these veterinary staff is crucial, both in terms of their professional development and training, and in maintaining and raising standards. The roles of Director of Veterinary Services and Chief Veterinary Surgeon will deliver this.

"The combination of Richard’s background as a clinician together with his personal enthusiasm and commitment for PDSA’s charitable work make him ideal for this new position."

Richard Hooker said: "There could not be a better time to take on this new role at PDSA. In addition to advising Britain’s leading veterinary charity at a senior level, I will also be in a position to raise awareness of the crucial veterinary services PDSA offers to the owners of sick and injured pets who are unable to afford private care and are eligible to benefit from our charitable work."

A graduate of Glasgow University, Richard was introduced to PDSA’s PetAid hospital in Shamrock Street, Glasgow as a student vet. After completing his studies, Richard worked in large animal practice in his home area of Staffordshire, but the range of work and the satisfaction of feeling part of the PDSA team remained with him and he returned to the charity in 1996, at the Aston PDSA PetAid hospital. This was followed by promotion to the position of Senior Veterinary Surgeon and a move to PDSA’s PetAid hospital in Stoke in 1997.