Adverts: 0161 709 4576 - Editorial: 0161 709 4571
Mail Order: 0161 709 4578 - Subs: 0161 709 4575 - Webteam: 0161 709 4567

Pet Plan Veterinary Awards


Special awards at ‘Vet Oscars’

David Simpson and Vince HoganA sparkling night devoted to celebs, TV vets, industry glitterarti and some hard-working vet staff took place at the recent BSAVA congress, writes Vince Hogan.

The Petplan Veterinary Awards, now in their 9th year, recognises and applauds staff and practices throughout the country that have delivered an exceptional level of care to the nation’s pets. Over 1,500 people voted for the awards, demonstrating the importance the nation places not only on their animals, but also the dedicated veterinary professionals that care for them. Petplan was delighted to present these awards at a prestigious black-tie gala dinner at the Burlington Hotel on 3rd April in Birmingham where the event was hosted by TV comedian Mr Michael McIntyre. Guests included many top vets and presidents, past and present of the BSAVA and of course the Petplan people with Simon Wheeler, Head of Marketing and all their PR and special events team.


Special Recognition award


Matt Brash receives his award from fellow TV Vet Marc Abrahams and
celebrity compere Michael McIntyre

As reported in last week’s OUR DOGS, Matt Brash, the popular celebrity vet who starred in the ITV series ‘Zoo Vet’ and ‘Zoo Vet at Large’, received a Special Recognition Award at the Petplan Veterinary Awards, the equivalent of the ‘Vet Oscars’.

Voted for by the public, the Special Recognition Award aims to recognise and applaud the vet who has most effectively promoted the topic of animal welfare to the public. Judges commended Matt for his tireless work in raising awareness of zoo animals within the UK.

The Petplan Veterinary Awards also presented to staff and practices throughout the country that delivered an exceptional level of care to the nation’s pets, and their owners and we are delighted to be able to feature the other winners of the Petplan Veterinary Awards.

Vet Receptionist of the Year

Margaret GaitMargaret Gait, from Cinque Ports Veterinary Associates in Lydd, has been awarded the prestigious title of ‘Vet Receptionist of the Year 2008’ at the Petplan Veterinary Awards - the equivalent of the Oscars for the Veterinary profession.

Margaret impressed judges with her commitment, enthusiasm and compassion for both the animals she deals with and their owners.

The independent panel of judges responsible for short listing Margaret describe what made her stand apart from the rest: “We were bowled over by Margaret’s commitment to the practice and the high levels of support she provides to colleagues. Margaret has worked at Cinque Ports Veterinary Associates for 15 years, and is now a popular, much loved member of the local community. She is a hard working, conscientious team player, who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty – and often stays late to help with emergencies or to clean up after surgery. It was her willingness to go ‘the extra mile’, that made her stand apart from the rest and made her worthy of the ‘Vet Receptionist of the Year 2008’ award.”

Brian Faulkner is voted Top Vet

Brian FaulknerBrian Faulkner, from the Melton Veterinary Surgery in Woodbridge, has been awarded the prestigious title of ‘Vet of the Year 2008’ at the Petplan Veterinary Awards – the equivalent of the Oscars for the Veterinary profession.

Brian, often known as ‘Uncle Brian’ by his younger clients, impressed judges with his commitment, enthusiasm and compassion for both the animals he deals with and their owners. Furthermore judges heralded him an “outstanding ambassador” for the vet profession.

The independent panel of judges responsible for shortlisting Brian described what made him stand apart from the rest: “We were bowled over by Brian’s dedication to animal welfare. Throughout the gruelling judging process, we were presented with numerous examples of how Brian has gone above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the animals in his care receive the very best treatment. He has left weddings, hockey matches and football games to perform emergency surgery and has even operated on gastric torsions whilst still wearing his kilt! He receives literally hundreds of cards and letters expressing appreciation for his efforts, care and dedication and is a popular member of the local community. His ability to win someone over at ‘hello’ and then keep them happy, is without doubt the key to his success.”

Simon WheelerSimon Wheeler, Petplan’s Head of Marketing, explains: “The Petplan Veterinary Awards are about thanking the Veterinary profession for the outstanding level of care they provide to our animals. Brian Faulkner, like many vets, provides an exceptional service to clients and their pets and we are delighted to name him ‘Vet of the Year 2008’.”

Orwell Veterinary Group is voted ‘Top Dog’


Orwell Veterinary Group in Ipswich has been named Britain’s top practice, after winning the prestigious title ‘Vet Practice of the Year 2008’ at the Petplan Veterinary Awards - the equivalent of the Oscars for the Veterinary Profession.

Orwell Vetinary GroupOrwell Veterinary Group was described as having a number of “remarkable” qualities by the panel of judges. The high level of customer care, staff’s dedication to continued professional development and the emphasis on strong client relationships were all described as “exceptional”..

The independent panel of judges responsible for short listing Orwell Veterinary Group, commented: “The Orwell Veterinary Group in many ways is in a league of it’s own. The practice offers an exceptional level of care for pets and their owners, ensures veterinary staff build long-term, lasting relationships with clients and offers a range of additional services such as weekly ‘puppy parties’.

“In addition, Orwell Veterinary Group spend a lot of time promoting animal welfare to the local community, through their website, their extensive media relations programme, open days, W.I presentations and school talks. The level and extent of services they provide is truly remarkable and makes them worthy of the title ‘Vet Practice of the Year 2008’.”

David ArgyleCharles Bagnall, the practice owner and practicing vet, explains: “I am very proud of what my brother, I and our dedicated team have achieved over the past 14 years – we have built a well recognised and respected multi-centred practice and accredited veterinary hospital, while still providing friendly, professional and personal care.”

Simon Wheeler, Petplan’s Head of Marketing, explains: “The Petplan Veterinary Awards are about thanking the Veterinary profession for the outstanding level of care they provide to our animals. The Orwell Veterinary Group provides a truly remarkable service to clients and their pets and we are delighted to present to them the award ‘Vet Practice of the Year 2008’.”

PETPLAN is the largest provider of animal health insurance in the world. Established more than 30 years ago, it is part of Allianz Insurance, one of the largest general insurers in the UK.

Vet Nurse of the Year

Louisa BakerLouisa Baker, from the Priors Leaze Veterinary Centre in Chichester, has been awarded the prestigious title of ‘Vet Nurse of the Year 2008’ at the Petplan Veterinary Awards - the equivalent of the Oscars for the Veterinary profession.

Louisa impressed judges with her commitment, enthusiasm and compassion for both the animals she deals with and their owners, and was heralded by judges as an “outstanding role model” for those wanting to pursue a career in veterinary nursing.

The independent panel of judges responsible for short listing Louisa described what made her stand apart from the rest: “We were bowled over by Louisa’s dedication to animal welfare.

John Bower, Sophie Parker and Ted ChandlerThroughout the judging process, we were presented with numerous examples of how Louisa went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure clients and their animals are given the best possible care. She puts a huge emphasis on continued professional development, spends quality time supporting and training those around her and has the unusual ability to win people over instantaneously with her kind and gentle manner.”