The extensive nationwide search to find Britain’s best veterinary professionals is over. Since last October, Petplan the UK’s largest pet insurance provider, has scoured the UK to find the most exceptional vets, vet nurses, vet receptionists and vet practices. Judged by an independent panel of experts, the almost impossible job of finding the best of the best has been done, and the winners were announced at a glittering ceremony at the Burlington Hotel in Birmingham.
Comedian and scriptwriter Barry Cryer hosted the ceremony for the second time bringing his superb skills back by very popular demand. The winner of each category received the highly prestigious Petplan Veterinary Awards trophy and £1,000 in Virgin vouchers.
Vet of the Year:
This year, the award went to Mark Astbury of the Winterbourne and Brimsham Veterinary Clinics in Bristol.
Mark was nominated by one of his clients, Geraldine Watkins, who comments, "We started going to Mark with our animals when he took over the practice seven years ago. There have been many times when Mark has exceeded expectations of the veterinary profession. To describe Mark, I would say he is very caring, approachable, friendly, professional, compassionate and very, very hard working. He will always speak to his clients on the phone if they are concerned about anything. Nothing is ever too much trouble for this man."
Vet Nurse of the Year:
The 2004 winner is Suzanne Reynolds Warnes of Simon Meyer & Associates in London.
Suzanne was nominated by colleague and head nurse Helen McCabe, who comments, "Suzanne's dedication to the animals and clients is outstanding but so is her commitment to the practice. She always has ideas for improving the care of the animals, educating the clients and the overall running of the practice. She has a great sense of humour, is strong, reassuring and sympathetic and it is apparent to everyone how much she loves her job."
Vet Receptionist of the Year:
Jayne Backhouse of the Pearl Veterinary Group in Shrewsbury scooped the Receptionist of the Year.
Jayne was nominated by a colleague at the Pearl Veterinary Group, Stewart Bedford, who comments, "I have no doubt that the success and reputation that the practice has now is largely due to Jayne. Her contribution to the practice is much greater than would normally be expected of any receptionist."
Vet Practice of the Year:
Green Pastures in Weston Super Mare has been named the Practice of the Year. A state-of-the-art independent practice, Green Pastures is run by a dedicated team of three vets and supported by four qualified nurses, three trainee nurses and five receptionists. It is a fully equipped surgery with a high-tech laboratory, diagnostic facilities and an isolation area, all ensuring that the best possible care is available when it’s needed most. In addition, an orthopaedic surgeon operates at the practice once a week and a specialist animal behaviourist is available to treat complex behavioural problems.
Petplan was inundated with nominations and for every nomination received, Petplan gives £1 to Petsavers, the charity of the veterinary profession. Last year, a grand total of over £2,000 was raised to help fund studies into illnesses and injuries that commonly affect pets.
Fiona Pinkney, Communications Manager for Petplan says, "Yet again the quality and quantity of nominations were astounding. This demonstrates that people are truly grateful for the commitment and dedication of those in the veterinary profession".
The search for the winners of 2005 will begin in October so make sure you nominate those you feel deserve a Petplan Veterinary Award.