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Meet the team

Directors

Shane Morrison
BVSc CertSAS MRCVS RCVS Advanced Practitioner in Small Animal Surgery

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Shane graduated with First Class honours from the University of Melbourne in 1991. After working primarily in small animal practices in both Australia and England, he achieved the Royal College of Veterinary surgeons certificate in Small Animal Surgery by examination in 1997. He went on to establish Christchurch Veterinary Referrals in 2001. The referral practice burgeoned under Shane's direction and moved to its current state-of-the-art premises with CT and MRI in 2011. In 2015 Shane was in the first cohort of vets to be awarded the distinction of Advanced Practitioner in Small Animal Surgery by the RCVS.

By weight of case numbers, Shane is one of the most experienced small animal surgeons currently practising in the UK. His prowess in advanced techniques including total hip replacement in dogs and cats, spinal surgery and complicated fracture management is second to none. The success of Christchurch Veterinary Referrals is underpinned by Shane's desire to constantly improve the clinical outcomes and quality of care of his patients. Shane also regularly gives lectures to vets throughout East Anglia and presents a monthly column in the EADT Suffolk Magazine.

Charlotte Morrison
RVN

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Charlotte is a registered veterinary nurse, but as Christchurch Veterinary Referrals grew over the years, her role evolved from the nursing side to centre management.

She works closely with all the staff, ensuring everything runs smoothly and that you and your pets get the best possible attention and care.

If a busy job and looking after three children isn’t enough, Charlotte enjoys baking bread and has three cats, a naughty border terrier and a spoilt Cavalier King Charles spaniel.

Vets

Adrian Dumitru
Small animal referral surgeon

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Adrian graduated from the Veterinary Medicine Bucharest University in 2006 and worked in a first opinion practice in Bucharest for four years. He then worked in Yorkshire for a year, followed by four years with a large and small animal practice in Norfolk before joining Christchurch Veterinary Referrals.

He is interested in fracture repairs in dogs and cats, together with elbow arthroscopy for managing elbow dysplasia in dogs. Adrian is currently completing the RCVS Certificate of General Small Animal Surgery.

Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his family.

Tom Hinchliffe
Small Animal Referral Surgeon

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Tom graduated from The Royal Veterinary College in 2015 with first-class honours in a combined clinical and research degree. After starting in General Practice, Tom completed his internship at The University of Cambridge, where he undertook research into Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS), publishing work in 2018. He then worked as an emergency vet travelling across rural Australia, treating everything from dogs with snake bites to wallabies involved in road traffic accidents.

Tom returned to the UK to study for the RCVS Certificate of General Small Animal Surgery and joined us in 2021. His interests include fracture repair, cruciate ligament disease, and various soft tissue surgery.

In his spare time, Tom loves walking with his Labrador, Shirley. He also enjoys touring cycling, having cycled from London-Barcelona, Krakow-Amsterdam, and Hungary-Croatia-Slovenia-Austria-Slovakia.

Gianmarco Cornacchini
Small Animal Referral Surgeon

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Marco graduated with honours from the University of Perugia (Italy) in 2013. Following a short period of practice in Rome, he moved to England in 2015, first in general practice, then a rotating internship at one of the largest veterinary hospitals in England.

He then spent three years working for the PDSA, gaining surgical experience in both soft tissue and orthopaedic surgery. This allowed him to attain the BSAVA Certificate in Small Animal Surgery. He is interested in all aspects of orthopaedic surgery, particularly in fracture and ligament repair.

Outside of work, Gianmarco enjoys sport, camping and exploring the countryside with Flash, his Jack Russell cross.

Veterinary nurses

Clare Leech
Joint head nurse, hydrotherapist, RVN

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Clare manages our nursing team and duties, including monitoring anaesthetics, inpatient care, and placing intravenous catheters. She also provides hydrotherapy treatment for in and outpatients.

Having qualified at a local mixed practice, Clare joined us in 2009 and has completed a BSAVA Merit award in rehabilitation and, in 2018, completed her certificate in hydrotherapy.

She has a busy home life, with two children, two miniature Dachshunds, two horses and six pygmy goats!

Stacey Toner
Joint head nurse, RVN

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Stacey gained her veterinary nursing qualification at a local veterinary hospital after working as a ward assistant at a busy Colchester practice. She joined us in 2013.

She is qualified as a Radiation Protection Supervisor and enjoys working with radiography and our MRI and CT scanners. She also assists with the management of the nursing team.

At home, Stacey has a springer/collie cross called Akela and a cat called Bagheera, who lives at her stables. There, you will find her two horses, Charlie and Tyrion.

Katie Attwood
Joint head nurse, RVN

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Katie is our inpatient care and ward manager. She joined us in 2013 after completing the RCVS Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing. She enjoys the variety of work in the ward and surgical nursing. An animal lover, she has a sassy Chihuahua called Elsa, two guinea pigs and Ernie the pony at home.

Abby Westley-Lawes
RVN

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Abby qualified as a RVN in early 2021, and referral nursing has been a major ambition since she began training in 2018.

She enjoys working with all aspects of animals and holds a certificate in feline nursing. She loves providing gold standard care to each patient as if they were her own.

Abby enjoys Olympic weightlifting and relaxing with friends and family in her spare time.

Emmy Page
RVN

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Emmy started work in a small animal practice in 2015 and qualified in 2018. She enjoys all aspects of nursing, with a particular interest in surgical nursing.

She spends time outside of work looking after her three cats, all of whom have different personalities to keep her on her toes. She also has a Golden Retriever, who enjoys exploring the countryside with her, particularly the coastline.

Karen Hall
RVN

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Karen has previously worked as a Registered Veterinary Nurse in both General Practice and at the Animal Health Trust. Surgical nursing has always been her passion, and she is proud to fulfill that role here.

Outside of work, Karen enjoys running, spending time with her family and friends, and walking with her dogs.

Myles Ellis
RVN

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Myles joined the team in December 2021 and has a particular interest in referral and surgical nursing.

He has a boxer dog at home called Hugo and a cat called Misty. He enjoys being outside on walks in the country or spending time with friends and family.

Kirsty Southey
RVN

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Kirsty started working in animal care in 2016 and qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 2020. She is passionate about surgical nursing and feels her position here at Christchurch Veterinary Referrals puts her qualifications and training to their full use.

She has a semi-feral rescue cat at home called Jess, who is learning very quickly how to be loved by her human admirers.

Kath Watt
RVN

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Kath is a Registered Veterinary Nurse with more than two decades of nursing experience. She enjoys the surgical nursing aspects of the job and caring for all the patients. At home, she looks after her daughter and a “very lively” cockapoo!

Alethea Keen
RVN

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Alethea joined us after qualifying as a Registered Veterinary Nurse in 2013. She has since gained a BSAVA Veterinary Nurse Merit Award in Surgical Nursing. Outside of work, Alethea enjoys swimming and reading and has the luxury of her sewing room at home.

Heidi Cooper
RVN

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Heidi joined us after graduating with a BSc Hons degree in Veterinary Nursing in 2016 at Middlesex University. She has a Chihuahua, a French bulldog, a Yorkshire terrier and a cat. Heidi enjoys scuba diving, is a trainee divemaster and volunteers in Girlguiding as a leader.

Aimee Brown
RVN

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Aimee is qualified in orthopaedic and primary care practice, with more than five years of sole charge nursing experience. She is first aid trained and qualified in bereavement counselling. She has two daughters, a dog, cat, guinea pig and two fish. She enjoys family trips, the beach, swimming, cinema, art, cooking, gardening and photography.

Hayley Squires
RVN

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Hayley qualified as a Registered Veterinary Nurse in 2018. She has previous work experience in first opinion/orthopaedic practices and a busy veterinary hospital. Hayley has a handsome ginger cat called Atlas, is interested in Asian culture and food, anything cat-related, and gaming with her husband.

In 2021, Hayley began studying to achieve the ISFM Certificate in Feline Nursing and is known as the Crazy Cat Nurse to all members of staff. She can often be found in the cat ward, offering fuss and treats to our feline inpatients.

Rachel Bevan
RVN

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Rachel qualified from Middlesex University in 2017 with a first-class BSc Hons degree. She is studying towards a Certificate in Anaesthesia and has previous experience in a busy first opinion and orthopaedic practice. Known as the crazy rabbit lady, Rachel has two rescue bunnies and adores anything rabbit related.

Charlie Harrup
RVN

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Charlie is a qualified veterinary nurse who gained a BSc Hons degree in animal science at Writtle College in Essex. With interest in working in the theatre and monitoring patients’ anaesthesia, Charlie enjoys spending time with patients as they recover. At home, a Goldendoodle called Freddy gets lots of walks in the country.

Receptionists

Rita Singleton
Reception team manager

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Rita has been with us since 2002, dealing with referring vets and referred clients. With such a wealth of experience, Rita can give clients much information about procedures in advance, before they come to meet the surgeons. At home, she has five Chihuahuas.

Julie Eley

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Julie joined in 2005 and loves working with animals. At home, she has three dogs, a rabbit, an African grey parrot and budgies (plus an interest in keeping tropical fish). Spare time involves looking after her granddaughter and walking the dogs.

Donna Ainsworth

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Donna is also a long-serving member of the team, having joined in 2004. She has a Staffordshire bull terrier called Rio and enjoys country walks and spending time with her grandchildren.

Bev Wooltorton

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After working as a receptionist for most of her working life, Bev now works with us at Christchurch Veterinary Referrals. She loves building a relationship with customers and their pets. Away from work, she enjoys spending time with her three granddaughters and gardening.

Ward assistants

Karen McGowan

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Karen joined in 2013, starting as a kennel assistant and now working as a theatre and ward assistant. She has been trained in correct holding techniques for injections, taking bloods and putting in IVs. Karen loves meeting all the animals in the centre, and at home looks after Georgie the Scottish terrier, Bridget the miniature bull terrier and Zuzu, a Chihuahua/Jack Russell cross rescued from Cyprus. There are also two cats, seven hens and a cockerel.

Megan Hallett

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Megan provides inpatient care and assists with equipment opening during surgery. She has gained levels 2 and 3 in animal care and enjoys giving all the patients some extra TLC. At home, she has a hand-reared cat called Fozzie and enjoys ballroom and Latin dancing.

Megan Spencer

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Megan studied levels 1 to 3 in animal care at Otley College before working at boarding kennels and then moving to Christchurch Veterinary Referrals. She enjoys learning new skills at work, while at home spends time with her family and festival-going with friends.

Fran Coles
Ward Assistant

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Fran switched to working in the veterinary world after 20 years in human medicine. For the last 15 years, she has covered many different roles and has never been happier.

Most of her spare time is spent training and competing in agility with her amazing dogs.


Physiotherapist

Julia Hewitson
Chartered and Veterinary Physiotherapist

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Julia runs her own animal physiotherapy practice and joins us on certain days a week to work with our patients. After training and working initially in human physiotherapy, she undertook further training to set up her animal physiotherapy and rehabilitation practice.

Administration

Jackie Gillard

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Jackie has worked in administration for over 30 years and joins the team with a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail. At home, she has a cat called Betsie and a garden full of wild birds who never go hungry! Aside from her passion for all things furry or feathery, her spare time is spent singing in a duo with her partner and creating glass art in her home studio.

Lindsay Keer

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Lindsay has been with us since 2017, working as an insurance administrator and receptionist. She has a Boxer called Shelby – a nod towards her passion for American cars. Lindsay has a Ford Saleen Mustang and attends car shows.