What we believe
We have six core principles that support everything we do. We believe in putting people first, because satisfied staff are what makes a practice successful. And we truly understand vets, because our business is full of them.
Our business is built around six key principles
Investment in your practice
Belief in people
An independent spirit
IVC through the eyes of the group CEO
"If we go into one of our practices, I think you’ll find that it was always very much as you would expect a traditional veterinary practice to be, but we would’ve brought in the very best offers, services and treatments which we have found across the group and which we’ve shared with our clinicians, and that’s what makes our practices a little bit better, we hope" David Hillier, 2017
Our core values are what make us a special place to work, where we enjoy what we do and work together to deliver exceptional veterinary care – these values inspire and motivate us. This is the basis of great teamwork.
We Care - We care for animals and people, keep our promises, treat each other with decency and respect
We Dare - We dare to innovate, encourage entrepreneurial thinking and identify opportunities to succeed in a changing world
We Share - We share knowledge, best practice and make decisions based on trust, dialogue, commitment and engagement
Meet the team
Meet the people that help shape our philosophy and clinical excellence.
- Senior Management
- Clinical Board
- Group Veterinary Advisors
- Operations Managers
When we created IVC in 2011, I knew that every good healthcare organisation is only successful because of the people involved and the individual contribution each one makes. Nowhere is this more true than in veterinary care. With the rest of the team, I have aimed to preserve a way of working in which individual practices, the people who work within them and the people and pets they serve, can be respected and supported.
Before starting IVC, David worked extensively in human healthcare management as CEO successively of Capio Sante, Capio Healthcare UK, Groupe Proclif and ADP Dental Ltd, prominent organisations in the hospital and dental sectors in France and the UK.
Stuart Caton(BA VetMB CertSAM MRCVS)
Stuart qualified from Cambridge in 1996 and has since worked in all areas of Veterinary practice from mixed practice to small animal referral work after obtaining his RCVS certificate in internal medicine in 2001. He acquired his first surgery in Bath in 2001 and went on to co-found Bath Veterinary Group in 2004. He then cofound Advanced VetCare, a South-West based, multi-brand Veterinary Group and online retailer (Pet Drugs Online) having overall operational and strategic responsibility for this business. Stuart is a founder director of Independent Vetcare where he presently performs a mixed role as Commercial Director as well as being a key member of the operational and acquisitions firstname.lastname@example.org
Group Finance Director
Amanda is a founder Director of the Independent Vetcare Group, and was previously the Group Finance Director of DCC Mobility and Rehabilitation a subsidiary of DCC Plc. Amanda has a diverse background both in terms of size of company and sector, having worked in FMCG, financial services, direct marketing, and engineering for companies such as AXA, Clarks shoes and Hallmark Cards.email@example.com
CEO - IVC UK
Paul joined Independent Vetcare as Head of Operations at the end of 2013 from his own healthcare consultancy business, and brings a wealth of operational experience in healthcare and leisure. After a successful early career at Whitbread PLC, Paul transferred into human healthcare by joining Nuffield Health as Hospital Director before progressing to Regional Director. He joined Optegra, specialist eye hospital group as Managing Director during a time of expansion before becoming UK Operations Director for InterHealth Canada, delivering their NHS contracts and developing new firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Marketing
Prior to joining Independent Vetcare in 2011 Graham worked at Honda UK and Ford Motor Company predominantly in Sales & Marketing and PR. His final two roles in the Industry were Regional Operations Manager for the South and Head of Corporate Sales at Honda UK. He is upwardly managed by his two sons and a very needy Cocker Spaniel called Sweep.email@example.com
Director of Human Resources
Richard joined IVC in January 2015 from his own consultancy business that specialised in providing HR services to the private healthcare sector. Prior to this he gained a wealth of experience from specialist and generalist HR roles with Co-op Insurance Society, Royal Bank of Scotland, AMP Financial Services and finally Capio Healthcare where he was HR Director of the UK business. Richard has 2 mad black cats, loves playing golf and for his sins supports Norwich City.firstname.lastname@example.org
Group Chief Information Officer
Ashley joined IVC in January 2018. He has worked in IT for twenty years in many different industries including retail, financial services, property development and management. Prior to joining, his most recent role was with Unite Students, the UK’s leading student accommodation provider where, as IT & Digital Director he spearheaded a digital transformation during a successful period of growth. Outside of IT Ashley can be found long distance running with his local club or having a pint and a pork pie afterwards as part of the recovery process.AHewson@independentvetcare.co.uk
Alistair Cliff(BVM&S (Dist) CertAVP MRCVS)
Chairman of the Board and Clinical Director, Crown Vets
Alistair is Referral Director at Crown Vets Referrals, a multi-disciplinary clinic based in the Highlands of Scotland, which he founded in 2014. His professional focus is orthopaedic surgery with a growing interest in regenerative cell therapies and the multimodal management of chronic joint pathologies. He has Chaired the Clinical Board since 2015 and has found the position immensely enjoyable, thriving amongst colleagues with a similar enthusiasm for clinical standards. Alistair is part of the Welfare email@example.com
Dave Tweedle(BVetMed MRCVS)
Clinical Director, Bath Vet Group
Dave qualified from the Royal Veterinary College and works as a General Practitioner in a busy first opinion practice in Somerset. Having completed a qualification in Business Management, Dave joined the team of Clinical Directors at Bath Vet Group. He also holds a position in the Independent Vetcare Clinical Director Support team. Having the opportunity to have a seat on the Clinical Board enables Dave to bring his clinical knowledge and business management interests together in one firstname.lastname@example.org
Edward Davies(BVSc MRCVS)
Clinical Director, Cheshire Pet
Edward is GP small animal vet having qualified from Bristol University in 1992. He spent time in mixed and small animal practice until he started his own practice in 1998. He sold CheshirePet in 2012, but has remained there as Clinical Director, with an interest in client/customer care and general surgery (including laparoscopy).
Edward was elected to the Clinical Board in 2016 and has more recently been involved in the Welfare sub-committee, dealing with issues such as the illegal puppy trade and working with breeders. He is one of a group of Support Clinical Directors who are available to help other Clinical Directors where necessary.
Jamie McClement(BVSc CertSAS, RCVS Advanced Practitioner in Small Animal Surgery, MRCVS)
Senior Referral Surgeon, Abington Park Veterinary Group
Orthopaedic and Soft tissue Surgeon.
Jamie graduated from Liverpool Veterinary School in 2001, and came to Abington Park from Glasgow in 2008. In 2009 he obtained the RCVS certificate in Small Animal Surgery, and in 2014 was awarded Advanced Practitioner status. His areas of interest are joint surgery, management of osteoarthritis and reconstructive /oncological surgery. Jamie is currently enrolled on the MSc degree in musculoskeletal science, run by UCL and the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital. At home he enjoys fencing, photography and running, and owns a badly behaved cat.
Joanne Patrick(BVSc Cert SAO MRCVS)
Clinical Director, Park View Veterinary Hospital
Joanne qualified from Bristol University and worked in mixed and small practice prior to joining Park View in 1995 and became a partner in 2004. Joanne's main interests are in orthopaedics, soft tissue surgery and dentistry. She owns a 3-legged terrier called Lily and in her spare time she enjoys horse riding, going to the gym, and email@example.com
Principal Veterinary Surgeon, Rowe Vet Group
Kate graduated with honours from the University of Bristol. After a brief spell working in the University large animal department she joined us at our Yate branch. Although Kate is interested in many aspects of mixed practice, she has a particular interest in small animal medicine.
Kate also holds the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Certificate in Small Animal Medicine.
Sally Schroeder(BVetMed MRCVS)
Clinical Director, Berry House Vets
Sally has worked at Berry House since she graduated in 1999. She holds Certificates in Small Animal Surgery and in Veterinary Acupuncture. Her main interests lie in Soft Tissue and Laparoscopic surgery. Her spare time is taken up with her horses, Ballroom and Latin American dancing with her firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephen Collins(BVetMed, DVC, MRCVS)
Clinical Director, Southern Counties Veterinary Specialists
RCVS Recognised Specialist in Veterinary Cardiology.
Stephen qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in 1991 and has worked in mixed, small animal and referral practice. His interest in cardiology led to CertVC in 1997 and ultimately to RCVS Diploma in Veterinary Cardiology in 2012. Stephen is a RCVS Recognised Specialist in Veterinary Cardiology and a Clinical Director at Southern Counties Veterinary Specialists in Ringwood, Hampshire, where he leads one of the biggest and most comprehensive veterinary cardiology services in the country. Outside of work, Stephen enjoys spending time with the family, walking in the New Forest with his 2 labradors, listening to music, and travelling when he gets the chance.
Sarah Colegrave(MA VetMB BSAVA PGCertSAECC MRCVS)
Clinical Director, Millhouse Vets
Qualifying from Cambridge in 1989, Sarah has spent most of her career working at Mill House Veterinary Hospital in King's Lynn. After several years working part time while she had young children, she returned to full time work, completing her Certificate in Emergency and Critical Care and becoming Clinical Director when the practice joined IVC in 2016. Sarah particularly enjoys critical care, laparoscopy, anaesthesia and soft tissue surgery. “I am interested in how being part of a large group can help raise clinical standards through sharing best practice and can ensure we fulfil the potential of our vets and nurses”. Sarah was elected to the Clinical Board in 2018 and sits on the Patient Safety email@example.com
Tim Knott(BSc (Hons) BVSc CertVOphthal MRCVS Veterinary Ophthalmologist)
Clinical Director, Rowe Vet Group
Tim graduated in Anatomic Science and then in Veterinary Science, winning prizes for Animal Husbandry and Small Animal Surgery, and the RVC’s Fitzwygram prize. Tim holds an RCVS certificate in Veterinary Ophthalmology and runs our ophthalmology referral unit as well as being clinical lead at our Thornbury practice. He is interested in all aspects of mixed practice but particularly in ophthalmology, exotic animal medicine and surgery, and fish firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Bury(BVSc PgCSAS MRCVS)
Clinical Director, Rowe Vet Group
Qualifying from the University of Liverpool in 2009 with distinction, Tom spent two years in mixed practice before finding his way to the South West and the Rowe Vet Group. Here he was able to follow his interest in small animal surgery. In 2014 he completed a Post-Graduate Certificate in Small Animal Surgery and subsequently gained recognition as an RCVS Advanced Practitioner in Small Animal Surgery. In 2014 he was given the opportunity to take on his first Clinical Directorship at the recently acquired Winterbourne Vets, in Bristol.email@example.com
John Dinsdale(BVMS CertAVP MRCVS)
Group Veterinary Advisor
John graduated in 1984 from Glasgow University establishing a 6-person purpose built small animal practice in Widnes, Cheshire which he took into IVC in March 2015 where he felt it was best positioned for the future. John is committed to high quality patient and animal care, new graduate development and support. He feels CPD is fundamental to the progression of the profession and hopes all vets enjoy the profession as much as he has and still does. John is happily married and with 4 children.
David Paterson(BVMS, MRCVS)
Group Veterinary Advisor
David qualified from Glasgow in 1982, and after gaining experience around the UK, returned to his home town of Stirling in 1988, where, along with his wife, Christine, set up their own practice. Growing quickly, they moved to a new purpose built clinic, ‘Bruceview’, in 1995. David also set up, and is a partner in, a local out-of-hours service.
Bruceview joined IVC in April 2015, which proved a springboard for expansion. David was on the Clinical Board for 2 years, but has now stepped down as a Clinical Director to pursue his GVA role full time.
His golf has suffered, but he still follows Stirling Albion!
Donald Kingsnorth(BAVetMB MRCVS)
Group Veterinary Advisor and Clinical Director
Donald was inspired to be a vet, at the age of 7, by his Uncle who had a classic mixed practice in Ireland. In 1983, 17 years later, he graduated from Cambridge. All his practice life has been in small animal & Equine practice, mostly in Surrey where Donald joined and then bought a small practice. In 2013 the practice joined Independent Vetcare and after 2 years acting as Clinical Director, Donald moved sideways to become a Group Veterinary Advisor. Away from practice life he walks his dog anywhere from beaches to mountains, skis a bit, sails when he can and follows the mixed fortunes of various rugby and cricket teams. Donald is also the manager at Bank of Dad
Vicky Bridges(BVSc MRCVS)
Group Veterinary Advisor
Since graduating from Bristol Vet School in 1996, Vicky has worked as a small animal first opinion vet in the South West. After a spell neutering street cats and dogs in India, she settled into a large, multi-site practice with branches in Bristol, Thanet and Birmingham, becoming Clinical Director. She joined IVC late in 2015. Vicky believes the importance of the “family GP vet” role should not be underestimated, and has enjoyed developing her clinics into strong first opinion surgeries where patient and client care are prioritised. She juggles her busy working life with raising two daughters and riding her road bike whenever time firstname.lastname@example.org
John Goulding(BVMS, MRCVS)
Group Veterinary Advisor
John graduated with honours from Glasgow in 1989 then worked at St George’s Veterinary Group, a small animal and equine practice in the Midlands until it joined IVC in 2016. Under his guidance the group grew from a 2 site mixed practice to a 7 site small animal and equine practice with over 100 employees that offered a mobile service and an out of hours service for neighbouring practices. He stopped doing clinical work in 2009 to become full time Managing Director.
He is particularly interested in maximising the use of computer databases for analysing performance. Despite this love of computers John is passionate about working with enthusiastic teams using this information to improve patient and client care and hence performance. He worked with Fort Dodge to implement their ‘indices’ and over the last 4 years he has done some freelance consultancy work on indices and fee setting for several practices and pharmaceutical companies.
Chris Trickey(MA, VetMB, MRCVS)
Chris qualified from Cambridge in 1985 and worked in mixed practice for five years before moving on to small animals. He was Partner in a veterinary Hospital in the New Forest for 15 years during which he gradually moved from clinical to more managerial roles, including Practice Manager. In 2008 he was a founding Partner of Southern Counties Veterinary Specialists, and ran all non-clinical aspects of the practice until his “retirement” in 2016. Chris has been president of Southern BVA, the British Veterinary Hospital Association and sat on the RCVS Practice Standards Group. When not working he can be found gardening, playing his clarinet or crammed into his VW camper with wife and dogs.
Group Veterinary Nursing Advisor
Since qualifying in 1991, Liz has gained a wide range of experience in veterinary nursing roles from single-handed practices to large veterinary hospitals, working for both private and corporate veterinary surgeries, and as a University locum.
In addition to working in practice, Liz has also been working with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, on numerous working parties and committees that guide the work of the college and the professions. She was Chair of the Veterinary Nurses Council from 2016-2018, and co-author of the Veterinary Nurses Future Report.
Liz continues to work with the RCVS and membership organisations in order to drive the future of Veterinary Nursing.
Away from work Liz spends her time chasing around after her teenage children and Maggie a working cocker spaniel – in either order or both.
David Stockton(BVMS MRCVS )
Group Veterinary Advisor
David qualified from Glasgow Vet School in 1988 immediately joining Chapelfield Veterinary Partnership Ltd (CVP) in Norfolk as a cattle vet becoming fundamental in the management and business development of CVP including Brooke equine clinic, providing equine reproduction work, racecourse attendance and riding school inspections.
Roles include senior veterinary surgeon for the Royal Norfolk Show, Suffolk Show vet team, Director of Vetscore, team Leader of CVP’s Embryo Transfer laboratory. Retiring in 2018, now farm animal clinical coach and mentor to CVP’s mixed academy vets. David is married with two grown-up daughters. Previous sports included rugby and cricket replaced by carp fishing, walking his dogs and watching Norwich City.
Natasha Demir(BVMS CertAVP MRCVS)
Group Veterinary Advisor
Natasha graduated from the University of Glasgow in 2012 and after one year in a traditional Yorkshire mixed practice settled into a large multisite small animal practice in the North East. After the practice joined IVC in 2014, Natasha became Clinical Director in 2016, and after 2 years moved into a full time GVA role. Natasha is particularly interested in the appropriate use of data to analyse and progress clinical standards and practice performance as well as the development of laparoscopic procedures.
Kelly Lee(MA VetMB CertSAS MRCVS)
Group Veterinary Advisor
Kelly qualified from The University of Cambridge in 2001. She worked in mixed practice in Leicestershire and small animal practice in Oxfordshire before moving to Rhodes Vets in Northampton in 2004. She gained the RCVS Certificate in Small Animal Surgery in 2008 and became Clinical Director when IVC acquired Rhodes in 2012. Her areas of interest are all things surgical and imaging related, staff development and wellbeing, and how the veterinary industry can best adapt to changing client expectations and the modern marketplace. She is married and lives in Northamptonshire. Away from work she enjoys travel, especially walking and scuba diving holidays. This is currently being curtailed as she is expecting her first child in spring 2019.
Douglas Veitch((Hons), BVMS, MRCVS)
Group Veterinary Advisor
Dug graduate from the University of St Andrews with a BSc (Hons) Physiology followed by Glasgow University Veterinary School. He then became a Partner in Advanced Vetcare in the South of the UK at the multi-brand veterinary group comprising of Unicorn Group, Cat Clinic, Natures Vet & Bath Vet Group co-founding IVC in 2011.
As a very successful and forward thinking Senior Clinical Director managing multiple sites for the group, these have remained consistently as some of the highest performing in the IVC.
Dug is skilled at providing business direction, project management and delivery and mentoring all staff to deliver and meet their goals.
Living in the beautiful Hampshire countryside alongside 4 children, 4 dogs, 2 horses and a cat, Douglas seeks solitude with his passion for any challenge or outdoor sporting activity.
Graham Hunter(BVM&S, GPCert(EqP), CertEP, CertAVP(ESO), MRCVS)
Clinical Director, Ardene House Veterinary Practice
Head of Equine Board
Graham joined Ardene House Veterinary Practice in 1990 following graduation from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh. Originally working in all three departments of this large practice, he rapidly dropped small and farm species to work solely in the equine department. Keen on personal development he has undertaken extra equine qualifications, most recently attaining a certificate in equine surgery and orthopaedics. In 2009 Graham was appointed as an RCVS examiner for the Certificate in Equine Practice and continued in this position for 5 years. Although interested in all aspects of equine medicine and surgery, his focus and passion over recent years has very much been on lameness, gait analysis and surgery cases.
In his spare time, of which there doesn’t appear to be much, he tends to shoot up to the Moray coast where the lure of his fishing rods and lobster creels fills the day and the family stomachs, generally washed down with a wee dram.
Operations Manager, Scotland and Ireland
After a long and successful career in the sport and leisure sector, Darren brought his proven business management skills to the role of Group Practice Manager for Crown and Kessock Vets. A focus on the customer experience drove significant improvements in practice performance and led to promotion to Senior Business Support Manager with parent group, Independent Vetcare.
Integrating newly acquired practices smoothly into the group required strategic management of a wide range of commercial disciplines, along with diplomacy and drive - core skills that led to Darren’s promotion to the role of Operations Manager and which will provide a solid grounding for the challenges and opportunities ahead!
Operations Manager, South West
As Team Leader at Rowe Veterinary Group for over 10 years, Emma has been part of IVC since the beginning when along with the other five founding groups, IVC was created.
As one of the first Business Support Managers within the IVC back in 2012, Emma has a robust understanding of the challenges practice face and how to address these, from transitioning into the group, staff retention and pressure from competition to name a few. In 2015 Emma became Operations Manager for the South of England in 2015, putting her knowledge and experience to great use supporting both practices and the BSM team
Operations Manager, North
Becky joined IVC in 2014 from the world of dentistry, having been a successful Business Development manager for a dental decontamination company, Becky has also worked for independent dental practice's as well as in a management role for a large group of dental practices in the UK.
Becky has been able to combine her commercial experience with her healthcare background to bring a wealth of knowledge to IVC in her role as Operations manager for the North of England.
Becky lives with her 3 cats, none of whom like one another and are all named by her husband after cars or sporting greats (Saffy, Ruud and Peppers!)
Operations Manager, West
Georgina started her career as a student veterinary nurse in 1995, back in the day of the green practical book! By 2010, she was Head Nurse at a Hospital and Referral practice, quickly becoming the Practice Manger after completing the level 5 ILM diploma. In 2013, she sat the Certificate in Veterinary Practice Management (CVPM) awarded by the VPMA and won the Glynne Davis Memorial Award for outstanding achievement in the examination.
Georgina is now a board director of the Veterinary Practice Management Association and an examiner for the Certificate. Joining IVC in 2016 Georgina is committed to the development of all staff and puts this passion to use supporting practice teams in North Wales, Cheshire & Shropshire.
Exceptional support services
Every practice in the IVC family gets access to the same exceptional support services. These include:
Business, finance and clinical support
Procurement and group purchasing
Marketing, HR, training and recruitment
Access to our Pet Health Club
Continuing professional development and clinical standards
Property maintenance, investment and management