Our Staff and Pets
At Chestnuts you will always find a friendly face, whether it is one of our receptionists, vets or nurses. To find out more about any of our staff please click on the relevant section below.
Paul qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in 1989 and has been with our practice since 1993. He became a partner in 1995 and is based mainly at our Hoe Lane branch in Ware.
Paul has a wealth of experience in all aspects of veterinary medicine and surgery, being particularly interested in the orthopaedic and soft tissue surgical cases. He is heavily involved in the management of the practice, and is responsible for keeping our website up-to-date with the latest information.
Away from work, Paul enjoys participating in and watching sports, being a keen skier and badminton player. Paul is also kept very busy with his two young sons.
Michelle qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in June 1995 and has worked at Chestnuts ever since. She became a partner in 2000. She has a particular interest in all aspects of feline medicine and surgery, along with the special care required for critical and intensive-care patients. She frequently attends national conferences to keep up-to-date with the most current and state-of-the art techniques, ideas and equipment available to us. Michelle is also keen to promote an understanding of the relationship between behaviour and disease, and how this can improve the quality of life of our patients and their owners!
Michelle is heavily involved in the organisation of the practice, ensuring we strive to maintain and exceed current RCVS practice standard schemes. As a trained nursing assessor, she also has responsibility for the training of student veterinary nurses.
At home, Michelle has a tabby cat called Archie, a very demanding Siamese called Ernie, and a ginger boy called Harry. She is currently learning Portuguese and enjoys travelling to put her language skills to good use!
Fiona joined Chestnuts in 2005, and became a director in 2013. She graduated from Cambridge University, being awarded a double first for her degree, along with various university prizes including those for academic studies, pathology and small animal medicine. She is interested in all aspects of soft tissue surgery, medicine and imaging but has a particular interest in cardiology, performing many of the cardiac assessments including ECGs and doppler echocardiograms for the practice. She was awarded her post-graduate RCVS Certificate in Small Animal Medicine (CertSAM) in 2010 and is currently studying for the CertAVP (Cardiology) certificate. She is also interested in complicated medical cases, and performs many of the endoscopic investigations at the practice (both bronchoscopy and gastroduodenoscopy procedures).
Fiona is a member of the BSAVA, and SAmSOc, and regularly attends local and national conferences, being actively involved with the regional BSAVA committee helping to organise talks by renowned speakers in the veterinary field for local colleagues. She is a mentor for local veterinary surgeons who are continuing with further study for their PGCert in Medicine or Surgery. She is keen to promote animal care in the local community, regularly organising and running workshops in local schools, and speaking at local careers conventions to help guide budding students in veterinary and veterinary nursing careers. She also organises and supervises the placements we offer for veterinary students at our practice.
In her spare time, Fiona is a keen pianist, and also enjoys playing alto saxophone in a local jazz band. She has also recently taken up playing the drums! She also enjoys horse-riding and photography (not at the same time!) and is kept busy by her very active Springer Spaniel called Daisy, and her family’s small herd of alpacas!
Angus joined Chestnuts in 1971 from Glasgow University. He became a partner in 1973. Angus has seen the practice change and develop from the predominantly farm and equine practice of the seventies, to the modern and extensively equipped small animal and pets practice of today. He is based mainly at our Hertford, Fore Street branch and has a particular interest in all aspects of surgery. In 2014, Angus semi-retired, and now works three afternoons a week. Out of work, Angus enjoys spending time with his young grandchildren,when he is not on the golf course!
Dermatology Specialist (Referrals)
Cathy qualified from the RVC, London in 1989. After a few years working in general practice, she worked and travelled abroad for 10 months before returning to the RVC to undertake a dermatology residency. She gained the RCVS Diploma in Veterinary Dermatology and was appointed a RCVS-recognised specialist in dermatology in 1997. She now holds specialist dermatology clinics at the Hoe Lane practice twice a week. Cathy's outside interests include foreign languages and cooking, although her two young children take up most of her spare time!
Julia qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in 1994, and initially started her career with us here at Chestnuts. Following this, Julia expanded her breadth of experience at a number of different practices but in 2003 she returned to us in Hertfordshire. Following the birth of her two children, Julia has continued to work with us on a part-time basis, mainly at our Ware Road clinic. She enjoys all aspects of veterinary medicine, but has a particular interest in surgery. She has also completed training in complementary medicine and acupuncture and runs our regular acupuncture clinics at our Ware Road branch.
At home, Julia has young springer x labrador puppy called Maddie, and two young kittens called Big Bad Billy, and Ruby.
Lizzie qualified from Liverpool University in 2012. She then spent a summer doing voluntary veterinary work in Morocco for the charity SPANA (working with equine and small animals), before returning to the UK to work in mixed practice in Yorkshire.
Lizzie enjoys riding, tennis, going to the theatre and long dog walks with Poppy the family Labrador and Louis the cat in tow!
Prior to qualifying from the Royal Veterinary College, Chris completed a degree in zoology and a masters in wild animal biology. Whilst being interested in all aspects of veterinary medicine, Chris has a special interest in exotics and looks forward to expanding this department of our practice.
Whenever the opportunity arises he enjoys travelling especially to destinations with tropical seas where he is able to snorkel and scuba dive. In his spare time he enjoys playing a variety of sports, mainly football, squash and badminton.
At home he has two cats, called Elmo and Betty.
Carla graduated from the RVC in 2011, initially working as a small animal vet in Kent. She loves to travel and has recently been in New Zealand, Australia and South East Asia on a 3 month trip which included working for a short time in the Veterinary Department at Singapore Zoo and at an elephant conservation programme in Thailand. Carla enjoys all aspects of Veterinary Practice but particularly the medicine side which she would like to expand on in the years to come. Her hobbies include reading, history and swimming.
Jackie graduated from Glasgow University and joined us at Chestnuts in 2005 following a year in mixed practice in Essex.
Jackie has experience in all aspects of veterinary medicine and is a versatile surgeon enjoying both soft tissue and orthopaedic surgical procedures. Since working at Chestnuts, Jackie has adopted two scruffy stray cats, Alfie and Molly.
Jackie stopped working for us temporarily following the birth of her two children, Caitlin and Connor, but we are now pleased to welcome her back part-time at our Hoe Lane branch where she works every Tuesday and on some Saturday mornings. In her spare time, she is a keen skier and plays netball in a local team.
Rachel graduated from Cambridge University in 1998, and built up experiEnce in a variety of small animal practices in the South East of England. She joined Chestnuts in 2003 but left to raise a young family – we are pleased she has returned to work part-time on some Saturdays for us.
Head Nurse and Qualified Veterinary Nurse
Hannah joined us at Chestnuts in 1995 and commenced her formal nurse training in 1999. Shortly after qualifying in 2002, she was promoted to the position of Head Nurse. Hannah plays a pivotal role in the management of our nursing team and having qualified as a student nurse assessor in 2003, is actively involved in the training of nurses within the practice. Hannah has a wealth of experience in all aspects of medical and surgical veterinary nursing. She also plays a big role in promoting animal welfare in the local community, helping to organise and run workshops for local children.
Hannah has a love of travel and adventure, having climbed mountains such as Kilimanjaro, and completed expeditions including the Inca Trail. She is also a keen skier in her spare time. in 2012, Hannah gave birth to her first child, a lovely baby girl called Lydia. She has now returned to work part-time and is heavily involved in nurse training and human resources within our practice.
Qualified Veterinary Nurse and Senior Nurse
Claire joined the practice in 1990, originally being based at our Fore Street Surgery in Hertford. She completed her formal qualifications in 2000 . Claire has a wealth of knowledge in the veterinary field, and is experienced in all aspects of medical and surgical veterinary nursing. She has also completed further training in the specialist advice required to guide our clients on animal nutrition.
Claire has a spaniel called Kojak. She now works part-time at our Hoe Lane branch, being kept busy with her two young children, Harrison and Matilda.
Qualified Veterinary Nurse – Head nurse at our Ware Road branch
Helen joined us in 1996. Following a short break to raise a family, we have welcomed her back on a part-time basis at our Ware and Ware road branches. Helen is experienced in all aspects of medical and surgical veterinary nursing. She has recently completed an in-depth anaesthesia course with the Royal Veterinary College, which is one of her particular interests.
At home, Helen has a gorgeous black labrador called Wilma, who you may see sometimes with her at work.
Qualified Veterinary Nurse
Mel started to work at our Hertford Fore Street branch in 2002 where she completed her Animal Nursing qualification. She transferred to our Hoe Lane branch in 2004 to complete her formal Veterinary Nursing training, and she qualified in 2007. Mel enjoys all aspects of veterinary nursing and has a particular depth of knowledge regarding the special care of exotic species. Mel also takes a special interest in the laboratory and microscopy component of veterinary nursing, and the role this plays in the diagnosis of various diseases.
Mel has recently been on maternity leave following the birth of her daughter, Ruby, but has returned to us on a part-time basis.
Mel owns a cat called Izzie, and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier called Harvey, who sometimes comes into work with her. She also has three ferrets who often accompany us on our school visits teaching children about the work we do caring for animals. Mel also regularly looks after abandoned or ill ducklings in the Spring, which she then releases onto her parents’ pond.
Qualified Veterinary Nurse
Carolyn joined us at Chestnuts whilst completing her formal placements in practice, during her foundation degree in Veterinary Nursing. Following qualifying and registering in 2009, we are pleased she has commenced a full-time position with us at our Hoe Lane branch. Carolyn has an enviable knowledge on the specific care of exotic patients, having owned a variety of such pets herself, from reptiles through to rats, degus, guinea pigs, rabbits and gerbils to name a few! She has also attended courses dealing specifically with the veterinary care of these species to expand her experience in this field and has recently been awarded her City and Guilds Certificate in Veterinary Nursing of Exotic species.
Carolyn also has a special interest in anaesthesia and the essential role our nurses play in the constant monitoring of surgical patients, and also is developing her knowledge base of the particular requirements of our cardiology patients.
At home, Carolyn also owns two very bouncy Labradors called Riley and Amber.
Qualified Veterinary Nurse CertVNECC
Jodie splits her time between our Ware Road and Hoe Lane surgeries. She was previously an Animal Nursing Assistant based at our Hertford Fore Street Surgery, where she gained her ANA qualification, achieving a well-earned distinction. Following this, she stayed with us to complete her formal veterinary nursing training, and qualified and registered as a Veterinary Nurse in 2010. Jodie is involved in all aspects of veterinary nursing but has a particular interest in the nursing care and rehabilitation of critically ill patients, and has recently been awarded a prestigious certificate in veterinary nursing emergency and critical care, following 18 months of home study, various assignments and a 3 hour written exam for which she had to travel to Scotland! She is also a clinical coach being part of our nurse training team. At home, Jodie has a lovely Ragdoll kitten called Crystal.
Qualified Veterinary Nurse
Chloe initially started her career at Chestnuts as a student veterinary nurse, spending some time training at college, and learning the practical techniques of veterinary nursing here with us. She took her final exams in 2013 and having now fully qualified, we are pleased to welcome her as a full-time member of our nursing team. Chloe plays an essential role running our obesity clinics. These are free-of-charge, one-to-one clinics where patients who struggle to shed some pounds can regularly meet with Chloe who will assess their nutritional needs and will work with patients and their owners to create and meet realistic and achievable weight loss targets.
Rosie has just finished her studies training to be a veterinary nurse, and now works full time here with us at Chestnuts. Having passed all of her exams, she is now just waiting for her registration with the RCVN to be completed. At home she is a keen horse-rider, and has a menagerie of pets ranging from dogs (a gorgeous but mischievous terrier) to a very energetic terrapin called Hedges! Hedges (or Terri, as the children may know him) regularly joins us on our trips to local schools and is fundamental in our workshops with children, teaching them about what we do at the vets and how to be compassionate towards animals. Rosie is developing an interest in the management of our patients with cardiac disease, and has recently attended a course in Leeds on the nursing of such patients.
Sarah joined the practice in February 2008. She was originally based at our Fore Street branch from where she qualified as an Animal Nursing Assistant in June 2009, achieving a distinction. Sarah has just finished her studies training to be a veterinary nurse, and now works full time here with us at Chestnuts. Having passed all of her exams, she is now just waiting for her registration with the RCVN to be completed and is now based full time at our Hoe Lane branch in Ware. Sarah has a lovely Border Terrier called Herbie. Sarah is very interested in the rehabilitation of patients and would like to increase her experience in physiotherapy and hydrotherapy.
Animal Nursing Assistant
Jan joined the practice in 2003 as a receptionist at our Hoe Lane branch. In 2007 she transferred to our Fore Street branch where she qualified, with distinction, as an Animal Nursing Assistant at the age of 54! She has two cats, Razzle and Tilda. Jan regularly cares for cats in their homes whilst their owners are on holiday.
Animal Nursing Assistant
Sue joined the practice in 2000. Based at our Fore Street branch she is a qualified Animal Nursing Assistant and qualified canine beautician. She owns a lovely 11 year old staffie called Maisie, and Belle a lovely welsh cob that she enjoys hacking and taking on sponsored rides.
Qualified Veterinary Nurse
Jane is a qualified Veterinary Nurse. She started working at our Fore Street branch in 1984 as a young girl fulfilling her dream of working with animals. Over the years she has built up a wealth of experience and is a familiar and friendly face for many of our longstanding clients. She also has a keen interest in weight clinics and is always willing to offer advice and tips on how to help our pets maintain a slim waist-line. She now works part-time as she has a young family.
Mrs Beckham, Red and Tango are her three lovely fluffy cats. She is a keen netball player and is also treasurer of Ware Riding Club, often commentating at their charitable events.
Jacqui started work at our practice 27 years ago and consequently has seen a huge variety of patients and their conditions over the years. She left work to raise two children, but returned to our Hoe Lane branch in 1994 as our Head Receptionist.
At home, Jacqui has a bearded collie called Joshua and a cat called Chloe, She has a particular soft spot for British Short-haired cats.
Jacqui joined our practice in 2003 and is in charge of our accounts department. She also plays a pivotal role liasing between our different departments. She shares her desk with Scooter, our resident cat who you may see over the counter in our Hoe Lane surgery! At home, Jacqui has a lovely cat called Bubbles.
Marie started working at Chestnuts in 2003 and enjoys seeing the variety of patients that we have coming into our clinic. She is the proud owner of Izzy, who is a very well behaved working Springer Spaniel you may see lying under our desk in reception when Marie is working!
Marie enjoys walking in the local countryside with Izzy, and in her spare time is a keen and talented skier.
Georgie joined our practice as a receptionist in 2000. She has a caring approach to all our patients, but has a special bond with greyhounds – actively supporting the Greyhound Trust in her spare time, by walking and helping with fundraising.
Leigh has been working at Chestnuts since 2002. As well as owning two cocker spaniels called Ted and Betty, she has a menagerie of pets at home including rabbits and guinea pigs. Leigh has a vast amount of experience in the husbandry and care of such pets and is always willing to advise and offer tips to our clients on the special care of these smaller patients! She spends much of her time out of work offering a home boarding service for rabbits and guinea pigs when their families are away on holiday.
Mo has been with our practice since 1999 and is heavily involved in processing and resolving problems relating to completion of insurance claims applications on behalf of our clients.
Julie joined us at our Hoe Lane branch in 2008. Not new to the field of medicine, Julie had previously had a very successful career as a ‘human’ nurse, before leaving work to have a family. She now enjoys combining working in a medical environment with day-to-day contact with animals as well!
Julie has three lovely cats at home called Harry, Tim and Wilf, and has a particular love of the ginger cats that come into the clinic!
Scooter is our adopted practice cat who lives with us at Hoe lane. She broke her back after falling from a flat window as a kitten and we gave her a home as we can look after her here.
Qualified Dog Beautician