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Meet the team

The staff at Christchurch Veterinary Surgery

Directors

Charlotte Morrison
RVN

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Charlotte is the practice manager and a director at Christchurch Street after acquiring the practice with husband Shane in 2001.

She is a registered veterinary nurse, but as the business grew over the years, her role evolved from the nursing side to practice management.

Now, Charlotte works closely with all the teams at Christchurch Street and the Tuddenham Road Christchurch Referral Centre, ensuring everything runs smoothly and that you and your pets get the best possible 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.

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.

Vets

Tracy Smith

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Tracy qualified from Glasgow University in 1993 and worked in mixed practice in Scotland before concentrating on small animals. She moved to Ipswich in 2010 and has been at Christchurch Street ever since.

Last year, she and her partner adopted a dog from the Blue Cross, a gorgeous boy who has taken over their lives - and the sofa!

Liz Jones

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Liz has worked mainly in small animal practice since 2005 when she qualified as a vet from Cambridge. She joined the Christchurch Street vets team in 2016 and has always enjoyed the variety of work. She is currently studying for advanced practitioner status specialising in internal medicine.

At home, there is working cocker spaniel, Beau, who keeps everyone on their toes.

Veterinary nurses

Gemma Grimley
Head Veterinary Nurse

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Gemma qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 2021 after completing a Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing before joining the team in March 2022.

She is a keen gardener, with a 40-foot veggie patch at home (which she needs to keep safe from her black Labrador, Cole!). She also has two tabby cats and a grumpy tortoise to keep her busy.

Emma Knights
RVN

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Emma has been nursing for 16 years, qualifying 13 years ago. She began at a Suffolk training practice, doing college and on-the-job training, staying for a further six years after qualification.

Next, Emma joined an out-of-hours emergency service, working nights for a year before arriving at Christchurch Street. She has a shy ginger tabby cat, whom she rescued from her first practice, and a cheeky fox red Labrador called Watson.

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.

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.

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.

Alethea Keen
RVN

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Alethea joined the practice after qualifying as a Registered Veterinary Nurse in 2013. She has since gained a BSAVA Veterinary Nurse Merit Award in Surgical Nursing. Her role involves assisting the surgeons in theatre and with in-patient care.

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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After graduating with a BSc Hons degree in Veterinary Nursing in 2016 at Middlesex University, Heidi joined the Christchurch Street practice. She enjoys working with exotic species, and once worked at a practice that treated those and large animals from farms and a zoo.

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.

Outside of work, she is kept busy with 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. She loves that every day of the job is different.

Known as the crazy rabbit lady, Rachel has two rescue bunnies of her own, and adores anything rabbit related.

Charlie Harrup
RVN

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A qualified veterinary nurse who gained a BSc Hons degree in animal science at Writtle College in Essex. Charlie joined Medivet training college to gain the veterinary nursing qualification after the degree.

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 and manages the reception team. She has a real empathy with owners and their pets – at home, she has five Chihuahuas of her own.

Bev Wooltorton
Lead Receptionist

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After working as a receptionist for most of her working life, Bev has settled with us at Christchurch and works as a receptionist at both the first opinion practice and Referrals. She enjoys building a relationship with customers and their pets. She enjoys her three granddaughters and gardening.

Donna Ainsworth

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Donna is also a long-serving member of the team, having joined in 2004, working at Christchurch Street and the Referrals centre. She has a Staffie called Rio and enjoys country walks and spending time with her grandchildren.

Mary Kemp

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Mary works in Christchurch Street and enjoys building a rapport with customers and their animals (customers also appreciate the continuity offered by the team). She has a beautiful German Shepherd called Millie, rescued from South Wales, and Mary enjoys League Tenpin Bowling, gardening, long walks and looking after her two grandchildren.

Julie Eley

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Julie joined the practice in 2005 as a receptionist. It’s all go at home with three dogs, a rabbit, an African grey parrot and budgies. And she has an interest in keeping tropical fish. Spare time involves looking after her granddaughter and walking the dogs.

Ward assistants

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.