Petplan, the UK’s largest pet insurance provider, has announced the winners of the Petplan Veterinary Awards.

The awards recognise and celebrate staff and practices throughout the country that have delivered an exceptional level of care, going above and beyond the call of duty in keeping pets healthy and owners happy.

There were 12,000 nominations for this year’s awards, held in association with Veterinary Times and VN Times, and the winners were announced at a gala awards evening in Birmingham last night.

The winners for each category were:

Practice of the Year: The Vets’ Place, Cheshire

Wendy and Michael Hough set up their practice, The Vets’ Place, from scratch in 2009. Since then, the practice has grown from strength to strength. As a small practice, it has plenty of opportunity to really get to know individual clients and their pets, and has built strong relationships its customers value. The Vets’ Place is a shining example of the exceptional service a practice can deliver.

Vet of the Year: Hector Low – Old Mill Veterinary Practice, Isle of Lewis

What really stood out for the independent panel of judges was Hector’s dedication to the profession and how he moved his practice to a new premises so it could offer better facilities and a wider range of services for animals and owners alike. He always has his clients and their pets at the forefront of all his decisions, and is truly passionate about his role within the profession.

Vet Nurse of the Year: Tina Wright – Warbreck House Veterinary Centre, Merseyside

Tina is particularly responsible for setting up an ear care club for animals at the centre that suffer from recurrent ear problems, which she has put her heart and soul into over the past year. She also tutors student veterinary nurses and runs puppy socialisation classes, which have proved hugely popular among clients.

Tina is a shining example of how vital the role of the vet nurse is when delivering outstanding service to clients and their pets. She is enthusiastic, passionate and always puts her clients’ needs first.

Practice Manager of the Year: Sharon Lane-Kieltyka – Shepton Veterinary Group, Somerset

Sharon is a people person through and through, which feeds the passion she has for a role that extends beyond the care of clients and their pets. She has overseen a large-scale building project that saw the practice double in size and has been a key driver in the recent rebranding of the practice, highlighting not only her steadfast can-do attitude, but also her ability to drive change in the interest of her clients.

Her enthusiasm for the industry is something to be admired.

Practice Support Staff of the Year: Henrietta Fidler – Beech House Veterinary Centre, Surrey

Henrietta is somebody who loves her role within the veterinary profession, thriving on the interaction she has between both the clients and animals. She has nurtured and developed strong and solid client relationships, as well as good working relationships with her colleagues.

If there is anything the veterinary awards highlight, it is that teamwork is a vital part of the job, and Henrietta is proof of that.

Other awards from the event were:

  • The Petplan Charitable Trust Scientific Award, won by Jo Murrell, senior lecturer at Bristol vet school
  • The PetSavers Veterinary Achievement Award, which went to Wolfgang Dohne
  • Petplan Insurance Advisor of the Year, awarded to Charlotte Futter from Medivet Wheatley

Petplan’s acting head of marketing Suzanne Cheadle said the high number of nominations for the awards demonstrated the appetite from both staff and clients for celebrating exceptional work.

“We had a wonderful selection of first class finalists and I’d like to congratulate all the winners, who thoroughly deserve their awards,” she said. 

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