Our team provides the veterinary and nursing experience and expertise that is needed to deliver an excellent service at an exceptional price.
We currently have four Certificate level surgeons, Jon, Andy, Matteo and Bart who manage an ever expanding caseload of orthopaedic, soft tissue and spinal surgery. They take a keen interest in new developments. They have authored and co-authored a number of publications including original ideas in peer reviewed journals and in the wider veterinary press.
Lorna and Emma, our ophthalmologists, welcome a wide range of surgical and medical ophthalmology cases.
Mayra sees a wide range of medical cases. She is an accomplished ultrasonographer.
Our thirteen nurses are all qualified and registered veterinary nurses (RVNs), and they are all very experienced. Several of our nurses have worked at other nationally renowned referral centres before joining us. We have nurses with advanced nursing diplomas, and others have further qualifications in fields including emergency and critical care, physiotherapy and anaesthesia.
Our reception and administration team are seven strong and organise appointments, assist clients with insurance claims and organise our mobile referral work.
Andy Whittingham BVSc MRCVS Cert SAS
Andy qualified from the University of Liverpool in 1992. He gained the RCVS Certificate in Small Animal Surgery in 1999 and RCVS Advanced practitioner status in 2015. Andy has been a small animal referral surgeon since 2000 and from 2004 he developed a highly successful mobile surgical referral business in the Midlands. Andy founded West Midlands Referrals in 2011 with Jon, and his mobile surgical business was absorbed into WMRs. He leads our hip replacements. Andy has a young family, and is a keen sportsman.
Jon Mills MA VetMB MRCVS Cert SAS
Jon qualified from the University of Cambridge in 1991. He gained the RCVS Certificate in Small Animal Surgery in 2000 and RCVS Advanced practitioner status in 2015. Jon was employed with PDSA until 2004 and has been employed as a small animal referral surgeon since then. Jon founded West Midlands Referrals with Andy in 2011. Jon is married with one son, and enjoys adventure sports. He recently gained a private pilot’s licence.
Matteo Armato DMV MRCVS
Matteo joined WMR in May 2015. He qualified as a Vet in Italy and worked as a lead surgeon at a Veterinary School in Spain. He has been in the UK for several years working as the lead surgeon for a large group of practices in the Midlands. He is currently working for his Certificate in small animal surgery. Matteo has a young family and he is also a great cook!
Bart Hendrixx DVM MRCVS CertSAS
Bart joined WMR in December 2017. He qualified as a Vet in Belgium in 1994 at the University of Ghent and worked as the lead surgeon at a large practice in Stoke. He has been in the UK for pretty much his whole career, recently working as the lead surgeon for a large practice in Stoke. He gained his Certificate in small animal surgery in 2004. Bart likes cycling, but he has a young family and this takes up most of his spare time!
Lorna Newman BVM&S MRCVS CertVOphthal
Lorna qualified from Edinburgh University. She worked in small animal practices in London before training in ophthalmology at the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket and gaining the RCVS Certificate in Ophthalmology in 1992. She is currently enrolled to sit the British Diploma. She has worked in dedicated ophthalmology referral practices since 1993 and has wide experience in diagnosis, treatment and surgery of eye problems. Lorna has been a member of the BVA’s Eye Panel for more than 15 years and she has carried out eye testing at many dog shows and abroad. She gained RCVS Advanced practitioner status in 2015. Lorna has three children, one dog, three cats and a horse!
Emma Hayton-Lee BVSc MRCVS CertVOphthal
Emma qualified from Liverpool Vet School in 1991. She initially worked in small animal and mixed practice during which time she gained the RCVS certificate in veterinary ophthalmology and now is also an RCVS advanced practitioner in veterinary ophthalmology. Since 2000 she has worked in a dedicated ophthalmology referral practice and joined the ophthalmology team at West Midland Referrals in 2017. Emma is particularly interested in ophthalmology as an indicator of systemic disease and enjoys both extra and intra ocular surgery. She is married with 2 daughters and has numerous large and small animals at home. Her hobbies include competing at British Eventing.
Roger Wilkinson MA VetMB MRCVS CertVD CertSAM PgC(cardiology)
Roger used to do regular medical, dermatological, cardiology and ultrasonography referrals with us; he has stepped back from this because of travelling issues from his home, but we may still see him for the odd guest appearance!
Roger qualified from Cambridge University in 1991. Roger holds the RCVS Certificates in Dermatology and Medicine, the International Veterinary Ultrasound Society (IVUS) certificate and the PgC in Cardiology. From 2000 – 2014 he was a partner in a large small animal hospital in Yorkshire where he took medical and dermatological referrals. Roger founded a mobile medical support service for general practices in 2015. He has published a wide range of articles in Veterinary Times and he has been a speaker at BSAVA Congress, BSAVA regional meetings, the British Veterinary Zoological Society, the Veterinary Cardiovascular Society and the Nationwide Labs CPD program. Roger gained RCVS Advanced practitioner status in 2015. He has two teenage sons. He enjoys running and is a keen naturalist and bird-watcher.
Mayra Andrade Marina DVM GPCert(SAM) MRCVS
Mayra graduated in Spain in 2002. She gained the General Practitioner Certificate in Small Animal Medicine (GPCertSAM) from The European School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies (ESVPS) in 2011. She worked in small animal practice and then as a principal internal medicine consultant at a Spanish Veterinary School. She moved to the Midlands in 2012 to work in a very busy first opinion practice in Coventry. She joined our medical and scanning sub-team in 2017. She is married and has two little boys, two dogs and two cats. She likes dancing, crafting and walking her dogs.
Nuno Neves DVM MRCVS CertAVP
Like Roger, Nuno is also based around Leeds and travelling became an issue. We may still see him in the future for the odd guest appearance!
He graduated in Portugal in 2007. He completed the RCVS Certificate of Advanced Veterinary Practitioner in 2017 (RCVS CertAVP) and is currently working towards obtaining the specific designation of Certificate in Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging (RCVS CertVDI). He has worked in several first opinion practices both in the UK and in Portugal before joining the WMR team. He has always had a particular interest in complex medical cases and diagnostic imaging, especially ultrasonography. In his spare time, he enjoys keeping active, running, trekking, cycling and diving.
Iole Giannitrapani DVM MRCVS
Iole (pronounced “Yola”) graduated with honours from Bologna University in 2004. She has worked in the UK (since 2007) and Italy in first opinion and referral practice with particular responsibility for ultrasonography, echocardiography and cardiology but also for overall management of complex medical cases as a hospital team leader. She has also run her own freelance ultrasonography service in Rome for several years. Currently she is in the final stages of completing a PgC in cardiology. In her spare time she is involved in whale and dolphin dramas with British Divers Marine Life Rescue, and she enjoys rock climbing and walking her dog.
Ann and Elicia, the Head Nurse and Deputy Head Nurse
Ann and Elicia head up the nursing team. Ann worked as a nurse in the Midlands in small animal practice for many years before joining WMRs at our inauguration in Summer 2011. She brought a wealth of patient care and hospital management experience. She is the proud mum of lovely twins and has three Labradors, “Russ”, “Abby” and “Nancy”.
Elicia is the Deputy Head Nurse and although she is one of the youngest nurses in our practice, she is mature beyond her tender years!!
Jo, Penny, Janine, Sarah M, Sarah I and Laura, the reception and administration team
Jo is in charge of the reception and administration team: Penny (Jo’s deputy), Jane, Sarah I, Sarah M and Laura. These will likely be the ladies that you first speak to when you phone in during normal working hours.
The nursing team
Ann and Elicia head a team of twelve experienced veterinary nurses. All of our nurses are qualified and “registered” with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (“Registered Veterinary Nurses”, RVNs). They are Leanne, Kerry W, Kerry R, Gemma, Sophie, Felicity, Laura, Amber, Jade and Aimee. Leanne holds the veterinary nursing Certificate in Emergency and Critical Care. Kerry R holds the Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing (Surgical), and Felicity has her sights set on it! Gemma and Leanne W recently completed an advanced anaesthesia modular course, and Elicia is currently enrolled on this too.
Susan, our ever cheerful cleaner, joined us mid 2013 and is always a ray of sunshine at the end of long hard day! Crazy but true fact: This unbelievably tough lady carried on coming to work for a week with a broken leg before telling anyone. Her leg fracture needed metalwork putting in to fix it!
Visitors, students and prep-room volunteers
We periodically have vet / nurse students on placements to learn more about surgery, or qualified veterinary surgeons who often come to see specific procedures. You may sometimes see them standing in on consultations, and they often scrub into operations to observe and to assist. We have had students on long term placements from Denmark, Spain, Portugal and Poland and the language skills of these youngsters never ceases to amaze us.
The occasional hydrotherapist and physiotherapist comes along to see particular surgeries for interest. They may come into theatre to observe but they don’t scrub in.
We have also occasionally had part time volunteers thinking about pursuing a career in animal care or nursing. They spend time with us in the prep-room and kennels, always under the direct supervision of the RVNs. They can be really useful as “spare hands” for the nurses, helping to hold patients, helping in kennels and helping with the preparation of surgical kits. In return, they get to work alongside experienced and skilled nurses and the nurses enjoy mentoring them!
Adam comes in regularly at present and is becoming very useful!