Dubbed the ‘Oscars of the Veterinary World’, the 2006 Petplan Veterinary Awards took place at the CBSO Hall, Birmingham on Thursday, 20th April. The winners of the prestigious 2006 awards were announced by the evening’s host and popular presenter of Channel 4’s Pet Rescue, Wendy Turner-Webster.
Petplan, the UK’s number one pet insurance provider, received a record amount of nominations from around the country across all of the categories: Veterinary Nurse of the Year, Vet of the Year, Receptionist of the Year, Practice of the Year and the People’s Choice Award.
Sharon Lum of Medivet Veterinary Parternship, Witney, Oxfordshire was presented with the first ever ‘People’s Choice Award’.
It was Sharon’s amazing dedication to her job, in spite of her own personal tragedies, that made her the only choice for the accolade, which was to be awarded to a veterinary professional who made a real and significant difference to the lives of his/her clients.
Mrs Debbie King, who nominated Sharon for the award, said; “She is an amazing young woman with strength beyond her years. When Sharon was going through her nursing training, her husband was diagnosed with bowel cancer.
In the latter stages of his illness, she would often be looking after him throughout the day and night. Even though it was the most upsetting and traumatic time in her life, she still managed to get into work most days and look after the animals - always with a smile. I am registered disabled and suffer from nervous problems and panic attacks, so struggle to get into the practice without the help of others. During the time of her husband’s debilitating condition, Sharon still took the time to get up early and travel to my home, over 30 minutes away, and take my beloved Yorkshire Terrier, Chaz, to see the vet.”0..
Craig Reilly of Cedarmount Veterinary Clinic, Bangor walked away with the title of ‘Vet of the Year’ because of his remarkable clinical excellence and commitment to his clients and colleagues. One client said; “Craig has a love for his profession which is apparent by the level of service and care he has given me and my pets over the past 20 years.”
Kimberley Forshaw of Mildmay Veterinary Centre, Basingstoke was awarded ‘Vet Nurse of the Year’ after being nominated by her colleagues who think of her as an invaluable asset to the surgery. Her colleague, Cheryl Beddows, said, “Kim is not only a brilliant nurse, but she keeps everyone’s spirits high. She remembers everyone’s birthday and always bakes cakes for her colleagues. Because of Kim’s constant cheerful nature and complete dedication to her job, she motivates everyone else to be their best.”
Blacks Veterinary Group (formerly Black & Partners), Dudley, won the accolade of ‘Practice of the Year’. After starting up in 1958 with one surgery, the group now has five in the Dudley area and aim to have hospital status by the end of the year. The practice has a 24-hour nursing service and a District Nurse Service which handles wound management cases that would normally be hospitalised, or require daily visits to the surgery. This service is especially appreciated by older clients with restricted mobility.
Kerry Gardham of We Care Veterinary Surgery, Brough was named ‘Vet Receptionist of the Year’. In 2002, Kerry was involved in a serious car accident, resulting in her taking nearly a year off work. Kerry was nominated by her clients as they feel that she has shown remarkable courage and commitment to the surgery, her colleagues and clients. One of the clients who nominated Kerry said, “Kerry is fantastic with animals. Even the most aggressive animals warm to her whilst they are being examined. Everything she attends to is done with care.”
Fiona Pinkney, Communications Manager of Petplan, comments, “The Petplan Veterinary Awards has grown from strength to strength each year and the nominations we received for 2006 have been of the highest calibre. All of the winners have shown so much commitment to their clients and colleagues. The overall professionalism of the veterinary industry in each category is evident. We think all the winners thoroughly deserve this honour and congratulate them all.”
For every nomination received, Petplan donated £1 to the charity, Petsavers.