Meet the Team - Nurses

Jessica Hewitt profile



Jessica Hewitt - Head Nurse


Jess joined the team in November 2011 as a Nursing Assistant and really enjoyed the challenge of learning about animal medicine, and getting to work with a range of domestic species. She graduated from Wiltshire College, Lackham in 2010 with a BSc in Animal Science and Management. Her experience previously includes working as a volunteer for Greater Vancouver Zoo in Canada which allowed her to shadow all the keepers. This experience opened her eyes to the various job opportunities open to a Veterinary Nurse. Jess qualified and became Registered Veterinary Nurse in 2014 and became our Head Nurse in 2017.

Jess loves socialising and enjoys a good film at the cinema.


Kirstie Sherman at The George Veterinary Hospital  

Kirstie Sherman - Deputy Head Nurse


Kirstie qualified as a veterinary nurse in 1999 and spent five years post qualification working at a large mixed practice in Wiltshire. It's there that she developed an interest in surgical nursing, anaesthesia and analgesia. In 2004, Kirstie took a position within a multi-disciplinary referral only centre where she became Head Surgical Nurse and overall Deputy Head Nurse progressing to attain the RCVS Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing (Surgical) in 2006.

Kirstie then returned as Head Veterinary Nurse to the practice where she was first a student nurse. She has gained the A1 assessors certificate, the City and Guilds Licentiateship of Veterinary nursing and is a clinical coach. In 2008, Kirstie was elected onto BVNA Council and in October 2013, was ratified as BVNA President for the 2013/14 term and Senior Vice-President for 2014/15.

In her spare time, Kirstie is an avid Newcastle United football fan and endeavours to go to as many matches as she can! She also loves spending time with Geordie, Shearer and Kfor her lovely moggies! Particular interests are surgical nursing and inpatient care.


Catherine allen


Cat Francis - Deputy Head Nurse

Cat qualified as a veterinary nurse back in 2010 as part of The George team and, having worked elsewhere since, she returned to us in Spring 2015. Her particular interests are emergency, critical and in-patient care and so she was the perfect choice when we took the decision to appoint a dedicated night nurse to lighten the out of hours rota for the rest of the nursing team. In November 2016 Cat returned to working days with occasional cover on the out of hours rota.  

Cat owns a rottweiler cross labrador "Rocky" who enjoys flyball; she also has two young cats who enjoy acting like hooligans! Outside of work Cat takes an interest in finess and nutrition.



Karen Newton


Karen Newton - RVN

Karen arrived at the George in 2002 as a student nurse. Having started her nurse training at a practice in South Wales she completed it here and qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 2006.She has always had lots of pets including ponies, dogs, cats, rabbits, rodents and chickens. Always wanting a career with animals, Karen completed a BTEC National Diploma in animal care in 1995-1996. She owns two Corgis and attends shows and agility classes. 





Amy Busson  

Amy Busson - RVN BSc Hons

Amy joined the George in July 2009 after graduating from Bristol University with a degree in veterinary nursing. Whilst at university, Amy spent 3 years working at Langford Veterinary School and Hospital working alongside the Veterinary students. She enjoys all aspects of nursing, especially emergency and critical care. She holds a particular interest in animal behaviour and runs desensitisation clinics here to assist dogs that are scared, or even aggressive, at the vets in overcoming their fear and to feel more comfortable on visits here. Amy has also completed a Clinical Coaching course and has responsibilty for coaching one of our student veterinary nurses within the practice.

 When she's not working, you'll find Amy being kept busy by her Springer Spaniel "Mia". She trains Mia in flyball and they compete with a local team in competitions throughout the South West.


Gemma Macpherson



Gemma Macpherson - RVN

Having studied at Oaklands College in Hertfordshire Gemma qualified in April 2015 and joined us in June, the same year. Previously, Gemma had been a dental nurse and her interest in oral health has now transfered to pet healthcare. She is also interested in developing her knowledge on canine and feline behaviour.

She has two cats; Scraggles (who she adopted as a stray) and Mimi. 

Alice Bradbury - The George Veterinary Hospital  

Alice Bradbury - SVN

Alice joined The George Veterinary Hospital in January 2013 as a Veterinary Care Assistant having gained an Extended Diploma in Animal Management from Wiltshire College, Lackham. She is now undertaking her veterinary nurse training at college as a Student Veterinary Nurse. She most enjoys helping animals in need and working in a great team of nurses.

In her spare time, Alice enjoys helping out on the stud farm where she grew up.



Alex Whittingham



Alex Whittingham - Student Veterinary Nurse

As the owner of 2 rabbits, 2 Bengals (not tigers) and a hamster Alex is clearly passionate about pets, and when you meet her you can tell she enjoys her role in the team. Alex studied Animal Management at Wiltshire college, Lackham and after spending time volunteering at various animal shelters and organisations decided that she wanted to become a nurse.

Her particular interests lie in using pets as a form of human therapy as well as animal hydrotherapy. The interest in water extends to her hobbies; Alex loves anything nautical, and spends a lot of time down in Devon out on the boats.  


Student Vet Nurse at The George Vet Hospital  

Alex Theobald - Student Veterinary Nurse

Alex joined us in August 2014. She has always had an interest in animals with an ambition to work within the veterinary profession. During studies at Cirencester College for her Diploma in Animal Management Alex volunteered at various kennels and veterinary practices to gain some hands on experience. It's now her ambition to become a qualified Veterinary Nurse.

Alex owns a tabby cat called "Eva" but loves all domestic animals.  Outside work she likes setting challenges for herself. Having achieved her black belt in Judo she now enjoys fitness and running.


Sophie Cooper profile



Sophie Cooper - Student Veterinary Nurse

Sophie joined The George in 2014 and is currently undertaking a Canine Behaviourist Practitioner Diploma in her spare time. Sophie's previous experience was working as a Veterinary Receptionist and, prior to that, at a local pet services enterprise.

She graduated from Reading University with a BSc Zoology (Hons) and gained some invaluable experience after at Durrell Conservation in Jersey, one of the world's leading conservation organisations. However, it was her ambition to work within animal welfare and companion animal care which has very much influenced her career path since. Sophie is a fan of Schnauzers, with two of her own.




Annabel Purves - Veterinary Care Assistant

Annabel joined us at The George in November 2016 having recently completed an Extended Diploma in Equine Management at Hartpury College. She hopes in future to progress to training as a Veterinary Nurse when an opportunity becomes available. She's always been keen to work with animals and enjoys the fast paced environment at the George. Annabel has a real passion for animals having been brought up with a wide variety of them. In her spare time she enjoys riding her Dartmoor hill pony 'Bean' that she has recently broken in as well as clay pigeon shooting when she gets the opportunity. 

Ellie - VCA at The George







Ellie McGeoch - Veterinary Care Assistant

Ellie completed a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Animal Management at Hartpury College in 2014 and from a young age has always wanted to work with animals and progress onto being a veterinary nurse. She has competed at flyball for a number of years and loves being around dogs. She currently has 2 labradors, a cocker spaniel and a lurcher puppy named Poppy. In any spare time Ellie enjoys walking. 



 Nominations for the Veterinary Oscars are underway! If you'd like to nominate one of our team then please click on the link