I cannot thank enough every single person from Cave for the love, kindness, professionalism and thoughtfulness they have showed me and my rescue dogs over the years, it has made a crucial difference.

Debbie Lock
Veterinary Nurses

The Team

Veterinary Nurses

  •  Stuart Ford-Fennah - Clinical Manager

    Stuart Ford-Fennah - Clinical Manager


    Stuart is our hospital's Clinical Manager.  He graduated from the University of Bristol with an Honors Degree in Veterinary Nursing and Practice Administration and is currently studying towards achieving his Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA).  Stuart currently sits on the Editorial Board for the Veterinary Nursing Journal (VNJ) and been involved in writing nursing care chapters for leading Core Veterinary nursing text books.  He has also taught anaesthesia and medical nursing to NVQ Level 3 Veterinary Nursing students and been a tutor for a number of years for the Nurses BSAVA Merit award for nurses in Medicine.  Stuart has strong values in veterinary nurses using  their underpinning knowledge and ‘basic skills’ as these are vital to use alongside the high-tech equipment used in modern-day veterinary referral nursing.  He believes passionately that offering both exceptional veterinary nursing care and treating patients as individuals are essential in achieving their treatment goals.  His main clinical interests include Anaesthesia and Diagnostic imaging

    Away from work Stuart enjoys walking his dog Hobbie, taking part in numerous outdoor activities including mountain biking, power kiting and spending time with his wife, son and daughter. 

  •  Josie Collins - Head Nurse

    Josie Collins - Head Nurse


    Josie is our Head Nurse and manages the nursing team. Josie qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 2006 and completed her Certificate of Veterinary Nursing in Emergency and Critical Care (Cert VN ECC) in 2015.

    During her time in veterinary practice, Josie has worked with predominately small animals, but has also worked with both equine and large animals. In 2008, Josie completed a City & Guilds Dog Grooming qualification at Kingston Maurwood College. She also enjoys physiotherapy and has attended many practical and theory lessons to improve her skills and knowledge. Josie enjoys all aspects of nursing, but has a particular interest in Medical nursing and Oncology. Josie has worked with Tom Cave since 2008.

    At home, Josie owns a little Jack Russell called Cooper and a Jack Russell x Chihuahua called DB . Josie owns a horse called Binky and enjoys riding and competing in many spheres. Away from work Josie enjoys going to the gym and crossfit.

  • Emma Bennett - Deputy Head Nurse

    Emma Bennett - Deputy Head Nurse


    Emma is our Deputy Head Nurse and helps Josie manage the nursing team.  Emma qualified as a Veterinary Nurse at Farnborough college, Surrey in 2002 and has completed her Certificate of Veterinary Nursing in Emergency and Critical Care (Cert VN ECC). Emma has worked in small animal and mixed Veterinary practices around Surrey and Devon since 1999, obtaining experience in all aspects of nursing, and more recently training student nurses. Emma enjoys all aspects of nursing, but has a particular interest in Medical nursing and Oncology.

    Most of Emma's spare time is spent with her own animals, 2 rescue cats and 2 Hungarian Vizsla's. Emma enjoys dog walking and gundog training and has a particular interest in canine behaviour.  Emma has also enjoyed assisting in animal charities abroad where she has been involved in neutering stray cats and dogs, and teaching the local people animal husbandry in Thailand. Emma has also been out to a wild animal orphanage in Zimbabwe to assist with their work.

  • Debbie Howe - Senior Surgical Nurse

    Debbie Howe - Senior Surgical Nurse

    RVN CertDent GradDipVN A1

    Debbie qualified as a vet nurse in 2005 and went on to gain her A1 assessor qualification as well as her certificate in dentistry in 2007. She was heavily involved with the training of student nurses in practice and also helped run an in-house training scheme.  In 2012 she completed the RVC Graduate Diploma in Veterinary Nursing. She enjoys all aspects of veterinary nursing, but has a particular interest in surgical nursing closely followed by anaesthesia. Debbie first started off her career working as a kennel hand in Hampshire before training as a Veterinary Nurse and whilst being lead nurse at her previous practice she then decided to persue a career in referral nursing.

    Debbie is often found raising money for various charities, she is a member of the worldwide veterinary services and has done several neutering trips abroad, travelling to places from Portugal to Botswana to help local charities. Fundraising has also seen her doing various charity runs and even skydiving.

    Debbie has a particular interest in getting out into the countryside and enjoying the fresh air, mainly through walking or running with her friends. Whilst Debbie is not at work, she enjoys keeping fit, horseriding and travelling.


  • Amy Gardiner - Senior Medicine Nurse

    Amy Gardiner - Senior Medicine Nurse

    RVN Cert (Anaesth)

    Amy started out as a 16 year old Saturday girl at a mixed practice working with both small and large animals and it was here that she completed her training to become a Veterinary Nurse. She joined Cave Veterinary Specialists in 2013 in order to broaden and improve her nursing skills within the specialised fields of a referral practice. She particularly enjoys anaesthesia and challenging medicine cases. Amy has a Certificate in Anaesthesia. Amy is currently training to be a Veterinary Nurse OSCES examiner.

    Amy participates in a lot of sport and plays for Yeovil & Sherborne Hockey Club. She is also renovating a cottage with her husband and attends various Young Farmer functions, being a former member. She has three black Labradors, Sidney, Percy and Shamrock.

  • Bryony Gilder -  Senior Neurology Nurse

    Bryony Gilder - Senior Neurology Nurse

    BSc(Hons)RVN PGCert Small Animal Rehabilitation Therapy PGCert Oncology Nursing

    Bryony has been working in veterinary practice since 2006 and completed a BSc (Hons) degree in Veterinary Nursing Science from the University of the West of England in 2010. She then moved from Gloucestershire to Devon to compete her training in a mixed veterinary hospital and qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in September 2011.  Bryony started at Cave Veterinary Specialists in 2012 and enjoys many aspects involved with veterinary nursing, but her main interests are neurology and rehabilitation.  In 2014 Bryony completed a PGCert in Small Animal Rehabilitation at the University of Nottingham, and in 2016 completed a PGCert in Veterinary Oncology Nursing at Harper Adams University.

    Outside of work, Bryony enjoys exploring the Devon and Somerset countryside with her lively Springer Spaniel, Monty. She also enjoys agility and hopes to start competing with Monty.


  • Anna Sherriff - Senior Ward Nurse

    Anna Sherriff - Senior Ward Nurse

    BSc(Hons) RVN

    Anna completed her BSc Hons in Veterinary Nursing and Practice Management in September 2013. Following time travelling the world and working at Willows Referral Hospital in Solihull she seeked the country life and relocated to Somerset. Anna enjoys working as part of a team and enjoys the varied nursing at Cave Veterinary Specialists treating both the pre and post treatment patient. She especially enjoys radiology.

    In Anna’s spare time she loves being in the great outdoors, walking, camping and socialising with her friends.

  • Amy Robertson

    Amy Robertson


    Amy qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in October 2009 from a small animal practice in Winchester, Hampshire. Amy lives with her husband, two dogs Milo and Skye and ferrets.  Amy's professional interests are imaging including Radiography and CT as well as Surgery and Anaesthesia. 

    In her spare time, Amy enjoys socialising with friends, walking and going away with her family in her VW camper.

  • Gemma Burrough

    Gemma Burrough

    BSc(Hons) RVN

    Gemma qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in June 2010 from the University of Bristol with a degree in Veterinary Nursing and Practice Administration. She lives on a dairy farm on the Blackdown Hills and outside of work her interests include being an active member of Young Farmers Club, cycling, cooking and socialising with friends. Gemma enjoys all aspects of veterinary nursing but has a special interest in medical nursing.

  • Louise Cobham

    Louise Cobham


    Louise has worked as a Veterinary Nurse in a small animal practice in South-East London for 6 years and qualified in July 2008 from Hadlow College in Kent. Her professional interests are surgical nursing and anaesthesia.

    Louise has swapped Greenwich Park for the Blackdown Hills, where she enjoys walking her Labrador, Barney. She also has a rescue cat and tortoise to entertain at home.

    Louise is a trained Marine Medic and in 2009 spent two months working at the Highlands Hospital near John O'Groats for the charity BDMLR.

  • Joanna Christoffersen  (currently on maternity leave)

    Joanna Christoffersen (currently on maternity leave)

    RVN FdSc

    Joanna comes to us with great experience having worked previously in a range of small and mixed animal practices as well as Langford Veterinary Services in Bristol. Jo was keen to continue working for a referral practice and loves the one to one care of the patients that we can offer her.  Out of work Jo enjoys walking with her husband and dog Tye and looking after her 'menagerie' at home which includes her dog, two cats, four rabbits, two guinea pigs, two gerbils, a tortoise and a steady flow of foster animals while they're awaiting a new permanent home.

  • LeighAnne Beart

    LeighAnne Beart


    Leighanne trained in a mixed general practice in West Somerset, training initially through the Duchy College and then Bicton college. She qualified in October 2009 and immediately travelled to India to volunteer for the International Animal Rescue at their centre in Goa amongst other places. She has also volunteered for veterinary projects in Botswana and Sri Lanka. Upon returning to the UK, Leighanne worked as locum around the South West until June 2012, when she joined our team. Leigh Anne is studying for diploma in Animal Physiotherapy and she loves spending time with patients when they are in the hospital wards.   Outside of work Leighanne loves to be outdoors, preferably hiking on Exmoor or away with her partner in their VW camper. She also enjoys climbing and being with her handsome rescue lurcher Morris.

  • Kate Edgecock

    Kate Edgecock


    Kate qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 2001 at Bicton College of Agriculture, in Budleigh Salterton. She remained in practice until2005, reaching the role of “Senior Nurse”. She spent a few months in New Zealand, and worked at a city practice in Auckland during her stay.

    Kate left nursing to complete a BTEC National Diploma in Beauty Therapy Sciences. During her training she worked at a top salon in Taunton, and after qualifying as a therapist, she continued to work there until 2010. She returned to nursing at Companion Care Taunton, then decided to enter the world of locuming, working in Shepton Mallet, Tiverton and Rowe Veterinary Hospital in Bradley Stoke. It was a locum post which brought her to Cave Veterinary Specialists.

    Kate still keeps her hand in the therapy world, by running a sugaring (hair removal)/beauty business from her home in Taunton. She loves cats, and has 3 of her own. Her professional interests include surgical nursing and wound management.

  • Amanda Boswell

    Amanda Boswell

    BSc(Hons) Dip VN, RVN

    Amanda has worked in various veterinary settings from 'First Opinion' to Tier 3 Hospitals, and small animal as well as mixed practices. She has chosen to work here with us in order to develop and broaden her nursing skills within a Referral practice.  Amanda has a particular interest in surgical nursing and the care of intensive care patients. In her spare time, she loves being outside especially walking or running with Bailey, her working Cocker Spaniel.  She also loves paddle boarding, skiing and plays hockey for Exe Hockey Club. Amanda visits her parents, who look after her retired event horse and two miniature Shetland ponies, as much as she is able.

  • Helen Bye

    Helen Bye

    BSc(Hons) RVN

    Helen qualified in 2006 from the University of Bristol with a degree in Veterinary Nursing and Practice Administration. Since qualifying she has gained qualifications in Veterinary Nurse Training as an Assessor and Internal Verifier.  

    Helen has worked in range of First Opinion practices in the South West, London and Dubai, UAE. Having had a career break for three years to raise her two young children she has returned to work and is looking forward to working in referral practice.  Helen particularly enjoys the diagnostic work up of patients whether it be surgical or medical, she is looking forward to providing the best possible care to patients.

  • Amanda Sams

    Amanda Sams


    Before joining our team, Amanda worked in a variety of small animal practices in Somerset.  She enjoys a range of referral work but has a particular interest in inpatient care and diagnostic processes.

    In her spare time she loves catching up with friends and walking her Dalmatian dog. She is also the proud owner of two cats, two guinea pigs, a rat and tropical fish!

  • Katie Leyman (currently on maternity leave)

    Katie Leyman (currently on maternity leave)


    Katie trained as a Veterinary Nurse at Hadlow College and in a small animal practice in Kent.  She moved to Devon in 2006 and qualified in 2007 working at Vale Vets - a busy mixed animal practice. Between 2010 and 2015 she taught Veterinary Nursing at Bicton College, Devon specialising in Anatomy and Physiology. Katie then wanted to move back into nursing and chose Cave Veterinary Specialists to further her career where she especially enjoys medical nursing and the caring of patients.

    Away from work she loves the great outdoors, riding her three horses Della, Flynn and Saunter, cycling and walking her dogs - Ollie an 8 year old Springer Spaniel and Harry her 3 year old working Cocker Spaniel rescue.

  • Nicola Tooth

    Nicola Tooth


    Nicola previously worked at a small animal, First Opinion practice for 12 years.  She has Joined us to pursue her interest in radiography, surgical and medical nursing.

    Out of work, Nicola likes listening to music, walking and exploring National Trust places with her family. She has two cats, Dave Junior and Berty.

  • Jess McGrorty

    Jess McGrorty


    Jess has an NVQ Level 2 and 3 in Veterinary Nursing. She has worked for various vets over the years, spending 6 years at Forest House Vets in Windsor, 3 years as Senior Nurse at Fitzpatrick Referrals and 3 years for Highcroft Vet as a Referral Nurse.  She came to us when she relocated to Somerset.  

    Keen to work again for a referral centre, Jess is particularly interested in anaethesia, surgery and neurology.  In her spare time she loves cycling, horse riding and socialising with friends.

  • Kathryn Cullum-Hanshaw

    Kathryn Cullum-Hanshaw

    RVN Dip AVN(Surg)

    Kathryn comes to us with great experience having worked previously in a variety of roles including teaching student veterinary nurses at an FE college as well as most recently spending three and a half years at referral centre. Kathryn's professional interests include anaesthesia and soft tissue surgery.

    Interests out of work include sewing and anything equine, as well as caring for her two dogs, two cats and a horse! 

  • Leonie McColl

    Leonie McColl

    RVN Fdsc

    Leonie joined Cave Veterinary Specialists in the summer of 2016 having worked for various other small animal practices in the South-West of England.  

    Leonie's interests out of work are surfing, beach volleyball, netball and anything outdoors. She has two blue hooded dumbo rats, Ginny and Waverly, and she has hand-reared a baby hedgehog called Womble.

  • Sophie Lee

    Sophie Lee

    RVN FdSc

    Sophie came to Cave Veterinary Specialists in 2016 after her degree at Hartpury College where she undertook a 60 week placement at Fitzpatrick Referrals. After relocating to Devon to stay in referrals, Sophie wanted to improve her knowledge and practical skills. At work, Sophie is particularly interested in post operative care and rehabilitation. 

    Outside of work, Sophie enjoys long dog walks in the countryside with her border terrier and golden retriever.

  • Jamie Whitrow

    Jamie Whitrow


    Jamie came to Cave Veterinary Specialists after working in a mixed practice for 10 and a half years. Jamie enjoys new challenges at work and is really looking forward to taking her nursing to the next level. 

    Outside of work Jamie enjoys spending time with her family, looking after Aga her English Springer Spaniel, as well as running her own dog grooming business! 

  • Georgina Parker

    Georgina Parker

    RVN FdSc

    Before coming to work at Cave Veterinary Specialists in 2017, Georgina worked as Head Veterinary Nurse at a small animal practice in Cornwall for 6 years.

    After spending 6 months at a referral practice in Australia, she felt inspired to take up a role in referral veterinary nursing here at Cave Veterinary Specialists. At work Georgina enjoys working in all areas of the hospital and when not at work she enjoys walking her two Jack Russels!

  • Laura Allday

    Laura Allday

    Laura qualified as a Veterinary Nurse from Bicton College in 2014 and has worked in a small animal Veterinary Hospital where she completed her Veterinary Nurse training. Prior to this, Laura worked as a qualified human nurse, however Laura's interest in veterinary intensive care and emergency management inspired her to qualify as a Veterinary Nurse and join us here at Cave Veterinary Specialists. 

    Outside of work, Laura enjoys travelling, eating out with friends and family and walking her German Shepherd X Springer Spaniel rescue dog who has lots of energy! She also has a rescue cat called Pickles and two guinea pigs called Dobby and Moomin!

  • Naida Marlow

    Naida Marlow

    RVN New Zealand National Diploma in Veterinary Nursing

    Naida joins us here at Cave Veterinary Specialists all the way from New Zealand! She has always had an interest in working at a referral practice and is looking forward to furthering her knowledge and experience. At work Naida enjoys in house patient care and working with the CT scanner. Whilst not at work Naida enjoys travelling and exploring the outdoors! Due to currently being in the UK Naida has left her cat and her Terrapin with her family in New Zealand. 

  • Jordan Northover

    Jordan Northover


    Jordan trained as a Veterinary Nurse at Bridgwater College where she completed her Level 3 Diploma. Before getting her Veterinary Nurse training placement, Jordan worked as an Animal Care Assistant at Quantock Veterinary Hospital where she worked for three and a half years before moving to Deane Vets as a qualified nurse. Jordan wanted to join us here at Cave Veterinary Specialists to pursue her interest in surgery, and whilst she has been working with us she has developed a keen interest in neurology. 

    Outside of work, Jordan goes to the gym and enjoys baking and watching football (in particular Yeovil Town FC!). She has four cats called Barney, Bella, Tigger and Reggie and a Cockerpoo called Mollie. 

  • Eliza Yeo

    Eliza Yeo

    RVN BSc (Hons) Veterinary Nursing & Bio Veterinary Science

    Eliza joins us after graduating from the University of Bristol, completing placements at both Rowe and Langford veterinary hospitals. Eliza has always wanted to work in a referral practice and when she saw the job advert she couldn't resist! Whilst at work, she enjoys critical care but is looking forward to working in all the different areas we cover. Whilst not at work Eliza can be found playing sport such as hockey, socialising or reading. 

  • Alice Mills

    Alice Mills

    Alice completed her BSc degree in Veterinary Nursing at Hartpury and trained at Quantock Veterinary Hospital where she then worked for a year as a qualified Veterinary Nurse before then working at Deane Vets in Taunton. As Alice trained at a hospital and then worked at a general mixed practice, she realised that she needed to pursue a career that challenged her and showed her the lengths that animal medicine can now reach so she joined us here at Cave Veterinary Specialists in 2018. At work she has a keen interest in medicine. 

    Outside of work, Alice has recently started agility with her 2 year old Hungarian Vizsla, Indie, who is a very sensitive soul who loves cuddles! Alice also has a 4 year old tabby cat called Drogo that she rescued whilst working at Quantock Vets. 


  • Night Nurse -  Deborah Barnes

    Night Nurse - Deborah Barnes


    Deborah joined us in 2017 having previously worked at a small animal practice, which also saw some referral cases. Debbie is currently working towards the advanced Nursing Diploma. 

    Out of work, Debbie enjoys riding her horse Riley, walking her three dogs, Millie, Keith and Darcy and looking after all her other animals which include two rabbits, one cat and one ferret.  

  • Night Nurse - Leigh Anne Buse

    Night Nurse - Leigh Anne Buse

    BSc(Hons) RVN

    Leigh-Anne has been working as a Veterinary Nurse since 2006, qualifying as a small animal veterinary nurse in April 2008, after graduating from Hartpury College with a Bsc (Hons) in veterinary nursing science. Leigh-Anne has also completed her veterinary nursing assessor’s qualification in 2010.

    Outside of work, Leigh-Anne’s interests include horse riding, swimming and reading, as well as caring for her own menagerie of animals at home, including a horse, dog, 3 cats, lots of guinea-pigs and an African leopard tortoise.