Over the years, the general level of love, care and the highest degree of knowledge of all of the staff has been invaluable comfort and it’s wonderful that Cave care so much about the human family members as well.

Wayne Cullen
Veterinary Nurses

The Team

Veterinary Nurses

  •  Stuart Ford-Fennah - Clinical Manager

    Stuart Ford-Fennah - Clinical Manager

    BSc(Hons) RVN PGCertBusAdmin AIOSH MCMI MInstLM

    Stuart is our hospital's Clinical Manager.  He graduated from the University of Bristol with an Honours 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 has 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.  Outside of work Stuart enjoys taking part in numerous outdoor activities including mountain biking, power kiting and spending time with his wife, son and daughter and Golden Retriever, Yoda!


  •  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 predominantly 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, including 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, 1 rescue cats and 2 Hungarian Vizslas. 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.  More recently Emma has completed her Level 5 Certificate in Leadership and Management to help assist with her role as part of the management team.


  • Helen Bye - Acting Deputy Head Nurse (covering maternity leave)

    Helen Bye - Acting Deputy Head Nurse (covering maternity leave)

    BSc(Hons) RVN

    Helen qualified in 2006 from the University of Bristol with a degree in Veterinary Nursing and Practice Administration. Since, she has gained qualifications in Veterinary Nurse Training as an Assessor and Internal Verifier. Helen has worked in a range of first opinion practices in the South West, London and Dubai, UAE, but has always been keen to work within the referral field.
    Since starting at Cave Veterinary Specialists in 2015, Helen has gained the BSAVA Merit Award in Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation. She has expanded her knowledge and experience within all disciplines and has found her preferred area of referral nursing to be within the Surgery and Neurology department.
    Helen has been promoted to Acting Deputy Head Nurse covering maternity leave and is enjoying the new challenges and experiences that this has given her, she is currently studying for the ILM Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management

  • Debbie Howe - Senior Surgical Nurse

    Debbie Howe - Senior Surgical Nurse

    RVN CertECC GradDipVN A1

    Debbie qualified as a Veterinary 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 pursue 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 she is not at work, she enjoys keeping fit, horseriding and travelling.


  • Amy Gardiner - Senior Medicine Nurse (Currently on Maternity Leave)

    Amy Gardiner - Senior Medicine Nurse (Currently on Maternity Leave)

    RVN Cert (Anaesth)

    Amy started 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 and she 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.


  • Jess McGrorty - Senior Medicine Nurse

    Jess McGrorty - Senior Medicine Nurse


    Jess trained and qualified at a Tier 3 busy mixed practice in Windsor where she worked for 6 years. In 2009 she moved to Surrey to pursue a career in referral nursing at Fitzpatrick Referrals where she gained experience and knowledge in surgical nursing and anaesthesia. In 2012 Jess spent 12 months travelling around Thailand, Australia and New Zealand and locumed at various practices along the way.
    On her return she started at Highcroft Referrals in Bristol where she rotated through both the surgery and medicine departments. In 2017 she then relocated to Somerset to live with her partner and joined the team at Cave Veterinary Specialists and after rotating through all disciplines Jess became our Senior Medicine Nurse in May 2018. Jess is involved with various medicine referrals and runs our Chemotherapy clinics.

    In her spare time, Jess loves walking her cheeky border terrier Denzil, cycling, camping and renovating her house!


  • Bryony Gilder -  Senior Neurology Nurse

    Bryony Gilder - Senior Neurology Nurse

    BSc(Hons)RVN PGCert Small Animal Rehabilitation Therapy PGCert Oncology Nursing BSAVA Nurse Merit Award in Rehabilitation and Physiotherapy

    Bryony has been working in veterinary practices 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 complete her training in a mixed veterinary hospital and qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in September 2011.  Bryony joined us here 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.


  • Bethany Browse - Senior Wards Nurse

    Bethany Browse - Senior Wards Nurse

    BSc(Hons) Veterinary Nursing Science

    Bethany previously worked at Highcroft Vets, a small animal and exotic first opinion and referral hospital in Bristol for three years before joining us here at Cave Veterinary Specialists in 2018 as she relocated to Devon due to her husband's work as a farmer and wanting to further her career as a veterinary nurse. Bethany has a love for people and helping them work to their full potential and has previously worked as a Senior Nurse Manager in which she managed a team of first opinion nurses. She is also passionate about inpatient care and good client communication and is interested in learning more about internal medicine and surgery. 

    Outside of work Bethany enjoys sports including hockey, swimming and gym classes and she is keen to get involved in the local church and community voluntary work. She is also a keen viola and clarinet player and loves classical music and when she is not at work, she is helping her husband on the farm. 

    Bethany has two working collies, Rye and Jessie. Rye is a stubborn lady who likes to pretend to be deaf to get her own way and Jessie is an exuberant pup who is always keen to please and just loves attention! 


  • 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 young children, dog called Milo and her ferrets. Amy's professional interests are imaging, surgery and anaesthesia. She enjoys running CT and MRI and being a part of the Heart Vets interventional surgeries. Amy has also obtained the BSAVA Merit Award in Diagnostic Imaging. In her spare time, Amy enjoys walking her dog Milo and to socialise with friends but most of all going away with her family in her VW campervan.

  • Staci Finn - Imaging Nurse

    Staci Finn - Imaging Nurse


    Staci joined us here at Cave Veterinary Specialists as she was looking for a new challenge and having locummed with us previously, decided to join us part time as an Imaging Nurse. At work, Staci has a particular interest in CT and fluoroscopy.
    Outside of work, Staci loves to travel and has done various voluntary work including neutering clinics in Greece and nursing injured wildlife in South Africa. She has a rescue dog called Puglet.


  • Amanda Sams - Pharmacy Stock Control Nurse

    Amanda Sams - Pharmacy Stock Control Nurse


    Before joining our team, Amanda worked in a variety of small animal practices in Somerset. She did enjoy a range of referral work but has now taken a step back from nursing and is looking after pharmacy and stock control. Amanda misses nursing but is enjoying her new role particularly the challenge of finding new products!  Amanda has a Basset Hound and a Dalmation, which can sometimes be a crazy mix, but fun. Amanda also has one cat and a guinea pig.

  • Claire Somerton - Pharmacy and Stock Control Assistant

    Claire Somerton - Pharmacy and Stock Control Assistant

    NVQ 3 Pharmacy Services

     Claire returned to Cave Veterinary Specialists in 2019 having previously worked here as an Animal Care Assistant. She has previously worked at various busy pharmacies within the last 8 years and so decided to combine her veterinary experience with her pharmacy background and pursue a career within veterinary pharmacy. Claire's main interest is expanding her knowledge of veterinary medicine and discovering the differences between veterinary and human medicine. 

     Outside of work Claire spends much of her time at the gym as well as having a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, but also enjoys spending time with her persian cat, Claude! 


  • Louise Cobham

    Louise Cobham


    Louise 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

    Joanna Christoffersen

    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 (currently on maternity leave)

    LeighAnne Beart (currently on maternity leave)


    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. Leighanne 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.


  • Katie Leyman

    Katie Leyman


    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.

  • 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 main interests at work include medicine cases, nursing ICU patients and imaging as she is able to run both the CT and MRI scanners. 

    Leonie's interests out of work are surfing, beach volley ball, any water sport and anything outdoors! She also enjoys video gaming and attending various conventions throughout the year for her favourite TV show "The 100". Leonie also enjoys growing her own food and plants in her allotment.

    Leone has six pet rats called Mrytle, River, Mr Leroy Gibbs, Ronald, Hagrid and Zazu.



  • 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!  Recently Jamie has taken up running alongside her 6 year old daughter Kacie.

  • 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 and is now one of our chemo nurses.

    Outside of work, Alice has recently started agility with her 3 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. 


  • Kim Kendall

    Kim Kendall


     Bio coming shortly

  • Deborah Barnes

    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.  

  • Deborah Holland

    Deborah Holland

    RVN, N Cert Anaes.

    Deborah qualified as RANA in 1981 and has since worked in a variety of small animal practices and hospitals and in a large, mixed practice for 26 years. Deborah joined us at Cave Veterinary Specialists in 2018 as she wanted to return to working in a busy referral hospital. At work, Deborah is particularly interested in laboratory work, radiography and anaesthesia.   Outside of work, Deborah enjoys gardening, horse riding and walking her English Pointer that she rehomed from a breeding and showing home. 


  • Jess Loader

    Jess Loader


    Jess returned to Cave in 2018 having worked with us before at Cave but left on maternity leave and then worked nights to fit around childcare. Jess had previously worked in first opinion, mixed practice and has locumed at various practices. 

    Jess enjoys working at Cave as she enjoys the varied cases. She currently works on the medicine team although would like to rotate to other areas such as neurology and surgery. 

    Outside of work, Jess looks after her two young children whilst enjoying the outdoors and keeping active. She has just completed her first half marathon and hopes to do more next year. 

    Jess had a kitten called Keith, two pygmy goats called Poppy and Rosie, a driving pony called Gizzy and two guineapigs and a fish! 


  • Sophie Puzey

    Sophie Puzey


    Sophie joined Cave Veterinary Specialists in 2018 from Quantock Veterinary Hospital where she started as an Animal Care Assistant and then a Student Veterinary Nurse and then as a qualified RVN. Before nursing, Sophie spent 8 years as a polo groom working between the UK and New Zealand. At work she enjoys anaesthesia and surgery. 

    When not at work, Sophie enjoys rowing and she rows for Taunton Rowing Club and is also a rowing coach at the club. She has a five year old Patterdale terrier called Cola, a rescued and hand reared kitten called Archie and Eric, a tortoise found as a stray in Bridgwater and now lives in Sophie's garden! 


  • Sarah Appleton

    Sarah Appleton

    DipVN RVN A1

     Sarah joined the team here at Cave Veterinary Specialists in 2019 having previously worked here as an Animal Care Assistant before leaving to complete her veterinary nurse training at Isle Valley Vets small animal practice. Sarah is pleased to be back here at Cave and would like to progress and build on her existing nursing skills. She enjoys all aspects of nursing but particularly anaesthesia. 

     Outside of work Sarah attends Glastonbury Festival every year and enjoys weekends away and going out with friends. She has a Golden Retriever called Billy and a cat called Jimmy who both currently live with her mum. 


  • Danielle Whelan

    Danielle Whelan

    Dip HE CVN, Dip AVN (small animal), A1, RVN

    Danielle joined Cave Vets in September 2018 and has been working as a Vet Nurse for 17 years. Before joining us here, Danielle worked at Summerleaze Veterinary Hospital in Maidenhead for 5 years, where she completed her advanced veterinary diplomas, Dip HE CVN and Dip AVN (small animal).

    Danielle worked at Marlow Pet Healthcare for about a year and before that Beeches Veterinary Hospital in Slough, where she qualified as an RVN and worked there for 10 years. While working at Beeches, she completed her assessors qualification and became Deputy and Acting Head Nurse. Danielle has a special interest in surgery and diagnostic imaging, which is why she chose to become a Surgery and Neurology Nurse here at Cave Vets.

    After completing her diplomas, Danielle needed a change, so decided to move to the country to start a mini farm and to work part time at a referral only practice. When not at work, she is busy looking after 6 anglo nubian goats, one that she is milking, (Annie, Heidi,  Freya the mum , Bramble, Nettle, and Thistle the kid triplets ), 3 ducks (Quackers, Cheese and Chutney), 4 quail, 8 hens, 3 sheep (Barley the lamb, Porridge the mum and Oats) and a big cat called Scout who she hand reared. 

    Danielle has a youtube channel called Dani's Little Barn Farm which follows her adventures.


  • Sophie Lee

    Sophie Lee

    Sophie graduated from Hartpury College in 2016 with a Foundation Degree in Veterinary Nursing. During her degree she undertook a 60 week placement at Fitzpatrick Referrals. Sophie came to Cave Vets to further her nursing skills and continue to work in referrals. Sophie is a Medicine/Wards nurse here at Cave Vets and really enjoys running chemo clinics and gets great satisfaction out of seeing these patients finish their course of chemo and getting to know the owners along the way. Out of work Sophie is kept busy by her 2 year old spaniel Hurley who needs plenty of exercise! They have also recently taken up agility. Sophie likes to spend lots of time visiting family and friends.

  • Hannah D'Souza

    Hannah D'Souza


  • Ria Walker

    Ria Walker


  •  Leigh Anne Buse - Senior Night Nurse

    Leigh Anne Buse - Senior Night Nurse

    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.

  • Rebekah Gossan - Night Nurse

    Rebekah Gossan - Night Nurse


    Becky joined Cave Veterinary Specialists in 2018 having worked in mixed practices in West Cornwall doing small animal and some equine nursing. Since qualifying, Becky trained as a clinical coach and started her own OA nurse clinics. Becky joined Cave as she was looking for a challenge and to improve her nursing skills at a referral hospital with more complex cases, not too far from Cornwall!  At work, Becky is particularly interested in physiotherapy and would like to do further training and certificates in this field. She is also interested in nursing critically ill patients and neurological cases. 

    Outside of work, Becky enjoys anything horse related, especially dressage. She also enjoys Latin dancing and travels to lots of events around the UK and abroad. When not at work, riding, travelling and dancing, Becky loves being in the countryside and in particular near the coast where she grew up. Becky has a large family of very fluffy guinea pigs which she used to show at local county shows but they are now all enjoying retirement! She also has an Andalusian mare called Gim who she has owned for over 10 years and she loves doing tricks! 


  •  Laura Allday - Night Nurse

    Laura Allday - Night Nurse

    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!