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Selworthy Veterinary Group has been part of the animal loving landscape in the South Hams for 30 years and counting, caring for our pets from a family run practice in Kingsbridge. This summer they moved their premises to a new site, and as they enter the next phase of their journey, Animal Nursing Assistant, Hannah, explains what’s new, what’s the same, and what makes it a unique local veterinary practice…
The practice was started by Richard whom is a veterinary surgeon and Anne Balkwill the practice manager, It’s been a family run business for more than 30 years, operating from premises which were also at their home. As they prepare to retire, they’re still very much involved with the practice, but we also have a new partner now, Thomas Rees. He has a special interest in small animal cardiology (heart conditions in dogs and cats) as well as equine and farm animal practice. The family element of the practice is still very much part of it though and really sets the tone for how people and their animals are treated.
There are five vets within the team, and it’s a mixed practice so we look after farm animals and horses as well as the smaller animals that people typically have as pets. There are also eight nurses and reception staff within the team. It’s a really lovely community and the sense of being a family really extends throughout the team.
We’re really focused on client care. I have worked in a number of practices and here client and patient care is especially good. We treat every animal like they’re our own and we try to be as supportive as possible of owners and their pets. We also do everything from surgery through to general care, and there’s a huge amount of experience within the team. For example, Richard has been here since the beginning and along with Emma has a strong interest / background working with farm animals. Thomas has another Equine practice so has plenty of experience in this field. Angela and Emily are both mixed practice Veterinary Surgeons so have lots of experience with both small and large animals. Everyone has an area that they are especially passionate about as well as having general experience as well.
Essentially, we had outgrown our old premises, but also Anne and Richard wanted to take a step back from the daily running of the practice and up until now it had been located in their house. We have moved to Stumpy Post in Kingsbridge and now have more space so we can continue to develop what we do.
We offer 24 hour care, so we provide an emergency service as well. A lot of big practices put their emergencies out to different clinics, but ours is run by the regular team. So if you have an emergency out of hours, you won’t see people you don’t know, there will always be familiar faces of people who know your pet’s background, which is comforting when you’re worried. We’re also only one of two local practices that are still privately owned as lots have now been taken over by bigger companies.
We’ve created a hydrotherapy and dog grooming room at our new premises, and we are also in the process of organising dog agility in the grounds now that we have more space. For those with new puppies we have puppy parties that have just started, to help them socialise. We also have a new stable block where we hope to do more horse work in the not too distant future, such as on-site radiography, lameness workups and hospitalisation if necessary.
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