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Veterinary Awards winner's story

Steve Kirby, Ashlands Veterinary Centre and Animal Hospital

Vet of the Year 2015

VA 2018
Steve Kirby

Steve Kirby of Ashlands Veterinary Centre and Animal Hospital in West Yorkshire won Vet of the Year at the Petplan Veterinary Awards in April 2015. Mainly based at the Glusburn branch, Steve became a partner of the business in 2013 and shares responsibility for approximately 7,000 pets.

"Since receiving the accolade of 'Vet of the Year' I am far more aware of clients' appreciation every day. At times being a vet can feel like quite a solitary occupation, so awards like these help you realise why you initially joined the profession. The veterinary world is rather small too, so being picked out of such an exceptional group of people makes me extremely grateful and even more motivated! It really has been great for the whole practice and I cannot think of a single working day where there hasn't been some positive comment on the achievement.

Before this year's awards, the practice was previously nominated by our clients and has always proudly displayed our nominee certificate on the reception desk. But I never actually felt we had a chance of winning! Plus public awareness and perception of the practice has been phenomenal, and I'm sure footfall has increased as a result.

Recently our practice had an 18 month old cat called Evie in our out-of-hours service with extensive trauma to both hind limbs, from what was suspected to have been a dog attack. Due to the complexity of her injuries, Evie received numerous dressing changes, continual wound management, bilateral external skeletal fixator systems and free skin grafts. All members of staff have been involved in her care, from veterinary and nursing teams to receptionists. After a 27 day hospitalisation period, Evie finally returned home for further nursing by her devoted owners. Despite her legs sporting an array of pins and clamps, she is now fully mobile with new skin to both lower limbs. Hopefully in the forthcoming weeks the fixators will be removed and the mischievous Evie will be back! Success in such cases can only be achieved through the unrelenting dedication of all members of staff within the practice. I am both fortunate and thankful for this.

The Petplan Veterinary Awards appear to be the only awards scheme recognising people involved in the veterinary profession at every level. They highlight individuals who truly care about their profession, which I think is just excellent."