We believe that expertise and qualification is simply not enough. Truly expert care combines this wealth of expertise with cutting-edge technology and a passionate commitment to compassion and respect for your pet.


Bernard A. Walsh


Bernard graduated from the Veterinary College of Ireland, University College Dublin in 1987. During 6 wonderfully enjoyable years in general practice he developed an avid interest in diagnostic imaging and in 1993 he was awarded a Certificate in Veterinary Radiology from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

He subsequently completed a three-year radiology residency at the University of Pennyslvania, Philadelphia, to become a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Radiology in 1998. He has lectured in universities in the UK, the Caribbean and the US and worked in private referral practice in the US before returning to live in Ireland. Bernard is Managing Director of The Veterinary Referral Centre with which he continues to provide a cutting-edge diagnostic imaging service to companion animal vets in the southeast of the UK and via telemedicine the rest of the world!

Christoph Stork, DES ChirPA, DipECVS, MRCVS RCVS recognised Specialist in Small Animal Surgery

European Veterinary Specialist in Small Animal Surgery

Christoph is our visiting orthopaedic specialist consultant. He graduated from the Veterinary School at the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich in 1996. He then, Christoph undertook a doctorate thesis on research into markers of bone metabolism for which he was awarded a (“magna cum laude”) in 1999. His clinical training commenced with a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and was deepened during a 3-year ECVS-approved surgical residency programme at the University of Liege, Belgium, where he completed a DES ChirPA diploma degree of specialisation in small animal surgery in 2002. During his residency he spent training periods in the United States at the University Hospital of the Michigan State University and the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, NY.
Since From 2002-2009 he has been working as a full-time senior clinician in orthopaedic and spinal surgery in a busy referral-only small animal hospital in the UK. In 2004 he became a Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons by examination and a European Veterinary Specialist in Small Animal Surgery. He is a RCVS recognised Specialist in Small Animal Surgery since 2005.
Focussing on orthopaedic surgery for a number of years and having been exposed to a very large number of patients, he has accumulated a wealth of experience and furthered his skills to the highest level. This has been complemented by regular attendance at specialist CPD, conferences and master classes.
In addition to handling a busy clinical caseload, he maintained an active research interest and has several scientific collaborations. He has published a number of scientific papers in major veterinary journals and has lectured on a wide variety of subjects on a local, national and international level.
He enjoys all aspects of small animal orthopaedics, but has particular interests in arthroscopy, the management of complex fractures, the correction of angular limb deformity and treating feline patients.
In February 2010 Christoph founded orthovet (, a mobile veterinary orthopaedic specialist referral service, which has enjoyed rapid and continued growth since. Providing this new specialist service within a number of practices, such as ours, has enabled many pets to benefit from Christoph’s clinical skills.
Besides his veterinary passion, Christoph enjoys playing music, the “French cuisine” and spending time with his wife and their two children. The Gordon Setter “Jazz” and the cat “Barnabé” complete the family.

Stefano Nicoli


Stefano graduated from Bologna University in 1994 and spent the next ten years as a soft tissue Surgeon in private practice in his home town of Modena. In 2004 he started collaborating with referral practices in Italy as a soft tissue surgeon with particular interest in ureteral and kidney surgery, endocrine surgery, vascular surgery, microsurgery and cardio-thoracic surgery. From 2008 to 2012 he taught at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of Torino University. He then became Chief of the Soft Tissue Surgery Department at two large referral centres, one in Rome, Policlinico Veterinario Roma Sud and one in Novara, Italy, the Instituto Veterinario di Novara. From 2014 to 2016 he taught at the University of Parma Veterinary School, Italy and in 2016 he was awarded the title of Master in Science in Urology and Nephrology of dog and cat. His particular interests also include adrenal and pituitary surgery

Given his unique talents and experience he has collaborated with many referral hospitals throughout Europe including veterinary hospitals in Spain, the UK and Denmark. He continues to work at the forefront of veterinary surgery at the department of vascular surgery at the human hospital, Santa Maria Nuova in Reggio Emilia, Italy; the Centre for Minimally Invasive Surgery, Cáceres, Spain and has had further training at the Interventional Radiology and Interventional Endoscopy Unit, The Animal Medical Center, New York.

Stefano has spoken at many national and international congresses and courses on topics of soft tissue surgery. He is author and co-author of many articles in peer reviewed journals such as the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association; Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery; The Veterinary Journal; Veterinary Surgery, Journal of Small Animal Practice and Veterinary Radiology and Ultrasound. He is the author of the new Textbook of Urologic Surgery in the Dog and Cat in Italian and the chapter about cardiosurgery in the Textbook of Cardiology in Spanish.
From 2014 to 2017 he was President of the Italian Soft Tissue Surgery Society (SCIVAC). He loves teamwork and strongly believes that surgery is a team job! Stefano spent his military service as a Fireman. He loves sailing and was a professional sailor for 15 years. During this period he won an Italian Championship, one European Championship and achieve the 2nd place in a World Championship. He is married and is the father of a wonderful 9 years old blond little girl.

Pierre Barreau


European Veterinary Specialist in Small Animal Surgery

Pierre qualified from the National Veterinary School of Nantes in 1985. He obtained his French Certificate in Small Animal Orthopaedics in 1991 and gained his European Diploma in Surgery in 1993 becoming one of the first Board-certified Specialists in France.. He has worked in referral practices in both France and the UK as well as a Senior Lecturer in Small Animal Surgery at Cambridge University. During the last two years he was head of the surgery department as Associate Professor at the Veterinary School of Nantes.
He is happy to see a wide variety of soft tissue, orthopaedic and neurological referrals.

Eric Zini

Dipl. ECVIM-CA, Internal Medicine

Dr. Eric Zini graduated at the at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Turin (Italy) in 1999. He received the Diploma of the European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Zurich (Switzerland) in 2005 and one year later a PhD at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Turin. Since 2005, he has led the Diabetology and Endocrinology Research Group of the Faculty of Zurich. In 2010 he was awarded “Privat Dozent” (PD) at the same Faculty and in 2012 he was offered the Professorship of Internal Medicine at the Faculty of Bern. Since 2017 he is “Titular Professor” the Faculty of Zurich. Currently, he is also research fellow at the Faculty of Padua (Italy) and Scientific Director of the Istituto Veterinario di Novara (Italy). He is author of more than 100 scientific publications in international journals and several scientific book chapters. His major research focus is in the field of small animal diabetology and endocrinology, nephrology and oncology.

Elise Robertson

BS BVetMed MACVSc (Feline) DipABVP (Feline) AFHEA MRCVS

American Board Certified Diplomate Feline Practice

From the tender age of five, Elise always knew she wanted to be a ‘cat doctor’ (see photo for proof)! This dream has taken her all around the world, learning from some of the finest, most distinguished and experienced feline specialists in the UK, Australia, and USA!
Her ultimate ambition has been to create a feline-specific referral and endoscopy service for the local community of Brighton & Hove. The demand for these services have allowed her to expand her ‘cat territory’ to now cover most of SE England. Her goal has always been to offer an accessible and intermediate service for those in first opinion practice. She works out of ‘tertiary’ referral practices to ensure her clients and patients receive ongoing continuity and care should they require more advanced diagnostics/treatment not available from their local surgery. She’s passionate about providing a local, friendly, empathetic and approachable service for veterinary colleagues and their clients.
Over the years, her interest in endoscopy/endosurgery have allowed her to integrate minimally invasive interventions into most of her feline referral investigations.
She’s received her formal education & training in Endoscopy, Endosurgery (Laparoscopy and Thoracoscopy– ‘key hole’ surgery) and Interventional Radiology (IR)/Interventional Endoscopy (IE) procedures from well known human and veterinary academic institutions from all around the world including:
• Colorado State University, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Endoscopy Centre (USA) (Laparoscopy, Thoracoscopy & Medical Endoscopy)
• University of Luxembourg/University of Geissen, (Germany) (Laparoscopy, Thoracoscopy & Medical Endoscopy)
• Animal Medical Center (Interventional Radiology and Interventional Endoscopy Department), New York City (USA)
• Paris, France Covidien Headquarters (Masterclass Laparoscopy & Thoracoscopy Training) (France)
• Institut Mutualiste Montsouris, Paris, France (Interventional Radiology) (France)
• The UCLH/Royal Free NHS Trust, London, UK (Laparoscopy) (UK)
She divides her time between clinical work, teaching/lecturing and publishing within the subjects of feline medicine and endoscopy/ endosurgery. She’s a European mentor for ISFM/University of Sydney Distance Education in Feline Medicine and co-lecturer for ESAVS (European School of Advanced Veterinary Studies, University of Luxembourg) in Endosurgery, and co-lecturer (CE endoscopy courses) at The Veterinary Endoscopy Teaching Center at Colorado State University.
Professional Memberships:
• International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM)/American Association of Feline Practitioners (ISFM/AAFP)
• European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy & World Endoscopy Organization (Human)
• Comparative Gastroenterology Society (Veterinary)
• Veterinary Endoscopy Society/(Veterinary Interventional Radiology and Endoscopy Society)
In her ‘spare’ time she enjoys playing the cello, running, and triathlon events! She worships traveling and has roamed extensively throughout Europe, Asia, Australasia, Africa, North America, and hopefully, will experience the Naadam Festival in Mongolia and search for tigers in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan–a long-standing dream!

Nicola Brooks-Williamson

BVSc PGCert(Ophthal) MRCVS

Advanced Practitioner in Veterinary Ophthalmology

Nicola obtained her bachelor’s in veterinary science from the University of Liverpool in 1992 and has been working with a wide range of animals ever since. She has always been interested in ophthalmology and achieved her post graduate certificate in veterinary ophthalmology in 2016 and RCVS Advanced Practitioner status in this field the following year.

She is a member of the British Association of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (BrAVO), British Veterinary Association(BVA) and the International Society of Veterinary Ophthalmology(ISVO)
She lives with her husband and three children in Surrey and is happy to talk eyes at any time.

Dr Babis Koffas


Babis graduated from the Aristotle University Veterinary School, Thessaloniki, Greece in 1998. After spending time as an intern and working in small animal practice, he completed a PhD in feline cardiomyopathies at the Royal School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh in 2003. He then did a residency in small animal cardiology at the Royal Veterinary College, London and in 2007 he became diplomate of the European College of Internal Medicine (Cardiology).

For the last 4 years he offers referral services for cardiorespiratory disease in small animals in the South East of England.

Babis is a world expert in novel echocardiographic techniques (tissue Doppler imaging). He has published widely and presented and lectured nationally and internationally. He enjoys all aspects of small animal cardiorespiratory medicine and has a particular interest in interventional cardiology.

Chiara Leo

DVM, MSc, MRCVS, Dipl. ACVIM Oncology

Chiara Leo graduated from Milan University (Italy) in 2003, completed an internship at the Tierspital University of Zurich (Switzerland) and then a residency in Oncology at the Animal Oncology and Imaging Center in Zug (Switzerland).


She has been Lecturer in Oncology at the Royal Veterinary College (London, UK) from 2011 until 2016 and Head of the Oncology department from 2015 until 2016. In 2016 she moved back to Italy where she has developed the Oncology service at the Istituto Veterinario Novara.

Rachel Perry

BSc, BVM&S, MANZCVS (Small Animal Dentistry & Oral Surgery), Dipl.EVDC, MRCVS, European Veterinary Specialist, Dentistry, RCVS Specialist, Veterinary Dentistry

I graduated as a veterinary surgeon with merit from Edinburgh University in 1997, gaining a first class honours degree in Pathological Sciences along the way. I started in small animal practice in Sussex after a short period travelling. My interest in dentistry was generated by an unfortunate lack of training in dentistry at University. The situation is slowly changing, helped by several veterinary dentists and assistance from the British Veterinary Dental Association (BVDA). I initially participated in post-graduate training courses run by the BVDA, and from there my interest was hooked. In 2009 I finished a 4–part training programme organised by the European School of Advanced Veterinary Studies (ESAVS) on Veterinary Dentistry and Oral Surgery. In 2010, I started my residency training in Veterinary Dentistry limiting my practice to dentistry and oral surgery. I have been in this field exclusively since then. In 2012 I achieved membership by examination into the prestigious Dentistry Chapter of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists demonstrating expertise and competence in this field. This enabled me to apply for RCVS Advanced Practitioner status, which I achieved in 2015. This is a middle tier of proficiency, just beneath specialist. In 2016, I successfully passed the European Veterinary Dental College (EVDC) Board examinations at my first attempt, becoming a Diplomate of the EVDC, and granting me the title “European Veterinary Specialist, Dentistry”. In 2017 I became a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Specialist in Veterinary Dentistry: one of only 8 in the UK!
Dentistry is such a rewarding area for a Veterinary Surgeon to take a professional interest in, as we can make big, positive and immediate changes to our patients’ health and well-being. Many dental diseases can also be prevented. I am committed to educating both pet owners about their pets’ oral health, and also veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses, about new techniques, best practice, materials and equipment.
I have published original research articles, review articles, text-book chapters and presented nationally and internationally.
When I do find a spare moment, I enjoy training for and competing in triathlons. I am also a Level 2 British Triathlon coach, and am currently head coach for Brighton Tri Club. I have completed four Ironman competitions, including the extremely challenging Ironman Lanzarote. I have two cats named Mooks and Evie.
I am always happy to talk teeth, and give advice on any aspects of veterinary dentistry. If I don’t know the answer to a question, I probably know someone who does!

Anita Patel

BVM, DVD, MRCVS RCVS recognised specialist in Veterinary Dermatology

Anita Patel runs a busy dermatology referral service out of 4 clinics in London and the South East of England and lectures both in the UK and internationally. She is recognized by the Royal College as a specialist in Veterinary Dermatology and has immense experience in the field.

Anita has over 20 years’ experience in veterinary dermatology, gaining her certificate (Cert. SAD) in 1993 and her Diploma in 2002. As a specialist in her field, she has dedicated the last 14 years exclusively to small animal dermatology.

Anita co-authored a case based text book on small animal dermatology in the “Saunders solutions in veterinary practice” series, as well as chapters in various dermatology text books. She has published papers in refereed and peer reviewed journals and is actively involved in all aspects of dermatology

Before devoting herself full time to veterinary dermatology, Anita had her own, 2 clinic, busy small animal practice in Surrey where she was a busy general practitioner as well as pursuing her interest in dermatology.

Emma Buckland


A bit about me – I studied at Southampton University between 1995 and 1998 obtaining a BSc degree in Physiology and Pharmacology before undergoing my veterinary training at the Royal Veterinary College. I qualified as a vet in 2003 and have been working in first opinion small animal practice since.

I have always had an interest in methods of recognising and managing pain in all small animal species which led me to attending a Foundation course in Veterinary Acupuncture in the spring of 2008. In May 2013 I successfully completed a year long course of study, accredited by the European School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies. The course consisted of taught modules, self directed study and culminated in an examination and case report assessments. As a result I have been awarded the General Practitioners Certificate in Western Veterinary Acupuncture and Chronic Pain Management.

Keen to expand the service I am able to offer, I am currently studying towards an herbal medicine qualification with the Australian based College of Integrative Veterinary Therapy and look forward to being able to offer herbal medicine consultations in 2014!