Meet the Team
Andrew Ward BVM&S CertAVP MRCVS

Andrew Ward BVM&S CertAVP MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon

Andy joined us in early 2015 and hasn’t looked back since, previously working in Newcastle Upon Tyne, and before that, Central Queensland Australia. Coming from Fife in Scotland, Andy qualified in 2008 from Edinburgh University, and obtained a Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice in 2015 from the RCVS. He enjoys most areas of small animal practice, studying mainly medicine during his certificate, but has also undertaken further studies in cardiology. He also works as a locum ECC vet in Gateshead, bringing this emergency knowledge back to St Clair during the week. When not at work Andy has three ginger cats, Bert, Ernie and Pawlie, as well as two small humans, Mac and Cooper! Andy likes running and has been improving recently: mostly Parkruns, but in 2019 he did manage to finish the 53-mile Highland fling up in Scotland! Andy recently won the most handsome vet in Blyth competition, after stiff competition from Kris. 

Kristopher Dorr BSC BVetMed MRCVS

Kristopher Dorr BSC BVetMed MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon

Kris joined St. Clair’s in September 2019 shortly after graduating from the Royal Veterinary college in London. Having worked alongside the team throughout his studies and originally being from the area it felt like the right move to start him on his veterinary career. He has a keen interest in small animal neurology and exotics, though enjoys most aspects of small animal medicine. In his spare time he is an avid runner and crossfitter and continues his love for animals at home with the family dog Bailey and team of guinea pigs.

Rebecca Hitchman BVSc MRCVS

Rebecca Hitchman BVSc MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon

Rebecca graduated from Bristol Vet School in 2020. After deciding to move up North to be closer to family in Scotland, Rebecca joined the St Clair team in December 2023. In 2021, Rebecca’s Clumber Spaniel, Bella, joined her and together they enjoy exploring the wonderful Northumberland countryside. Rebecca is excited to start her next chapter with St Clair and is looking forward to meeting all of our lovely clients and their companions! 

Rachel Roughan RVN

Rachel Roughan RVN

Registered Veterinary Nurse

Having dreamed of working in the profession since she was little, her career in veterinary nursing began as a night nurse in a large Newcastle veterinary hospital in 2008. She was then offered a position as a Student Nurse and completed her Veterinary Nurse training at Myerscough College in Preston, Lancashire. Rachel qualified as a Registered Veterinary Nurse in 2014 before joining St Clair Veterinary Care in 2015. Since joining the team she has completed her Clinical Coach qualification, allowing her to train Student Veterinary Nurses. She has particular interests in small animal anaesthesia, surgical nursing and the post surgical rehabilitation of small animals. Rachel is currently a devoted mother to three small breed dogs who are spoiled rotten! Maisie is a Chihuahua X Jack Russell Terrier who is a total diva, Ava is a loud mouthed mixed breed who was rescued from Romania, and Wilf is a very naughty (deaf) Papillon. She spends the majority of her spare time out in the Northumberland countryside having adventures with the dogs, despite being small they can walk for miles! In the future she hopes to emigrate to Australia to join her family, and continue her role as a Veterinary Nurse down under! 

Lauren Bell RVN

Lauren Bell RVN

Registered Veterinary Nurse

At only 15, Lauren dedicated her summer holidays to volunteering at St Clair. It was from then that Lauren knew she wanted to work with animals! Lauren was offered a place to begin her veterinary career and completed her Veterinary Care Assistant course with Kirkley Hall college. In 2018, Lauren progressed her studies further and qualified as a Registered Veterinary Nurse. Having a passion for our feline companions, Lauren has completed the ISFM Feline and Behaviour Certificate. Lauren also has a keen interest in canine first aid and teaches dog first aid courses for The Dog First Aid Co in her spare time. Laurens key skills are handling cats with attitude and taking blood samples which she loves to do. Outside of work Lauren loves nothing more than a beach walk with her family and their 2 dogs, Floyd and Paisley.

Stefanie Usher RVN

Stefanie Usher RVN

Registered Veterinary Nurse

Stefanie joined the St Clair family in June 2022 after working at another local practice for several years. Stefanie has been veterinary nursing since 2002 and has a keen interest in small mammals. Outside of work she is kept incredibly busy with her menagerie of animals including her pet Kune Kune Pig called Peanut.

Hazel McPherson RVN

Hazel McPherson RVN

Registered Veterinary Nurse

Hazel started her veterinary career as a receptionist at a local veterinary hospital in 2013. In 2015, Hazel decided to progress her career into Veterinary Nursing and gained her qualifications in 2020. Having previous experience in a hospital environment, Hazel has a keen interest in both medical and surgical nursing. Hazel hopes to complete a further certificate in anaesthesia in the future. At home, Hazel lives with her chocolate Labrador, Lottie (also known as Lottie-Potamus), her Shih Tzu, Rose (also known as Snagatha Christie), her Rabbit, Rab C Nesbitt and her Guinea Pig, Garth. Outside of work, Hazel enjoys live music, dog walks and socialising with friends and family.

Emily Bickerton RVN

Emily Bickerton RVN

Registered Veterinary Nurse

While studying, Emily carried out some of her placement work with us and has came back to her roots to officially join the St Clair family. However, she never really left us and regularly met up with the staff outside of work! Emily spent 4 years studying BSC (Hons) Veterinary Nursing at Edinburgh Napier University and graduated in July 2023 with a first class degree! Emily has previous experience working with Alpacas (her favourite animal) and thoroughly enjoyed taking them on walks as well as working towards their cooperative care and socialisation with humans. This allows the Alpacas to be safely handled and allow for appropriate grooming, care and maintenance as stress as free as possible. Emily’s hobbies include baking, walking her Cocker Spaniel Maggie-May, swimming and coffee dates with friends and family. Emily is finding her feet now that she is qualified and has a particular interest in medical nursing and nursing clinics. In future, Emily would like to do further professional development in the following areas: dermatology, toxicology and physiotherapy. 

Andrea Scott

Andrea Scott

Auxilliary Nurse

Andrea’s career in Veterinary nursing began in 2007. She was employed by a large mixed veterinary practice in Northumberland, covering farm, equine, small animal and exotic pets, for ten years. During this time she qualified as an Animal Nursing Assistant in 2009 at Myerscough College and went on to become Head Nursing Assistant, training new Nursing Assistants in their work roles. In October 2017 Andrea became a member of the St Clair team and now loves being part of the crazy work family. Andrea has four grown up children and five young Grandsons as well as a Grandaughter. Along with 2 Tarantulas; Andrea has 2 Whippets named Brynja and Starla and a Bedlington Terrier cross Whippet named Torvi. In her spare time she loves travelling the country with her husband and dogs in her little motorhome; visiting and exploring new places. She also enjoys creative writing, cross-stitching and crafts.

Eiylish Powell SVN

Eiylish Powell SVN

Student Veterinary Nurse

Eiylish joined the St Clair team in January 2022 after working for a year as an auxiliary nurse in another local veterinary practice.  Having always dreamt of working with animals, upon leaving school Eiylish joined Kirkley Hall College to study animal management before completing a bachelors degree in Animal Behaviour in Liverpool. During her four year course, she spent six months living on a mountain in South Africa, studying both primates and predators, where she sparked a love for adventure and the outdoors. Now she enjoys exploring the country and ticking off mountains and hills with her hiking buddy, Jax the springer spaniel. Eiylish is now working towards completing her Veterinary Nursing qualifications. We are enjoying teaching Eiylish all she needs to know and aiding her in fulfilling her dreams of becoming a fully qualified Veterinary Nurse. 

Caitlin Cruickshanks

Caitlin Cruickshanks

Animal Care Assistant

Caitlin began working at St Clair Veterinary Care in 2020 as a student on work placement through Kirkley Hall College whilst studying a course in veterinary patient care. Following her placement, Caitlin was offered a permanent position as an Animal Care Assistant in which she supports the team daily performing basic nursing care and managing equipment. Caitlin currently works part time on weekdays, but you will see her every Saturday morning making a fuss of your furry family members! Caitlin has a love of all animals but particularly dogs and pedigree cats, currently owning a Cocker Spaniel called Reuben, 3 crossbreed dogs called Biscuit, Charlie and Rocky and two cats, Hamish the British Blue and Luna the Maine Coon.

Maia Crombie SVN

Maia Crombie SVN

Student Veterinary Nurse

Maia joined the St Clair team in September 2021 embarking in her veterinary career. Upon completion of her work placement where she gained her Level 2 Animal Nursing Assistant with Level 2 Dog Grooming via Kirkley Hall College, Maia was offered a permanent position with us as an Animal Care Assistant. Maia’s favourite part of her role is providing TLC to the in-patient’s during their recovery/hospitalisation with us. Currently, Maia does not have any pets of her own but would love to have a Devon Rex cat in the future. Maia is currently working towards gaining her Level 3 veterinary nursing qualifications to become a Registered Veterinary Nurse. In her spare time, Maia thoroughly enjoys scrapbooking.

Daniel Bolton

Daniel Bolton

Animal Care Assistant

Daniel officially joined the St Clair team in 2023 as an Animal Care Assistant helping care for the patients, the staff and the upkeep of the practice. Also known as mini Kris (the vet), Daniel is enjoying his first official job and being part of a team. At home, Daniel has a black and white Moggy cat called Jessie. Outside of work, Daniel enjoys cycling, kick-boxing, rugby and chilling with Jessie his cat. In the future, Daniel hopes to become a Veterinary Surgeon.

Ashley Bates

Ashley Bates

Senior Receptionist

Ashley joined St Clair in March 2014 and soon after completed an Animal Nursing Award, covering basic animal handling, animal first aid and reception duties. Within her job role she manages reception duties and various admin tasks, as well as responding to client requests and managing appointments. She enjoys every minute of her time with the St Clair team and continues to gain valuable experience and memories that will stay with her for life. She loves meeting your furry friends, particularly the cats as she’s a bit of a crazy cat lady herself! She currently own two cats called Ollie & Todd, and a whippet called Reiva.

Donna Nelson

Donna Nelson

Receptionist

Donna has an existing medical background having worked at a private hospital theatre department for 9 years and previously worked in a veterinary practice for a number of years before becoming a mother to her 3 children in which she took time out to care for. Donna jumped at the oppertunity to return to veterinary which has always been her passion, joining the St Clair family in September 2021 as a full time receptionist. Donna has 2 pugs called Muffin and Belle, a rabbit called Stitch and a guinea pig called Buzz. In her spare time Donna likes to travel and enjoys spending time with her 2 grandchildren. She also runs a Highland Dancing School with her daughter and loves teaching pupils this traditional form of dance which she has been involved with since the age of 4. The school regularly participates in shows, charity events, workshops and competitions all over the world.