A PARTNER of one of Hexham’s best-known veterinary practices has praised his staff for their work during the coronavirus pandemic.

Roger Scott, of Scott Mitchell Associates, explained that his team had been placed on furlough at the start of lockdown in March, but it was quickly realised that some would need to be on hand to respond to emergencies.

As a result, 22 staff are still working, while 40 have been furloughed.

Roger said: “We realised that the emergency work would still have to take place, so we asked people to volunteer to come back.

“They were going to be putting themselves at risk, with a certain amount of contact with the public.

“We understood a lot of people would have to isolate because of their families, but to our absolute pride and joy, a number of people stepped forward to help.

“We formed what we call a volunteer crisis team.”

Staff have been working unusual hours and doing jobs they may not be used to.

While the small animal team have been working on emergency cases and some vital procedures such as vaccinations at the practice, the farming and equine team have also been busy during lambing and calving season.

A portacabin has been set up to allow the team to collect equipment and medication without coming into contact with the rest of the staff.

Roger continued: “With so many on furlough, what this team have achieved is incredible.

“We were doing the absolute emergencies, but we’ve progressed into essential work which was to uphold animal welfare.

“We will see any animal that is in pain or distress.”

Staff continuing to work at the practice during the pandemic include: 

Sarah Awburn

Joanne Cairns

Vicki Chomse

Gillian Colley

Cam Collins

Steph Cook

Claire Davies

Sarah Dean

Rebecca Dent

Brendon Jackson

Rose Macmillan

Charlotte McGiveney

Colin Mitchell

Sophie Nixon

Lee-Anne Oliver

Vikki Ord

Gill Parr

Ivana Pintar

Lauren Porteus

Sarah Ridley

Rebecca Robson

Sue Robson

Eleanor Scandle

Roger Scott

Sue Shaw

Kirsten Smith

Becky Stainthorp

Bryony Turnbull