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Burford Lane North Star Vets celebrate second anniversary

Burford Lane North Star Vets celebrate second anniversary

North Star Plans To Guide More Vets Towards Its Unique Practice Ownership Model

6 months ago

30th November, 2023 11h11

North Star Vets

A veterinary group with an innovative business model that gives head vets at each practice a stake in the business without having to buy into it, is celebrating its second anniversary this month and has announced plans to expand further across the North West. 

North Star Vets launched in 2021, with a brand new state-of-the-art veterinary practice, called Burford Lane Vets, in Cheshire. It then opened two further practices, Westbrook Vets in Warrington and Sandymoor Vets in Runcorn, as part of major investment totalling over
£2 million. The group is now planning to open two more practices in the North West as well as expanding one of the existing practices, totalling a further £2 million investment.  

One of the founding directors and vet, Dr Richard Thomas, said: “Our shared equity, joint venture model has proved very popular. The lead vet at each of our three practices receives equity in their practice, without having to buy in – so there are not upfront costs. 

“With complete clinical freedom, our three practices already have their own very distinct cultures in the style of their practice principles and whenever they need support, the central North Star team are on hand. Our group currently employs seven vets, seven registered veterinary nurses and 10 client care team members, plus our central support team of three finance and human resources professionals. It’s a great team and such a refreshing model for the veterinary industry.” 

Dr Rachel Dean joined the founding practice, Burford Lane Vets in 2022. She said: “We are on course for £1.5 million turnover in our second year and I can honestly say it’s been the best experience. It was important to me to work somewhere where my voice is heard and that is the case here.” 

Dr Rhys Peter from Westbrook Vets said: “It’s been an absolutely fantastic first year. We will be taking on the vacant unit next door to our existing site shortly, doubling in size by the end of the year creating six consulting rooms, two operating theatres and dedicated imaging suite. The 300 five-star Google reviews we’ve received are a testament to our dedication to our clients and their pets and we are proud of what we have achieved in such a short space of time.” 

Dr Becky Crossfield, from Sandymoor Vets, said: “The fact North Star Vets invested in a fabulous 360 degree virtual tour video of our practice, meant we hit the ground running. We achieved £500,000 turnover in our first year and have been supported every step of the way by the North Star central team.” 

Richard added: “What’s great about North Star is that we have a real wealth of knowledge within the team. That means we have a great foundation to help our team to build from, but with lots of opportunity for people to come in and make a real impact.

“There’s so much scope for North Star– we’re constantly evaluating our competitors and industry peers to make sure we’re the best we can be and look at how we can improve and best serve both our team and our patients. A big part of our success comes from our ability to bring in the right people who buy into our vision. 

“Our three practice directors all had very different backgrounds and experience levels coming into the business, but we believed in them as people and have supported them to build their own teams and run their practices as they see fit – all whilst providing that foundation of industry experience and practical support in the form of centralised HR, marketing, finance and admin. 

“As we look to expand, we’re committed to continuing that trend, and whether it’s a new practice director or any other position within our team, we’re very much open to moulding roles to candidates who match our values. We believe that skillsets can be taught, but character is key! The quality of our people directly benefits clients because everything is so authentic. 

“We never need to discuss the best way to make our clients feel welcome and our patients feel at ease, it’s a natural byproduct of finding people who are passionate about what they do. A lot of people are looking for more than just a financial package: a good work life balance and the chance to be present at home with families. Our unique model allows us to prioritise this. For example, at Sandymoor and Westbrook all our teamwork four days out of five with a dedicated day off every week, which is a massive help when it comes to issues such as planning for childcare. 

“Whether a company is good or bad at supporting its team, often there’s a one size fits all approach. We pride ourselves on recognising that the definition of support can be very different depending on a person’s situation, and we do everything we can to be as flexible as possible. We do whatever is needed to support our team professionally, whether that’s funding CPD, setting up mentor systems or backing initiatives designed to improve the services we offer and that’s why we think our business model is proving to be so popular.” 

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