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Top Team And Incoming Vets Herald New Dawn For Kentdale Referrals

2 weeks ago

18th February, 2021 16h27

Linnaeus Group

A fresh leadership team and three vets have been appointed to herald a new dawn at one of the UK’s top referral vet centres.

Linnaeus-owned Kentdale Referrals, in Milnthorpe, Cumbria, has announced that Toby Gemmill has taken on the role of managing director, with Sharon Murtagh named as hospital director as the referral centre looks to build on its reputation for commitment to excellence within the industry.

Toby, who is a highly-experienced RCVS and European specialist in small animal surgery and also managing director at the Linnaeus flagship hospital Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service, in the West Midlands, said: “It is a wonderful opportunity for me to work with our excellent team at Kentdale and I’m excited about what we can achieve together.

“We have big plans for the future, so I’m sure it will be a very busy and productive time as we look to continue the great job being done by the talented team here at Kentdale.

“My absolute priority will be to maintain our unswerving commitment to providing the best possible levels of care to our patients, pet owners and referring vets.”

Sharon, who has a wealth of experience in veterinary care, said: “Kentdale has a deserved reputation as one of the UK’s leading specialist-led small animal orthopaedic, spinal and soft tissue surgery referral centres.

“We have plans to enhance that reputation even further as we put into place our clear vision for the future, which firmly focuses on expanding and extending the care and treatments that we can offer.”

Toby and Sharon will be taking over the reins from highly successful husband and wife team Simon and Louise Roch, who originally set up Kentdale in 2008.

Simon, a RCVS-recognised Specialist in Small Animal Surgery (Orthopaedics), is staying on at Kentdale and will continue to lead the hospital’s total hip replacement and elbow joint resurfacing services.

Louise has recently left Kentdale to take up a central support role within parent company Linnaeus, which is owned by global giants Mars Petcare.

The new leadership team will be bolstered in their roles by the arrival of three highly experienced and talented new vets Jan Beranek, Joe Higgins and Gemma Holloway.

Jan, an EBVS European Specialist in Small Animal Surgery, graduated from Veterinary University Brno in the Czech Republic in 1994.

He moved to the UK in December 2010 and became a diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2018.

He is also the author of two textbooks on orthopaedic radiology and thoracic radiology for small animals. His key interests lie within keyhole surgery, neurosurgery and soft tissue surgery.

Joe, an advanced practitioner, graduated from Liverpool University and his main interests include treatment of cranial cruciate ligament disease, fracture repair and surgery to treat slipped discs.

Gemma is an advanced practitioner in Small Animal Surgery and an ECVS Resident in Small Animal Surgery.

Having joined Kentdale in October, Gemma has embarked on a newly-launched dual site ECVS residency programme between Kentdale Referrals and fellow Linnaeus hospital North Downs Specialist Referrals in Surrey. Gemma is also accredited as a Biomedtrix Universal Hip Replacement surgeon. 

Kentdale’s team of five vets also includes Graham Hayes, an RCVS and European Specialist in small animal surgery. Graham graduated from Cambridge University in 2001 and has been an integral part of the team at Kentdale since 2016.

Kentdale Referrals is a specialist-led practice offering expert services in diagnostic imaging, arthroscopy, anaesthesia, infection control, orthopaedic surgery, spinal surgery, soft tissue surgery and physiotherapy.

For more information, visit or search for Kentdale Referrals on social media.

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