Meet the team of passionate professionals who’ll be caring for your companion

David Eagar

David Eagar

Veterinary Surgeon

David is the owner of Elm House Veterinary Centre. He is an experienced Veterinary Surgeon and has been treating pets at the practice for over 35 years.

Helping his clients is David’s true passion and this is clear to see; he can even be quoted as saying, “there has never been a day when I have not wanted to come to work.”

David’s approachable and friendly personality not only makes him a fantastic veterinary surgeon but also a great boss. He prides himself on his great relationship with his staff and believes this is a key component to the successful running of his Centre.

Away from his work David enjoys gardening, walking and watching the Saracens Rugby team, for whom he has a season ticket.

Joanna Dworaczynska

Joanna Dworaczynska

Veterinary Surgeon

Joanna is a Veterinary Surgeon and has been with Elm House since 2010. She enjoys all aspects of internal medicine and has a keen interest in dermatology and soft tissue surgery.

Joanna’s favourite aspect of her job is being part of a team and having the opportunity to build stable, sympathetic relationships with her clients in order to achieve the best possible outcome for their pets.

Animals are a big part of not only Joanna’s work life but also her home life where she has Leeloo, a sweet and loving rescued Staffie. She also has a beautiful but sometimes naughty horse called Roberto.

When not spending her time tending to the needs of animals, Joanna likes to spend time with her family, reading and horse riding.

Kirsten Putley (currently on maternity leave)

Kirsten Putley (currently on maternity leave)

Veterinary Surgeon

Kirsten qualified as a vet from Cambridge in 2005 and has been applying her expert knowledge at Elm House since November 2011. Having undertaken an internship at a referral centre in 2009 Kirsten realized that she enjoyed too many aspects of veterinary medicine to specialize in one particular area and that general practice was the best way to achieve this. That being said she finds soft tissue surgery very satisfying and always enjoys working up a good medicine case.

Kirsten particularly enjoys working cases up from the initial consultation through to diagnosis and is motivated by providing top quality care and treatment for her canine and feline patients.

Outside of work Kirsten and her husband really enjoy travelling and are avid scuba divers, although adventure holidays are currently on hold now that they have a toddler and a new born baby in tow! Kirsten also has a 3 legged cat called Wonky having rescued her 2 years ago.

Alex Torrance

Alex Torrance

Veterinary Surgeon

Alex qualified as a vet from Cambridge in 2010 and has worked locally since graduating. He joined Elm House in 2017. He enjoys soft tissue surgery and imaging, especially ultrasonography. He has also completed an ESVPS certificate in exotic animal medicine giving him greater knowledge and expertise when treating our patients of a more extraordinary nature, ranging from tortoise and snakes to parrots and rats.
Alex’s passion for veterinary practise is concentrated on achieving the best welfare goals for his patients and their owners. He enjoys the great variation of clinical cases that are seen on a day to day basis, and the diagnostic challenges that come with this.
Alex has two mischievous cats, Heidi and Hughie, that continue to keep him busy outside of work. He and his partner are now outnumbered with the recent arrival of their daughter Ida. With what spare time he has left Alex enjoys playing football, snowboarding and can occasionally be found canoeing in the canals around Chelmsford.

Sharon Heard

Sharon Heard

Head Veterinary Nurse

Sharon has been with us for over six years and heads up our fantastic team of Veterinary Nurses. Her commitment, keen eye for detail and brilliant organisational skills play an important role in making sure our centre runs smoothly.

Holding nurse clinics is one of Sharon’s favourite things about working as a
Veterinary Nurse. She also enjoys caring for our patients, trying out new
procedures and working as part of a close-knit team.

Away from the centre, Sharon enjoys running, water aerobics and socialising with her friends. She also loves travelling to hot countries, relaxing and reading a good book.

Once a year Sharon works abroad on behalf of the ‘Spay Sisters’ charity, helping to neuter cats and dogs to help control over-population.

Sharon has a 13-year-old cat called Bear Ging and a rabbit called Bob,both are adored and keep her on her toes.

Hilary Bell

Hilary Bell

Deputy Head Veterinary Nurse

Hilary has been part of our team now since September 2010 and her caring nature and empathy towards her patients are what make her such a fantastic Veterinary Nurse.

Hilary has always had an interest in caring for animals having done an Animal Management course prior to Veterinary Nursing. Being able to see the health of an animal improve under her care is what she finds most satisfying about her job.

Although Hilary doesn’t believe that you should have favourites when it comes to animals, she is particularly fond of cats and has one cat at home called Lillie. She also has two female rabbits (a mum and a daughter) called Cinnamon and Hovis.

In her spare time Hilary enjoys playing her Alto Saxophone in a Concert Band and is also part of Scout Network which involves hiking, camping and lots of other outdoor activities.

Gemma Beadel

Gemma Beadel

Veterinary Nurse

Gemma, as well as being a superb Veterinary Nurse, is also a qualified clinical coach and assessor. The coaching skills that Gemma possesses are very important for the progression of our Student Nurses and our team as a whole.

Admitting patients, administering anaesthesia and taking care of general admin are just some of the other duties that Gemma carries out within the centre. She believes that the most rewarding part of her work is being able to see the improvement in her patients post-surgery, and also enjoys the variety her work offers.

When she’s not working, Gemma enjoys spending time with her two sons and her cat called Teo.

Sarah Strange

Sarah Strange

Veterinary Nurse

Sarah started at Elm house in November 2016. She has been qualified for 5 years and enjoys all aspects of nursing, but has a keen interest in nurse clinics and animal behaviour.

Sarah has a collection of rescued animals at home that she acquired from previous practices which include three cats and a Lurcher called Wilma.

During her spare time she enjoys traveling, going to the gym and baking cakes.

Gemma Lovett

Gemma Lovett

Student Veterinary Nurse

Gemma has been a brilliant member of the Elm House team since 2011. Her friendly approach and understanding of animal care make her an excellent student nurse.

Gemma’s daily tasks involve caring for our inpatients, assisting vets in taking blood samples and clinical examinations and surgical procedures. She has lots of experience in handling cats and her kind, gentle approach helps to reduce our feline patients’ stress levels. She’s also responsible for answering your questions about insurance, as well as submitting claims.

Gemma is enthusiastic about all aspects of veterinary care and has a particular interest in learning more about lab work.

Gemma has a big love for cats, especially white ones – no surprises for guessing the colour of her feline friend Merlin!

Emma Shippen

Emma Shippen

Student Veterinary Nurse

Emma is one of our highly valued student veterinary nurses who began working with us on a voluntary basis before joining the team part-time in 2013. A year on, after completing her Veterinary Care Assistant course Emma joined the team on a full-time basis, and has now started her training at Writtle College to become a Veterinary Nurse.

Emma’s daily responsibilities involve keeping our surgical instruments in perfect condition, helping the vets to take blood samples, preparing patients for surgery and looking after our in-patients. She also often helps out on reception.

In her spare time Emma looks after her two rabbits and gerbil at home. When she has the time she also helps out at Hopefield Animal Sanctuary where she helps look after over 400 animals that have had a tough start in life. Emma is also a keen runner and is currently in training for her next race.

Lucy Hockton

Lucy Hockton

VCA

Lucy joined the practice in September 2016 as a ward assistant. Before joining the team Lucy completed a course in Animal management. Lucy is always enthusiastic and happy to be at work. The most enjoyable part of her job is unpacking the order and providing the animals with some tender loving care after their operations and during their stay as an inpatient.
Lucy’s main duties are setting up the theatre and preparing the practice for the day’s procedures and consultations, making sure the washing is up to date and providing the animals with food, water and taking them out into the garden. In her spare time, she enjoys socializing with her friends and looking after her dog and other animals.

Debbie Savage

Debbie Savage

Receptionist

Debbie has been the Receptionist at Elm House since 2012. However, she has 35 years experience working in a veterinary environment.

Debbie’s responsibilities include running reception, booking appointments, dispensing medication and ensuring that all our clients’ needs are met.

As a qualified Animal Medicines Advisor ( SQP ), Debbie is always happy to answer all of your questions about flea and worming treatments. Her friendly and helpful attitude helps our clients feel more relaxed during their visit here, and dogs can always look forward to a gravy bone before going home.

Debbie enjoys getting to know our clients, following our patients’ progress and seeing them make a full recovery.

In her spare time Debbie enjoys walking her two rescue dogs, Hettie and George. She also helps out at a tortoise rescue centre and local nature reserve as well as visiting dog training clubs as a Good Citizen Award Assessor.

Sam Ratchford

Sam Ratchford

Receptionist

Sam began working at the practice in July 2016. Her daily responsibilities are answering the phone, emails, booking appointments and general paperwork duties.

She has completed many dog related courses and has a big interest in canine nutrition and training.
She has her own pet food home delivery company and she owns 3 dogs Maya and Finley who are Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers and Martha a little rescue crossbreed.
She has always worked in the veterinary industry since she left school and loves seeing our clients and their pets.

Get your Voucher Now!


If you’re new to Elm House Veterinary Centre, you can look forward to receiving your pet’s first health check completely free of charge. All you have to do to claim your voucher is fill in your details below.

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Should your companion ever require veterinary attention outside of practice hours, please contact our normal number 01245 352525 and you will be put through to Vets Now.