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    Harper Adams invests in veterinary subjects

    Posted 2 October 2012

    "I am delighted to have joined Harper Adams at such an exciting time in the development of the ground-breaking undergraduate veterinary physiotherapy course."

    New staff: Lucy Evans, Beth Roberts and Elizabeth Gilbert

    Harper Adams University College is proud to be investing in new staff, facilities and courses for its veterinary-related subjects. 

    Three new members of staff began teaching this week: one veterinary surgeon and one veterinary nurse, to join the current team of five vets and eight vet nurses who support the veterinary nursing courses; and one veterinary physiotherapist, who will be vital to the new undergraduate Veterinary Physiotherapy course which will welcome its first students 2013. 

    The University College has also launched a post graduate veterinary nursing qualification, which can be studied to Post Graduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and Masters levels. 

    Dr Erica Martin, Section Head Veterinary Nursing, said: “Veterinary nursing as a graduate career is now established so we are thrilled to be able to offer further career and academic development with the Msc Veterinary Nursing”.

    The BSc (Hons) veterinary physiotherapy course starting next year will be led by Senior Lecturer Carole Brizuela, who said: “With a new veterinary services centre and hydrotherapy suite due to be built on the Harper Adams campus, and with the appointment of Beth Roberts, our first in-house veterinary physiotherapy lecturer, Harper Adams will be able to offer dedicated teaching in animal physiotherapy to our undergraduate students and enhance the quality of provision to our postgraduate cohorts”.

    Beth Roberts obtained a BSc (Hons) degree in Veterinary Nursing from the Royal Veterinary College/Middlesex University in 2005 and has worked in a variety of practices including several university referral hospitals. Early in her career she developed a particular interest in the treatment and rehabilitation of animals post-operatively and the medical management of conditions such as arthritis. This led her to undertake further training in this field and she qualified among the first cohort of students to obtain a Postgraduate Diploma in Veterinary Physiotherapy from Harper Adams University College in 2011, and has since gained a specialist certificate in small animal hydrotherapy.

    Beth has since worked alongside some of the country's leading companion animal surgeons, heading up a rehabilitation and hydrotherapy unit at a first opinion and referral veterinary hospital in the Midlands before starting at Harper Adams in August 2012. She still spends one day a week in the hospital, and freelances treating horses in the Midlands.

    She said: “I am delighted to have joined Harper Adams at such an exciting time in the development of the ground-breaking undergraduate veterinary physiotherapy course. I look forward to helping deliver this and other animals-related courses, as well as expanding my research interests.”

    The University College's new vet is Elizabeth Gilbert, who qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in 2006 and has been working in practice since. She said: I am really excited to be joining the Vet Nursing team at Harper Adams and hope my experiences in practice will add positively to the students’ learning. I have mostly worked in small animal roles, although my first job did involve some equine and farm animal work. Most recently, following a move north, I have been working as a locum at a variety of small animal practices. This experience has given me a wider understanding of the differences between small animal practices, which I hope will benefit the students."

    The third new team member, Lucy Evans, graduated from The University of Bristol with a first class honours degree in veterinary nursing and practice administration in 2008. Upon graduation, she worked in referral practice, specialising in nursing the orthopaedic patient. In 2009, Lucy's thesis on “the efficiency of chlorhexidine gluconate in canine skin preparation – practice survey and clinical trials” was published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice (JSAP). 

    Lucy spent 14 months travelling and working around the world, then completed one year as a locum vet nurse before joining the team at Harper Adams, where she will be working as a teaching assistant on veterinary nursing programmes. She said: “I’m really excited to be joining the team here at Harper, I’m looking forward to meeting the students and sharing with them all the knowledge that I have picked up during my time in practice. I’m sure I will also learn a good few things from them!”  

    Carwyn Ellis, Head of the Animal Production, Welfare and Veterinary Sciences Department at Harper Adams, said: “These staff represent only part of our additional resources directed towards the veterinary services sector, with additional staffing and a new Veterinary Services Centre planned, these are exciting times for our department”.

    The new veterinary service centre at Harper Adams campus is expected to open by Easter 2014.


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