Claire and Ben shortlisted in top veterinary awards

THE hard work and dedication of a VetPartners vet and veterinary nurse has led to them being shortlisted for prestigious industry awards.

Ben Pugh, a clinical director at Byron Vets Surgery, part of Ashfield House Veterinary Hospital in Nottingham, has been shortlisted for Vet of the Year in the Petplan Awards.

Claire Shepherd, who works at Parker & Crowther Vets in Formby, Maghull and Birkdale, has been shortlisted for Veterinary Nurse of the Year.

They were among nearly 19,000 veterinary professionals to be nominated by clients or colleagues in the awards – the Oscars of the veterinary profession.

The winners will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony in Birmingham on April 2nd when Petplan will also reveal the winners across three other categories, Practice of the Year, Practice Manager of the Year and Practice Support Staff of the Year.

Ben said: “I’m lucky at Ashfield because I have great clients and colleagues and they are all as much winners as I am. It’s lovely to be recognised, I do try and do my job to the best of my ability and try and go the extra mile. I wouldn’t be able to do that without the wonderful team here.

“I look forward to coming to work every day and the only way to ensure that is to have good working conditions and having people around you who are like one big family.”

Ben qualified as a vet in 2007, before joining Byron Vets in November that year. He has a certificate in small animal ophthalmology in 2017 and became a clinical director at the practice last year.

After two years of working at Parker & Crowther, Claire is a familiar face to clients and she received 10 nominations for the award.

She recently completed a Diploma in Feline Nursing through the International Society of Feline Medicine to help make visiting the veterinary practice a less stressful experience for cats. Claire also advises owners on how to create a home environment so cats are happy and content.

Outside of work she volunteers for Warrington Animal Welfare and has also volunteered four times with Skiathos Cat Welfare Association.

Claire, who completed a zoology degree at Liverpool John Moores University, said: “I always wanted to work with animals and that was my focus from a very young age. I love my job as a veterinary nurse and the best bit is helping animals and their owners.

“The best thing about working at Parker & Crowther is my colleagues. We have a group of nurses and vets who all work really well together and it’s like a family atmosphere. I was shocked when I heard I’d been shortlisted for the award. I’m really grateful to everyone who nominated me.”

For media enquiries, please contact Amanda Little, VetPartners Senior PR and Communications Manager, on 07970 198 492 or email

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