Our friendly, dedicated team of staff are here to provide the best care for your pet. Our training is regularly updated to ensure that we are in touch with the latest methods and treatments.
Tessa Porter MA Vet MB Cert SHP MRCVS (Clinical Director)
Tessa qualified from Cambridge in 1985 and later joined Coombefield in 1988.
Tess now splits her time between Coombfield and her equine work at Summerleaze - She enjoys all aspects of her small animal work but has a particular interest in surgery and feline medicine.
Tessa has her own horses and several cats which take up much of her spare time. When she can, Tessa escapes to Kenya to visit family.
Jaap Jan van Dijk DVM MRCVS (Clinical Director)
Known as 'JJ' - qualified from Utrecht Veterinary University in the Netherlands in 1996. He moved to the UK later that year to work in Dorset and joined Coombefield Veterinary Hospital in 2001, becoming a Partner in 2007.
JJ has always had a particular interest in exotic animals, helping to set up and run a club for vets and vet students whilst studying in the Netherlands to further their, and his own, knowledge.
His main interests are birds, reptiles (especially tortoises) and fish. Although not a specialist in exotics as such, he is happy to see all animals from an axolotl to a zebrafinch!
Outside of work, JJ enjoys family time, relaxing in the garden and cooking. He also enjoys travelling - especially to the Netherlands to stock up on Dutch treats!
Tim Lawrence BVetMed MRCVS (Assistant)
Tim qualified from London in 1976. After 3 ½ years in Exeter, he has been in Axminster
and has seen the practice grow from 6 vets to its current hospital status with 12 full time and 3 part time vets. He is proud to be the Senior Partner of such a caring and professional practice.
His special interests are in equine fertility having studied in Newmarket, equine dentistry having studied a two part advanced course, and Tim regularly attends British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) meetings and courses.
He also has a specialist interest in avian work, especially raptors (birds of prey).
With 34 years of experience, he is happy to deal with anything!!
Jenny Ashby BVSc MRCVS (Assistant)
Jenny qualified from Bristol Vet School in 2008 and has been working at Coombefield ever since, initially as a mixed vet, but now in small animal. Jenny has two children and enjoys baking in her spare time.
Rebecca Skellern MA Vet MB MRCVS (Assistant)
Beccy qualified from Cambridge in 2006, and then spent three years in mixed practice in South Wales. After a spell travelling and working in New Zealand she returned to the south west where she had spent her childhood, and started at Coombefield Veterinary Hospital in September 2011. Beccy enjoys the local countryside and coastline, and spends her spare time cycling, riding, snowskiing and diving.
Brenda Soldan BVetMed MRCVS (Assistant)
Brenda has been working at Coombefield for almost 20 years and has a special interest in diagnostic imaging. In her spare time, she enjoys horse riding, dog walking and spending time with her family.
Nick Weaver BvSc MRCVS (Assistant)
Nick graduated from Liverpool in 1982. Nick has worked in Somerset, Derbyshire, Norfolk, Shropshire, and had his own practice for 12 years before coming back to Somerset. Outside of work, Nick enjoys cycling, gardening, photography, picture framing, stained glass work and spends a lot of time at his children’s houses doing DIY!
Gaynor Cumming BvetMed MRCVS (Assistant)
James Pattison BVSc MRCVS (Assistant)
James graduated from Liverpool in 2013, He has an interest in orthopaedic surgery and is currently studying for a surgical certificate. Outside of work, James enjoys cycling and walking his dog River.
Chris Ogden BVM BVS MRCVS (Assistant)
Chris graduated from Nottingham in 2013 and worked in a mixed practice in Staffordshire before working a season as a dairy vet in New Zealand. Chris moved to Dorset for a lifestyle by the sea and to get more time out on the water sailing and rowing. Chris enjoys all aspects of small animal practice, but is most interested in canine and feline ophthalmology and is about to start his certificate in ophthalmology.
Dr Sebastian Wylie BvetMed MRCVS (Assistant)
Seb graduated from RVC this year, and has previously spent a month in India at a neutering clinic for stray dogs. In his spare time, Seb enjoys climbing and playing squash.
Naomi Ashby-Pickford RVN
I started working in Veterinary Practice in 2001 and qualified as a registered Veterinary nurse in 2005 from Cannington College, Yeovil.
I continued to work in first opinion practice for several years before moving to Bristol to work for one of the largest Referral hospitals in the South West gaining a wealth of knowledge in Critical care, Surgical, Orthopaedic & medical nursing. Alongside referral nursing I spent a year as a lecturer for Cannington College teaching ANA students. I joined Coombefield Veterinary Hospital in August 2012 after a year in a local Equine Referral Hospital. Whist at Coombefield I have completed a Certificate in Emergency and Critical care nursing.
I have a keen interest in Wound Management, Orthopaedic and Equine Nursing and am a qualified pet health councillor.
Emelie Real RVN Ctlls
I started working at Coombefield Veterinary Hospital in March 2008 as a student veterinary nurse. In October 2010 I qualified as a registered veterinary nurse after passing my exams. .
I have a certificate in teaching in the life long learning sector so I will now be able to teach veterinary nursing. I am also a clinical coach at the practice to help the students qualify.
My areas of interest within my job is equine and large animal work. I enjoy the medical side of nursing and having involvement in caring for sick inpatients. The main thing I like about my job is the variety – no 2 days are ever the same!
Jane Adkin FdSc SVN
I started training as a Veterinary Nurse at Coombefield Veterinary Hospital in May 2011. Previously I studied Animal Behaviour and Welfare at University in Gloucester. My main interests are in canine behaviour and I hope to gain more experience with equine work.
My main interests are anaesthesia and in-patient care
Chelsey Hayes SVN
I have recently joined Coombefield Veterinary Hospitals team as a student veterinary nurse. I am looking forward to starting my course in September 2012. I have a particular interest in equine work.
Sophie Griffith SVN
I started at Coombefield Veterinary Hospital as a work experience student, I have now joined the nursing team as a student veterinary nurse and am looking forward to starting my course in September 2013. I have a particular interest in caring for inpatients.
Sandra De Seja-Martin RVN
I started working as a trainee with a veterinary practice in Somerset while attending Bicton College of Agriculture and completed my training in 1999.
I have worked in various locations including the RSPCA and Cyprus Military Working Dog Support Unit.
I joined Coombefield Veterinary Hospital in December 2013, returning to work after a career break to look after my daughter. I enjoy all aspects of veterinary nursing but particularly enjoy surgical and emergency nursing.
Kara Jennings RVN
Kara started working at Coombefield Veterinary Hospital in 2014 as a student veterinary nurse whilst studying at Nottingham Trent University. Kara qualified in 2016. Her main areas of interest are nurse clinics and emergency and critical care. She is also a clinical coach to students. In her spare time, she enjoys baking and walking her springer spaniel
Donna Mace RVN
Donna qualified in 1999, and lectured at Bicton College for 10 years. Donna started at Coombefield Veterinary Hospital in 2015 and is also an OSCE examiner. Donna enjoys horse riding and has three small children who keep here busy in her spare time.
Megan Knell RVN
Megan qualified in August 2017. She has a passion for inpatient care, laboratory diagnostic and has an interest in running nurse clinics. In her spare time she enjoys shopping, walking in the countryside, arts and crafts.
Amy Robinson RVN
Amy qualified as a registered veterinary nurse in 2004 from Cannington College, Yeovil. She has worked in a range of disciplines including orthopaedic, ophthalmology, emergency and critical care and working nights in a referral hospital. Amy joined Coombefield in 2008 and has gained a nursing certificate in Anaesthesia and Critical Care, Higher Education Certificate in Clinical veterinary nursing, Diploma in Small Animal Veterinary Nursing and BSc(Hons) in Clinical Veterinary Nursing, she is also a clinical coach to our student veterinary nurses. Amy enjoys the anaesthetic, surgical and emergency aspects of veterinary nursing.
Dana Barker SVN
Dana is a student veterinary nurse, and only months away from becoming fully qualified. Veterinary nursing is always what she has wanted to do. Dana enjoys spending time with her two dogs and is looking forward to future endeavours.
Simone is a student veterinary nurse in her second year of college and has been a member of Coombefield since 2014. She is interested in surgical nursing and infection control. She enjoys taking part in endurance runs and attending the gym in her spare time.
Chloe is a student veterinary nurse in her first year of training, and thoroughly enjoys horse riding and dog walking. Chloe has an interest in nursing clinics and puppy parties in the future.
Steph is a student veterinary nurse, currently in her first year of training, and has a particular interest in exotic species. Before working at Coombefield, she studied a level 3 diploma in animal management. Outside of work, Steph enjoys photography and specialises in professional pet photoshoots. She also enjoys spending time with her two rats and her dog, Bobby Socks.
Lotte is about to complete her Level 2 Diploma as an animal nursing assistant. Before working at Coombefield, Lotte studied dog behaviour and ran a successful dog walking/sitting business for 10 years. Lotte has always supported rescues, having rescue dogs of her own. She also owns horses and is interested in western riding and horse behaviour.
Steph is currently studying her level2 diploma as an animal nursing assistant. Before coming to Coombefield she was a racehorse groom for both national hunt and point to point. She has a dog and a cat and enjoys going out often for long country walks.
Robyn is currently studying Level 2 Animal Nursing Assistant course, she previously studied Level 3 Extended Diploma in Animal Management. Before Coombefield Robyn worked as a Barista for 4.5 years.
George graduated from Kingston University with a chemistry degree in 2016. When not in the pharmacy, George spends time playing squash or lacrosse for Epsom. He also has two dogs, Frosty and Suzie who he enjoys spending time with.
Stuart started working in the City of London as a trader in 1984 before moving to HK in 1993 to establish the business in Asia. Since leaving the city in 2002 he has been the practice manager of a firm of solicitors before moving into the veterinary world in 2007. In 2016 he was elected to the board of the Veterinary Management Group (VMG) an organisation dedicated to improving the management of Veterinary Practices across the country
He is married with 4 children, He has an aging lab/springer crossbreed and a Cat. He is keen on music, travel, golf, fly- fishing, horse racing and all countryside and conservation matters. He is also a Supervising Steward for Glastonbury Festival running a team of 275 volunteers.He has also volunteered for disaster recovery programs in flood areas in the uk and Serbia
Carol Wood - Accounts Payable
Yvette Harris - IT, Accounts Receivable
Yvette has been at Coombefield since 2011. She has a dog called Chica and a cat called Bee. When not in the office, you will find her rowing around Lyme Bay with the Lyme Regic gig club.
Katie joined Coombefield in 2012 coming from a Canine Rehabilitation and Behaviour background. Her biggest achievement was gaining a degree in Animal Science and Behaviour in 2010. She have continued my interest in training and behaviour and in her spare time enjoys training her 2 rescue dogs and running The Coombefield Dog Agility Team!
Audrey has worked at Coombefield for many many years. She has a flock of sheep, herd of goats, dogs and poultry. Audrey also loves cooking.
Emma has worked at Coombefield for over 10 years. When she’s not in reception, her three children, puppy and two cats keep her busy!
Hayley has been a receptionist at Coombefield since 2008. She has two dogs, two cats, guinea pigs and chickens. Hayley also has a keen interest in wildlife.
Lucy has worked at Coombefield since 2010. When not working, she spends time with her family and looks after her 3 cats.
Jenny has worked at Coombefield for 18 months. She has recently got married in Turkey and can’t cook!
Kirsty Price ( Head Receptionist)
Kirsty is a qualified funeral director who adores cats!
Caron is a former military wife and civil servant, now settled in Devon with her husband. Caron also has two children and two dogs. She has worked at Coombefield since May 2016 and her spare time is spent dog walking, fly fishing, doing crosswords and reading.
After a lifetime of working in the oil and gas exploration industry, Kate had a career change in 2016 and joined Coombefield. She has always had a house full of various pets – she currently has two cats and 2 dogs, including one which she recently rescued from Spain.
Former civil engineer, settled wit her husband, step daughter and 2 labradors in Devon. Karen has worked at Coombefield since September 2017. In her spare time, she enjoys kayaking, walking and outdoor activities.
Vicky Evans RVN C-SQP MBVNA (SEATON)
I proudly qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 2007 after training with the PDSA in Essex. After some locum work in and around the London/Essex area, I relocated to East Devon and started working for Coombefield Veterinary Hospital in 2010. I achieved my C-SQP (Animal Health/Medicines Advisor) qualification in 2011. My main interests include , nurse clinics and puppy/dog behaviour.
Claire Wise (Seaton)
Helen Wilkinson (Seaton)