Small Animal Team 

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.

Veterinary Surgeons   -   Nurses   -   Support Staff

Veterinary Surgeons

Tessa Porter MA Vet MB Cert SHP MRCVS (Clinical Director)

Tessa PorterTessa 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, and as such is our ISFM cat advocate.

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)

Jaap Jan van DijkKnown 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 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!



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 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 SoldanBrenda 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 WeaverNick 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)

Gaynor qualified from the Royal Veterinary College and has worked in London, Yemen, Ilminster and Honiton. She spent some time at Coombefield previously working as a locum. Currently she works part-time at Coombefield as well as at Bovey Tracey and is Supervising Vet at a bull stud near Dartington, so she has a busy & varied working week.
She loves all aspects of practice.
When not working she loves to spend time with her family, reading, crafting, Salsa and walking their two dogs- Barnes and Wallis.



James Pattison BVSc 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 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 studying for his certificate in ophthalmology.



Philippa Burg VetMB BSc MRCVS (Assistant)

Philippa graduated from Cambridge in 2011 and spent the summer at a small animal neutering clinic in Malaysia. She then went on to undertake an internship at a local equine hospital before joining Coombefield in 2013. After a few years at another practice Philippa has now rejoined us. Philippa is also our resident acupuncturist and her main interests include helping with pain associated with arthritis.





Carrie Daly BVM BVS MRCVS (Assistant)

Dr Carrie Daly BVM BVS MRCVSCarrie has recently joined the practice since graduating from Nottingham University in July 2018. Carrie moved to the south west to enjoy the beautiful countryside and walks, with her two dogs, Jasper her Dalmatian and Sapphire her Collie puppy. In her spare time she enjoys training and competing in agility, as well as training and competing Jasper as a carriage dog. Carrie enjoys all aspects of small animal practice, and is most interested in surgical cases and imaging.




Head Nurse

Naomi Ashby-Pickford NCertENCC RVN  

Naomi started working in Veterinary Practice in 2001 and qualified as a registered Veterinary nurse in 2005 from Cannington College, Yeovil.

She 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 she spent a year as a lecturer for Cannington College teaching ANA students. She joined Coombefield in August 2012 after a year in a local Equine Referral Hospital. Whist at Coombefield she has completed a Certificate in Emergency and Critical care nursing.

She has a keen interest in wound management, orthopaedic and equine nursing and is a qualified pet health councillor.

The Nurses

Emelie Real RVN Ctlls  

Emelie started working at Coombefield in March 2008 as a student veterinary nurse. In October 2010 she qualified as a registered veterinary nurse after passing her exams.

She has a certificate in teaching in the life long learning sector so is able to teach veterinary nursing. She is also a clinical coach at the practice to help the students qualify.

She enjoys the medical side of nursing and having involvement in caring for sick inpatients. The main thing she loves about her job is the variety – no 2 days are ever the same!

Jane Adkin FdSc RVN

Jane completed her training as a veterinary nurse at Coombefield in the summer of  2015. Previously she studied animal behaviour and welfare at University in Gloucester. Jane's main interests are in canine behaviour, anaesthesia and in-patient care

Chelsey Hayes RVN 





Sophie Griffiths RVN 





Kara Jennings RVN 





Megan Knell RVN 





Dana Barker RVN 





Amy Robinson RVN 




Sandra De Seja Martin RVN 





Nathalie Ford RVN 





Donna Mace RVN 





Abigail RVN 





Simone Fishlock SVN 




Chloe Millar SVN 





Steph Toogood SVN




Lotte Lewis ANA

Robyn Taylor 





Steph Young 





Support Staff

Yvette Harris

Carol Wood

George Skewes 







Kirsty Price 





Hayley De Blois 





Audrey Dicks 





Kate Cross 





Lucy Mortimer 





Caron Moss 





Josie Cable





Karen Rattew




Alison Latham

Katie Millar





Seaton Surgery

Emma Price 





Claire Wiseman

Helen Wilkinson

Angie Tomlin

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