Welcome To Acorn House Veterinary Hospital

Introducing Our Practice Team 

Everyone at our practice is committed to providing you with the very best in pet healthcare. Our veterinary team bring a wealth of experience to the practice and have individually obtained high standards of professional qualification.


Katharine Nelson
Katharine Nelson
Vet Surgeon, Principal & Clinical Director
MA MSc VetMB PG Cert(SAS) GPCert(SAM) MRCVS RCVS Advanced Practitioner

Katharine has been working for us since her graduation from Cambridge in 2003. Her post-graduate qualifications include the GP Certificate in small animal medicine (2007), an MSc in Clinical Animal Behaviour from Lincoln University (2017) and the Postgraduate Certificate in small animal surgery (2018). Katharine is recognised by the RCVS as an Advanced Veterinary Practitioner in both Small Animal Surgery and Companion Animal Behaviour. Katharine sits on the Canine Advisory Behavioural Panel and has had surgical case reports published in both the Companion journal of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association and the Veterinary Times. Katharine's surgery certificate allows the practice to offer our clients an expanded range of surgeries that might otherwise have required referral to a specialist centre, including Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy (TPLO) to treat cruciate ligament disease. She has past experience working for dedicated veterinary emergency centres in Luton and Milton Keynes, and has even been known to say that she enjoys the adrenaline rush of a genuine emergency in the middle of the night! Katharine lives locally with her two sons and feels particularly lucky to have been seeing some of the same clients and patients for many years.

Gaynor Dudley
Gaynor Dudley
Deputy Principal
AssocCIPD

Gaynor joined the practice in 2002. Gaynor is responsible for the day to day running of the surgery. In her spare time she enjoys gardening, riding her horse, walking her dogs and cycling all over Bedfordshire.

Rosie Theakston
Rosie Theakston
Veterinary Surgeon & Vice Principal
MA VetMB PGCert(VetEd) MRCVS

Rosie started working for the practice after graduation from Cambridge in 1998. Rosie enjoys all aspects of small animal veterinary work and has some very good relationships with her many longstanding patients and clients. Rosie holds the Postgraduate Certificate in Veterinary Education, and is responsible for managing the educational experience that Acorn House offers to veterinary students visiting the practice to observe our work.

Paul Harris-McCulloch
Paul Harris-McCulloch
Practice Manager

Paul joined Acorn House when we were at De Parys Avenue in 1998 as a Trainee Veterinary Nurse (TVN), and later qualified as a Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN). He left Acorn House to further his career as a head nurse for a veterinary practice in Luton. After several years there, he decided in a change of career and became a veterinary nurse and animal care lecturer. Paul worked for a college in Cambridgeshire, where he gained his Certificate in Education (Cert Ed). He returned to Acorn House in July 2011 and, after a long nursing career, he is now our Practice Manager. Paul has a Higher National Certificate in Business (HNC). At home, Paul is a Harry Potter fan and manic collector. He has been on the Harry Potter studio tour 3 times! “Acorn House has always had a special place in my heart, and I feel incredibly lucky to be working with such a dedicated, supportive and wonderful team.”

Sarah Fallow
Sarah Fallow
Senior Veterinary Surgeon
BVetMed PGCert(Exotics) MRCVS RCVS Advanced Practitioner

Sarah graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in London in June 2016, and joined the practice straight away. She enjoys all aspects of Veterinary Medicine, but has a keen interest in working with exotic pets and has experience in the husbandry and care of many species. Sarah has completed a certificate in Exotic Animal Practice and is recognised by the RCVS as an Advanced Practitioner in Zoological Medicine. Sarah manages the Clinical Governance system at Acorn House, ensuring that the practice continues to sustain and improve on our high standards of patient care.

Kathryn Pearson
Kathryn Pearson
Veterinary Surgeon
MRCVS

Kat graduated from Cambridge in 2010 and has been working locally as a small animal vet since then. She enjoys all aspects of practising as a vet but particularly likes feline medicine. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her two small children and her cat, Cobweb.

Frances Connerton
Frances Connerton
Veterinary Surgeon
MRCVS

Frances qualified from the University of Cambridge in 2014. As a new graduate, she started work in a mixed practice in her home county of Kent, before undertaking an accelerated course in Emergency and Critical Care and working in a dedicated “out of hours” clinic. Since moving to the area in 2017 she has worked in a busy hospital practice in Cambridgeshire where she has developed a strong interest in internal medicine. She is currently studying for a certificate in small animal medicine and enjoys diagnosing and managing medical cases, while still continuing to be passionate about emergency work. Outside of work Frances enjoys catching up with friends, skiing and running.

Ola Chwalinska
Ola Chwalinska
Veterinary Surgeon
MRCVS

Ola graduated from the University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Pl in 2009. She has also completed a student internship in a busy small animal practice in Wesseling, Ge. After graduation Ola completed a 2-year program at the Department of Epizootics and Infectious Diseases of Animals of the University of Life Sciences in Lublin. Then she opened her own mixed practice in the village close to her home town. In 2016 Ola decided to move to the UK looking for self-improvement and different standards in veterinary medicine., working in several practices before joining Acorn House in 2021. Ola's main interests are surgery, dentistry and dermatology. She spends her spare time with her partner at the gym or travelling but she also enjoys home decor and interior design.

Alina Vulpe
Veterinary Surgeon
MRCVS

Alina graduated from the faculty of veterinary medicine at Banat University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine in 2017. She moved to the UK in 2019, working at a practice in Colchester before joining the Acorn House team in 2021. Alina enjoys all aspects of working with the patients and owners at Acorn House and enjoys learning about human psychology in her spare time.

Wynne Fong
Wynne Fong
Veterinary Surgeon
MRCVS

Wynne graduated from Royal Veterinary College in London in 2018. She is originally from Hong Kong but has lived in England since 2011. She loves doing surgery and enjoys all parts of general practice. Wynne is currently studying for a Postgraduate Certificate in Small Animal Surgery. In her spare time, Wynne is a homebody who likes knitting and spending time with her two cats, Wayne and Freya.

Henry Phillips
Henry Phillips
Veterinary Surgeon
MRCVS

Henry graduated from the University of Cambridge in July 2020 and joined Acorn House straight away. He loves all areas of veterinary medicine but has a particular interest in diagnostic imaging and feline internal medicine. In his spare time, he enjoys music and following his beloved West Ham United.

Harriet Clough
Veterinary Surgeon
MRCVS

Harriet went to school in Bedford before studying Veterinary Medicine at the University of Nottingham from where she graduated in 2020 with both a BVM BVS Honours and a Masters of Research in Veterinary Medicine. Harriet enjoys the mix of medicine and surgery in small animal practice and values the opportunity to develop trusting relationships with her clients. In her spare time Harriet enjoys exploring the countryside with her dog, skiing, riding and cycling but she is also a keen baker and knitter.

Rupert Oakley
Veterinary Surgeon
MRCVS

Ru graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2020 and joined Acorn House in 2021 after starting his veterinary career in equine practice. He is interested in both surgery and internal medicine. In the future he hopes to be able to practice abroad. Outside of work, Ru enjoys sports and camping.

Nadia Kopec
Nadia Kopec
Veterinary Physiotherapist
BSc Hons

Nadia studied for her BSc Hons in Physiotherapy and qualified in 2006. Nadia worked in the NHS for 10 years before deciding to further her studies in the animal sector became a Category A member of ACPAT in June 2015. Having spent the last year completing research in canine kinematics Nadia has extended her knowledge further whilst continuing to develop her veterinary physiotherapy skills.

Kerry Skinner
Kerry Skinner
Head Nurse
Dip AVN(surgical) Cert VN ECC RVN

Kerry passed her RCVS examinations in July 2000. She has worked at Acorn House since August 2001. Kerry is one of our assessors responsible for student nurse training. Kerry passed the Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing (Surgical) in 2007. Kerry has a pony called Elkie

Sharon Dawes
Sharon Dawes
Deputy Head Nurse
RVN

Sharon is our longest serving member of staff having joined the practice in April 1993. She is one of our training assessors and has a keen interest in nursing clinics and dental care. Sharon has a cat that she rescued from the surgery.

Jo Woodcock
Jo Woodcock
Deputy Head Nurse
RVN

Jo joined the Acorn House team in 2006, she previously worked in a small animal practice in Kent where she qualified in 2003. She has a keen interest in feline and canine behaviour. In her spare time she enjoys cycling and looking after and riding her horse.

Kelly Sharpe
Kelly Sharpe
Senior Nurse
Cert VN ECC RVN

Kelly qualified in 2002 and worked in a practice in Milton Keynes for 5 years before joining us in 2011. Kelly has a particular interest in emergency work and has recently gained a certificate in Emergency Nursing and Critical Care. She has a little Bichon Frise called Bella and loves any white fluffy creatures.

Claire West
Claire West
Senior Nurse
RVN

Claire originally qualified as a veterinary nurse with us in 2005 she then went on to travel and work at another practice. She came back to Acorn in 2014 and now works as a veterinary nurse and is our health plan co-ordinator.

Carla  Gelder
Carla Gelder
Registered Veterinary Nurse
RVN

Carla qualified in 2015 and joined the Acorn House team in November 2016. Carla owns a black cat called Sapphire that has an attitude problem! In her spare time she enjoys walking, camping and painting.

Rachel  Payne
Rachel Payne
Registered Veterinary Nurse
RVN

Rachel joined us in 2015. She spent two years studying for a national diploma in animal management and obtained straight distinctions! Rachel then went on to to complete a 4 year degree at Edinburgh Napier University. She has 3 rescue cats called Bella, Lucy and Daisy.

Naomi Jones
Naomi Jones
Registered Veterinary Nurse
RVN

Naomi started working at Acorn in April 2017 and qualified in 2018. Naomi has a husky named Sky and enjoys horse riding in her spare time.

Amy  Bowler
Amy Bowler
Registered Veterinary Nurse
RVN


Carla Smith
Registered Veterinary Nurse
RVN


Lucy Clark
Registered Veterinary Nurse
RVN


Aimee Spilling
Aimee Spilling
Registered Veterinary Nurse
RVN


Rachel Potts
Rachel Potts
Student Veterinary Nurse
SVN

Rachel joined us in March 2018 having previously worked at a veterinary referral practice as a Kennel Assistant. She has 2 cats, a chilled black and white cat called Phoebe and an extremely "Naughty Tortie" called Tallulah. In her spare time Rachel enjoys spending time with friends and family and travelling.

Sophia  Johnson
Sophia Johnson
Student Veterinary Nurse
SVN

Sophia used to work in a GP surgery doing clinical care. She has 15 rescue dogs in Spain and two at home, one of which is Spanish. Sophia is currently training to be a Registered Veterinary Nurse and has always wanted to care for animals. Sophia enjoys going to the gym and would love to travel the world.

Millie Burnapp
Weekend Assistant - Nursing


Harriet Rowlett
Weekend Assistant - Nursing


Michelle  Riddle
Michelle Riddle
Assistant Administrator

Michelle originally joined the practice as a trainee nurse in 1991. After maternity leave, Michelle joined the customer care team. She is renowned within the practice for her encyclopaedic knowledge of pets and their owners! Michelle has now joined our Practice Administration Team.

Annette Pulleine
Annette Pulleine
Dispensary Manager

Annette has been a veterinary receptionist since 1998. She joined Acorn House in 2012 then left 2 years later, to move to Bristol. After having her son, her family moved back to the area and was reunited with the Acorn House team in October 2017. Annette now works in the admin department and runs the practice health plan and manages our dispensary.

Clare Munyard
Clare Munyard
Assistant Administrator

Clare joined the team in 2013 after running her own pet care business. Clare shares her home with her cat Rupert, who is a bit of a character! Clare has successfully completed her degree in History which she has been studying part-time for the last 6 years. In her spare time Clare loves being with her family, baking, and reading.

Ness Munro
Ness Munro
Administrator Assistant

Ness joined our Acorn House family in March 2020. She is married and has a chocolate Labrador Mila and two gorgeous grandchildren. Ness comes from a long background in customer care and loves the great interaction both with her clients and most of all their four-legged friends.

Tracie Martin RVR
Tracie Martin RVR
Customer Care Manager

Tracie joined the practice in November 2014 with almost 20 years of customer care management experience under her belt. Tracie owns two Jack Russell terriers called Bridget and Alfie. In her spare time Tracie likes to go to London to visit her son and to go shopping and sightseeing. Tracie has completed her Gold Level Companion Animal Accredited Veterinary Receptionist Award. This has enabled her to become a Registered Veterinary Receptionist.

Jodie  Sutton
Jodie Sutton
Customer Care Advisor

Jodie joined the practice as a customer care advisor in July 2014. She has three dogs, one cat and a rabbit. Jodie enjoys horse riding and spending time with her family.

Sally Smith
Sally Smith
Customer Care Advisor

Sally joined us in 2006, after leaving a career in human nursing. She owns a dog, two cats, two goats and a horse.

Amy  Freeman
Amy Freeman
Customer Care Advisor


Dawn  Bunting
Dawn Bunting
Customer Care Advisor

Prior to joining Acorn house in May 2019, Dawn worked in education for 15 years. Looking for a change in career, she followed her dream and began studying part time for a degree in animal science and management, finishing her first year with a distinction. During this time she also worked for, and then ran an animal education company, which is where she developed a passion for engaging with people about animals. Dawn has a special interest in exotics and has her own menagerie of rescues and re-homes, including snakes, lizards and invertebrates. Special mention has to go to Molly the skunk and Stevie and Pickle the guinea pigs, who are well known at the practice! In-between working and studying, Dawn enjoys photographing her animals, reading, music, films, baking and spending time with family and friends.

Marianna  Mazza RVR
Marianna Mazza RVR
Senior Customer Care Advisor

Marianna joined the practice as a Customer Care Advisor in September 2019. She shares her home with her husband, two teenagers and Willow their Cockapoo. In her spare time, Marianna enjoys baking, sewing and spending time with her extended family and friends. Marianna has completed her Gold level Companion Animal Accredited Veterinary Receptionist Award. This has enabled her to become at Registered Veterinary Receptionist.

Dawn  Lindsay
Dawn Lindsay
Customer Care Advisor

Dawn is a qualified teacher and graphic designer. She is also a published novelist and illustrator, but her dream job has always been to work with animals; a dream that was finally realised when she came to work at Acorn House. Dawn has taken in and raised countless rescue animals including dogs, cats, rabbits, rats, chickens, giant African snails, and stick insects. She has also been proud surrogate ‘mother’ to four ducklings who had to be hatched in an incubator. Dawn currently shares her home with an extremely chatty rescued Siberian husky, a previously abandoned Maine Coon cat (who has many complaints about the standard of food and service), and her long-suffering partner and son. She loves reading, drawing, and gardening and would like to be a Polar explorer when she grows up.

Ann Stevens RVR
Ann Stevens RVR
Customer Care Advisor

Ann has recently joined Acorn House after moving to Bedford this year from Surrey. She has worked in the veterinary small animal practice world for 8 years and loves the contact with clients and staff daily. Ann has an 8kg white cat called Casper (half Maine Coon and half Persian) who is deaf; he was rescued from Qatar and is now easily the most spoilt animal in Bedford! Ann’s passion is all things feline, but she loves all the creatures she comes across at Acorn House.

Hannah Muirhead
Customer Care Advisor


Vasilia Bridge
Customer Care Advisor


Emma Izzard
Customer Care Advisor

Emma joined Acorn Vets in April 2022 who is a qualified hairdresser of 18 years but was looking for a change in career with animals, which she has a bit of a farm at home. Emma has Daisy the ‘feisty’ chihuahua who doesn’t leave her side when she is at home, Lucy the ‘softie’ Doberman, Milly, Tilly and Amber the ‘loyal’ cats, Missy, Tommy and Flopsy the ‘hopping’ rabbits and Mopsy the ‘squeaking’ guinea pig. In Emma’s spare time she loves spending time with her family and furry animals, reading, shopping and listening to music.

Stacey Unsworth
Customer Care Advisor


Kate Pittaros
Customer Care Advisor

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Acorn House Veterinary Surgery
Linnet Way, Brickhill, Bedford, MK41 7HN
info@acornhousevets.co.uk

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