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Small Animal Staff

Small Animal Staff Profiles

Paul Freeman BVSc MRCVS

Paul is based in Rothbury, and he now devotes his time to the small animal side of the practice. He qualified from Liverpool in 1978, and, after working in mixed practice in South Wales and Shropshire, took over the Simonside Veterinary Centre in Rothbury in 1986. He ran the practice as a “solo vet” for over four years, being on call for farms, horses and pets 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with only one week’s holiday and a few weekends off over that time. The practice grew steadily, and in 1991 merged with a neighbouring practice when Paul became a founder partner in the Hampden and Simonside Veterinary Group. Further mergers followed until the Alnorthumbria Group was formed in 2007. Paul has a special interest in small animal dentistry, but enjoys all aspects of veterinary work, which has changed considerably since he qualified over thirty years ago. Outside the practice, Paul is an active member of veterinary associations, and has served as president of the North of England Veterinary Association. He is an honorary life member of Coquetdale Round Table. He is also an oarsman, competing in regional and national events (mainly veteran events these days!). He is married to Marie, and has three adult daughters.

Simon Caple BA, BSc, VetMB, MRCVS

Simon graduated in 2000 from Cambridge University and worked in mixed practice in Garstang, Lancashire before joining Hampden & Simonside Vets in 2002 and became an Alnorthumbria Small Animal Director in 2010. Simon is particularly interested in dermatology, orthopaedics and osteoarthritis and in addition to his small animal work, he enjoys gamebird & poultry medicine.  He also has runs a small holding in his spare time and was previously involved in gamebird work for Hy-Fly Hatchery, Lancs. Since 2002 he has spent most of his time developing the small animal facilities at Alnwick and played a key role in the redevelopment of the Wagonway Road surgery.  in 2012 Simon became the Director in charge of the Fairmoor, Morpeth surgery and is enjoying working in the South of the county and developing the small animal facilities there.

Deborah Bearder BA, VetMB, MRCVS

Deborah officially retired from our Wooler branch in October 2016 after being with Alnorthumbria for 21 years.  She graduated from Cambridge Univeristy in 1979 and enjoyed all aspects of large animal practice, as well as small animal medicine & surgery. She will continue to do acupuncture on all species, mainly pets and horses, from our Alnwick branch, and finds this a very rewarding addition to conventional treatment. In her spare time she enjoys hill walking, swimming, sailing, church bellringing, gardening, skiing and scuba diving.




David Young BVM&S MRCVS

David graduated from Edinburgh University in 1976 and spent over two years working in a dairy and smallanimal practice in Staffordshire. David grew up on a farm near Guyzance and returned to his native Northumberland to work for the Aln Veterinary Practice in 1978 and became a partner in 1983. Until 2002 much of his working life had been in mixed practice, mainly farm and small animal, but since then he has devoted his time to small animal medicine and surgery and was until April 2014 one of the small animal directors at Alnorthumbria.  Since then, David has continued to work as a full time vet within the practice. From October 2016 David will continue to work 3 days a week within the practice. He enjoys all aspects of first opinion small animal practice and has a particular interest in emergency medicine and surgery. In his spare time David enjoys watching cricket and rugby and trying to lower his ‘too high’ golf handicap (!).  He also enjoys walking his young Labrador around the picturesque Northumberland countryside.




Adam Spillar BVSc MRCVS

Adam qualified from Bristol University in 1995. His working life began in Cumbria with three years of mixed veterinary work after which he locumed in both Britain and New Zealand. On his return Adam worked in rural practice but his workload became progressively more small animal biased.

In December 2003 he joined this practice and now works solely with small animals. In September 2006 he gained a General Practitioner Certificate in Small Animal Surgery. Outside work his interests include fell running/walking, rock climbing, skiing, mountain marathons, mountain biking and alpine mountaineering. In fact anything which involves exercise, adrenaline and pain!

 Pam Brown BVetMed MRCVS

Pam graduated in 2005 from the Royal Veterinary College, London and immediately joined Northumbria Veterinary Partnership after enjoying seeing practice there for three years.  Aside from a six month stint of locuming and walking from John O Groats to Lands End she has never worked anywhere else. Pam enjoys all aspects of mixed practice and is now based at the Wooler branch.  In her free time, Pam helps out on her husband's farm and enjoys endurance running, cycling and swimming.


Fiona Brown BVM&S, MRCVS

Fiona J. Brown attended school in Alnwick and graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1994. She spent five years working in a mixed, mainly small animal practice in Bishop Auckland then joined the Ponteland branch of the Aln Veterinary Group in 1999. She enjoys all aspects of small animal general medicine and surgery.

Outside of work Fiona keeps a hundred head flock of Suffolk-cross ewes and breeds rare and minority breeds of poultry.

Fiona Carragher BVM&S MRCVS

Fiona CarragherFiona graduated from the Dick Vet, Edinburgh, in 1998 and initially worked in mixed practice. She then followed a small animal career path, moving to a veterinary hospital in Newcastle, where she developed a specialist interest in small animal medicine. Fiona initially worked at the Fairmoor branch before having a family. Following the birth of first James and then Beth, Fiona returned to work at the Amble surgery where she currently works two days a week.

Fiona is a Veterinary surgeon experienced in all areas of small animal medicine and surgery. She has a particular interest in feline medicine and regularly takes her work home with her (three rescued cats, two rescued rabbits and a rescued dog at home currently).


Lucy Robertson BVM&S MRCVS

Lucy graduated from Edinburgh University in June 2007 and joined Alnorthumbria as a small animal vet in December 2009. Lucy is based at our Wagonway Road surgery in Alnwick and has a particular interest in small animal soft tissue surgery. In her spare time she enjoys open water swimming, dabbling in short distance triathlons, walking her dog and eating out.


Claire Riddell BVM&S MRCVS

Claire is an Alnwick lass, born and bred, and is based at the Wagonway surgery. She qualified from Edinburgh in 2004, and since then has been working as a mixed vet here in Northumberland, and enjoys (most of the time!!) all aspects of working in a rural practice.  Her areas of clinical interest include cattle reproduction and health planning.  Out of work her activities include skiing, horse riding, going to the gym and trampolining.


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