Elham Valley Referrals

Rebecca qualified as a vet from the Royal Veterinary College London in 1987.  She initially worked as a GP vet, returning to the RVC for a Residency and gaining the RCVS Diploma in Veterinary Ophthalmology - the highest level of specialisation for UK vets - in 2002.  She was appointed Lecturer in Ophthalmology and Head of the Clinical Ophthalmology service at the RVC's Queen Mother Hospital for Animals, responsible for teaching undergraduate vet students and at postgraduate level.  She worked as a private Ophthalmology consultant from 2004 before setting up Elham Valley Referrals in 2008.

Marty Elks

Greyhound x Rough Collie

Practice Dog

Three-year-old Marty loves belly scratches and being a draught excluder.  He specialises in cardboard boxes and games of tug.

Meet our staff

Danielle Hines

Animal Nursing Assistant/ Theatre Technician

Danielle's role is to support the nursing staff and run our operating theatre, and she is quite often found IN a recovery kennel with a patient.  Danielle completed a BTEC in Animal Care while still at school and has previously volunteered with several animal charities. She is currently studying for her Animal Nursing Assistant Certificate with Myerscough College.

Kate Samson


Registered Veterinary Nurse

Kate has over 15 years' veterinary nursing experience in both general practice and emergency nursing, recently achieving her Certificate of Veterinary Nursing in Emergency & Critical Care.  She works part-time while looking after her three boys (aged 7, 13 and 45) and attempting to learn guitar.

Veterinary ophthalmology

Jane James


Registered Veterinary Nurse

Jane joined EVR in 2016 with over 20 years' veterinary nursing experience in both general practice and veterinary hospitals, having qualified from Berkshire College of Agriculture in 1986.  She has a particular interest in anaesthesia and definitely takes her work home with her where she has dogs, cats, tortoises, ponies, fish, and chickens; and loves walking and riding in her free time.

Helen Hermer


Helen works at reception with Nicola and will perhaps be your first contact either in person or by phone with our clinic.  Helen is a devoted cat owner.

Barbara Gonella

DrMedVet CertVOphthal MRCVS

Veterinary Ophthalmologist

Milo Elks

Border Collie x Greyhound

Practice Dog

Milo hasn't quite grown into his legs yet.  He is an expert chewer and will lick any unguarded elbows.

Nicola McCrystal-




Nicola shares reception duties with Helen, as well as admin responsibilities including processing referral reports and pet insurance claims. She has a daft Labrador named Buddy.

Emma Summers

Labrador Retriever

Practice Dog

Emma is the practice's Tuesday dog.  She acts as a blood donor, mainly because of the treats she gets afterwards.

Rebecca Elks

BVetMed DVOphthal MRCVS

Veterinary Ophthalmologist

01303 840499


Becky Hackett

Admin and Accounts Manager

Becky is  responsible for arranging referral appointments and taking care of clients when they arrive.  She also looks after the practice accounts.

Debbie Summers


Head Nurse

Debbie obtained her Diploma in Veterinary Nursing in Kent in 1997.  She has worked in both primary and referral practice and prior to joining EVR was an Assessor for the Veterinary Nursing diploma.  Debbie enjoys all aspects of referral nursing and has a particular soft spot for labradors.

Anna Malska

Veterinary Ophthalmologist

Anna graduated in Poland in 2009 and after seven years in a busy general UK practice, during which time she developed a strong interest in Ophthalmology, she completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Small Animal Ophthalmology and has been recently awarded the RCVS Advanced Practitioner Certificate in Veterinary Ophthalmology.  She joined EVR in March 2017 and is enthusiastic in all aspects of ophthalmology, although especially in corneal and intraocular surgery.   

Jo Francis


Registered Veterinary Nurse

Jo qualified as a veterinary nurse in 2009.  She worked for several years in general practice building up her interest in in anaesthesia and surgical nursing, before joining EVR in 2015.  Jo is currently studying for her advanced Nurses' Certificate in Anaesthesia.  Her cat Stanley is not too keen on having his photo taken...

Barbara obtained her veterinary degree in her native Torino, Italy, in 1995.  She has worked in the UK for over 20 years, initially as a GP vet in London and Oxford, before specialising in ophthalmology.  Barbara was awarded the RCVS Certificate in Ophthalmology in 2003 and is an active member of the British Association of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.  She joined Rebecca as a Veterinary Ophthalmologist at Elham Valley Referrals in 2014 and they now share a varied caseload of eye diseases.  Barbara was approved as an RCVS Advanced Practitioner in Veterinary Ophthalmology in 2016.

Katie Dorries


Registered Veterinary Nurse

Katie qualified as a veterinary nurse in 2003 and now works part-time along with being a full-time Mum.  She is interested in general ophthalmology nursing and post-operative care of surgical patients.