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Vets

Nursing Team

Our Story So Far

Admin Team

The Practice has been around since 1979 when John Watkins set up his surgery in Claverham. He moved the Practice to Yatton in 198, into an old house called The Mount which he purchased from another John Watkins (no relation). He built the current Yatton Practice in the garden of this house along with the neighbouring business units on the High Street during 1986, and a few years later Liz Watkins (no relation) took a job to be a Vet working alongside John. In 1990, Liz Watkins bought the Practice from him. At that stage there were two sites, after opening a small clinic in Nailsea, and the Practice covered a full range of animals including farm animals and horses, as well as pets. Liz decided to concentrate on the companion animals in the 1997.

 

Steve Tasker was employed by Liz in 2000 to become the second full time vet at the Practice. The Watkins and Tasker partnership was formed in 2002. Together, Steve and Liz and the small team built up the Practice. They moved the Nailsea Practice directly over the road in 2004 into the vacant Victoria Wine shop and added the Portishead High Street site in 2008.

 

The motivation to keep improving services and facilities did not stop and continued with two more moves (and one expansion). The first in 2015 when the Portishead Practice relocated from the High Street into a former toilet warehouse on Harbour Road. The building was specifically designed and built with the provision of the highest standard of veterinary care in mind. When the opportunity arose in 2017 to relocate the Nailsea Surgery several doors up the High Street into a bigger building it became the second building we would design from scratch.

 

Liz retired in 2018 ending the extremely successful partnership. The decision was made with Liz’s (and John’s) approval for the name to be retained. Holly Charlton, who was the Practice Manager became a co-owner alongside Steve later that year and her role changed to Operations Director. In 2021, with the need for more space we expanded into the large flat above the Yatton Practice and converted it into our administration and finance office space. As this made some office space available downstairs within the Practice, we were able to fully refurbish the Yatton Practice and we were able to change the consulting room and reception layout.

 

2022 presented a further opportunity to expand the Portishead Practice into the former bike shop adjacent to the existing building. The number of dog consulting rooms expanded from one to three, and a relocation of the existing cat consulting room and quiet cat waiting area saw the Practice retain its ISFM Gold Standard Cat Friendly Clinic status. A new nurse room and an exotic pet consulting room and ward with vivarium and “small furry” friendly kennelling meant that all types of pets can have their specific needs met within dedicated space. To the rear of the building there is an additional operating theatre with a layout focused on keyhole surgery techniques, a larger dental surgery theatre, and additional large kennelling areas enabling the dedicated team to look after more pets.

 

The jewel in the crown will be the brand new, modern CT scanner due to be installed in Autumn 2022 which will take the Practice to the cutting edge of veterinary care and diagnostics. More office and staffing space completes the extension and outside clients will benefit from even more car parking.

 

However, the buildings are just buildings, and we are most proud of having such a fantastic team of staff at the core of the Practice. They are dedicated to their work, love helping our clients and treat the pets they see as if they were their own. They are the shining stars.