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Small Animal Veterinary Surgeon

Sanderson Vet
Heswall, Wirral
Salary from £65,000 to £80,000
Closing date
26 Apr 2024
Phone number

Job Details

Do you want to spend more time doing what you love, both at work and outside of it? We've got you covered! Our full-time role is just 3 days a week, and we have an amazing and supportive team, along with fully integrated on-site referrals, so that you can enjoy an outstanding work-life balance combined with clinical excellence.

About us

Sanderson Vet is an independent small animal first opinion and referrals clinic in the Wirral. Our ethos is simple: we provide affordable excellence for all our clients and offer everything from routine boosters to complex spinal surgery. We are looking for an experienced first-opinion vet to join our team. This is an opportunity to flex your skills and embrace an exciting caseload while enjoying an enviable work-life balance, and in terms of your future, the sky is the limit!

Owner Richard worked in various first-opinion practices after graduating but felt his clinical progression was stifled. Moving on to a referral setting, he developed clinically but found he lost the opportunity to really connect with the clients and get them engaged in their pet's care. Sanderson Vet was established to combine the high level of client care seen in first-opinion practices with the high standards of clinical care provided by referral centres. Richard opened Sanderson Vet in 2016 as a mobile service with just one nurse. Since then, we have grown rapidly and now have a dynamic, experienced team of 41 working at our state-of-the-art first opinion practice and our referrals clinic, Peninsula Referrals, which share a site in Heswall.

We have excellent facilities, with all the standard kit plus 64-slice CT, laparoscopy, endoscopy/colonoscopy, bronchoscopy/rhinoscopy, cystoscopy, nano-arthroscopy, Arthrex PRP, ForceTriad and Ligasure, Eth Gen11 harmonic scalpels and shears, mono/diathermy and ventilator. Our client base continues to grow due to our proactive rather than reactive approach to medicine. Our clients really are fantastic, trusting us to care for all of their pet's needs, from dental x-rays to stem cell therapy, echocardiography to total hip replacements; we have the experienced team and all the equipment needed to work up cases fully.

1Our team

We are all one team; from our first-opinion vets to the Advanced Practitioners and Specialists in our on-site referral clinic, we are a truly integrated team, sharing our knowledge and working together to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to our patient care.

Richard graduated in 2009 from Liverpool University, and is an Advanced Practitioner in Small Animal Practice and splits his time between the first opinion and referral work. He has a passion for soft tissue surgery and critical care and is currently completing his Advanced Certificate in Soft Tissue Surgery. 

Tom graduated in 2004 from Liverpool University and is an Advanced Practitioner in Small Animal Surgery. He offers clinics in surgery focusing on neurosurgery and musculoskeletal disease. This is what Tom says about working here: “Working at Sanderson Vet allows me to manage my work-life balance whilst being able to work with clients and facilities that allow me to reach my clinical goals and offer the highest levels of care, relaxing into my work without being overwhelmed. The nurses are fab, with the experience they bring making my life much more comfortable.”

Marina graduated from Madrid University in 2000 and completed an internship in Small Animal Surgery before moving to the UK. With over 20 years of experience, Marina enjoys all aspects of veterinary work, gaining experience in various practices before joining our team in 2017.

Chloe graduated from Bristol University in 2022 and is enjoying developing within a dynamic team. In her words, “I joined the practice as a new graduate and have felt supported throughout. I have developed my core year 1 skills and been exposed to complex and routine cases. I was even given the opportunity to go out to a rescue centre to do a neutering day with one of our experienced vets. With great equipment and even better people, it’s just a great place to work.” Chloe has a natural flare for surgery and is currently undergoing in-house training on more complex procedures.

Rui started with us in February, and is soon to get his certificate in diagnostic imaging. He graduated in 2017 from the University of Lisbon.

Our nursing team of 17 RVNs has a combined experience of over 70 years, with nurses who hold or are studying towards certificates in anaesthesia, dentistry, diagnostic imaging, ECC, feline medicine, medicine and transfusion medicine. Assisted by our 3 SVNs and a dedicated team of animal care assistants, they deliver the highest standards of patient care around the clock.

Sanderson Vets 2

Our culture

Our team and our culture come before everything else. We have established an excellent collaborative working environment. As an independent practice, our vets have complete clinical freedom to individualise patient-specific veterinary care, which could be why we were voted Wirral’s Best for Pets in 2023 by readers of the Wirral Globe website and newspapers.

As Richard says, “We are all great believers in our culture of providing the highest standards of care, which is reflected in our tagline ‘Unrivalled veterinary expertise’. For us as a team, it’s so important that everyone who joins us embraces this, as it is ingrained in everything we do and is what sets us apart. It's crucial that we all work together towards a common goal. This was evident in our recent roundtable meeting, where we met to discuss any areas where we could improve. I could step back and watch as the whole team worked together to find solutions.”

We value our team, who are the key to our success, so we take every opportunity to show our appreciation. Whether that’s grabbing a round of Costa coffees after dealing with a tricky case, organising for a masseuse to visit the practice or taking two of our nurses on an all-inclusive holiday to Crete to thank them for their hard work through Covid.

We work closely with the Wirral Animal Welfare Association to help their rescue animals have happier lives, and once a month, we also take on a pro-bono case and treat a pet for free.

About the role

We are looking for an experienced first-opinion vet who wants to progress and develop their skills and enjoys developing strong client-practice relationships. We’re a supportive team who are always happy to share our knowledge and experience. With access to a combination of Advanced Practitioners and Specialists in anaesthesia, diagnostic imaging, cardiology, surgery, endoscopy and endosurgery, you can get involved and follow cases through. We can provide in-house training where needed if you want to learn new skills like CT or laparoscopy, and we are happy to support further study and certificates.

We know how important work-life balance is, and that’s why we listened to our vets when we designed our rota; our full-time vets now work a 3-day week, with fixed days off and just 1:4 weekend days. Saturdays are 9-5, with consults between 11.30-1, and Sundays are 9.30-4.30, with consults between 10-1. This gives plenty of time on either side of the consults for inpatient care and any procedures.  

Again, we’ve listened to our team about OOHs, and due to the high level of services we are able to offer here, we all feel it’s important to keep our cases in-house, but we have recently reduced the OOH to just 3 nights a month. These could be combined with the days you work at the weekend or could be during the week, so there is minimal cover required and much flexibility in the schedule. We have an RVN and ACA on site to provide 24/7 patient care, with dedicated night nurses on a working shift so you can be on call from home.  Our OOHs are generally very quiet; on average, our night nurses only take 6 minutes of OOH calls per week, and we also use Vidivet to triage our calls. We have a bedroom available at the practice for vets who prefer to stay on-site during on-call.

We can be flexible with the rota, so if you have other commitments to work around or prefer to work 4 shorter days, please call to chat about the options available.

Sanderson Vets 3

Outside of work

We’re a sociable team that enjoys getting together outside of work; from bowling and escape rooms to dog walks and beers at a country pub, everyone’s welcome to join in when they can. For our Christmas celebrations over the last few years, we’ve hired out The Little Fox in Thornton Hough to host a free CPD day for local practices, followed by dinner and dancing for all. This year, we tried something a little different and headed off to the Thornton Hall Hotel for a Dickensian Christmas Crime Murder Mystery Night!

Animal welfare is close to all our hearts, and some of the team recently completed a sponsored sunrise hike to the top of Snowdon to raise funds for the Wirral Animal Welfare Association. We were thrilled when they smashed their target of £250, instead raising over £2,000.

The local area

With beaches on three sides, the Wirral Peninsula has 25 miles of breathtaking coastline and its own set of Islands (The Hilbre), a great place for spotting colonies of grey seals. There are beautiful walks and cycle trails, and Snowdonia National Park is just an hour away. For water sports enthusiasts, you can head to West Kirby Marine Lake for sailing, windsurfing or some open-water swimming.

With easy access to the motorway networks, we are just 20 minutes from Liverpool and 30 minutes from Chester. For travel further afield, Liverpool Airport is just 30 minutes away, and Manchester Airport is just a 45-minute journey.

What we are offering

  • A salary of £65,000 - £80,000
  • Five weeks holiday, plus bank holidays
  • CPD actively encouraged, with certificates supported
  • Lots of in-house CPD and training
  • Professional fees paid

If this sounds like the opportunity you’ve been waiting for, feel free to give us a call for an informal chat or apply now.


Sanderson Vet is an independent first opinion and referrals clinic in the Wirral. With a state-of-the-art clinic in Heswall offering services from routine procedures to specialist services, your pet gets the very best care around the clock.

We offer 24/7 one stop services for all your veterinary needs. We are proudly independent which means we have complete clinical freedom to individualise patient specific veterinary care.

Sanderson Vet was founded in 2016, with the aim of offering the highest standards of patient and client care on the Wirral. The clinic was opened in 2017 and is independently owned. The clinic was extended in 2018, 2020 and 2022, to expand the range of facilities and treatments available. The clinic is well equipped with full in-house laboratory, advanced imaging such as CT, endoscopy and arthroscopy, several operating suites and dedicated dental and hospitalisation facilities. Clients have access to RCVS Advanced Practitioners in Surgery, Cardiology and Small Animal Practice.

The clinic is designed to be a low stress environment, supported by 24 hour nursing support. Many of our nurses hold, or are studying for, advanced nursing qualifications to ensure that all pets receive the care the staff would want for their own pet. The clinic is open 7 days a week and covers its own out-of-hours care meaning case continuity and familiarity for clients in their times of need. We are Gold accredited Cat Clinic and Silver accredited Rabbit Clinic.

The vets at Sanderson Vet have a combined experience of over 60 years in practice. Their combined experience, and synergistic interests, provide a dedicated 24/7 service to the clients of the Wirral and North-West of England. Many of the team have additional qualifications, or are studying for them, making them one of the most dynamic and up-to-date teams around. With access to the very highest levels of equipment, such as on-site CT scanning, the vets have all the tools to treat your pets like they would their own.

As an independent practice the vets work freely to focus on providing their clients with unrivalled veterinary expertise.

Company info
0151 317 8888
Sanderson Vet
Whitfield Business Hub, 184-200 Pensby Road
CH60 7RJ
United Kingdom

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