Black Sheep Vets is an independent small animal practice based in Louth, Lincolnshire. Over the past two years, practice owner and vet Steven has taken Black Sheep Vets to a whole new level. He's invested in a new building and created a separate, dedicated out-of-hours team, opening East Lincolnshire Emergency Vets in 2021 so we can provide excellent care for our patients 24/7, all from one site. At Black Sheep, you will have the autonomy to make a difference and the security of being part of a team that always has your back. We have a supportive environment, often collaborating on cases to use each other's skills to the best of our ability.
Steven has over 20 years of experience in practice and is really passionate about looking after the team. Whether that involves encouraging us to develop our skills, offering mentorship, or supporting further study, including certificates, to follow your interests. Jess joined Black Sheep in 2022 as our Clinical Director.
“I really care about our team, and I consider the happy team we’ve built here our biggest accomplishment. We strive for great care, and we all work together to deliver this and construct what this looks like for each patient. Just this morning, we had an emergency, and it was great to see how the team worked together seamlessly. I love the clinical work, but actually, for me, it's seeing how far the team has come that gives me a buzz!”
Lindsey graduated from the University of Pretoria in 2019 and has worked in the UK since qualifying. She has been an instant hit with our clients and our team, who love her enthusiasm, and she has really enjoyed being part of a supportive team dynamic. Lindsey particularly enjoys dentistry and is currently studying towards her certificate.
"When my husband and I moved from Edinburgh, we spent a long time looking for the Goldilocks clinic. One where we could continue to pursue our individual passions, where patient care came first, and we could have a team to support us through all the trials that come with our profession. We chose Blacksheep Vets primarily because of the 24/7 service offered; the ability to have our patients stay in the building and continue to receive round-the-clock gold-standard care was very important to us. The inpatient care and after-hours service take a lot of the weight off of complicated medical or surgical cases, as I know that no matter the problem, we have a dedicated and caring team that is invested in our patients as much as we are.
The caseload is rich and varied, primarily dogs and cats, but we see just enough rabbits, rats and other small furries to keep the exotics interest sated.
Aside from that, the team really is great. The profession is under a lot of pressure at times - due to the rising cost of living, COVID puppies causing their mischief and changing regulations on top of the usual stresses of veterinary life, but somehow, our team manages to stay positive through it all. I am sure everyone thinks of their non-clinical staff as superheroes, but I really think ours are a cut above the rest, going over and above to make our lives easier. As for our clinical staff, I could gush for pages and still never fully encapsulate how lucky I am to have such people at my side.
I have a special interest in veterinary dentistry, and the entire team has supported me through this. In finding me those interesting cases, listening to me rattle on about teeth and gum care, and helping me find my feet with our very fancy equipment.
I think the thing that sets the clinic apart the most is how flexible the work-life balance is. I am still finding my feet in a lot of ways, and I’ve been given the freedom to explore what I need out of my work hours to still enjoy even the more stressful days." Lindsey MRCVS
Devon also graduated in 2019 and is interested in surgery, imaging and cardiology. Devon works primarily as part of our OOHs team but also works as part of our day team on his weeks off. He enjoys surgery and imaging and is interested in developing his cardiology skills.
“Louth isn’t exactly known for its vibrant shopping malls or epic theme parks, but what it can boast about is having lovely people, beautiful countryside and Black Sheep Vets. Our location allows us to see everything from holidaymakers who found a kestrel on the beach through working dogs on the fields to the fluffy little handbag accessories that definitely do not require a muzzle. These cases can sometimes prove challenging, but luckily, our practically-minded superhero nursing team is ready to swoop in at a moment’s notice for complicated blood draws or anything else.
The test-then-treat approach has become something of a mantra for modern, evidence-based medicine, and it is one that we have embraced. It has helped us turn those long-term, complicated cases into exciting diagnoses and happy patients. This, coupled with the diverse interests of the clinical team, means that you will never be alone in celebrating the more complicated diagnoses.
I moved to Louth with my wife, and we have found our stride at Black Sheep Vets. Its dedication to a high standard of practice, despite its rural setting, has brought together the best of both worlds. This has made it not just a clinic for us but a home. Together, we have been looking to grow ourselves through our caseloads and CPD to not only make our lives easier and more stress-free but to provide that much more for our patients and the community.” Devon MRCVS
We also benefit from peripatetic vet Laurence Brown, CertVC, who assists with our cardiology cases, and orthopaedic surgeon Jeremy Bodian BSAVA PgCSAS GPAdvCert (SAOS), which allows us to keep the majority of our cases in-house.
We are a very nurse-led practice with a highly trained and experienced team of nurses who are proactive, passionate, and always looking for ways to develop their skills and knowledge. We even have a waiting list of RVNs who want to join the team, which is a testament to our high quality of care and the positive work environment we have created. We have a nurse triage system in place for same-day appointments, and our nurses actually nurse, from performing Schedule 3 procedures to running nurse clinics. This allows our vets to focus on their areas of expertise.
Steven and Jess are our VetGDP Advisors, and both enjoy mentoring new graduates and less experienced vets to build their confidence and skills. Whether that’s scrubbing in to assist with surgery, discussing a case, or being available to offer guidance, they want you to succeed and will do all they can to support this.
We're a progressive practice continually looking for ways to improve the quality of care we provide, and as we're independent, we can make changes quickly if needed. Along with our daily huddles, we have weekly vet meetings and bi-weekly nurse meetings to discuss cases, look at our protocols and processes, and address any issues.
Our new premises are much bigger and have been extensively refurbished to upgrade our facilities, which now include separate dog and cat waiting rooms and wards to support us in achieving Gold ISFM Cat-friendly status, five consult rooms, a dedicated bereavement room, an ICU area, dental suite with dental x-ray, and an imaging suite with DR radiography, scopes and our new all-singing, all-dancing Doppler ultrasound. We’ve also worked hard to make the practice more sustainable and are now entirely paperless! All our forms are on iPads, and we even use a digital workboard for team updates and communication.
Our full-time vets work a 39-hour week over 4 days, with one early finish (3 pm or 4.30 pm) each week and just 1:4 Saturday mornings. We are flexible with the rota, so if you prefer to work three longer days or part-time hours, we would be happy to chat about the options available.
Our dedicated night/weekend team of vets and RVNs means you can enjoy a healthy work-life balance without worrying about working routine nights, Sundays, or bank holidays. We have twice daily rounds to receive and hand over patients for OOH care, giving you great case continuity. As East Linc Emergency Vets also provides services for ten local practices, as well as us, our day team has the opportunity to see some really interesting cases. We are also happy for our day vets to get involved with the OOHs, but only if they’d like to, so if you enjoy this, just let us know, and we will work with you to develop a schedule that fits your needs and interests.
Karla is our Practice Manager and social coordinator extraordinaire! She loves organising social events for the team, and we've had a blast axe-throwing, celebrating baby showers with cream tea, and even a Michael Bublé Christmas party. We're also a bunch of feeders, so you can bet that food is involved in lots of our social events. Whether it's a practice lunch to sample the nurses' baking, making a run for a round of Starbucks and a big bar of chocolate to cheer everyone up after a difficult case, or heading to the local pub after work on a sunny Friday evening, we always have a good time together.
Louth is a great little market town in Lincolnshire. It's got a lot going for it, from its delicious local food and interesting history to its stunning countryside. The town has some beautiful Georgian and Victorian architecture, and there are lots of independent shops to explore and a lovely farmers market. If you're a foodie, you'll love Louth's specialist grocers, local butchers, and award-winning cheese shop. And if you're a nature lover, you'll appreciate the easy access to the Lincolnshire Wolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Louth is also just 30 minutes from the coast, and the historic City of Lincoln is less than an hour away.
We are offering:
- A salary of £35,000 - £75,000
- CPD strongly encouraged, supported and funded up to certificate level
- Five weeks holiday, plus bank holidays
- Temporary accommodation available during relocation
- Relocation package available for the right candidate
- Professional fees paid
- Happy to sponsor visas.
Want to be part of our supportive team? Call us for an informal chat, or apply now!