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Small Animal Veterinary Surgeon

Millcroft Veterinary Group
Cockermouth, Cumbria
Salary package of £36,000 to £70,000
Closing date
9 Aug 2024
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Thrive with the supportive team at Millcroft Vets, winners of the XLVets Inspirational Teams award, where you can enjoy a great work-life balance, stunning scenery, and endless outdoor adventures. 

About Us

Since the 1920s, Millcroft Vets has been a cornerstone of animal care in Cumbria. We're a fiercely independent, award-winning practice built on a commitment to providing exceptional veterinary care. But it's the supportive, collaborative spirit within Millcroft Vets that truly sets us apart.

We are looking for a small animal vet to join our 27-vet team, so whether you’re a new graduate just starting out or a seasoned pro looking for development opportunities, you'll benefit from the mentorship, knowledge sharing, and a culture that empowers you to reach your full potential. That’s why our vets tend to stay with us for a long time – with the average being an impressive 11 years. We have certificate holders in surgery, medicine, emergency and critical care, cardiology, diagnostic imaging, and exotics, so there’s always someone to offer a helping hand or discuss cases. We also have regular clinical meetings, providing an excellent opportunity to gather over a meal and socialise as we discuss any challenging cases and share ideas for improving our services.

We are a six-branch practice with a central hub in Cockermouth (offering 24-hour care) and branches in Workington, Keswick, Aspatria, Maryport and Egremont. We have excellent purpose-built facilities, including top-end video endoscopy, high-resolution ultrasound scanning, class IV laser, Tonovet tonometer and dental radiography. This allows us to provide comprehensive in-house and second-opinion services.

Millcroft Veterinary Group

What our team says about us

“I enjoy working at Millcroft Vets because of the great team of people who are all more than happy to encourage, help, and support each other. There are opportunities to branch into areas of your own interests, and certificates are encouraged. The culture is friendly, encouraging and passionate. Nothing is too much of a bother for anyone. Plus, it’s a beautiful part of the country with friendly people, both colleagues and clients.” Daisy MRCVS

"I've been at Millcroft for nearly four years since starting as a new graduate. The team are patient and kind. They are very willing to help with questions or cases and have broad interests, so there is typically somebody who knows a little more about whatever unusual case you have encountered. You get a very wide experience base at Millcroft. We have access to a lot of knowledge, diagnostics and good equipment at our hub practice. If you do want to see particular types of cases or find you need to develop particular skills, the team are good at accommodating this. As a new graduate, you are eased into consulting and not sent to sole-charge branch practices. The partners and management are excellent at backing you up when needed. Finally, the location is beaten by very few practices in the UK if you have any outdoor interests at all.” Gavin MRCVS

“Coming from mixed practice into a slightly more small animal-focused role, I thought I may feel overwhelmed, but the team at Millcroft was very welcoming and supportive. It was very easy to come here and hit the ground running because the team was so approachable and helpful. It's also fantastic having a better work/life balance to have more opportunities to explore the beautiful Lakes.” Shannon MRCVS

“I've been at Millcroft Vets for nine months now, and this is my first job since graduation. I've felt easily integrated into the team. Everyone is really friendly and helpful, and there's a wide variety of specialist interests, so there's always someone to turn to. The area is an excellent place to live as well, being right in the Lakes, with beautiful countryside and plenty of options for being outdoors, whatever your interests.” Ben MRCVS

New Graduate Support

Support for our new graduates is never in question here, and we’ll do all we can to build your confidence and help you become a truly great vet. We never expect you to work sole charge, and we start you off with 30-minute consults. We have a great track record of looking after our new graduates and will pair you with one of our five VetGDP advisors, specially chosen to match your interests and career goals. Combine this with our large team's knowledge and support and our diverse caseload; we will challenge and develop your skills from day one. Our new graduates are based at our larger Cockermouth and Workington surgeries, where large teams of vets and RVNs can provide plenty of hands-on support. As a founding member of XLVets, we can also enrol our new graduates on the XLVets Small Animal Graduate Development Programme, which includes:

  • Monthly meetings with an external XLVets mentor
  • 80+ hours of external CPD spread over a year, which is delivered by experts within the XLVets community.
  • Lots of opportunities to socialise with your XLVets peer group across the country.

Millcroft Veterinary Group

The Rota

Our vets work a 4-day week (8.30-6.30) with a balanced share of the consulting and operating, offering ample opportunities to hone your skills in all areas. We also have two vets operating each morning, so someone is always available to scrub in and help. Our consult blocks include scheduled breaks for catching up on admin or making phone calls, and our last consult is at 5.45 pm, so we have time to catch up and get out the door on time.  

After talking to our team, we designed our OOH rota so you never have to work a full weekend. Unlike many weekend rotas, our rota means you only ever work one of the weekend nights and share the weekend with other vets. This means there’s always support available and the chance to collaborate on cases. Honestly, our team loves it! Plus, to help our vets recharge, you will get a half day off following a night on call and a day off following a weekend on call. Our vets work just 1:8 weeknights.

We have a dedicated RVN working until 10.30 pm to triage the calls and look after any inpatients. After that, an RVN is on-call to assist when needed. New graduates are paired with an experienced vet on the OOH rota. This mentorship ensures you have ongoing support to build your skills and gain confidence at your own pace. We're here for you every step of the way, and many new graduates feel comfortable flying solo after just six months!

The social side

We’re a tight-knit bunch who love to have fun together. With a team of 90, there’s always something being organised, including dog walks or unwinding at the pub, and we even have our own wild swimming group, the ‘Blue Tits!’ Our practice ‘awards’ took centre stage at the summer bash - a party at the local cricket club – and are a great way to celebrate everyone's achievements, big or small. We had a blast, and the team certainly made the most of the open bar and hog roast.

We're passionate about giving back to the local community and sponsoring many local sports, such as a hole at Cockermouth golf club, the kit for the Cockermouth youth cricket team, and rugby games. We also participate in local dog shows, have a stand at the Cockermouth agricultural show, have a close bond with our local Young Farmers Clubs and are always up for getting involved with local initiatives - like proudly sponsoring the Cockermouth Beer Festival with free drinks for all team!

Millcroft Veterinary Group

The local area

As director Matt says, "You'll come for the job and stay for The Lakes."  Our practice incorporates half of the national park, and we are lucky enough to take the quieter, less-touristy Western half.

But, as you can see from our video, the Lake District National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) offers more than just breathtaking views. If you love spending time outdoors, there are endless opportunities for adventures right at your doorstep, such as hiking the 214 Wainwrights (“The Lake Districts’ Munros”); road, gravel and mountain biking; sailing, stand-up paddle boarding, windsurfing and kayaking; rock climbing with everything from multi-pitch mountain trad climbing to sport and bouldering - both indoors and out; the Lakes is the birth-place of fell running with hundreds of fell and trail routes and races to have a go at.

We offer:

  • Salary package of £36,000 to £70,000 depending on experience
  • 6.3 weeks holiday, including public holidays
  • CPD encouraged and fully funded to certificate level with the caseload to make certificates practical
  • Accommodation is available if needed in one of our practice houses
  • Professional fees paid for RCVS, VDS, plus a membership of your choice
  • An Employee Assistance Programme which provides 24/7 support by experienced in-house counsellors, and legal and financial experts
  • Private health insurance (after 1yr continuous employment), plus flu vaccine and eye tests
  • Discounted veterinary fees and free membership to our Lifetime Care Cub
  • Cycle-to-work scheme and discounted gym membership
  • Lots of team social events
  • Company pension

If you want to know more about us, please call us for an informal chat or apply now.


Our practice has deep roots in Cumbria with a history stretching back to the 1920s. Over that time, we have protected our independence, championed our values and provided care for our patients in the way that we think gives them the best opportunity for a happy and healthy life.

As we’ve grown and our facilities have expanded, we only bring people into our team if they’re a strong fit for those values. Everyone who works here is in the veterinary industry because they want to be – because we love our jobs and we love caring for animals and their owners.

And there’s something about the Lake District that gets under your skin because we all love our community too!

With our central hub in Cockermouth providing 24-hour emergency service and branches in Workington, Keswick, Aspatria, Maryport, and Egremont, all providing friendly, dedicated teams to their communities, we provide the best care we can to pets and their owners throughout the area.

Our current generation of vets, nurses, and support team professionals shares the vision and legacy of those who preceded them—to put the care of your animals first and foremost in the services they provide.

Company info
01900 826 666
Wakefield Road
CA13 0HR
United Kingdom

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