Our successful, 10-vet, independent practice is based in three well-equipped surgeries: our hospital in Tunbridge Wells, Crowborough and Wadhurst. Culverden has been around for a long time and there’s a real sense that we’re part of a bigger story, a practice family connected to the communities around us. Most of our team have also been with us for a long time, people who started as young vet grads or student nurses and stayed to build a life here.
Many vet practices have become part of large businesses and it’s easy these days to become muddled in values. Ours are very clear: to do the best for the animals in our care within the means of our clients and to look after our team with kindness and respect. We joke about the “Culverden Way”, usually when there’s an admin catastrophe, but we do have a style of doing things. We take pride in doing our job well - of doing the best we can for a patient - but we’re also here to look after our clients, to try to work with them, to think about how they’re feeling. We’re not here to impose protocols on them or to tell them what to do. We’re very fortunate to have a core of intelligent, caring clients who by and large trust us to do our job.
That respect absolutely extends to our team too. The Partners know how our vets are doing because they’re there, working with them, talking about cases, catching up over coffee, swapping clinical problems on the WhatsApp group, chatting about our weekends. We don’t have performance targets, we don’t pull vets up on KPI’s, or call them out on monthly figures. We know that if we have vets in the right job with a good work-life balance and supportive colleagues then the practice finances work. We want our vets to stay, we want to get to know them and to see them thrive. It’s been great to socialise together again - we knew the pandemic was over when just about everyone made it onto the dance floor at Christmas to see Kim and Phil strut their stuff.
Our nursing teams are incredible too. Across the practice they constantly improve what we do - whether it’s anaesthesia (every surgery has a Bair-hugger and at least one multi-parameter monitor, pain control is constantly being discussed and improved), setting up nurse clinics (most recently to deal with the lock down flab in our patients) and the hands-on inpatient nursing in the hospital.
Each of our three surgeries has its own character and sits in the middle of a community. Our Tunbridge Wells surgery (“TW”) where the practice started, has the largest team, and is the smart practice in town, with a beautiful building. It’s the site of our hospital, with cat and dog wards, a modern ultrasound machine (with curved and linear probes), digital x-ray, dental x-ray, an exciting new dental machine (the not so accurately named Silent Hurricane!), scopes and a well-equipped lab (including the much-loved-by-our-nurses urine sediment analyser, Sedivue). Our consulting rooms are large, air-conditioned and full of natural light. We’re really proud of the hospital, which allows all three surgeries to provide a very high level of care to our patients, and we’re just embarking on a £350k refurbishment to give us extra consulting space, new walk-in kennels, and more workspace, as well as a general spruce up.
Crowborough has been part of the practice since the 80’s and has always had a strong vet and nursing team- something that’s particularly true today. It has all pretty much the same diagnostic, surgical and dental kit as our hospital and does a very high level of work - it’s rare for anything to be sent to TW for surgery for work up. The building was refurbished shortly before lockdown and has separate dog and cat wards, a walk-in kennel, a lovely theatre (with its new table to deal with our vet Phil’s great height!).
Wadhurst’s origins are obscure, with two octogenarian retired partners arguing over who started it! It definitely spent a long time operating out of a former partner’s shed, and long hours waiting outside with your pet for Mr Millett to come back from a farm visit are part of Wadhurst village lore. These days the surgery’s based in a beautiful old tile-hung building and although the consulting room has beams there’s nothing old-fashioned about what goes on there. Experienced vets, great nursing and reception teams, new blood machines and dental kit and a lovely theatre mean that it’s busier than ever. Wadhurst village is growing, and we have plans to extend the surgery to keep up with demand.
That is a lot about us, phew! If you’ve made it until here- – why come and join our team? Well, this what Ella our most recent new grad had to say about working with us:
"I have received incredible support from Culverden since starting as a New Graduate. They have provided a nurturing environment in which I am able to seek advice from my colleagues whenever it is required, whilst also allowing me to retain my professional autonomy and giving me plenty of opportunities to practice new surgical and medical skills. They encourage me to push myself and work independently and I feel very comfortable doing this, as I know that the support will be there when I need it."
And Nat who came as a new grad and never left!
“I came to the practice as a new graduate nearly nine years ago and it was clear instantly that Culverden is a nurturing, close knit team, very willing to help each other. The vets have a range of different interests so there’s always support for the more complicated cases. It's a team I feel very lucky to be part of”.
- Salary for a new graduate is £33,000 and for an experienced vet between £40000-£65000
- Accommodation available (in addition to salary above) - large flats in Crowborough and Tunbridge Wells.
- No OOH ‘s, bank holidays or Sundays. We are a VetsNow host site so case continuity with no OOH!
- 1: 4 Saturdays (finishing in the afternoon)
- We currently have one weekday off every other week and our aim is to get to a four-day week for all our full-time vets. On the 5-day week, 3 days you finish at 5pm- and just two-days finish at 7pm. Our last consult is half an hour before this so there’s time to catch up on admin.
- RCVS, BVA, VDS fees paid
- CPD funded to certificate level
- BUPA private health care.
- We are in the High Weald, an area of outstanding natural beauty, within an hour's travel of the beautiful south coast, as well as having fast train links into central London.
We want to build on the amazing team we have. The practice has grown over lockdown, and we want to further improve the quality of life of our team by expanding our team - to get to a four-day week rather than alternating 4- and 5-day weeks.
New and recent grads as well as experienced vets are welcome to apply Give us a call if you’d like to know more.