Astonlee Staff Team
Paul, Practice Owner and Vet Surgeon
Paul wanted to be a vet since age 11, prompted by a vocational calling, a love of animals and the world of nature. He developed an interest in science, medicine and the desire to be of service in his community.
He has a wide range of interests in all aspects of small animal veterinary practice, both in clinical work and in all the things that are involved in owning and running the practice. A special interest of his has been the cruciate ligament surgery that he first learned about at Cambridge University in 1973. He has developed the skills and continue to deliver a high level of success for patients suffering this common orthopaedic problem in the dog. Paul has also been involved in postgraduate research in professional development with a particular focus on consultation skills, and have completed a professional doctorate in this subject in 2006 at Middlesex University.
Ola Chwalinska, Vet Surgeon
Ola is our head vet. She graduated from the University of life Sciences in Lublin, Poland in 2009. During her studies she was practicing in a busy small animal practice in Wesseling, Germany. After graduation she completed an internship at the Department of Zoonotic Infectious Diseases in Lublin. From 2011 she was running her own mixed practice. In 2015 she finished Specialisation Studies in Disease of Dog and Cats. She moved to the UK in 2016 and joined Astonlee in 2019. Ola has special interests in Surgery, Dentistry and Dermatology.
She is the most definitely biggest dachshund lover in the world! Her free time is spent in the gym or travelling with her partner.
Her biggest hobby is home interior design. At home in Poland, she has a Polish Hunting dog named Pedro who is the naughtiest dog in the world.
Katie, Vet Surgeon
Katie graduated University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Poland in 2017. She spent the last semester of her studies on Erasmus exchange in Naples, Italy. Moving to UK has always been her dream and she made it true in February 2020 when she joined our team here at Astonlee. She finds experiencing improvement in her patients extremely rewarding. Her special interest lay in internal medicine and imaging. She graduated from music school in violin and self-taught playing guitar so outside of work, music is a big part of her life, she enjoys concerts and music festivals. In her free time, she likes to travel and explore new places. She has a cat Tofik back in Poland whom she misses dearly.
Katrin Anna Parker, Vet Surgeon
Katrin obtained her Master Degree in veterinary science and became VetGP in 2009. As a student she volunteered both at clinics and laboratories at the Department of Zoonotic and Infectious Diseases at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation, she joined the Functional Zoology group at Lund University in Sweden working as a scientist, surgeon and later an execute manager. During her studies on pancreas, kidney stones, gastric bypass, nutrition and its link to neurologic systems, behaviour and more, she became a team leader and executive officer for bio-medical research, leading surgeon in complex procedures, and gained an extensive experience in the field. By the 6th year, Katrin obtained her Doctorate Degree in Animal Physiology. During her post-graduate period Katrin moved to Memphis TN, USA and worked with nutrition team at Department of Biology. During that time she improved her skills and gained a new expertise in the fields of critical infants care and cancer therapy. After returning to Europe, Katrin moved to England in 2014, immediately joining the RCVS community and became a practitioner in a busy animal veterinary clinic. Katrin joined the Astonlee team in 2020. Katrin’s main interests in veterinary field are gastrointestinal conditions, palliative care, welfare, surgery, and imaging. Over the years Katrin developed a great love, compassion and understanding for our little friends. Her passions are classical music, that she adores to express in her soprano voice, cycling, jogging and swimming. Katrin is an open minded person who appreciates world diversity, and cherishes her happy moments travelling.
Simone, Head Nurse
Sim joined Astonlee in 2000 and qualified in 2004, before becoming Head Nurse in 2005. She completed the Advanced Diploma in Small Animal Nursing in 2013. She raises a lot of funds for charity with her horse Chester by completing sponsered rides in her spare time. She likes variety in her work, with a range of interests including ferrets, surgical and medical care.
Rachel, Vet Nurse
Rachel joined in 2008 as an Animal Care Assistant, before joining the nurse team in 2010. She qualified in 2013 before becoming a clinical coach to help with the training of future Vet Nurses. She has particular interests in dental care and rabbit nursing. Rachel has a dog called Penny, cat called Sheldon and a tortoise called Leonard.
Roisin, Vet Nurse
Roisin joined in 2013 and trained with Astonlee to become a Qualifed Veterinary Nurse. She likes variety in her work and enjoys training our student nurses. She has a cat called Gus Gus aka "The Goose" who was rehomed from us after having his leg amputated.
Jodie, Vet Nurse
Jodie qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 2017 and has been at Astonlee since 2013, starting out doing work experience and then working as a Junior cleaning kennels in the evenings. She is a qualified clinical coach. She also organises the work experience students with the practice. She enjoys every aspect of nursing and finds it extremely rewarding. Outside of work, Jodie loves live music, going to gigs and festivals and travelling.
Jayne, Vet Nurse
Jayne is originally from Northern Ireland where she grew up on a dairy farm, so she has been surrounded by animals her whole life. She qualified from the Royal Veterinary College with a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Veterinary Nursing.
She has 2 cats called Peggy and Albert, which were left at the practice when they were very young kittens. Her areas of interest include anaesthesia, surgery and animal behaviour.
Chloe, Vet Nurse
Chloe started at Astonlee in January 2017 and started training to become a Registered Veterinary Nurse in April 2017. She's always had an interest in animal health and welfare and owns a horse, two sheep, a west highland terrier and three guinea pigs. Chloe especially enjoys caring for exotics and is always looking for new ways to improve the way we care for them.
Molly, Student Vet Nurse
Molly started as an ACA for 2 years and then got the opportunity to become a student vet nurse. She is currently still studying towards becoming a RVN. Molly really loves working with animals and enjoys doing nursing.
Sophia, Student Vet Nurse
Sophia has been at Astonlee since 2017 and started out as full-time overnight ACA where she would care for all inpatients, however, she has recently joined the nurse team as a student nurse in hopes to become an RVN in the future.
Lorraine, Animal Care Assistant Team Leader
Lorraine did a Level 3 Animal Management course which finished in 2011 and worked at Shuttleworth college in the Animal unit on Saturdays for 18 months whilst completing the course. She started working at Astonlee in February 2015. She continued training here with an Animal care course and several rabbit CPD's and enjoy caring for the inpatients overnight and assisting the vets and nurses.
Tasha, Animal Care Assistant
Tasha joined in 2018. She loves helping animals feel better and is driven to improve their quality of life. In her spare time she owns 2 horses and enjoyes riding.
Conner, Animal Care Assistant
Conner started out at Astonlee as a Junior Nursing Assistant seven years ago and has recently taken on the role of weekend ACA. Having recently passed his Masters in Animal Welfare, he is glad to assist in the care of our patients by putting his knowledge to good use wherever possible.
Rebecca, Animal Care Assistant
Rebecca is currently studying Level 3 Animal Management at Moulton College, having already completed Level 2 in Animal Welfare. She is interested in genetic disorders associated with certain breeds of dog. In her spare time she spends time with her pets, she has 2 dogs called Bella and Pepper, and 3 cats called Tinker, Charlie and Arya. She enjoys swimming, reading and socialising.
Jenny, Head Receptionist
Jenny joined the Astonlee team in July 1996 part time and gradually increased hours before becoming Team Leader in 1998. She currently has no pets although we always try to convince her to take strays home. She often holidays in Devon and Cornwall where she loves to sightsee. She's also a good baker and regularly brings treats in for the team.
Julia registered with Astonlee Vets in the mid-1980's with her lovely old labrador Sam, and then some years later, her lively pointer puppy called Molly came into their family. Her pets enriched her life and were part of her family for many years. When they sadly lost Molly in 2000 she decided to find work at a local vets and was taken on as part of the Reception team in 2001. She's still here many years later and loving what she does, getting to know so many long term clients, often following their journey from beginning to end, and helping them along the way.
Gina started in 2001. She has a soft spot for Golden Retrievers and loves being part of the Reception team, and working closely with all the teams at Astonlee.
Yvonne joined Astonlee in 2011. She had no previous experience of animal care, however she has enjoyed learning about animal welfare and the running of a Vet practice. She has made a lot of friends during her time here at Astonlee. In her spare time she enjoys camping, holidays, swimming, reading and socialising with friends.
Jeni first registered at Astonlee in 1997 with Layla, her Blue Merle Border Collie. Since then she has had other pets and pictured here is Gus, who is now 11 and a half and a special part of the family. She started working at Astonlee in 2017 on Reception and has made lots of new friends in the team. Jeni enjoys speaking to our clients and getting to know their pets, she finds it it very rewarding.
Zoe, Admin/ Receptionist
Zoe is Administrator here at Astonlee. She started working for Astonlee in November 2017 and her main role is to deal with all things pet insurance for the practice. She enjoys expanding her knowledge about different conditions and treatments through my involvement with pet claims. She does a shift or two on reception and enjoys meeting clients and their pets in person.
At home she has two dogs, a cat and a budgie. She loves spending time with her pets and teaching her dogs new tricks.
Hilary, Book-keeper/Admin/Assistant Manager
Hilary has a history in banking and was able to utilise some of those skills to support Paul in the non-clinical areas of the practice. She was involved with the planning and design for the new hospital. Over the years Hilary has obtained the Veterinary Practice Administration Certificate (VPAC) which she, in fact, helped set up, and also the Certificate in Veterinary Practice Management (CVPM) and became the first person to acquire both of these qualifications. Outside of work Hilary enjoys holidays, walking, running, church and family get-togethers. Together with Paul, she has several cats that were strays brought into the hospital and they give them a lot of pleasure. No two are the same!