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As a nation of animal lovers, we all want the very best for Tiddles and Fido. When seeking the best care and treatment for them, we need look no further than Mark Astbury from the Winterbourne & Brimsham Veterinary Clinics in Bristol, who has been named as Britain's best vet in the annual Petplan Veterinary Awards. Mark beat over 250 nominations for the prestigious title, presented by the comedian Barry Cryer at the Burlington Hotel, Birmingham on Thursday 1st April. As well as the Petplan Veterinary Awards trophy, Mark received £1,000 in Virgin vouchers.

Over the past four months, Petplan, the UK’s number 1 pet insurance provider, has scoured the country to find the most outstanding veterinary professionals but Mark was a clear winner!

Aged 56, he took over Winterbourne & Brimsham clinics eight years ago and has since proved to be a big hit with both animals and their owners alike. Responsible for over 7,000 animals, he is the only vet at the clinic, running three surgeries a day. He is always prepared to go that extra mile, and often does so. Mark is on hand to give advice to anxious pet owners, whether it is in his surgery, over the telephone or out of hours on his mobile.

Proving that he always has an animal’s best welfare at heart, he recently treated a very poorly and distressed dog for free as her elderly owner was on income support and could not afford the vets bills. As the dog became more ill and his elderly owner more distressed, Mark did the very best that he could, not accepting payment for his time or the treatment administered.

Fiona Pinkney, communications manager of Petplan comments on the importance for Petplan of getting involved in the Awards, “The Petplan Veterinary Awards are so significant in the veterinary calendar as they recognise and thank the entire veterinary profession for their endless commitment, dedication and hard work. All the nominees this year were deserving of the title of being the best but the winners truly stood out as outstanding examples of their industry.”

Recognising all those in the veterinary profession, the Petplan Veterinary Awards also named the best practice, nurse and receptionist of the year.

PETPLAN PRACTICE OF THE YEAR
Green Pastures Veterinary Centre Weston-Super-Mare, North Somerset
PETPLAN VETERINARY NURSE OF THE YEAR
Suzanne Reynolds-Warnes Simon Meyer & Associates, Fulham, London
PETPLAN RECEPTIONIST OF THE YEAR
Jayne Backhouse Pearl Veterinary Group, Shrewsbury

The Petplan Veterinary Awards are now in their fifth year and once again Petplan was inundated with nominations. For every nomination, Petplan donates £1 to Petsavers, the charity of the veterinary profession. Last year, over £2,000 was raised to help fund studies into illnesses and injuries that commonly affect pets.



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