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Basildon Pitsea Vet Team

Vets4Pets Basildon Pitsea

Meet the team

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Shola Idowu

MRCVS Veterinary Surgeon and Local Owner

I have been a veterinary surgeon for the last 10 years working all over the world. I have been privileged to live and work with some great people in Essex for the last 8 years practising veterinary medicine.

My passion for excellent delivery of animal care and high quality customer centered service has been the main drive throughout my career. My special interests are all aspects of internal medicine and cardiology; I am currently studying for a certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice.

When I am not working, I enjoy reading, jogging, playing football with my three boys and actively policing our exotic fishes from being overfed by the boys!

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Nikki Idowu

Practice Manager and Local Owner

I started my career as a neuro physiotherapist in the NHS many years ago which has and would always be one of the most fulfilling roles I have ever done. Whilst in the NHS, I gained further qualifications in management and progressed into working as a clinical manager organizing and delivering services across South West Essex.

I left this role to team up with Shola to achieve our long term dream of being able to offer excellent patient focused care to all the pets we are privileged to look after whilst at the same time delivering great client experience.

I am blessed with three beautiful boys who ensure that I don’t ever have a dull moment! Outside work, I enjoy spending time with my family, watching movies and travelling the world.

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Desiree Herrick

MRCVS Veterinary Surgeon

Originally hailing from America I joined the Vets4Pets team in September 2014. I graduated with honours from Virginia Tech with degrees in Biology and Theatre Arts, before completing a degree in Veterinary Medicine from the Royal Veterinary College. My special interests lie in cardiology and dermatology, and I hope to start towards a certificate in these areas soon.

At home I have 2 dogs, a Doberman named Sasha and a Lab cross named Hawkeye, as well as a horse called Shonee. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time in London, going to the theatre, hanging out with friends and traveling the world.


Dr Alberto Casado Gómez MSc MRCVS (MSc)

Veterinary Surgeon

I graduated from the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain, in 2014. I moved to the UK in February 2015, and since then I have worked in small animal practices. In 2017, I obtained an MSc in Wild Animal Health at the Royal Veterinary College and the Zoological Society of London. I have done externships and worked as a volunteer in several zoos and wildlife rehabilitation centres in Europe and around the world. Likewise, I did an internship in Madrid Zoo for four years dealing with exotic animals. 

My passions are the medicine of wildlife and exotic pets, the conservation of nature, science and communication. My short-term objective is to obtain a certificate in Advance Veterinary Practice in Zoological Medicine. 

Outside of work I enjoy sports (especially martial arts), reading, listening to music, learning new languages, and travelling. I also like to spend time playing board games and video games.

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Charlotte Heller

MRCVS Veterinary Surgeon

I graduated from the University of Bristol in 2014. Since then I have worked in Warwickshire in a small animal practice with a keen interest in all kinds of surgery. Outside work I am a keen squash player and enjoy wild camping in the West highlands with my boyfriend and spaniel Monty.

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Dave Livesey

MRCVS Veterinary Surgeon

I graduated from the University of Liverpool with distinction in 2014, and started with Vets4pets Basildon in June 2017. Before this I was in mixed practice, working with all species but focussing mainly on companion animal work.

My main clinical interests lie in chronic disease management, emergency and critical care and anesthesia. I am currently studying for my certificate in advanced veterinary practice.

Outside of work I have a three year old border terrierist, Gimli, that keeps me busy and I am an enthusiastic (if not overly accomplished) climber. I can also be found obsessing over board games and craft beer.


Elissavet Nikitopoulou

MRCVS Veterinary Surgeon

I recently graduated from Bristol University and moved to Essex to work with this amazing team. I am very keen to learn and practicing all the things I was taught at University. I have a special interest in cats, internal medicine and cardiology.

In my free time I enjoy, the company of my wonderful rescue kitten, travelling, going back to Greece to visit my family, going to the beach, gymming and reading.


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Sarah Rawe

Head Nurse and Weight Management Specialist

I am a registered veterinary nurse and joined Vets4Pets in January 2015. I have been nursing for nearly ten years and prior to this volunteered at wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centres.

I am married with two young children, and I also have two rescue guinea pigs and a dog called Rosie.

I enjoy all aspects of nursing but particularly enjoy the interaction with clients and their pets advising them on weight loss and managing long term illnesses.

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Jenny Gordon

Head Nurse and CT Specialist

I have been a qualified veterinary nurse for 14 years, working in both general and second opinion practice. I further continued my studies and graduated in 2011 with a BSc (Hons) in Veterinary Nursing.

Prior to joining Vets4Pets, I worked as head nurse in several veterinary practises, the most recent of which, was at a referral centre, where I not only specialised in radiotherapy but was able to exercise my enthusiasm for diagnostic CT. I was responsible for both set-up and operation of CT scans and gained valuable knowledge and experience over a wide range of cases. I am very excited to be involved in the implementation of the CT scanner for Vets4Pets Basildon and am looking forward to being able to utilise my skills within this area. The CT scanner will enable us to offer excellent advanced veterinary care resulting in better diagnosis and treatment for our patients.

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Nicole Fowler

Registered Veterinary Nurse

I have been working with the Vets4Pets team for the last 4 years and thoroughly enjoy the huge variety of pets that we see.

The areas of nursing which I enjoy the most are ward nursing, spending time with our inpatients and discussing the best healthcare options with our clients in consult.

Since working with Vets4Pets I have also gained a very handsome one eyed cat named Englebert who has now turned me into a crazy cat lady. I am sure as my career continues I will ‘adopt’ several more waifs and strays!

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Suzanne Walington

Registered Veterinary Nurse

On leaving school I studied for a Diploma in Animal Management though I was unsure what I wanted to do after this so I began grooming, which I did for around four years. I then felt that I wanted a change in my career so I began nursing in 2010 and went on to study my Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing, which I achieved in 2015.

My favourite part of nursing is diagnostic imaging, which I find very interesting. I also enjoy medical nursing. At home I have two guinea pigs called Leonard and Sheldon and a Hungarian Vizsla called Ava, in my spare time i enjoy competing in breed and agility shows.

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Reece Padian

Out of Hours Veterinary Nurse

I began working for Vets4Pets in 2013 as a student veterinary nurse while on placement at university, I quickly fell in love with the practice and the possibilities it would bring my love and passion for providing high quality nursing care. It seemed the love was mutual and I was offered a full time placement and a diploma in veterinary nursing which I completed in 2015. Prior to this I have qualifications in animal management and laboratory technicians.

My love for patient care has led me to become the vets4pets night owl, making sure patients are well cared for throughout the night as well as continuing to pursue my interests in anaesthesia, surgical nursing and preoperative nursing.

Outside of work, I enjoy reading, spending time with family and looking after my animal family at home including drake my Rottweiler/great dane, Luna my boa constrictor and tazman my kitty cat.


Emily Eaves

Registered Veterinary Nurse and Head of Inpatient Care

I started work at Vets4Pets Basildon when the practice first opened in 2010, after qualifying as a veterinary nurse with a BSc (hons) in veterinary nursing from the Royal Veterinary College. I went to work at the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals at the Royal Veterinary College as a Medicine Nurse for a year where I gained valuable experience in nursing more complicated medical cases and general referral nursing.

I have a keen interest in nursing rabbits but also in anaesthesia, both of which I have completed further courses on. I have recently gained my Certificate in Emergency and Critical Care allowing me to further my knowledge in this area. Outside of work I enjoy looking after my Abyssinian cat, Leo, my two rabbits Teddy and Scarlett and my Rottweiler, Lola.

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Rebecca Shakespeare

Student Veterinary Nurse

I joined the Vets4Pets team in June 2015 to become a Student Veterinary Nurse as it's always what I had a passion for. Previously I completed the Level 3 Animal Management course at Writtle College.

I have a large variety of pets withinmy household which include 5 cats, 2 rabbits, 1 fish, 1 lizard, 1 African land snail, 3 mice and my very own Pug called Penny who I adore! In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my friends, family and pets.


Alicia Tomkins

Student Veterinary Nurse

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Sara Backhouse-Wood

Veterinary Care Assistant

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Sue Margerison

Veterinary Care Assistant

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Louise Playfair

Client Service Manager

I joined Vets4Pets in 2014 and I am enjoying being part of the team. Previously I worked as a veterinary receptionist and also have experience in customer care, IT and floristry. I spend most of my spare time with my husband and two young children. We have 2 cats named Neslay and Herbie, 2 budgies named Elsa and Anna and several goldfish.I am trying to keep to my promise of not bringing anymore animal’s home from work!

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Jo Chapman


I started working here in May 2017. Within days I felt like I had worked here for years, thanks to the wonderful team I have the pleasure in working with.

I am married and I have 3 children, 2 step-children and 2 dogs that rule all of our lives!!! I love my family/work balance I have managed to find working here.

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Amy Angear


I have worked as a receptionist for Vets4Pets since July 2016 and I am also studying to be a Veterinary Care Assistant. I enjoy learning about the veterinary industry as well as meeting all our clients and their lovely pets!

In my spare time I continue to learn Spanish and hope to be fluent. At home I have 2 Rabbits, 2 Miniature Schnauzers and a Jack Russel/Chihuahua which I rescued. Where possible I foster dogs from the RSPCA Pet Retreat scheme, who help families fleeing domestic abuse.



Jackie Macmaster


Hello my name is Jackie. I joined Vets4Pets Basildon in July 2017 after previously working for a large animal rescue and rehoming centre for 18 years.

I have always been highly passionate about animals and their welfare, and from a very young age I grew up surrounded by chickens ducks rabbits dogs cats and horses, and was forever bringing home strays and injured birds, including the baby crow that I hand reared and named Jo.

I currently own three amazing rescue dogs, a very chatty cat, a cheeky tortoise named Hannibal and a wide selection of frogs. My husband gets great pleasure in calling me a crazy frog lady.

In my free time I love nothing more than taking my dogs for long walks and training them. I also adore arts and crafts and often make needle felts of all my friends pets.

After using Vets4Pets Basildon as my own vets for many years, working here makes me feel very lucky, as I have become part of such a caring and compassionate team.

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Claire Sylvester


I have been part of the Basildon team since April 2016. I am loving being back in the veterinary scene after having a break from it for 10 years. I have worked with animals in one way or another since I was 14 so I think you could say I'm pretty obsessed by them!

Every day brings a new challenge to my role but I enjoy the fact that no 2 days are the same!

At home I have a 9 year old cocker spaniel named Ruby and a tropical fish tank which houses Neons, Guppies and zebra snails.

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Karen Carter

Finance Co-ordinator

I joined Vets4Pets in August 2010. I have previously worked as a Veterinary receptionist elsewhere since 2000. I enjoy spending all my free time with my son, boyfriend and his two children. I have a Staffordshire bull terrier called Daisy and a tortoise called Dave