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About Rata
Emmas 2
Lots Of Dogs Emma

We are a group of veterinary surgeons with specific training in orthopaedic (bone) and soft tissue surgery and provide a visiting surgical service to over 100 practices in the South and West of England and Wales.

Our service, established over ten years ago by our late founder and leader, Andrew Scrimgeour. Now a team of fifteen with dedicated administrators, veterinary nurses and bespoke remote computing software Rata has evolved to become recognised as leaders in offering visiting surgical services.

We are passionate about surgery and work alongside your local vet clinic to provide support, advice and surgical services. Our goal: to get your pet back to the healthy, active lifestyle they thrive on.

Your local vet is able to share radiographs (x-rays) as well as details of your pets complaint which enables us to give advice on how best to manage his/her problem.

Your vet may then decide it is wise for us to come and examine your pet and make an assessment so that we are able to discuss management options with you directly - we call these 'Orthopaedic Consultations'.

Often your pet's problem requires surgery. In this instance your vet will give us all the required details so that we can plan for the arranged day of surgery. We bring all specific equipment required for the individual surgery and stock a huge variety of titanium plates, bone screw, joint cameras and drill systems.

We have complied a number of Resources - pet in an attempt to provide you with all the information you need about your pet's condition. These include physio videos, procedure information sheets and post operative care guides.

Our FAQ's - Pet may help you answer any queries you may have.

Our team

Clare grew up in Tauranga, New Zealand, and graduated from Massey University in 1999.

After working a ski season in California and travelling for a period of time, she moved to the UK and worked in mixed general practice in Devon and Cornwall. Clare developed a keen interest in small animal surgery and gained her RCVS Cert SAS in 2009.

In her spare time, Clare enjoys walking her dogs, travelling and making pets out of her husband’s many dairy cows.

Areas of Interest
  • Fracture management.
  • Saving strays from needing amputations.
Published papers
Pantarsal arthrodesis in cats using orthoganol plating. Alza Salvatierra, Diego N.; Witte, Philip G.; Scott, Harry W.; Catchpole, Clare. Journal of Feline Medicine & Surgery, Jan2018, Vol. 20 Issue 1, p45-54, 10p. Read paper

Emma qualified from the University of Bristol in 2004 and spent her first 18 months in a mixed practice in Cornwall. After undertaking an internship at Davies Veterinary Specialists, she gained her RCVS Certificate in Small Animal Surgery in 2010 whilst working at Bath Veterinary Group.

After a trip to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, where she worked for a charity clinic, Emma returned to Cornwall for a further 2 years before moving to Cheltenham.

Since gaining her certificate, she has continued to maintain a high surgical case load in both orthopaedic and soft tissue surgery. Her current interest lies in stifle surgery, and in particular, the surgical management of cranial cruciate ligament disease.

When not chasing after her two young boys, Emma enjoys spending most of her time outdoors, preferably on or in the sea, or alternatively, on the hockey pitch.

Areas of Interest
  • Soft tissue surgery cases amenable to peripatetic surgical management
  • Surgical management of cranial cruciate ligament disease

Matt qualified from Liverpool University in 2005 after which he spent a his first years in practice at the busy London RSPCA Harmsworth Hospital dealing with a high volume of trauma cases. Following this he took some time to locum in Australia and around the UK before settling in the South West. Matt has since worked within a multi-disciplinary hospital in Bath and held a Clinical Director role at a South Bristol clinic where he was lead surgeon before joining us in January 2017.

Matt has always had a passion for surgery and has recently passed his certificate in general small animal surgery with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

In his spare time Matt plays football and heads for a surf when there are waves - he is currently training for a 10km river swim in Snowdonia and the Perranporth Surf Triathlon. He has a rescue cat called Alan who he claims is definitely not fat!

Areas of Interest
  • Adjunctive therapies: Hydrotherapy, physio, neutraceuticles
  • Fracture repairs

At 20 years of age Heidi graduated from University College London (UCL) with an honours degree in Anatomy and Developmental Embryology and a passion for Anatomy and Physiology. Five years later in 1999 she graduated from the Royal veterinary College London (RVC) with a passion for surgery.

The first 19 years of her career were spent living and working in the UK and overseas as a GP vet with a surgical bias. She has also been fortunate to spend some time working overseas for animal charities which was an amazingly rewarding experience.

Heidi recently gained her ESVPS small animal surgery certificate and joined Rata in 2018 to continue her learning journey in orthopaedic surgery for the second half of her career. She is quoted as saying "I can now say I have the best job in the world".

Outside of work Heidi is a busy mum of 2 children and 3 dogs. When she finds extra time, she likes to run (slowly), swim (fast), surf (badly and only in warm water) and SUP (preferably in warm water as she falls off frequently).

Areas of Interest
  • Surgical treatments for advanced arthritis and pain; such a stem cell therapy and weight realigning procedures (e.g. Paul)
  • Effects of obesity on inflammation and joint pain.
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Arthroscopy

Bryan grew up on a sheep farm about 200 km south-east of Perth, Western Australia. He graduated from Murdoch University in 2003. He initially worked in his home town doing mixed practice for a year before coming over to Britain to work in a busy small animal hospital in Berkshire. Eventually he ended up running a 3 site practice in Oxford as a Clinical Director for a veterinary corporation for 6 years until the end of 2017. Since then he has been locuming with a focus on soft tissue and orthopaedic surgery as well as training practices to use laparoscopic soft tissue surgery.

After an additional 2 years of study Bryan passed his Cert AVP(GSAS) from Liverpool University in 2015 having always had a passion for surgery.

Bryan lives in Berkshire and owns two small pugs - Herman and Doreen and a rescue British Short Hair called Coco Butters. Bryan likes music festivals, Halloween, and going for bike rides with his pugs. Bryan dislikes Brussels sprouts, the A34 and beer.

Areas of Interest
  • Cruciate disease
  • Patella Repair
  • Feline Orthopaedics
  • Advanced soft tissue surgery such as TECA, brachycephalic surgery, anal glands and urogenital surgery.

Duncan graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2011 he subsequently completed an internship at Dick White referrals.

He went on to further his experience as lead surgeon at several hospitals in Hampshire and Berkshire.

Duncan completed his Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice in Surgery and became an RCVS recognised advanced practitioner in small animal surgery in 2015. He added his Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice in Diagnostic imaging in 2020.

His last role, before joining Rata, was as lead surgeon and clinical director of an 18 Vet, 24 hour hospital in Southampton.

Duncan’s interests range from Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome to fracture repair and most things in between!

Duncan shares his home with 2 springer spaniels, Claude the cross eyed cat and many ducks! He enjoys going to the gym, snowboarding and playing club cricket.

Areas of Interest
  • Cranial cruciate ligament disease
  • Arthroscopy
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Reconstructive soft tissue surgery
  • Ultrasonography
  • Anaesthesia and analgesia for surgical patients

George graduated from the Royal Veterinary college in 2011 after which he spent his first few years in several different small animal practices in the Thames Valley area.

Since 2015 George has worked in a busy multidisciplinary hospital in Finchampstead where he studied through the University of Liverpool to obtain RCVS certification in small animal surgery. George became lead surgeon in the same clinic in 2017 and has since taken referrals in both soft tissue and orthopaedic surgery from local practices.

George has always had an interest in surgery and enjoys all aspects from cruciate surgery to fracture repairs and a wide range of soft tissue procedures including laparoscopic surgery.

In his spare time, he enjoys bike riding, skiing and hiking. George has two cats, Minnie and Teazle who spend most of their time pestering him for food or sleeping.

Areas of Interest
  • Cruciate disease and treatment
  • Fracture repair

Hannah graduated from Bristol University in 2009 after which she spent her first two years in small animal practice and out-of-hours in the Midlands area.

In 2011 Hannah undertook a rotating internship at Willows Referral Centre in Solihull where she was introduced to the British Veterinary Orthopaedic Association, receiving the Leslie Vaughan prize for presenting an abstract at a scientific meeting and joining the committee. In order to gain surgical experience Hannah worked at the charity PDSA for seven years, latterly in a management role, and studied through the University of Liverpool to obtain RCVS certification in small animal surgery.

Hannah has always had an interest in surgery since her elective at University and enjoys fracture repair planning.

In her spare time she is an amateur in rearing rare breed poultry, beekeeping and competing in triathlons. Her Rhodesian Ridgeback Winston is the love of her life.

Areas of Interest
  • Fracture Repair

James graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2013 and went on to a mixed practice in South Wales. After a period in the Yorkshire Dales he moved down to Devon and developed an interest in all things surgery but particularly orthopaedics. From here he gained the certificate in advanced veterinary practice (CertAVP) and was covering the orthopaedic caseload of two large west country practices before joining Rata.

James has an interest in sports and working dogs and is a member of the British Veterinary Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine Association.

Outside of work James enjoys cycling and running with his two kelpies and jack russell terrier.

Areas of Interest
  • Rehabilitation

Cate was born in London, but grew up in Australia and graduated from Queensland University in 1996. She worked for 2 years in mixed practice near Melbourne before moving to the UK.

Cate initially worked in mixed practice in the UK too, but after realising she wanted to concentrate on surgery, joined Bath Veterinary Group where she gained both her RCVS certificate and ANZCVS membership in small animal surgery.

She worked as a referral vet for 2 years at Bath Veterinary Referrals carrying out both soft tissue and orthopaedic procedures before she joined Rata Veterinary Surgery in December 2012.

When Cate is not chasing/looking after her 3 small children, she tries to fit in some walking, swimming and reading.

Areas of Interest
  • Canine stifle surgery
  • Feline Patella Luxation
Published papers

In the process of submitting a case series on feline patella luxation cases managed without TCT.

Ivan graduated from the University of Zagreb in 2010 and initially worked in mixed practice while earning a Masters in Pharmaceutics. After earning Postgraduate Certification in Small Animal Surgery in 2018, he completed an internship at Willows Referral Service in Solihull, and has since been providing referral surgical services to practices in Leicestershire.

Ivan is happy doing both soft tissue and orthopaedic surgical procedures.

Areas of Interest

Vicky completed her degree in Veterinary Nursing at the University of Bristol in 2007, during which time she also gained her Veterinary Practice Administration Certificate (VPAC).

She enjoyed a variety of roles as a locum in and around Bristol, which included first opinion and referral work, as well as a couple of years spent abroad in animal shelters and practice. Prior to joining Rata, Vicky held a head nurse position in first opinion practice and concurrently, had 5 years’ experience of lecturing veterinary nurse students.

Vicky has a keen interest in anaesthesia & analgesia and has complemented her Rata work by completing her ESVP NCert (Anaesthesia).

In her spare time, Vicky enjoys the release of any sport but in particular: outdoor swimming, yoga and running. She relishes being able to travel and experience local cuisine! These hobbies are now juggled around her little boy and rescue Bengal cat Mango!

Areas of Interest
  • Anaesthesia
  • Analgesia
  • Clinical audits

Lucy graduated from the University of Bristol in 2011 with a degree in Veterinary Nursing and Practice Administration. Since graduation she has worked in a variety of rewarding roles within the Bristol area, most recently as a head nurse in a first opinion practice.

In her spare time Lucy enjoys baking (and eating!) cake and running, recently completing the Bath Half Marathon. At home she is kept company by her cat, two house rabbits, a tortoise (which was only ‘staying the weekend - promise!’) and her very understanding fiance!

Areas of Interest
  • Anaesthesia
  • Analgesia
  • Post operative rehabilitation

Hayley lives in Salisbury, Wiltshire, with her family and pets. After many years of travelling and working in the travel industry, she qualified as a veterinary nurse in 1997 and worked as a RVN in the Bournemouth area. She went on to locum for 4 years in small animal practices gaining valuable experience and understanding how to adapt quickly to new circumstances. Hayley eventually settled in Salisbury, Wiltshire, to raise a family and support her husband’s Vets4Pets practice in Southampton; paying particular attention to organising and customer care. 

After starting work for Rata at the beginning of 2015, Hayley acts as liaison between the practice and the vet to ensure a smooth line of communication.

Her interests include keeping fit, writing, running a book club, cooking, body boarding and skiing.

Libby has been part of the Rata team for eighteen months working alongside Hayley taking care of the administrative duties.

Libby began her career as a registered electrologist, she then decided to join the airline industry for a couple of years to ‘see the world’. Twelve years later she finally packed her uniform away and settled in Hampshire to raise her son, where she now lives with her family and two dogs.

Libby is a keen animal lover and over the years has owned and cared for a variety of pets including a horse, dogs, cats, chickens ducks and a rescued turkey!

In her spare time Libby enjoys running and yoga classes. She is also a keen florist.