We have a team of 7 friendly vets, all of whom have a wealth of experience. Our vets are required to undertake further study each year to continually improve and update their skills.
Rebecka BoldBSc MA VetMB MRCVS
Claire GoodearBVetMed Cert AVP MRCVS
Lisa LeavettBVMS MRCVS
Lizzie ElseBVMS MRCVS
Louise KirkBVSc MSc MRCVS
Georgie SpracklingBVSc MSc MRCVS
Ellie WhiteheadBVetMed MRCVS
Rebecka qualified from Cambridge University, where she had studied as a mature student, in 2004. She has worked in a number of different practices in Derbyshire and spent five years working at the PDSA hospital in Nottingham, which provided her with a wealth of experience with difficult cases. It was whilst working for the PDSA that she met Claire who shares her ethos for wanting to provide top quality veterinary care in a personal and friendly manner sparking a desire for the pair to set up their own practice. Derwent Valley Vets first opened its doors in June 2016 after an extensive but sympathetic renovation of The Boat House Pub during which both were very hands on together with Claire’s husband Steven and lead by Rebecka’s partner Jim who is a joiner by trade.
Rebecka lives in Matlock and, despite being a southerner by birth, loves the area. She has two teenage daughters and the whole family likes to spend their spare time walking in the Peaks with their scraggy lurcher “Dixie”.
Rebecka is a “Fear Free” accredited professional and is interested in making the practice a relaxed and enjoyable place for owners and patients to visit. “I am keen that all our patients should see the vets as a pleasurable place to come. Eliminating anxiety in our patients makes a trip to the vets something that can be enjoyed by both animals and owners. Who wouldn’t want to work in a place that everyone is pleased to visit?”
Claire studied at the Royal Veterinary College in London, qualifying in 2001. She initially worked in mixed practice near London before moving up to the Peak District in 2004 to help her Veterinary Surgeon husband Steven with the setup of his small animal practice in Sheffield, which opened in 2005. Until the opening of Derwent Valley in 2016 Claire worked for the emergency/out of hours veterinary service VetsNow. She is still currently involved and kept up to date with Emergency and Critical Care as she has been invited to be an assessor and moderator for the Veterinary Nurse Certificate in the subject. It was while Claire was working as Head Vet for VetsNow in Nottingham that she met Rebecka as the pair were working for different veterinary care providers working out of the same building.
Claire lives with her husband and two children in a beautiful Grade 2 listed house on the edge of the Peak Park. They must like a challenge as when they bought their house it had no stairs and only some of the floors! Luckily some of their building skills gained whilst converting the Boat House into Derwent Valley Vets have come in handy and as well as stairs and floors, they now even have a bathroom and kitchen. There is still a lot to do but it will be a beautiful place when it is finished and most importantly for Claire it has space to keep her ever growing “string” of horses and ponies. For some girls it’s shoes, for Claire its horses! She also has quite a good collection of cats and dogs.
Claire obtained her Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice in 2018 studying at night whilst doing her day job and still retains a keen interest in anaesthesia and pain management. She has been the driving force behind investing in the laparoscopic (keyhole) kit and always has her eye on the next big development in the veterinary world.
Lisa joined the practice in 2017 having previously worked for VetsNow where she was first Head Vet at Alfreton and then the District Vet covering a number of branches. She came to Derwent Valley Vets with a wealth of knowledge having been in practice for over 20 years, graduating from Glasgow University in 1998.
Lisa has settled “down south” in Matlock and lives locally with her husband and three daughters. She has Jake, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and two cats, Honey and Spice. She spends her leisure time either out in the garden or scoping out the local live music events with her husband who plays in a band.
Lisa is currently studying for her Certificate in Advance Veterinary Practice. She is on the ball with recent developments in the veterinary world and like all our vets she believes “you should never stop learning in this profession as things are continually changing or improving.” Her primary interest remains emergency and critical care and she is the font of all knowledge on anything to do with poisonings and toxicology.
Lizzie graduated from Glasgow Vet School in 2018. Before moving to Derwent Valley Vets in 2023, she had worked at other small animal veterinary practices both as a consulting and hospital vet and has gained a wealth of knowledge in management of more complex medical cases. She is a keen ultrasonographer, being particularly good at ultrasound investigations to help aid a medical diagnosis, and she is currently working towards a certificate in small animal medicine.
Lizzie has a ‘naughty’ two-year-old Welsh Springer Spaniel called ‘Finn’ who has been known to help himself to a box of chocolates or two. The most recent of his indiscretions resulting in a trip down to the practice after hours to be made sick … see these things do happen to us too !! When Finn is behaving himself, Lizzie and Finn do scent trailing and manhunting around the local area which helps Lizzie keep his super intelligent brain active. Lizzie also has a very cool black cat called ‘Dave’, although Lizzie says Dave does not think he is a cat being more like a dog in his mannerisms and behaviour!
Louise studied at the Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh, qualifying in 2015. Following graduation, she worked in a couple of small animal practices in Derbyshire before moving to Derwent Valley in 2021.
Louise loves the intricacies of veterinary medicine and she is particularly keen on feline (cat) medicine. She has a tiny little black and white cat at home called “Maow”, that she rescued whilst working at a previous practice, and she says she “is very partial to a cute cat!”. Her relaxed friendly approach means she puts her patients (and their owners) at ease. She is always willing to help the rest of the team and she fits in really well at Derwent Valley Vets.
When Louise is not at work, she spends a lot of her time playing sports. In the winter she is part of a local hockey team and in the summer dons her whites to play cricket. She loves the Peak District and often goes walking around the area with friends.
Georgie graduated from Liverpool Vet School in 2011. Before moving to Derwent Valley Vets in 2021, Georgie was awarded a Masters in Clinical Animal Behaviour in 2016 and has done some work outside of the veterinary environment both as a behaviourist and training assistance dogs. She is brilliant with nervous patients and their owners, using her knowledge of behaviour to help reduce the stress of visiting the vets. She is calm and gentle and all the animals love her relaxed manner.
As well as her interest in behaviour she is also a keen surgeon.
At home Georgie spends time with her husband, young son and her two dogs. She has a collie “Pogo” and a cocker spaniel “Rufus”. She loves being active and enjoys climbing, running and spending time outdoors with her little boy and her dogs.
Ellie studied at the Royal Veterinary College in London, qualifying in 2005. She has previously worked in small animal practices in Sutton in Ashfield and Alfreton before joining us at Derwent Valley in 2018. Initially Ellie worked from Derwent Valley as “The guinea pig vet,” a business she set up to serve the strong following of guinea pig owners who recognise her vast experience with this species. Her interest in guinea pigs started when she had three guinea pigs Daisy, Rosie and Elvis as a vet student and has grown over the years to the point where there is not much about guinea pigs that Ellie doesn’t know.
In 2019 Ellie decided she would like to become a more permanent member of staff. We were delighted to have her join us. Even though she has a special interest in guinea pigs her 14 years in general practice has given her a wealth of experience with all small animal species. She is an accomplished surgeon and is interested in anaesthesia and pain relief in all species. Her relaxed friendly approach means she fits in really well with the rest of the team.
Ellie lives with her partner and young son in Wirksworth. She is very practical and her hobbies include DIY and making furniture. Her latest project involves setting up a new tropical fish tank.
All our nurses are fully trained and registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. We do NOT allow untrained staff to monitor your pet’s anaesthetic.
Laura Barker RVNQualified Veterinary Nurse
Nicky Doyle RVN GradDipQualified Veterinary Nurse
Clare Logan RVNQualified Veterinary Nurse
Louise Stanger RVNQualified Veterinary Nurse
Emma Thorley RVN (BA) HonHead Veterinary Nurse
Amber Thompson RVN BSc (Hons)Qualified Veterinary Nurse
Claire Wilson RVN, CVLM(HR)Practice Manager, Qualified Veterinary Nurse
Laura Barker RVN
Laura joined the practice in November 2019 after completing a level 3 in animal management. She studies at Bottle Green training and qualified in 2023.
Laura lives in Belper with her family. She has 2 dogs, a Border Terrier ‘Cinders’ and a Cockapoo ‘Nutmeg’ as well as 2 Guinea Pigs ‘Obi’ and ‘Arwen’. When shes not working, Laura spends time studying or socialising with friends, going on walks with her dogs and visiting the cinema.
Nicky Doyle RVN GradDip
Nicky has been working in veterinary practices since 1998 and became a qualified Veterinary Nurse in 2000. Not one to rest on her laurels she continued to study and in 2010 obtained her Graduate Diploma in Professional and Clinical Veterinary Nursing from the Royal Veterinary College. She has had a variety of jobs before joining Derwent Valley in 2017 including working in general practice, working for an out of hours provider and working for a veterinary laboratory company. She has used her nursing skills to do charitable work including a stint in a neutering clinic in St Lucia.
Nicky lives locally in the Matlock area with her partner and her three sons. When she is not at work she is always on the go and is constantly running one of the boys to an activity or class. The whole family enjoys time out in the Peak District with their crossbreed dog “Lucy” who is advancing in age but still loves a good walk.
Nicky has a particular interest in feline medicine and is looking to set up an advice clinic for our older cat patients when she is back from maternity leave. She retains an interest in emergency and critical care from her previous job and is always a calm head in a crisis.
Clare Logan RVN
Clare joined Derwent Valley Vets in August 2018. She qualified as a Veterinary nurse in 1994 and is the oldest member of the team (although she would like it to be known she still has all of her own teeth!). She has previously worked in a number of mixed and small animal practices. She was with her last small animal practice in Hertfordshire for over 12 years.
Clare has loved holidaying in the Peak District for years and finally took the plunge in 2018 and moved to Matlock where she can make the most of her love of walking and the local wildlife. She is a member of the RSPB, the Woodland Trust and Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, with whom she does volunteer work once a month.
Clare comes to Derwent Valley with a wealth of knowledge and experience. Her input has been important in helping to get the laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery started at the practice. Her previous practice was already using this type of equipment and she is knowledgeable on how to care for such an expensive and fragile bit of kit. Clare is our feline advocate for the ISFM cat friendly program and hopes to take on an older cat once she has settled in.
Louise Stanger RVN
Louise has been a nurse in veterinary practice for 19 years. Prior to coming to Derwent Valley Vets when we opened in 2016 she had worked first in private practice and then for 12 years for the PDSA where she met Rebecka and Claire.
Louise is dog crazy! She has a very fit and athletic Vizla with whom she competes at agility, does gundog training and runs in the relatively new sport of canicross. She has recently added little “Figgy”, a working cocker spaniel to her pack and he is settling in well. All her dogs come to work with her and she can often be seen with them walking along the banks of the Derwent before and after work.
Louise has a Diploma in Canine Massage Therapy and runs sessions offering Galen massage at the practice. Her healing hands are ideal for animals who have had an injury or who are starting to suffer with aches and pains. She is passionate about inpatient care and is an excellent theatre nurse
Emma Thorley RVN (BA) Hon
Emma joined Derwent Valley Vets in 2022 when she accepted the position of Head Veterinary Nurse at the practice. Being put in the position of leading a team of very experienced and confident nurses could of been very daunting; Emma not only rose to the challenge but soon settled in, and with hard work and a listening ear, quickly earnt the respect of the other member of her team.
Emma initially studied for a degree in education at Sheffield Hallam University before moving into the veterinary world in 2014. She with in trained with Bottle Green Veterinary Nurse Training on day release from practice to obtain her VN qualification in 2018 and she has worked exclusively for independent practices since. Her degree has helped her with the rewarding role of clinical coach which involves teaching our trainee veterinary nurses during their time in practice.
Emma’s clinical interests include emergency, critical and intensive care as well as anaesthesia and pain management.
In her leisure time, Emma and her working cocker spaniel Brynn, enjoy exploring the countryside together. Emma is a very talented photographer and loves finding picturesque place to take photos of Brynn. As “Field and Flock Photography” she photographs dogs, horses and field sports taking some beautiful pictures. She also enjoys horse riding when she get the chance.
Amber Thompson RVN BSc (Hons)
We are very proud of Amber. She started with us as a trainee veterinary nurse, enrolled at Hartpury college in 2018 and in 2021 she registered as a qualified Veterinary Nurse (VN) after obtaining her degree. Knowing what a fabulous nurse she has become, through her continued hard work and effort, we have quickly snapped her up before she could get chance to make it out onto the job market and she has now joined our team of qualified VNs.
Amber has enjoyed all of her training but she is particularly interested in patient care and anaesthesia, two areas of nursing that are SO important. Now she has joined the team full time she is also taking on the role of Hill’s Nutritional Ambassador within the practice and as such is continuing her learning, this time specifically and in more depth about nutrition. It is really important to us at Derwent Valley that we all continue to learn – even those members of the team who are going a little grey around the edges do additional training each year.
As one of her graduation presents, Amber has just taken on her own puppy “Goose” who is a working cocker spaniel. Goose joins Amber’s other pets, “Merry” and “Pippin”, her guinea pigs, and we hope the whole family settles well in Matlock and enjoy the beautiful Peak District as much as we do.
Claire Wilson RVN, CVLM(HR)
Claire has been working in veterinary practice for nearly thirty years. She qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 1995 and has worked in a number of practices throughout the Nottingham and Derbyshire area picking up good ideas for best practice along the way. She started at Derwent Valley Vets on day one in June 2016.
Claire, her husband and her two daughters share a house with 2 German Shepherds “Teddy”, a Schipperke and ‘Tilly’ and ‘Harper’ the Australian Shepherds. She is a Kennel Club registered breeder of German Shepherds and her own line of dogs have been very successful in the show ring. She is passionate about responsible breeding and the person to ask about anything to do with health testing prior to getting bitches into pup. As well as showing her German Shepherds Claire also shows Teddy, both in the UK and on the continent. Teddy has, at the very young age of a year, obtained the Kennel Club status of champion in the UK and Ireland. Keep an eye out for both of them at Crufts.
Claire is a one of our veterinary nurse clinical coaches helping to progress the profession by training the Qualified Veterinary Nurses of tomorrow. She has a special interest in the topics of dental care and nutrition and runs our weight clinics with amazing results.
Student Veterinary Nurses & Our Support Staff
Laura Waters RVRHead Receptionist
Megan EdwardsStudent Veterinary Nurse
Sophie WainAnimal Care Assistant
Laura Waters RVR
Laura joined the practice in September 2017 and has been a friendly face on the front desk ever since. She had previously already worked in the service industry having been a travel agent in an earlier job and her NVQ in travel still comes in useful when booking all of her exciting trips away.
Laura lives in Darley Dale with her husband and two children. Last year they took on a new puppy “Larry” the Labrador, who attended our puppy classes. Larry has grown up to be a very relaxed and friendly dog – we think it must run in the family! When Laura is not at work, she enjoys keeping fit and is a keen runner and cyclist. She loves to be outdoors and can often be seen walking Larry around the Matlock area.
Laura is brilliant on the front desk. She loves “meeting and greeting” the clients, especially those of the furry variety! She is a whizz on the computers and is the font of all knowledge; if she doesn’t know something, she will definitely know someone who does!
Claire joined Derwent Valley in 2021 with previous experience as a veterinary receptionist. She has a level of energy that cannot be matched and she truly is a “people person”. She has fitted in well with the existing team and is always ready to tackle a task head on and with enthusiasm.
As well a previously working in the veterinary environment, Claire has plenty of experience with all kinds of animals. She has worked in a pet shop and her current pet list includes “Rocky”, her horse, “Fool”, her sheep, and “Ronnie and Reggie”, her spaniels, with whom she does gundog training to keep them fit and active.
Claire likes to talk – she says herself “too much!”, however we think she is being a little hard on herself. We love the fact that she always has something to say, that she is friendly on the front desk and that when something amuses her, her laugh can be heard in Bakewell!
When Claire is not at work, she takes her dogs out on long adventures in the Peak District, she goes horse riding when she gets and chance, and much to her partner Tom’s delight, she has recently started to learn how to shoot. I think the clays may be safe for a bit yet, not so sure about Tom!
Jane joined Derwent Valley in 2022 with no previous experience as a veterinary receptionist but a lot of experience in LIFE! She has had jobs that range from licensee to chef to working for a horse charity helping Dartmoor Hill Ponies.
Horses are one of her passions. As well as dealing with rescue ponies she has also had horses of her own and helped with the Four Shires Bloodhounds. Apparently, she is a whizz on a quad bike and is very used to dealing with more wilful horses even after a port or two. She has recently taken the sad decision to retire from riding as her family commitments are growing rapidly and requiring more of her time and energy. She and her husband have 6 children and 17 grandchildren between them! Her home is often busy with people, a lot of them quite tiny. She is relishing the role of grandparent and when not entertaining the grandchildren at home can sometimes be found going camping with them. Proper camping…under canvas….this lady is hard core!
Jane loves her job as part of the DVV team and has taken to it like a duck to water. She enjoys caring for both our two legged and four legged clients at the front desk and is a great advocate of the health plan since she has sat down and worked out how it gives such great value for money for herself. Jane has worked hard at getting up to speed with the veterinary specific aspects of the role and has completed her bronze BVRA award and is now working towards her silver.
When not at work, Jane can be found walking her two dogs Winnie and Eddie or heading out to eat. She is a great fan of a carvery and loves a Sunday where she can have a roast dinner that someone else has cooked especially if it comes with a drink and a few giggles.
Meg initially came to us as a receptionist in 2020. Her aim was to become a student veterinary nurse and very quickly we could see her potential so when a vacancy arose, we shifted her sideways into a trainee nurse position. She starts her training course with Bottle Green Training in the spring of 2021 and we know she will do well.
Meg grew up on a family farm and has a lot of experience with all sorts of animals. She has numerous qualifications including a BSc in Equine Science with a Level 3 in Stable Management, Level 2 in Horse Care and BHS stages 1&2. All of these she puts to good use looking after ‘Mischief’ her welsh pony and she spends a lot of her spare time out riding. When Meg is not at work or playing with horses, she enjoys spending time walking her Jack Russel ‘Lottie’ or climbing.
Meg has fitted into the team brilliantly. She always has a smile and nothing is too much trouble for her. We have no doubt that with her enthusiasm and natural ability she will make a fabulous veterinary nurse and be a credit to the profession.
Sophie initially joined the team as a volunteer, wanting to get work experience in a veterinary practice. She decided she liked it here and gets on really well with all the team so we were very pleased when she accepted a job as an animal care assistant in 2021. Her long-term plan is to work her way up to enrolling as a student veterinary nurse in a few years time. Currently she is studying hard to get the qualifications needed to start the course.
Sophie is a mother to three boys and lives on a farm with her husband Andrew. She loves showing her sons, Callum, Rupert and Logan how to look after the various cows, pigs and sheep on the farm. She enjoys farming so much she has applied for her own holding number and she has her own flock of sheep. She will often be found down the fields looking after them and enjoying their company. As well as the larger farm animals she also has a very cute crossbreed dog called “Bella” and two cats “Wilson” and “Buddy” at home. She has always enjoyed being with animals and says they “bring her a lot of happiness”.
When Sophie is not looking after her boys or her pets she likes to have lunch out with friends and is particularly partial to a good cocktail.