Our History

Established in the 1940s as a small mainly agricultural practice, Scarsdale Vets (as it is now known) has grown to become one of the largest providers of veterinary care in the Midlands.

  • 1940s

    1945

    In 1945 veterinary surgeon John Rorrison purchased a small mainly agricultural practice, which was to be the start of what, 75 years later, has become the 80+ vet, multi-site practice we now know as the Scarsdale Veterinary Group. John was the first University qualified Vet in Derby as before the passing of the Veterinary Surgeons act in 1948 anybody who had spent more than 7 years treating animals could call themselves a veterinary surgeon.

    The original practice was run from John Rorrison’s house at 37 Kedleston Road, and most of the caseload involved farm animals and horses with pets only occupying a very small part of the vet’s day.

  • 1950s

    1956

    In 1956 John Taylor, a new graduate joined the practice and so the first expansion had started.  The practice changed premises in 1965, relocating to 47 Kedleston Road. Farm work still occupied most of the day’s work, facilities for small animals being one consulting room, one operating theatre and two dog kennels.

    There were no routine appointments for pets, worried owners merely waited until the first farm vet returned from his rounds. Open evening surgeries would continue for another 30 years seeing everybody who could get through the door by 7pm

    The practice continued to thrive and by the mid 60’s additional manpower was needed. This came in the form of Tony Thompstone who in later years was to become a real driving force behind the development of the business.

  • 1970s

    1972

    In 1972 Tony joined the partnership when John Rorrison retired. During the same year 45 Kedleston Road came onto the market and was purchased by the partnership providing much needed additional space for the continually growing practice and future accommodation for veterinary assistants in the spacious flats above the practice. Further opportunity arose in 1976 when, following the demolition of the old terraced houses in Elm’s Street, a plot of land, immediately behind the practice became available.  The acquisition of this land allowed the future building of the hospital extension.

    In the late 70’s Tom Craig and Martin Grundy became partners and by this time the demand for the veterinary care of pet animals had increased substantially.

    1979

    In 1979 David Bell, who for 2 years had worked in the surgery department of the Royal Veterinary College London, joined the practice as the first almost exclusively small animal vet. This was the start of a trend towards specialisation, which has continued to the present day.

  • 1980s

    1982

    Chris Parker joined the practice. As all visits were still allocated in a day book with initials, and C & P were already in use, Chris had to use his middle initial S and was promptly re-christened Sid, a name that was to stick for the next 37 years.

    1983

    In response to the increased companion animal caseload the Duffield and Mickleover practices were acquired and opened in 1983. Whilst these practices provided increased consulting room capacity, the operating facilities at Kedleston Road were becoming increasingly stretched. In response to this problem a major investment was undertaken when the practice decided in 1986, to build a large extension on the plot of land at the back of the Kedleston Road practice. This provided considerable additional kennelling, 2 new operating theatres, a large preparation room and an extra consulting room. A large garage was constructed where a variety of operations on large animals could be performed. This extension freed up some space in the old building and allowed for the expansion of the laboratory facilities under the guidance of Chris Parker, who was to become the sixth partner.

    The Practice was now providing outstanding facilities for the treatment of companion animals, and it was felt that the standards necessary for Hospital status had been met. Application was duly made to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and following a rigorous inspection of the premises and facilities, hospital status was granted. This was a very proud day for everyone involved, especially Tony Thompstone who had put so much effort into co-ordinating the construction of the new building. With this elevation in status, the old name of Taylor, Thompstone and Partners was replaced by The Scarsdale Veterinary Hospital, based on the fact that the original name of the buildings at 45-47 Kedleston Road was ‘Scarsdale Villas’.

    In the late 80s, discussions with Ron Christie, who owned his own Practice in South Street, led to the merger of the two practices. It was at this point, due to increasing size, the Practice split into two separate departments. Farm and equine vets were based at South Street with companion animal vets remaining at Kedleston Road.

    1987

    Sandy Jamieson joined the practice. Sandy had previously been working at Mr Christie’s practice on South Street.

  • 1990s

    1990

    Karen Davis joined the practice.

    The South Street premises were however rather cramped for the number of people based there and car parking facilities were very limited, particularly if any farmer wanted to bring an animal down to the practice. Consequently when in 1990 a riding school in Markeaton Lane came onto the market, it was purchased to allow expansion of the farm and equine side of the Practice.

    Considerable development of the site was required and in addition to reception and office space, horse boxes, an equine examination area, an anaesthesia box and equine operating theatre were created. This enabled us to make good use of our new facilities. There is also an indoor riding school and a section for hospitalisation and operating on farm animals. A purpose built laboratory was also developed on site which is able to perform a wide range of investigative procedures for our large and small animal units.

    Shortly after building these equine facilities, John Mason, a very experienced horse vet from Eastwood joined the practice bringing with him many years of his equine and farm clients. This enabled us to make good use of our facilities.

    1991

    John Turkington joined the practice.

    1993

    Major changes in the Partnership occurred in 1993. In May, John Taylor retired form the partnership and Sandy Jamieson joined as the new junior partner. Later in the year tragedy struck when Tony Thompstone was tragically killed on holiday. Tony had played a major role in the progression of the Practice and was justly proud of his achievement.

    The demand for small animal work has continued to grow as Derby has expanded and in recent years we have opened further practices at Oakwood and Hilton. The latter also has operating facilities and kennels so allowing a number of routine operations to be undertaken, without clients having to travel into Derby.  This steady rise in demand for the veterinary care of pet animals has, of course, also resulted in the need for more partners on the small animal side of the Practice.

    1995

    Paul Sands joined the practice. Paul has gone on to be a highly respected dermatologist heading up the dermatology unit and delivering a wide variety of dermatology related CPD. Paul is presently Honorary Associate Professor of Dermatology for Nottingham University Veterinary School but is still based at Scarsdale Vets.

    John Turkington became a partner in 1995. He has a particular interest in ophthalmology and is able to carry out many procedures not previously possible in practice.

    1997

    As most people will be aware the farming industry has been under very great pressure since the mid 1990s. Many farmers have gone out of business and of course this has had a knock on effect on large animal veterinary practice from which we have not been exempt. Fortunately for ourselves The Springwood Veterinary Group in Burton decided in 1997 to stop offering a farm service and the practice was able to acquire a number of new farm clients which has helped us, in part to maintain our farm business.

    1998

    Wendy Furness joined the practice as an equine vet.

    In 1998 Sarah Smith, who is a well recognised cardiologist, also joined the partnership. The new colour flow ultrasound machine meant that Sarah could investigate and treat many heart conditions which only a few years ago were poorly understood and could only be carried out at universities.

  • 2000s

    2000

    Julie Todd joined the practice.

    Further partnership changes occurred in 2000, when Martin Grundy who had been a very popular vet with both small and farm clients alike, decided to retire and join the Veterinary Defence Society. Karen Davis joined the partnership in 2000 on the small animal side.

    2002

    Francis Boyer joined the practice.

    Paul Sands joined the partnership on the small animal side.

    Subsequently in 2002 the small animal and equine business of Springwood Vets was bought by the Scarsdale Group. The main Stapenhill practice was much larger than all the other practices and so was run as a stand alone site but the business also added another 2 smaller practices to its portfolio.

    2003

    The Partnership had to deal with the sad loss of David Bell to cancer in September 2003. David was an excellent vet specialising in orthopaedics. He was much loved by both clients and colleagues and will be missed greatly for his advice in all matters veterinary and his wonderful sense of humour.

    2004

    Rose Jackson and Jacqui Paton joined the practice.

    James Hollingworth joined the Partnership in 2004 as a farm animal partner. This coincided with Pool House Veterinary clinic deciding to stop farm work in the Lichfield area and pass on their farm clientele to Scarsdale Vets. The new farm clients led to a large expansion in the farm practice area and the farm team, which had originally been based almost exclusively north of Derby, now foundthey were spending more time in the south.

    2005

    There are further pressures on the veterinary profession today from corporate practices, internet pharmacies, farm buying groups and the competition commission. The Scarsdale Veterinary Group, in response to these pressures, joined initially with 6 other predominantly farm animal practices to form a new company XLVets. XLVets has now expanded in to a group of 50 practices with both small animal and equine units as well as the original farm grouping. It’s strapline is ‘excellence in practice’, and it exists to share knowledge, expertise and combining buying potential ensure better terms for its independent members.

    In 2005, the RCVS brought in the Veterinary Practice Standards Scheme.  The Scarsdale Veterinary Group has achieved the top status of Tier 3 for the companion animal side and Tier 2 for farm and equine.  This replaced the existing hospital accreditation.

    2006

    In 2006, Wendy Furness, Equine Veterinary Assistant and Francis Boyer, Small Animal Assistant joined the Partnership team as Associate Partners.

    The new University of Nottingham Veterinary School opens on the Sutton Bonnington campus. This is the first new Veterinary School in the UK for 50 years and its teaching will be very different from the traditional schools with final year students using associate partners to gain a wide variety of experience and one to one teaching. Having been involved since the inception of the School, Scarsdale Vets becomes the major associate, providing farm equine, companion animal first opinion and specialist student teaching.

    2007

    In 2007, Sarah Smith took the difficult decision to leave the partnership and further her career in cardiology.

    2008

    Frances Bird and Paul Revell joined the practice

    The history of the Scarsdale Veterinary Group shows how from the small start made by John Rorrison over 75 years ago, the Practice has grown to one with 80+ vets, several of whom have post graduate qualifications in a variety of disciplines. We have 10 different sites with 3 further sites in the pipeline to open in the next 12 months and provide wide ranging veterinary care to dogs, cats, children’s pets, farm animals and horses.

    2009

    Wendy Furness and Francis Boyer became partners in the business.

    The site at Markeaton was significantly expanded. There was an increasing amount of lameness investigations work now at the practice and the expansion included:

    The addition of 10 new stables including JMB box

    • Trot up area
    • Hard lunge area ad lorry park
    • Additional offices and consultation room
    • Dedicated dispensary
    • Expanded reception and addition of a shop area
  • 2010s

    2011

    Frances Bird, Anna Cockle, Julie Todd, Paul Revell, Jacqui Paton and Rose Jackson became Associate Partners.

    Pride Veterinary Centre opened offering a vets practice, small animal hospital and luxury pet resort. The referral side of the business took off with many Diploma holders joining the practice. The hospital is one of the biggest veterinary buildings in Europe and is one of the few referral hospitals able to offer the full range of referral specialisms.

    The first Nottingham final year students arrive at Pride and Markeaton to start their studies and a number of Nottingham academic staff are embedded with the system to help expand the referral side and coordinate student teaching.

    2012

    The Kedleston Road practice closed, transferring its staff and clients to our new modern practice at Park Farm, Allestree.

    Due to an expanding workload, the Oakwood practice moved from the Vicarage Road site to the Oakwood District Centre, where it can be better accessed and due to the larger unit, we are now able to provide more veterinary services at that location.

    2014

    The Shelton Lock practice opened, offering a local veterinary service to the Shelton Lock and Chellaston areas. We added a grooming facility to this practice in 2016. In 2017, we moved the Blue Cross clinic from Pride Veterinary Centre to this location

    2015

    Rose Jackson and Frances Bird became Partners within the practice.

    To celebrate 70 years of Scarsdale Vets, a Tour de Scarsdale was organised to raise money for charity, taking in all 10 practices and approximately 86km.

    2017

    Anna Cockle became a Partner in the business.

    2018

    Paul Revell and Jeff Gascoyne became Partners, and Anders Blaabjerg became a salaried Partner.

    The original Mickleover practice on Vicarage Road closes and is relocated to a more modern building with better parking on Devonshire Drive.

    Pride Veterinary Centre is expanded to include additional ward space. ICU was also relocated, a dedicated chemotherapy area was created, the dog and cat hotels were expanded, the staff room was relocated to make room for additional wards and extra meeting rooms were built.

    2019

    New small animal first opinion vet practices will open in Alfreton, Langley Mill & Wollaton.