About us

About the practice

Abbotswood Veterinary Centre was established in 1991 as a local independent ‘one-stop’ practice for clients and their pets. We pride ourselves on providing a personal touch to our clients' needs, many of whom have been with the practice for years.


We endeavour to provide the highest standards of care by continually investing in the latest equipment and staff training. We are an official training practice for Registered Veterinary Nurses with all of our current nurses having been trained in-house.


The practice is owned and managed by Dr Hannah Scott who took over from Dr Patrick Murphy in 2019. Patrick still sees some of his longstanding clients on his locum days in the practice. 

Our long standing clients will be familiar with our team but for those new to us read on for more information below. 

Meet the team

Dr Hannah Scott, MRCVS

Hannah qualified from Liverpool University with honours in 2011 and worked in both first opinion and emergency and critical care before starting locum work in the South West. Hannah previously enjoyed a long standing locum relationship with the practice. In late 2019 the opportunity to purchase the practice arose with Dr Murphy looking to take a step back from the day-to-day of the business. As practice owner, Hannah is focused on continuing to provide the personal touch our clients are accustomed to whilst modernising the practice to provide the best standard of care possible.

Hannah's other interests include going to the gym and an African Grey parrot called Lola who can sometimes been seen around the practice entertaining clients!

Kate O'Neill, RVN

Kate joined Abbotswood Veterinary Centre as a nursing assistant back in 1997 while keeping several horses at a local yard. 

After taking a short break from nursing in 2001 to have her daughter, she returned in 2007 to continue nursing here at Abbotswood. Kate is now a fully qualified veterinary nurse having completed her training at Norton Radstock College in 2013. 

Having lost her beloved dog Patch in 2017, Kate now has Otis who is an English Pointer who she and her daughter enjoy training together. Otis is a top student qualifying for Crufts 2018!

Olivia Higgins

Olivia is originally from South Africa and obtained a BSc (Honours) in Environmental Science there before coming to the UK in 2018 to pursue her other passion of animal care and welfare.

After joining the team, Olivia began her training as a Student Veterinary Nurse at Central College of Animal Studies graduating in 2020. Olivia's other interests include animal protection, environmental sustainability and community engagement.

Although Olivia has always been passionate about wildlife growing up surrounded by animals, it was her Labrador Retriever, Custard, who has always been a great guide in steering her on the path to a career working with animals.

Tracy Stainthorpe

Tracy joined the team in 1995 in a nursing assistant role but since having children has moved to become the accounts manager. She deals with insurance claims as well puppy behaviour and advice.

Tracy has a French bulldog called Mila who she enjoys walking in her spare time.

Dr Patrick Murphy, MRCVS

Patrick qualified with honours in Canada and completed a scholarship at Cambridge before going into practice.

Patrick practiced around the world in Canada, the UK, the USA and Australia before settling in the UK and setting up Abbotswood Veterinary Centre in 1991.

Patrick recently took a step back from the day-to-day running of the practice handing the reins over to Hannah. However, Patrick still remains an important part of the team in a locum capacity and can typically been seen most Wednesday and occasional  Saturdays.


Patrick would like to thank all his clients for their support over the years.

Jenny Smith, RVN

Jenny originally studied and worked in administration before starting as an nursing assistant at Abbotswood in 2001, qualifying as Registered Veterinary Nurse in 2014.

In 2017 Jenny obtained the Level 3 Award in Education and Training which led to a lecture/tutor position at a veterinary nursing college and an OSCE examiner role.

Jenny combines her passion for education and clinical work in practice ensuring the high standards required of a veterinary nurse training practice are met. Abbotswood Veterinary Centre are a proud supporter of Jenny and share her commitment to training the student veterinary nurses of the future.

Outside of work Jenny enjoys walking her whippet, Star. She also has a particular interest in rabbits and small furries, having kept a number of these over the years, along with two tortoises that ensure she is always kept on her toes!!

Gill Chapman

After moving from London in 1981, Gill joined Abbotswood and is our longest standing employee. Gill manages reception and supports Tracy with insurance and  accounts.  

Gill has owned many animals including cats, rats, birds, guinea pigs and rabbits and has a keen interest in dog behaviour, training and working. This was largely due to her first Springer 'Abby', a rescue dog that was named after Abbotswood Veterinary Centre. She was an incredible dog who taught Gill as much as Gill taught her.

Currently Gill has a working Cocker Spaniel who is always in training and appeared in the Silver level Good Citizen dog display team at Crufts 2019.

Gill taught for 13 years at a local Kennel Club registered dog training club and she is a 'Good Citizen Award Scheme' bronze, silver and gold level examiner.


Staff pets


Lola is Hannah’s African Grey parrot who as you can see enjoys posing for the camera! She also enjoys singing, dancing and scrounging food which has led to her being known as the ‘winged Labrador’!

Tipps & Ally

Tipps and Ally are Jenny’s tortoises and they are around 15 years old now. They have an unhealthy obsession with Croc shoes and also enjoy eating cucumber!


Custard was Olivia’s childhood Labrador back in South Africa and even though she is not over here with us we have included her as she inspired Olivia’s nursing career.


Mila, aka Squeals, is Tracy’s French bulldog. Her favourite thing in the world is food but squeaky toys come in a close second!


Star is Jenny’s whippet and she enjoys typical whippet activities such as lazing around taking up a whole four seater sofa in between chasing squirrels!


Otis is Kate’s English pointer. Despite being all grown up now, he still likes to act like a puppy around the practice and can often be found raiding our bins!


Rain is Gill’s working cocker spaniel and has enjoyed great success in working tests under Gill’s watchful eye.

Mushu, Cogsworth & Piggy

These are Jenny’s trio of Guinea pigs and they enjoy being noisy, mischievous and greedy!