Bristol vets building

CVS recruits international talent for new veterinary referral hospital in Bristol

29th May 2023

CVS has recruited three internationally-renowned specialist veterinary surgeons to work for its new state-of-the-art Bristol Vet Specialists (BVS) referral hospital in Avonmouth.

Oncology specialist Jérôme Benoit, dentistry and maxillofacial surgery specialist José Carlos Almansa Ruiz, and ophthalmologist Keri-Lee Dobbie will join over 100 highly skilled professionals – including specialists, residents, interns and RVNs – at the centre for veterinary excellence and training in the South West, opening this summer.

 Consultant radiation oncologist Jérôme Benoit will contribute remote consultancy to a seven-strong oncology team at BVS, led by oncology specialist Owen Davies, to offer pioneering treatments for cancer in cats and dogs. He will provide remote planning of the intricate treatment plans, designed specifically for the individual needs of each patient. An EBVS®European Specialist in Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging and Radiation Oncology, Jérôme has been President of the European Society of Veterinary Oncology (ESVONC) for almost two years. With over 15 years of exclusive and expert practice in radiation oncology, Jérôme is one of the most experienced radiation oncologists in Europe. He was previously Radiation Oncology Resident at North Carolina State University, USA.

Also arriving at BVS is ophthalmologist Dr Keri-Lee Dobbie. She will provide a comprehensive ophthalmology service at BVS. Originally from South Africa, Keri-Lee graduated from the University of Pretoria, practiced as an equine vet in the UK, Saudi Arabia and South Africa, worked as a clinical lecturer in anaesthesiology at the University of Pretoria, and then undertook an ophthalmology residency at the University of Pretoria and Johannesburg Animal Eye Hospital, becoming a registered specialist with the South African Veterinary Council (SAVC). After locuming in the UK, Keri-Lee ran the ophthalmology clinic in South Africa’s veterinary academic hospital, before establishing an ophthalmology service at a specialist hospital outside of London. Keri-Lee has also enjoyed a varied global career, including being vet to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, safeguarding animal welfare on film sets in the USA, China and Hungary, performing health checks on cheetahs in Namibia and chimpanzees in South Africa and the DRC, and working in penguin research and rehabilitation.

Dentistry and maxillofacial surgery specialist José Carlos Almansa Ruiz will also join the BVS team to offer the most advanced treatment in veterinary dentistry and maxillofacial surgery – including root canal therapy, orthodontic treatment, craniomaxillofacial fractures, TMJ pathology, oncological surgery, and palatal surgery – to make the site a leading location for small animal specialist dentistry services. Having trained at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, José relocated to the University of Pretoria for an internship in dentistry and maxillofacial surgery, before moving to the UK to work in general practice whilst accepting dentistry and maxillofacial surgery referrals. He started an alternative pathway residency through the EVDC, that completed in 2019. He then returned to South Africa, where he offered a consultancy in Dentistry and Maxillofacial Surgery across the country. He became a European specialist in veterinary dentistry in 2021. José moved back to the UK, offering a specialist service in dentistry and maxillofacial surgery in two referral hospitals around London.

Delphine Holopherne-Doran, Clinical Director at Bristol Vet Specialists, said:

 “We’re thrilled to welcome Keri-Lee, José and Jérôme. They are true world-leaders in their respective fields. With such pioneers in our team, BVS will recommend and provide the best clinical care and break new ground in treating our patients.”

Bristol Vet Specialists will offer best practice and pioneering treatment to animals who are in need of specialist care. It will operate as a flagship regional hub for CVS Group across the South West, Midlands and Wales.

Based at Central Park in Avonmouth, the site will offer the latest technology and treatments in all disciplines including; general surgery, orthopaedics, neurology and neurosurgery, internal medicine, ophthalmology, cardiology, dermatology, oncology and dentistry, as well as dedicated anaesthesia, analgesia, diagnostic imaging and intensive care departments.

The centre is currently being custom-built with uniquely designed facilities. This includes the installation of cutting edge diagnostic tools, such as MRI and CT scanners, alongside a state-of-the-art linear accelerator which offers advanced, image-guided radiation treatments – for example intensity-modulated or stereotactic radiation therapy.[i]

CVS Group operates across small animal, farm animal, equine, laboratories and crematoria, with over 500 veterinary practices, referral centres and sites in the UK, the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands. In the last five years the company has invested nearly £80 million in its sites, facilities and equipment, in addition to industry leading training and support, to give the best possible care to animals.