The Team

Meet the team who will be caring for your family member

Mike Rhodes BVM&S CertVOphthal DipECVO MRCVS

Mike has pursued his interest in ophthalmology since graduating in 2004. He completed his training at Willows Referral Centre and passed the European Diploma in Veterinary Ophthalmology in 2013, gaining recognition from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons as a specialist in ophthalmology. He progressed to head of department before deciding to launch his own dedicated ophthalmology referral service 'Focus Referrals' in 2017. Mike is currently chair of the British Association of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (BrAVO). Mike owns a dog called Myrtle, a cat called Mavis and two children!

James Smith BVSc (Hons) MSc CertAVPGSAS PgCertVPs BSAVA PgCertSAOphthal MRCVS

James has spent 11 years in general practice, during which he has completed three post graduate veterinary certificates, including small animal surgery and veterinary ophthalmology. He is currently furthering his ophthalmology training at Focus Referrals during a residency program and hopes to go on and gain his European Diploma. James takes pride in developing client relationships and enjoys the challenge of learning more. He is the proud owner of Ella, a beautiful black Labrador.

Helen Walton-Collett BVM BVS PGCertSAOphthal MRCVS

Helen worked in general practice for 10 years following graduation. During this time her passion for ophthalmology developed and she completed a Certificate in Veterinary Ophthalmology as well as obtaining Advanced Practitioner status. Helen loves getting to know her clients and their pets as well as enjoying practical challenges in the operating theatre. Outside of work, she is the proud owner of spaniel Whinnie and has two wonderful kids. Somehow she still finds time to enjoy her other love, cooking and baking!

Melissa Whitty - Registered Veterinary Nurse

Melissa has worked in veterinary practice since 2014 and qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 2018. She thoroughly enjoys all aspects of nursing and has a particular interest in anaesthesia, which she has recently completed a certificate in. Melissa is a passionate advocate for our feline friends and led the practice to achieve 'Gold Status' in the ISFM Cat Friendly Clinic scheme. At home she has a cheeky cat called Biff, that she hand-reared from only a few days old, and the lovable Bruno, a handsome black Labrador.

Charlotte Wynn - Registered Veterinary Nurse

Charlie has worked in veterinary practice for over 8 years, qualifying as a Registered Veterinary Nurse in 2016 with distinction. She completed her certificate in advanced small animal nursing in 2020 and is currently studying for a post graduate certificate in anaesthesia. Charlie is passionate about providing the best possible care for her patients and is a key member of our practice drive towards environmental sustainability. She owns two dogs, five chickens and a thriving vegetable patch!

Samantha Hancock - Registered Veterinary Nurse

Sam qualified in 1999 and brings a wealth of experience to our nursing team. She takes great pride in all areas of her nursing role but has furthered her knowledge particularly in anaesthesia and feline behaviour. She has recently completed an ISFM certificate in feline nursing. Sam owns two black cats, Ebony and Luther, both rescued having been abandoned. She also enjoys the challenge of growing vegetables, although with varying success (her words)!

Joy Horner - Registered Veterinary Nurse

Joy brings 18 years of experience in veterinary practice to Focus Referrals, qualifying as an RVN in 2003. She has pursued several interests to achieve further qualifications in nutrition, anaesthesia and a BSc in animal science (behaviour and welfare). Away from the veterinary surgery, Joy recently completed the Level 1 award in British Sign Language, is a keen scuba diver and is developing her sewing skills. Joy is the proud owner of Henry, a beautiful ginger cat who features on our website!

Lauren Stowe - Registered Veterinary Nurse

Lauren has worked in veterinary practice since 2013 and qualified as a veterinary nurse in 2017. She enjoys all aspects of nursing and has gained a merit in emergency and critical care as well as a certificate in oral care. She loves nothing more than providing the best possible service to our patients. At home Lauren has a lovely little rescue guinea pig called Sprout. In December 2022 she rescued a beautiful, yet very mischievous, cross-breed dog called Bonnie, who has inspired her to develop her knowledge in canine behaviour!

Ginetta Best - Administration Manager and Receptionist

Netta has been with Focus since we moved into our premises in February 2021. She brought with her 24 years experience of veterinary reception work, having begun her veterinary journey as a nursing assistant. Netta has gained certificates in competent dispensary and nutrition. Her pivotal role in the practice includes managing insurance claims, booking appointments, liaising with referring vets and clients, processing referral letters, assisting with the day to day management of the practice and importantly, greeting our four legged friends on arrival! Netta is the owner of Lottie the Labrador, Jim the Jack Russell, Misty the cat and Badger the ferret!

Anna Bruton - Receptionist

Prior to joining Focus, Anna has had previous experience of veterinary reception in a busy, general practice as well as over 15 years working in the equine industry. Her role at Focus includes greeting our clients and their pets (which is her favourite part!), booking appointments, liaising with the clinical team and the referring vets. At home, Anna admits that Rupert, her Labrador, is clearly the most important member of our household/family and the most spoilt! She also enjoys open water swimming and kayaking.

Alice Rhodes BVM&S MRCVS - Director

Alice qualified as a vet in 2004 and spent 14 years in general practice. In 2017, she was able to bring her experience to the creation of Focus Referrals, with her husband Mike. They both shared the vision of providing patient care with empathy and excellent clinical standards. In 2020, she took a break from clinical work to project manage the building of new premises for Focus Referrals and now oversees a growing team and busy referral practice. She is also the proud owner of Labrador Myrtle, tabby cat Mavis and two children!