Our team...

Mrs P Darling

Mrs Darling

I qualified from the vet school in Edinburgh in 1980 and spent the first few years in a mixed  veterinary practice in Scotland. In 1983 I moved to London and worked in a very busy surgery in Woolwich. I had always wanted to have my own surgery so when an opportunity came in 1986 I bought a small surgery in West Dulwich London.I built this surgery up with the help of a wonderful nursing team to have 2.5 vets and 8 nurses.


After 13 years in London I moved with my family to the south coast where I had planned to take it easy for a few years. I soon missed my work and so set up the surgery in Southbourne.


I feel  very lucky, as I had always wanted to be a vet from a very young age and I still feel the same way today. I am very dedicated to the surgery  and the people who work in it. We form a very happy team to enable us all to give the best service possible.


I am  passionate about my profession and feel very privileged to be able to do this wonderful job.


As a big pet lover I have owned  several cats and dogs, hamsters rabbits and Guinea Pigs over the years.


Outside of work my great loves  are my family and sailing.


Emma Tavner - Veterinary Surgeon

Emma Tavner - Veterinary Surgeon

I graduated from Cambridge Vet School in 2000 and also have an MA in Zoology.I work part time so I can spend the rest of the week with my daughter Daisy. I am waiting until Daisy is older before getting a puppy. My last dog Djembe  ,a lovely border collie ,passed away recently after three years

of successful management for heart failure. I have worked for both the RSPCA and the Celia Hammond Trust as well as spending several years in a busy surgery in central London.While I was there I gained a certificate in Small Animal Medicine. I enjoy walking and sailing and am really delighted to move from London to such a beautiful area.


Shelly Randall

Shelly Randall

From a very young age I knew I wanted to work with animals – I have now been Veterinary nursing for over 16 years & still thoroughly enjoy my job.

I worked & completed my veterinary nurse training with Mrs Darling whilst she had a surgery in London.

One of the things I love most about my job is the fact that even after all of these years animals never fail to amaze me on an almost daily basis.

I have 3 cats & a tortoise at home to keep me busy & as with most Vet nurses pets they have various disabilities & ailments!

I aim to look after all of the “patients” in the same caring & compassionate manner in which I look after my own pets.


Helen Hitchings

Helen Hitchings - VN DipCABT CertEd

I began my Veterinary Nursing career at the PDSA as a student nurse in 1991 & qualified in 1994.

I began working at Mrs Darlings Surgery in 2001 as a locum nurse covering Shelly's holidays. I was impressed by the practice & when a part time job came up in 2002 I jumped at the chance to join the team.

I gained a Canine Behavioural Qualification in 2000 & a teaching qualification in 2008.


As well as being a qualified veterinary nurse, Helen is also a qualified pet behaviour councillor and teacher. ON Tueday & Thursday afternoons she runs behaviour clinics at the surgery. Initial appointments for existing problems last an hour & will require two or three half hour follow up appointments. It may also be necessary to do a home visit after the consultation.


One-off half hour appointments can be booked with Helen if you need advice on any
of the following:

- Getting a new puppy or kitten – how to prepare your family!

- Adopting an adult dog or cat – what to expect & how to ease the transition.

- Introducing a new pet into your existing family.


All clients booking appointments with Helen will go home with a written action plan to follow once they are back home with their pet.


Behaviour consults are £75 for the initial appointment & £40 for each follow up.
One-off behaviour advice & guidance sessions for problem prevention are £40


Karyn Powell

Karyn Powell

I qualified as a vet nurse in July 2008 and joined Mrs Darlings team in April 2010. I had always
wanted to work with animals and absolutely love being a vet nurse .

I have 2 devilish cats of my own, 'Millhouse' and 'Jazmeener' and have recently completed the
Preliminary training of a beautiful Labrador puppy called 'yammy' for canine partners which was over a period of 14 months, it was extremely rewarding although it was very hard giving him up.

We now have a dog sized hole in our house, so hope to add a puppy to our family in the near
future, much to our cats disgust.


Jenna Anderson RVN

Jenna Anderson - RVN

I qualified as a Veterinary Nurse from MYF Training, Aldershot in January 2009. I joined Mrs Darling’s Veterinary Surgery in October 2012 after working in a practice in Petersfield for 8 years.

I thoroughly enjoy being a Veterinary Nurse and the challenges and rewards that it brings.

I have two pets of my own. A very naughty cat called ‘ Benji’ who I handreared from 2 weeks old and a rescued Guinea Pig called Star.


Outside of work I enjoy walking, swimming and playing the saxophone.




I qualified as a veterinary nurse in August 2012. I joined Mrs Darlings team in September 2013 after working at a practice in Petersfield for 7 years.

I had always wanted to work with animals and thoroughly enjoy being a Veterinary Nurse.

I have a Labrador called “Blunkett” and a young horse called “Nanook” whom I am currently bringing on in my spare time.

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