Our team is made up of
Vet, Vet Nurses and Toxicologists
Nicola RobinsonBSc MA VetMB MRCVS, Head of Service
Nicola joined the VPIS as an information scientist in February 2015 and is currently our Head of Service. She oversees the operational side of both the VPIS and Animal PoisonLine and looks at ways to expand the service, particularly abroad. She qualified as a veterinary surgeon from Cambridge in 1999 and, prior to VPIS, worked for 16 years in small animal and equine private practice in the UK and Australia. She has a zoology degree and is a Trustee at Marwell Zoo in Hampshire as well as chairing their ethics committee. She lectures on toxicology and is passionate about educating owners on how to keep their pets safe.
Stella Matumo Bsc (Hons), Senior Information Scientist
Stella joined VPIS as an information scientist on Nov 2011 and is currently Clinical Operations manager at ESMS Global, parent company of VPIS.
She studied Biochemistry with a focus on toxicology and has worked for the MHRA analysing medicines. In addition to managing the 24hr team, she has contributed to CPD course and writing publications for the VPIS service.
Nick EdwardsBSc(Hons) MCLIP PG Dip FEAPCCT, Senior Consultant
Nick has worked in toxicology, both human and animal, for over 40 years and is a Fellow of the European Association of Poisons Centres and Clinical Toxicologists (EAPCCT). He helps provide the VPIS 24 hour service, is involved in training of veterinary professionals, and is currently a WHO consultant in poison centre development.
Nicola BatesBSc (Brunel), BSc (Open), MSc, MA, SRCS , Research Lead and Senior Information Scientist
Nicola has worked in human and veterinary toxicology for over 25 years. As well as providing emergency advice via telephone she has written extensively on veterinary toxicology. She is currently the congress abstract editor for the European Association of Poisons Centres and Clinical Toxicologists (EAPCCT), a Registered Clinical Scientist with the Health Professions Council (HPC), an associate member of the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and involved in the WHO work on guidelines on the management of lead poisoning.
Jane EllisonBSc (Hons), Senior Information Scientist
Jane is one of the senior information scientists at the VPIS, having started her career in human toxicology at the National Poisons Information Service at Guy’s Hospital. In addition to working on the 24-hour team, she provides CPD courses on small animal poisonings, lectures at conferences and to veterinary practices and their clients, and writes for a number of publications.
Zoe TizzardBSc (Hons) PG Dip, Information Scientist
Zoe has a degree in Physiology and Pharmacology with a post graduate diploma in Medical Toxicology and has over 12 years experience working for VPIS as a Veterinary Information Scientist, having started working for Guys Poisons Unit in 2001. She works mostly from home in mid Wales and enjoys getting out and about in the hills when not on the end of the phone.
Emilija BalenBSc (Hons), Information Scientist
Emilija has a degree in Pharmacology and has worked at VPIS for 3 years. She is involved in training new staff. She is bilingual in Russian and English.
Nathalie CoelnTraining Manager
Nathalie has a degree in Human and Medical Sciences and has worked at VPIS for 3 years. She manages the training of new staff. She is a keen photographer and an enthusiastic baker. She is bilingual in French and English.
Carly PriestmanRVN, Information Scientist
Carly joined VPIS in May 2018, she began her career as a veterinary nurse in 1997, qualifying as a Registered Veterinary Nurse in 2000. She have worked in both small animal and equine practice but the majority of her career has been spent working as an emergency and critical care nurse. She has always enjoyed toxicology and emergency medicine. Carly took a 3 year break from nursing and joined Surrey police as a uniformed police officer within the criminal investigations department.
Her spare time is taken up by her 11 dogs (5 Manchester Terriers and 6 Black and Tan Coonhounds) The Coonhounds are shown, they visited Crufts last year along with other shows. They are also trained Search and Rescue dogs. the Manchester Terriers are shown also and are professional lap dogs!
Hayleigh HammondRVN, Admin and Business Support
Hayleigh joined the Veterinary Poisons Information Service in December 2018. Hayleigh deals with all aspects of Admin and Business administration.
Hayleigh qualified as a registered veterinary nurse in late 2016. After qualifying Hayleigh opened her own pet sitting business in North London which was very successful. Hayleigh ended her business when she joined VPIS. She now has moved to Manningtree in Essex and spends her free time enjoying the beach, countryside and caring for her chinchilla – Buzz.
Rhiannon Hutton BSc(hons) DipAVN (Small Animal) RVN ,Veterinary Information Scientist
Rhiannon joined the Veterinary Poisons Information Service as a Veterinary Information Scientist and Business Support Administrator in early 2019. Rhiannon qualified as a veterinary nurse in 2010. She gained her Advanced Diploma in Veterinary Nursing in 2013 and graduated from Harper Adams University in 2015 with a first class honours degree in Veterinary Nursing with Advanced Standing. Rhiannon has worked at a small animal first opinion veterinary hospital in Milton Keynes and then moved on to a large multidisciplinary small animal referral specialist hospital in Hertfordshire where she became the lead infection control nurse and still participates in some clinical work from time to time. At home, Rhiannon has 2 dogs, 3 cats and a horse.
We hope you, your colleagues, family and friends are all well at this challenging time.
We are aware that many veterinary practices remain open for emergency cases and this may include animals with suspected poisoning. We would like to reassure you that both of our 24 hour services are operating as normal.
Triaging cases is vital as we all do our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 so we urge you to call the VPIS or advise your clients to call Animal PoisonLine (our triage line) BEFORE asking owners to attend the surgery. Our risk assessment can help you reduce the number of animals with suspected poisoning that you need to see, as only 20-25% of pets need a vet visit after a call to us. Please use these specialist resources available to you to prevent face to face consultations when they may not be necessary.
Thank you to all our members for your continued support and for your hard work during these difficult times.