Who we are


Who we are

The team at Old Stone Vets has grown steadily since we started in 2005. We are all committed to giving you, the customer the best veterinary service we can. We constantly look for ways to improve our service and facilities, and welcome any comments you have in this regard via our contact page.


Karl Collins

Karl is the “old man” in the practice now. Jeez!. Graduated from Dublin actually in the last century, he started work as a mainly farm and equine vet in the west of Ireland. Many calvings, caesers, pints and good times later, he ventured across the water at the turn of the century to the UK. After just over a year in mixed practice in Norfolk, where he may have been responsible for some vehicular destruction, he came to the north east for Foot & Mouth Veterinary duties with DEFRA in mid 2001. Lots of locum work in the North of England for the next few years kept him off the streets until in 2005, Old Stone Vets became the main focus of all veterinary attention. Since then with Rachel alongside, Old Stone Vets has expanded to the three site practice it is today, and Karl has an interest in all parts of the practice, from drain cleaning to orthopaedic surgery.

Rachel Collins

Rachel graduated from Edinburgh University and began her veterinary career in Scotland as a mixed practice vet, came down to the south of England afterwards for a few years as a mixed practice vet and locum vet in small animal and equine practices. During Foot and Mouth in 2001, Rachel returned to her roots in the North of England to work for DEFRA. After this, with a newish husband in tow, Rachel continued with mainly small animal locum work in the North of England for a few years until Old Stone Vets had grown enough to provide gainful employment for both Rachel & Karl. Since 2007 Rachel has been the key driver of clinical progression at the surgeries, but still drinks the most watery tea known to man.

Ed Peacock

Ed saw practice with us a student while at Glasgow University. Being a local lad from Catton, Ed wanted to practice his veterinary skills close to home, so joined Old Stone Vets in October 2019. Ed has a clam cool way of dealing with all situations, so clients and their animals are really relaxed in the consult room. Ed has loads of experience in the pub business (both sides of the bar!) having supplemented his way through studies pulling pints in pubs in Glasgow.

Jenny Hall

Jenny joined Old Stone Vets in 2021 as her first vet position after qualifying from Nottingham University Vet School. Jenny is a local farmers daughter from the Lanchester area so is well versed in the Northern ways of things. Jenny has a keen interest in all aspects of the job and is getting the hang of bombing along the Alston Moor/Weardale roads very nicely!. Makes a mean rocky road traybake as well so fits in great with us!.

Hannah Lightfoot

Hannah graduated from Liverpool University Vet School in July 2022. Hannah’s first job in practice is here at Old Stone Vets where Hannah has been a regular student seeing many weeks of EMS/seeing practice over the last 4 years. Hannah has a keen interest in surgery but wants to get stuck into all aspects of mixed practice. Hannah is from Weardale and so knows the roads and area really well, is interested in clay pigeon shooting and occasionally waltzing her car on ice!

Rosie Donnelly

Rosie is also from Weardale having come from a smallholding in Westgate. Rosie has been with Old Stone Vets as a school student and also seeing many weeks practice/EMS with us here at Old Stone Vets. Rosie has graduated from Liverpool University Vet School in July 2022 and this is her first job as a veterinary surgeon. Rosie is a keen baker and rugby player in her spare time, when not looking after the menagerie of animals at home!

Support Staff

Victoria Bowman

Victoria joined Old Stone Vets in 2010, when we opened the Stanhope branch of our practice. Victoria began duties as a receptionist, and has developed into the role of accounts manager alongside receptionist duties. Victoria ensures the office runs smoothly and ensures everyone’s holiday days are sorted, so we all make Victoria coffee every morning. Outside of work at the Vets, Victoria lounges about at home at her main passion in life which is farming pure Dairy Shorthorns at her parents farm in Weardale.

Jo Simm

Jo previously worked here at Old Stone Vets as head Nurse and took leave of her senses to take a more practice managerial role elsewhere in 2020. Jo realised she missed us all here too much and has returned to Old Stone Vets in 2021 to once again run the nursing side of the practice and keep all the vets in shape and on the right track!. Jo has a wealth of experience from referral orthopaedic nursing to large multi-practice vet surgeries, and we are delighted she is back on our team.

Michelle Scorer

Michelle joined Old Stone Vets as a receptionist in 2021. Michelle works in all 3 surgeries. Michelle is originally form Scotland and has lots of experience dealing with the public in her many roles before settling with us in Old Stone Vets. Michelle is working towards her AMTRA SQP qualification to be a qualified medicine dispenser.

Claire Parmley

Claire joined our reception/small animal nursing team in February/March 2021. Claire is originally from Stanhope and has a wide range of experience in client care from previous work in human medical practice as well as nursery work. Claire works between our Alston & Stanhope surgeries mainly. She loves all types of animals and is working towards her AMTRA SQP qualification as well as a nursing assistant qualification.

Angela O‘Brien

Angela joined Old Stone Vets in September 2017. Having almost 20 years experience of being a veterinary receptionist in Newcastle, Darlington and Penrith Angela finally saw sense and took up employment at Old Stone Vets. Angela is from Slaley originally and seems to know about half the Allendale clients already. Splitting her duties between Allendale and Alston surgeries, Angela keeps us all in line with her dry wit and occasional death stares!

Rachel Birnie

Rachel has joined Old Stone Vets in 2023. A born & bred Weardale girl, Rachel has had pets all her life with dogs, ponies, cats & chickens of all shapes & sizes. Rachel works mainly in reception but helps out in all areas of the practice. She drinks decaff coffee but is a live wire when out for a few drinkies!. Rachel is enrolled in the College of Animal Welfare course on veterinary nursing assistant for 2024.

Estelle Brack

Estelle is a local lass from Alston who after several years of working with people, decided that working with animals was a preferred pathway. She is dog mad and loves wandering the countryside with her 2 dogs Bindi & Marley. Estelle joins Old Stone Vets In November 2022 having previously worked as receptionist in a veterinary referral hospital in Penrith. She loves travelling to weird & wonderful countries to experience all of the world’s different cultures & foods!

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