An EVCO-boarded specialist has been appointed as the new head of ophthalmology at an award-winning Yorkshire animal hospital.

James Rushton, an EBVS and RCVS specialist in veterinary ophthalmology, is joining Paragon Veterinary Referrals, in Wakefield, in April, after four-and-a-half years at an ophthalmology referral practice near Bristol.

He will set up an ophthalmology residency programme at the Linnaeus-owned practice and also has an interest in equine ophthalmology, an area he plans to explore in the future.

Prior to moving into private referral practice in the UK, James attended the Veterinary University Vienna for 13 years between 2003 and 2016, where he completed veterinary school, a rotating internship, a PhD and a residency.

He said: “It’s perfect timing for me and I am looking forward to the challenge. My first job will be to increase the case numbers we are able to see, provide out-of-hours emergency care and increase the services we are able to provide, with focus on advanced intraocular surgery.

“We are hoping to launch a residency within 12 months of my start date to educate the next generation of ophthalmologists.

“Hopefully, 10 years from now, there will be enough work to facilitate a team of three or four full-time ophthalmologists and two to three residents in the department.”

Aside from his practice work, James is also the research committee chair for the International Equine Ophthalmology Consortium (IEOC) and is involved in committee work with the European College of Veterinary Ophthalmology and the British Association of Veterinary Ophthalmology.

He is the eighth diplomate to join Paragon since it opened its doors in February 2018.

Sophie Adamantos, clinical director at Paragon, said: “We’ve gone from strength to strength as a centre over the last three years and appointing James is the next step on that journey.

“We’re delighted to welcome him to the team as we continue to grow our service across all our disciplines.”

Paragon provides multi-disciplinary small animal care including anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics and soft tissue surgery.

For more information on Paragon Veterinary Referrals, visit or search for Paragon Veterinary Referrals on social media.

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