One of Scotland’s leading veterinary referral centres has bolstered its ranks with the appointment of a top soft tissue surgeon to its impressive team.

Veterinary Specialists Scotland (VSS), in Livingston, West Lothian, has welcomed Joanna McCagherty as a clinical fellow in soft tissue surgery.

Joanna joins VSS, which is part of Linnaeus and recently celebrated the end of a successful first year since opening its doors, from the University of Glasgow. 

Greg Barbour, hospital director at VSS, said the arrival of Joanna, hot on the heels of Fiona Whitworth joining the referral centre’s internal medicine team, was another key appointment as the centre continues to build on its already impressive multidisciplinary offering.

He said: “We’re all absolutely thrilled to welcome Joanna to VSS. She has a wealth of experience and I have no doubt she will be a wonderful addition to our talented team.”

Sam Woods, specialist in small animal surgery and clinical director at VSS, added: “I’m delighted to have Jo join us at VSS, she is a very welcome addition to the team and brings with her new experiences and a fresh approach.

“With a team of three soft tissue surgeons on board from January 2022 and recent additions to the medical team, VSS continues to develop and expand its offering to both referring vets and their clients, making next year a really exciting prospect!”

Joanna graduated from the University of Glasgow veterinary school in 2011. After a working in a small animal practice for a year, she undertook a rotating internship at one of the leading specialist referral hospitals in the UK before returning to small animal practice, where she was awarded a certificate in small animal surgery (PgCSAS).

In 2016, Joanna undertook a combined internship and residency in small animal surgery at the University of Edinburgh and subsequently worked as a clinician in soft tissue surgery at the University of Glasgow for two years.

She is currently studying for the ECVS board-certifying examinations and enjoys all aspects of soft tissue surgery, with particular interest in minimally invasive surgery, thoracic surgery and surgical oncology.

Joanna said: “I’m really excited to join the team at VSS. As a relatively new referral centre which has fantastic facilities and an expanding team, I’m sure there are exciting times ahead and I am delighted to be able to contribute to the development here.”

VSS is a specialist-led multidisciplinary referral centre offering industry-leading services in internal medicine (feline and canine), neurology, orthopaedics, and soft tissue surgery, supported by specialists in diagnostic imaging and anaesthesia and analgesia.

For more information about Veterinary Specialists Scotland, visit

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