Sedgefield’s Conservative MP Paul Howell has praised a leading North East animal hospital after a guided tour of the state-of-the-art veterinary centre.


The 62-year-old parliamentarian visited Linnaeus-owned Wear Referrals in Bradbury, County Durham, which is set to feature in a new BBC TV series highlighting the lifesaving treatment on offer at the multidisciplinary hospital. 

It was Mr Howell’s first visit to a referral vet centre and the MP said he was incredibly impressed by Wear’s expert staff and excellent facilities. 

He said: “It was fantastic to visit Wear Referrals and meet the team that’s providing outstanding quality of care for pets in Sedgefield, County Durham and, indeed, across the UK. 

“Wear is soon to be the subject of a BBC TV programme, so it was good to see what they do and I’m looking forward to seeing their hard work portrayed on our screens soon. 

“The UK is a nation of animal lovers. Our pets are much more just animals – they are part of the family. Just like our family members, when our pets are ill we want the best possible medical care for them. 

“That’s why our veterinary professionals are hugely important but they are facing recruitment challenges across the sector. We discussed these challenges during my visit to Wear and I will be raising this issue with Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) ministers.”

The MP was greeted by clinical director Ben Harris, who introduced him to the Wear team and guided him around the hospital’s cutting-edge facilities. 

They visited the hospital’s operating theatres, diagnostic imaging suite and the separate wards for cats and dogs. 

Hospital director Darren Stubbs said: “We were delighted to welcome our local MP to Wear and to give him a detailed, guided tour of the hospital. 

“It was a really positive occasion and the first time he had visited a specialist veterinary centre and animal hospital. He was very impressed and commented how similar we are to a human hospital. 

“It’s true. We boast a truly multidisciplinary service, delivered by our team of highly-qualified specialists, nurses and support staff, and it is this combination which means we can offer unrivalled care for our patients. 

“Paul was very receptive to Ben’s feedback regarding the veterinary sector’s recruitment challenges, especially bringing in staff from overseas, and has asked for specific feedback that he can send to the minister, which we’re happy to provide.” 

Wear specialises in providing expert multidisciplinary care, including anaesthesia, cardiology, diagnostic imaging, intensive care, internal medicine, neurology, OOH emergency and critical care, oncology, orthopaedics and soft tissue. 

For more information of Wear Referrals, visit or search for them on social media.

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