North Downs Specialist Referrals (NDSR) has become the UK’s first small animal referral hospital to be rated outstanding by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) in recognition of its drive to increase sustainability. 

Team members at the Linnaeus-owned hospital in Bletchingley, Surrey, are celebrating after receiving the prestigious Environmental Sustainability Award, which is part of the RCVS Practice Standards Scheme. 

Delighted hospital manager Josey Killner said NDSR’s success was a tremendous achievement and the result of years of dedication by the team there. 

Josey said: “This is a landmark achievement for the NDSR team and fitting recognition of everyone’s hard work, commitment and determination to succeed. 

“We have had a green group at the hospital since 2019 and our strategic vision had always been to reduce our waste and fossil fuel consumption. 

“To see this work acknowledged as ‘outstanding’ by the veterinary profession’s governing body is a special accomplishment for all of us.” 

RCVS senior assessor Alice Duvernois praised the hospital’s “dedication to sustainability” and hailed their eco-friendly projects as “fantastic and very innovative”. 

She said: “Congratulations to the whole NDSR team on this wonderful achievement and for their dedication to sustainability and creating a great practice culture.

“The whole team is passionate about making continuous improvements in sustainability as well as clinical care. 

“The hospital’s green group is composed of members of staff from various clinical and non-clinical areas, which creates a very balanced and informed approach to sustainability. 

“Their sustainability projects and initiatives are fantastic and very innovative so well done to all the team.”

Josey added: “Special thanks must go to our dedicated green group, which holds monthly minuted meetings to keep us all focused on our objectives and up to date with the latest developments.

“Specialist surgeon Nicola Kulendra and Gregg Dorman are our sustainability leads and regularly have environmental meetings with Ellie West, sustainability lead for Linnaeus. 

“The Green Group also includes Julie Gerrish, Debbie Creed, Christina Kisnorbo, Benito Puerto, Irene Compton, Mark Woodham and anaesthetist Aurora Zoff, who has been excellent at promoting our low flow anaesthesia, where we have made significant improvements. 

“Procurement nurse Kerrie Gill is another key member of the group as she keeps up to date with our ‘green product list’, while facilities manager Mark Woodham attends all meetings and is responsible for meter readings and liaising with the senior management team every month.” 

NDSR offers specialist-led services in anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, soft tissue surgery and spinal surgery.  

For more information, visit or search for North Downs Specialist Referrals on social media.   

Back to news