The Birchwood story…

Birchwood Veterinary Practice is a family-run business established by Michael Gilbertson in 2018.  Michael was a very experienced vet who achieved a first-class honours degree in Equine Science, followed by a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery at The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Medicine at Edinburgh University.

In the summer of 2023 Mike was diagnosed with advanced and aggressive cancer and died only a few days after his diagnosis.  Mike’s untimely death was felt by many, many people who knew and loved him and nowhere more so than by the Birchwood clients.  Mike’s memory will live on in the practice by all those who worked with him and whose pets he cared for.

As Birchwood, from its inception, was a family-run practice Mike’s wife, Claire, had always been involved in the business.  Following Mike’s death Claire has become more hands on with the running of the business and is now Birchwood Veterinary Practice’s Non-Clinical Director.

Alicia Dixon

BVetMed (Hons) PgCertDent MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon and Clinical Director

Alicia joined the Birchwood team in June 2023.  She qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in 2013 and achieved a post graduate certificate in dentistry in January 2021. She has worked within the veterinary industry for many years, even before studying to become a vet at university, so has a great understanding of the different roles that make a practice work, including reception and nursing. Alicia has a particular passion for dentistry and complicated medical cases but enjoys being a general practitioner as she gets to know her patients and help them throughout all stages of their lives.

Alicia has two dogs; a lovely 11-year-old fox red Labrador called Amber and a cheeky 5-year-old black Labrador named Oscar. They occasionally accompany her to work so you may get the chance to meet them.

In her spare time Alicia enjoys exploring the countryside with her husband and dogs, spending time with friends and family, gardening and yoga.

Karen Ogden


Senior Veterinary Surgeon

Karen qualified in 1998 from Edinburgh University and spent 25 very happy years working and latterly owning her own vet surgery in Filey where it was her greatest privilege to guide animals and owners from their first needle to their last needle.

She is a proud mother to ten-year-old Tommy and wife to Richard and they enjoy spending time as a family adventure travelling!
Karen’s hobbies include walking her two cocker spaniels Ralph and Sandy, photography and helping her husband with his gardening business.  She also enjoys hiking and recently completed the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge to help fund a project at Tommy’s school.

Karen is pleased to have found a second veterinary family at Birchwood Vets – a great team who really care about each other and the service they provide.

Gemma Kilby

BVetMed PgC(FVS) MRCVS Advanced Practitioner in Feline Medicine

Veterinary Surgeon

Originally a Yorkshire lass, Gemma graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2008 and returned back to her home county to work initially as a mixed vet, before deciding to practice exclusively as a small animal general practitioner. Gemma is passionate about all aspects of this role but she has a fondness for feline patients and in 2018 she gained a Postgraduate Certificate in Feline Practice.

Outside of work Gemma is very active looking after her two young children. When time permits she enjoys going to the gym, horse riding, and amateur photography. She has a geriatric rescue cat called Princess Tilly.

Carol Thomas


Receptionist Carol has an impressive 22 years of veterinary reception experience. On leaving school Carol gained her City and Guilds qualification in agriculture with credits in stockmanship at Bishop Burton College and then began working in the farming industry. Married with two sons and two granddaughters, Carol cares for two retired beach donkeys and two stray (now farm!) cats.

Antonia Henshall

Registered Veterinary Nurse

Antonia has worked in the veterinary industry for nine years and became a registered veterinary nurse in 2012, with a special interest in dog training.

At home Antonia has a seven-year-old Cocker Spaniel called Belle and a rather feisty nine-year-old tabby cat called Meg.

Jo Beevers

Registered Veterinary Nurse

Jo has worked in veterinary practice for over 20 years. Since qualifying in 2006 she worked as a head nurse in a large 24hour veterinary hospital in East Yorkshire. In her spare time Jo can be found outside either with her three children and their ponies, walking her Patterdale Holly or helping her husband on the family farm.

Maggie Cunningham

Apprentice Veterinary Nurse

Maggie has been part of the team at Birchwood veterinary practice since September 2020. She enjoyed her time with Birchwood so much that she has now embarked on a level 3 veterinary nursing apprenticeship with the practice.

Maggie has several years experience as a kennel maid both in the UK and New Zealand and has been working with animals since 2015. In her spare time she loves being with her two dogs Henry and Pepper out in the countryside.

Eloise Dyer


Eloise joined Birchwood in September 2020. After working for 7 years in a pub she decided to have a career change. Eloise has always had an interest in animals and has had pet rabbits, fish and hamsters. In her spare time she enjoys being outdoors and spending time with her young son and Cocker Spaniel, George.

Rachel Tuplin

Veterinary Care Assistant and Receptionist

Having previously worked at a riding school, equine rescue and kennels, Rachel has always had a keen interest in animal care. She pursued an animal management diploma, followed by a BSc (Hons) in Bioveterinary Science, and a master’s degree in Immunology. This experience has sparked her ambition to become a veterinary nurse in the future. Living with her partner and their two cats, Magic and Malteser, she enjoys horse riding and reading in her spare time.

Sarah Clark

Apprentice Veterinary Nurse

Sarah joined the Birchwood team in November 2022 having left her previous role in mental health to follow her passion for animals by starting as a first year student vet nurse.

Sarah has three teenage children along with four cats, two rabbits and a dog. She has a keen interest in animal rescue – usually hedgehogs and pigeons!

If you have any other questions, please contact us

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Revised opening hours

Birchwood Veterinary Practice, like many other practices, has been affected by the national veterinary workforce shortage and, as such, we haven’t been able to recruit additional veterinary support for weekends. This has resulted in an

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