For the first time in the charity’s 125 years, Blue Cross has appointed a veterinary nurse to lead its flagship animal hospital in Victoria, Central London. Louise Newman took charge of the animal hospital, which opened in 1906 and is thought to be the first of its kind in the world, on Monday 24 October 2022.


Louise joined the charity as a veterinary nurse in 2006 and gained experience in roles as a nurse leader, a volunteer coordinator and a practice manager. Louise is responsible for overseeing day to day veterinary services, support services (including client engagement and communications), the hospital budget and overall clinical decisions.


Louise said: “It’s the love of animals that motivated me to join the veterinary nurse profession but it’s my love of people that has kept me here. I’ve always wanted to act as a role model and to coach and develop a team. I’ve got a real passion for customer service which comes from working alongside my mother in a family run business and I’ve always wanted to do the best for people”.


Louise’s dream was to always work in the veterinary field and she started her career in vet nursing 2001 as a student nurse at a small south London private practice whilst studying at Cerberus College. She stayed in private practice after qualifying, working for various clinics across London until she joined Blue Cross in 2006 as a night nurse at the charity’s Victoria Animal Hospital. Louise stayed in this role for a year honing her emergency and critical care skills but then returned to private practice as a Head Nurse of a two branch practice in south London.


The opportunity arose to join Blue Cross in Victoria again in 2008 so she jumped at the chance and from 2008 until 2015 Louise was a staff nurse of weekend nights and then staff nurse of kennels. During 2015 she moved into volunteer management whilst continuing to nurse, focusing on Blue Cross animal hospitals in Merton and Hammersmith. In 2017 she became the Practice Manager at Merton.


Dr Paul Manktelow, Director of Veterinary Services at Blue Cross said: “Louise is a great example of incredible talent within the veterinary nurse profession. It’s a role with very strong transferable skills around communication, compassion and the ability to get things done. I think vet nurses are very well positioned to understand the challenges in the profession and make practical steps to protect the wellbeing of the team whilst ensuring the service meets the highest welfare standards”.


2022 is the 125th anniversary of Blue Cross, originally ‘Our Dumb Friends League’. The charity formed to help vulnerable pets and their owners and we continue this work today across our rehoming, clinical, animal behaviour, pet bereavement support and educational work. We are striving to be able to help even more pets in the future live healthy lives in happy homes. Blue Cross relies on the support and donations of pet lovers to continue our vital work, to find out more and make a donation click here.