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24 hour care Tel: 01908 611637
Tickford Street, Newport Pagnell, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK16 9BA

History of the practice


'Our plan is ongoing care for our pet.'  Whilst we compete in many areas on price, our No1 priority is the standard of care we provide for you and your pet.

Our standards of care include protocols and the follow up of cases by the same vet wherever possible.

Silver Award standard of rabbit care by the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF).

30 year anniversary of Astonlee is being celebrated with an Open Day on Saturday 20th August 1-4pm.



The practice has expanded to 7 vets.

Laser therapy has been introduced.  (see Companion laser therapy website

Puppy parties have been re-launched

A new orthopaedic procedure for treating patella luxation in dogs and cats has been introduced called 'Ridge Stop'. 


The practice has been taking more referrals for cruciate surgery in dogs from around the country, and the clinical work locally has expanded.  The team has expanded to 7 vets, with more nurses as well, as we maintain the high standards of service that we believe in, which is why clients choose us.  This year we gained a gold award in the iCat Cat Friendly Award scheme, and a silver award in the Investor in People Standard, as well as maintaining our standards in the RCVS Veterinary Hospital Standard.

Our core values are contained in the statement from our team which is that we aim to provide excellent care for our colleagues, clients and patients.  We are a family that cares for your family and your pets.  We have always had the ethos that we do our utmost to provide care, preventive and clinical, for all clients and pets registered with us.


Astonlee has introduced a new monthly payment scheme for people wishing to spread the costs of buying their annual vaccinations, health assessments, and monthly flea and worm treatments for their cats, dogs and rabbits.



Astonlee was reaccredited by the RCVS as a Veterinary Hospital.  Astonlee was also awarded the Bronze Award in the 2012 Investor In People reassessment.

Both of these are indications of the high standards which Astonlee maintains. 


It is increasingly challenging to maintain high standards in the financially challenging workplace, but Astonlee has found many ways to do this including our prepayment plans that have been running for over 10 years, 1 year supply of flea/wormer programmes at highly competitive prices, the best food at the best prices to help pets live longer, healthier, happier lives. 



Dr Paul Manning has been seeing cases of cruciate ligament disease and injury in dogs who have travelled many miles to have the surgery performed at Astonlee.  Owners have brought their dogs from as far afield as Essex, Middlesex, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, South Wales; and enquiries for helpful advice have come as far as Norwich, Weymouth, Bristol.  It is apparent that the reputation for successful cruciate surgery is growing this year (see the cruciate ligament section and the vets section on this website).

Astonlee Veterinary Hospital has been continuing since 2007 to be the only Veterinary Hospital in the Milton Keynes area which runs its own 24 hour emergency services and its own 24 hour nursing of our in patients on our own premises by our own team.

Dr Paul Manning is giving a presentation to an audience of vets at the International Conference in Communication in Veterinary Medicine (ICCVM) in California in November 2010.  The presentation is on the development of a module in consultation skills for practising vets, which has been the subject of Dr Manning's research.

Dr Paul Manning has also been involved in trying to improve the situation with the deplorable loss of life in abandoned stray dogs in the UK.  More news is hoped for on this subject in the near future.


A new computer system was installed in the surgery on 17th December 2007, and in the first few months of 2008 we have been getting used to it, and finding many advantages.  It has been a challenge, but the longer term prospects for better service to our clients and patients are significantly better than we could achieve with our old system.  Another example of keeping up as technology develops.

We are excited by the prospect of continuing our work in providing service day and night.

We are participating in National Vaccination Month ( in March 2008.


 The practice is planning to be inspected by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS)  for Tier 3 Veterinary Hospital Status.   New equipment  currently being purchased/installed, some of which is a requirement of the Tier 3 status includes;  an endoscope, Tonopen for measuring eye pressure, critical care monitoring device, dedicated dental X-Ray machine and an improved computer system.  New nurse rotas have increased the provision of 24-hour on site nursing care.

Paul Manning has been awarded the research degree of Doctor of Professional Studies (DProf) in 'consultation skills in veterinary practice' by Middlesex University.


In September the  PDSA Petaid scheme came to the practice covering all MK1 to MK16 within Milton Keynes.

Feb 2004

Paul Manning achieves the qualification MSc Professional
Development (Veterinary general practice) from Middlesex University.
Graduation is February 27th 2004 at the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in London.

June 2002

New Animal Hospital opened.

March/April 2002

New Animal Hospital ready to open.

July 2001

Start building the new Animal Hospital 15th August 2001.

August 2001

The Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons is developing post-graduate qualifications in veterinary general practice through a Masters Degree programme in conjunction with the Professional Development Foundation and Middlesex University. Paul is participating and doing the Masters Degree. Starting 16th August 2001.
The Veterinary Practice Administration Certificate (VPAC) is a new qualification developed by the Veterinary Practice Management Association that will become available as a course at Moulton College in September 2001. Hilary Manning and Jennie Newark are enrolled to do this.

May 2001

We have added another receptionist making 4 .5 vets, 9 nurses, 5 receptionists, 3 administrators and the juniors.

October 2000

The practice has 4 full time vets and 1 part-time vet, 9 nurses, 4 receptionists, 3 administrators and the juniors.

May 2000

We now have 4 vets(increasing to 5), 9 nurses, 4 receptionists, 3 administrators and the juniors.

22nd November 1999

The practice now has 4 full time vets, 5 receptionists, 7 nurses, assistant manager/bookkeeper and 15 juniors.

20th July 1999

Completed the purchase of the old BP site in Tickford Street.

20th June 1999

Exchanged contracts for the purchase of the old "BP" site in Tickford Street.

May 1999

The practice now has 4 vets, 10 nurses, 4 receptionists, assistant manager/bookkeeper, and 15 juniors who all aspire to become either veterinary nurses or veterinary surgeons.

The petroleum tanks have been lifted out of the 'old BP site' and exchange of contracts is taking place in proceeding with the purchase of the site. It is anticipated that building work will start in July 2001 and be completed in December 2001/January 2002. The new premises will be much more spacious than the existing one, and will have accommodation for an overnight duty nurse. We also aim to have an office on the second floor for Paul, and there will be a room on the first floor large enough to accommodate 30 people in a lecture theatre when needed for training and meetings.

December 1998/Jan 1999

Planning permission is being sought as Paul tries to purchase the site of the old BP garage opposite the existing surgery with a view to building a brand new purpose built Animal Hospital to accommodate the growing number of clients, animals and staff.
An exciting design has been 'hatched'. If this project goes ahead, we are considering the addition of approximately 10 more jobs over the first 5 years from opening the new building.

September 1998

We expect the surgery to have 3 full time vets and 2 part-time vets, 9 nurses, the bookkeeper/assistant manager, 4 receptionists and approximately 6 helper/juniors. The juniors help with some of the basic jobs around the surgery and some find their way to becoming trainee Veterinary nurses of Vets. We are very pleased that 2 of our young people have gained places at Veterinary School in the UK (one at the Royal Veterinary College, London and the other at Liverpool). In addition, one young person has a job at the Animal Health Trust at Newmarket as a theatre nurse.


Planning for extension of the waiting/reception area together with refurbishment is underway. This building work provides the practice with a much-needed larger reception desk and area for the 4 receptionists to work in. It also extends and improves the area for clients waiting, and also improves the flow of clients and work through the practice. In addition it improves internal communications between the reception area and the vets and the rest of the practice. Completed before Christmas 1998. The new extension provides a big benefit for staff and clients even though it is quite a small additional area. We should be able to have better product displays and we can facilitate sales by giving the reception staff much easier access to the store without having to cross the reception area where clients are waiting, and also there is a new 'dispensary/mini-store of diets actually within the new reception area.

August 1998

New automatic haematology analyser and thyroid test machine arrive in the practice to improve in house laboratory testing services for our clients.

May 1998

Paul is actively promoting the Vet training programme through the Veterinary Profession.

January 1998

New state of the art X-ray machine arrives in the practice replacing the older machine. This really does take excellent radiographs of anything from the size of a hamster to an elephant! The quality of the x-ray services have been greatly improved with this acquisition.

December 1997

Postgraduate Vet training programme developed by Paul is now quite well established as part of the routine at the surgery.

October 1997

The practice now has 4 vets (3 full time and 1 part-time).

February 1997

Investors in People standard achieved.

June 1996

New shelving installed in office area to maximise on space.
Isofluorane anaesthesia introduced making use of advances in anaesthetic agents to maximise safety during operations. This is especially important where animals are old or suffering from illness, and the safety margins for rabbits, hamsters and other small animals has been greatly improved.

March 1996

New Autoclave purchased to improve sterilisation facilities.

December 1995

Refurbishment and partitioning completed.
Nurses now have their own treatment room.

October 1995

Practice van purchased for use as an ambulance.


Practice manager appointed.
New cat ward installed.


Another practice house purchased for use by second assistant vet.
Vettest biochemistry machine replaces obsolete vitalab machine.

February 1994

Re-approval as VN Training centre.
Second assistant vet appointed.

October 1993



New reception desk made and fitted by Paul's father.
Credit card payment facilities made available.
Automatic X-ray processing machine purchased.

November 1992

Extension of the surgery completed and BSAVA standard achieved.

June 1991

Paul marries Hilary and moves to a new home leaving his other house available for an assistant vet.
Paul also has a larger office in his new home to cope with increasing paperwork.


Started planning discussions for an extension to the premises.


First assistant Vet appointed.
Megaoesophagus treatment invented using a rigid endoscope.
ECG Machine purchased.
First fully qualified VN appointed: Debbie Culley.


Paul moved out to the surgery to provide more space for the patients.
Approval as a Veterinary Nurse training centre.

July 1987

First full time member of staff appointed: Tracy Baines.
Cardboard shoeboxes replaced by metal card index filing cabinets for client record cards.

August 1986

Practice opened with Paul Manning single handedly doing all the jobs, including 24-hour call 7 days a week.
Paul dug the car park out and gravelled it and laid internal floor coverings.

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