Simon qualified from Liverpool University in 1986 and started work in mixed practice in Gloucestershire. He soon developed in interest in small animal orthopaedics and after a short spell covering for the assistant surgeon at Cambridge University he passed his certificate in small animal orthopaedics in 1989. Simon then worked in a variety of mixed, equine and small animal positions before joining PDSA in 1994 as senior veterinary surgeon at the then new PetAid hospital in Coventry . At the time he thought this was only going to be a short term position, however he has finds himself still working for PDSA today! While in the position of senior veterinary surgeon Simon also acted as a clinical advisor to the organisation and developed internal CPD programs in orthopaedic surgery.

He had never touched a computer keyboard until 1998 when PDSA introduced their first practice management system. Data capture, its analysis and interpretation soon became a key area of interest to Simon and in 2000 he was moved to a temporary position PDSA's head office to look at what information the organisation could gain from its IT system. In 2002 Simon became one of PDSA's principal veterinary surgeons. This resulted in a 2 year project to change the IT structure throughout PDSA's PetAid hospitals and culminated in 2004 with all the hospitals IT systems being interlinked and the creation of a single central database of PDSA's clinical data.

This has proved of immense value to PDSA, however it lacks one thing; a systematic system of coding diagnoses or clinical signs. Hence Simons research project looking at how this can be achieved. He hopes it will not just stop with PDSA though. If it works for PDSA then why should it not work in first opinion practice? We could then be in a position to produce standardised data across the profession.

While undertaking the project of changing PDSA's IT structure Simon studied at De Montfort University at Leicester where in 2004 he passes his diploma in management studies and post graduate diploma in strategic management.

Simon is married to another veterinary surgeon, Joanna. They currently have 2 dogs, 6 cats, 5 horses and don't forget the 10 chickens. When Simon is not playing with computer databases he has developed a nasty habit of trying to play the Highland bagpipes but the least said about that the better!

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