Emergency 0330 999 1750
Gateshead 0191 487 7319
Whickham 0191 488 3092
Sunderland 0191 5673722
Washington 0191 4163427

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Sheriffs Highway Veterinary Hospital was established in 1948 by Mr. Clark and since that time it has developed an enviable reputation for providing an excellent level of care at sensible prices. We are proud to be a member of the RCVS Practice Standards Scheme, meaning you can be confident in our commitment to providing the highest standards of care.
We are a well-equipped hospital with facilities to allow patients to be kept in overnight with 24/7 staffing. We continue to invest in equipment and training for all of our staff to ensure their skills are kept right up to date.



Harry Clark founded the practice in 1948 after 10 years at the Ministry of Agriculture.

Originally a farm animal practice, the first premises were on Sheriff's Highway in Gateshead, with a branch in Chester-le-Street. With vets thin on the ground in the post-war years the practice declined to only a single vet in 1955. As the country slowly recovered from the war, vet numbers and the demand for vets increased. The present building was opened in 1963, and achieved hospital status in 1971 - the first practice in the North-East to achieve this high standard.


The practice continued to expand with the opening in 1973 of a branch in Whickham, followed in 1982 by another in Washington.

Quentin Scott joined the practice in 1970, gaining a partnership shortly thereafter, and still works part-time. William Clark joined his father as a partner in 1976, but since 2007 has now officially retired though he continues to do some veterinary work, mostly ophthalmology. Andrew Henfrey joined the practice in 1993, becoming a partner in 1994, and left the practice to set up the Dragon Veterinary Centre, in what had been our Washington Branch, in 2006. Graeme Armstrong joined the practice in 1996, becoming a partner in 2000. Moira Low also joined the practice in 1996 and became joint partner alongside her husband in 2000. Graeme and Moira sold the practice in 2015 to Independent Vetcare Ltd which is where we are today.


Williams Veterinary Surgery first opened its doors in Sunderland in 1972. It was started by Michael Williams as a single vet practice. Paul Cummings joined the practice and was made a partner in 2002 and the surgery became Williams and Cummings Veterinary Group. With Mr Williams’ retirement in 2011, Paul Cummings was joined by Tim Buck at the Sunderland Surgery. Tim, who had previously worked for us over the previous 5 years as a locum, was invited to become a partner shortly after. Between them, Paul and Tim have over 30 years’ small animal veterinary experience. We also have a specialist veterinary ultrasonographer Sophie, who visits the practice whenever we have a case which needs specialist diagnostic imaging.

Williams and Cummings Veterinary Group is an established and popular Veterinary Surgery, well known for the care and compassion shown by all the staff.

24-Hour emergency cover for Sheriff Highway Sunderland is provided by Vets Now.


Our aim is to provide the very best facilities and care for your pets. There are four fully equipped consulting rooms in our hospital. Consultations run morning, afternoon and evening. We have two floors at our main branch hospital.

The Ground Floor

General Area

Used for minor procedures such as stitching minor wounds, examinations under general anaesthetic, bandaging and dental procedures. The general area is fully equipped with modern anaesthetic machines with active scavenging, examination tables and a high-speed dental machine with dental tub table.
Diagnostic Suite

This comprises of the latest in radiography technology with a digital imaging processor, which means no longer waiting for x-rays to be processed, the images can be seen within moments. This will reduce your pet's anaesthetic time considerably! The suite also includes several endoscopes and imaging facilities which our staff are fully trained to use.

The hospital has its own in-house modern wet biochemistry machine and haematology machine, which will give most blood results within the hour.

In-house Cytology - most cytology can be done in our lab with our microscope for quick result feedback.  
Kennels and Cattery

We have a large kennel area suitable for all sized dogs! There are separate isolation kennels for infectious cases situated away from the main kennel area. The kennels are monitored by our staff regularly, day and night. Animals recovering from surgical procedures and operations will recover in our first floor surgical suite.

The cattery is separate from the dog kennels to reduce stress and keep the cats as calm as possible. All kennels have central heating and air conditioning.

The First Floor

Comprising of a large preparation area and three sterile surgical theatres. All theatres have modern anaesthetic machines, operating tables and lighting facilities.

Orthopaedic Theatre

This is fully equipped with the latest orthopaedic equipment and instrumentation. This theatre is mainly used to perform operations such as fracture repairs, routine cruciate repairs or tibial plateau levelling osteotomy (TPLO) and spinal surgery such as a laminectomy.

Main Theatre

This theatre is used for elective routine surgery such as neutering, emergency surgery or TECAs.

Ophthalmology Theatre

This theatre is used for procedures such as cataract or 'cherry eye' surgery.

Fluoroscopy Suite

This is used for imaging during procedures such as myelograms.

There is a separate kennel ward on the first floor for recovering surgical patients. The kennels have their own air-conditioning and heating facilities to ensure that the patients recover as warm and as comfortable as possible. The kennels are regularly monitored until the patients are fully recovered from their anaesthetics and can be discharged.