The clinical team at one of the UK’s leading small animal hospitals has been boosted by the return of a renowned specialist to its orthopaedic service.

Toby Gemmill, an RCVS and ECVS Specialist in Small Animal Surgery, first joined Linnaeus-owned Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service in Solihull in 2005 as an orthopaedic and spinal surgeon.

He became clinical director in 2016 and then managing director in 2020, balancing leadership with ongoing clinical interests, before deciding to return to his clinical roots in orthopaedics in 2024.

Toby holds the RCVS and ECVS Diplomas in Small Animal Surgery, and a Masters’ degree from the University of Glasgow for research into canine elbow dysplasia.

He was awarded the Leslie Vaughan prize from BVOA in 2005 and Fellowship of the RCVS in 2020 for meritorious contributions to clinical practice.

Toby said: “It has been a genuine privilege to have had the opportunity to work with some outstanding individuals and teams during my time as Clinical Director and Managing Director.

“However, as the MD role expanded it became increasing challenging to balance leadership with clinical interests. This has prompted the decision to switch my focus back to clinical orthopaedics, and I am super pleased to be re-joining the Willows team.”

Willows clinical director Chris Shales said: “We are delighted Toby is re-joining our clinical team.

“Toby has a wealth of experience in all areas of small animal orthopaedics and spinal surgery, and is well known for the exceptional care he gives to clients and the support he gives to referring vets.

“He will also be invaluable in teaching and mentoring our interns, residents and less experienced colleagues.”

A former member of the RCVS surgery board, Toby has been an RCVS examiner and chief examiner at both certificate and diploma levels.

For many years he has been active in the AO Foundation, a global not-for-profit organisation dedicated to improving patient outcomes following orthopaedic surgery, as part of the AOVET European board, the Education Commission, the International Board, and the AO Board of Trustees. Toby was chair of the AOVET European board from 2018 to 2022.

Toby has authored more than 50 scientific papers, conference abstracts and book chapters, and has given presentations in the UK and around the world on a wide variety of topics relating to small animal orthopaedics and spinal surgery.

He enjoys all aspects of small animal orthopaedics and spinal surgery, and has additional interests in clinical research, effectiveness of postgraduate education, coaching and mentorship, team building, and development of clinical leadership.


Toby re-joined the Willows clinical team in April 2024 and is available to see referrals in all areas of orthopaedics and spinal surgery.

Willows offers specialist services in anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, clinical nutrition, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, emergency and critical care, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, soft tissue surgery and spinal surgery. Willows also offers primary care veterinary services and has a large out-of-hours emergency clinic.

To find out more about Willows’ wide range of specialist services, visit www.willows.uk.net or search for Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service on Facebook.
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