The Simon Award is presented annually to a member of the BSAVA for outstanding contributions in the field of veterinary surgery. Simon, a Golden Retriever owned by Mr J. Thomas, a blind telephone operator, also became blind and had his sight restored by surgery, thus enabling him to resume his full duties as a guide dog. Mr Thomas, in appreciation of the work and surgical skill which had made this possible, inaugurated and made this award at the 1962 Annual Congress. The award takes the form of a statuette of ‘Simon’, BSAVA Manuals and a cheque and is kindly sponsored by Veterinary Instrumentation.
|Geoff Skerritt BVSc DipECVN CBiol MBS FRCVS – 2013 Simon Award Winner |
Geoff Skerritt attended the Liverpool Vet School. After a brief time in small animal practice he returned to Liverpool as Lecturer in Veterinary Anatomy where an interest in neuroanatomy led him to clinical neurology; he established a referral facility at Liverpool for the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disease in animals. Geoff was awarded the FRCVS and later gained the European Diploma of Veterinary Neurology. In 1993, he left the University to establish with his wife Judy a small animal practice and neurology referral service in Cheshire. Fifteen years later the practice comprised four premises and employed 60 staff.
In 1997 Geoff persuaded Lister Health Care to put a few animal patients into a unit that was being withdrawn from human duties. Geoff went on to introduce the veterinary profession to ‘available’ MRI – the mobile scanner visiting practices around the UK and Northern Ireland. In 1997 Geoff co-founded VetMRI, a veterinary dedicated mobile MRI scanning service of which he was Clinical Director.
Geoff is a pioneer in the promotion of veterinary neurology. He re-established the BSAVA Neurology Study Group and is a founder member of the European Society (and College) of Veterinary Neurology of which he is a Past-President. Both an RCVS Specialist and European Specialist, Geoff has supervised several European Residents and PhD students, has over forty publications and is a frequent speaker at scientific meetings.