The Blue Cross, one of the UK’s leading animal charities, has begun astrategic review of its organisational structure and direction.

The wide-ranging review aims to identify animal welfare needs nationwide so as to ensure that the charity is able to respond accordingly to help as many sick and homeless animals as possible.

Blue Cross LogoThe first stage in this process, led by chief executive Kim Hamilton, has focused on the departmental structure of The Blue Cross to ensure it is operating at maximum efficiency.

Former veterinary director Christian Bamber has been appointed to a new role as director of service delivery, combining the responsibility for the charity’s network of animal adoption and equine centres with running its animal hospitals and veterinary outreach services. The aim of this change is to provide one combined service for Blue Cross clients and their animals.

The next focus will be on core services, to ensure that donations received are used in the best possible way to reach the maximum number of animals in need.

With this in mind, the decision has been made to close the Veterinary Care Fund, which has offered grants towards private veterinary treatment for pet owners on low incomes who cannot access Blue Cross hospitals or clinics. Demand for the fund has increased substantially in the last year and is forecast to cost The Blue Cross £500,000 this year alone. The charity is now exploring other options for helping pet owners on low incomes, with the long term aim of reaching more animals than before.

Christian Bamber, Blue Cross director of service delivery explains: “In this financial climate our funds are stretched so it is more important than ever that we use our supporters’ money wisely to help as many animals as possible. The increased demand for private veterinary grants has become unsustainable and so we are looking into more cost effective ways of directly helping pet owners on low incomes. In the meantime, we’ll continue treating thousands of animals every year at our animal hospitals and clinics nationwide.”

Vets will be informed of the move over the next few months and the fund will close on January 31, 2010. Further updates on the progress of the review are expected later this year.

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