Emergency care provider Vets Now has launched a new website and revealed ambitious plans to operate six new referral hospitals across the country.

Emergency care provider Vets Now has launched a new website and revealed ambitious plans to operate six new referral hospitals across the country.

Stuart CarmichaelThe expansion was announced at Vets Now congress on November 12, a week after the company’s first fully functional hospital premises opened its doors in Glasgow.

Stuart Carmichael, head of the new hospital division of Vets Now, said: “Veterinary hospitals is the logical step on top of the Vets Now emergency and critical care (ECC) concept – and combining emergency with referral services is a unique proposition.”

The new Glasgow hospital currently boasts five ECC practitioners and three referral vets specialising in soft tissue surgery and internal medicine. The premises contains a cat and dog ward, five consult rooms, a dedicated emergency room and an open-plan treatment area.

Speaking at congress, Professor Carmichael said initial plans also include the 2010 launch of an ECC/referral hospital in Gateshead, with another planned for an as-yet undetermined location.

He said: “Our plan is to take the first three to market and test the model. Then, fingers crossed, we will have six hospitals operating by around 2011, on the same model as Glasgow and Gateshead, with specialists in each. They will compliment the needs of practices while maintaining a personal approach. We see this as a different offering to how other referral practices have been developed, with one practice just getting bigger.”

Glasgow Vets Now HospitalVets Now director Richard Dixon said the hospitals would be moderately sized and would attempt to tailor their referral offerings to the needs to local practices. He said that future hospitals may be extensions of existing Vets Now sites, but new premises would be created if deemed necessary – as with Glasgow and Gateshead.

Other news from congress was the launch of Vets Now’s emergency care website, www.vetECC.com, which promises to become “the world’s leading ECC online community”. The site hosts a range of forums on ECC issues, a running list of forthcoming ECC CPD events and a clinical resource library, regularly updated by Vets Now to give practitioners up-to-date information on specialist areas of ECC.

Full details are available in this week’s Veterinary Times.

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