Fitzpatrick Referrals Oncology and Soft Tissue Hospital, which aspires to transform how veterinary oncology care is delivered, has officially opened (September 2).
The building covers 19,536sq ft over two floors and has capacity for 87 inpatients, with equipment usually found in human hospitals, including a 160-slice computed tomography scanner and a chemotherapy suite.
The pioneering research that made Fitzpatrick Referrals famous is set to continue at the hospital, which is the only centre in Europe to offer custom-designed 3D-printed limbs and joint salvage prostheses.
Despite the state-of-the-art building and systems, Fitzpatrick Referrals’ owner and chairman Noel Fitzpatrick is adamant it’s the staff who will make the real difference.
Prof Fitzpatrick said: “While this building contains the latest equipment and will impress, it is the team of people inside that makes it truly unique.
“We will create the first animal hospital in Europe to bring together world-class medical oncologists, specially trained surgical and radiation oncologists, and the best nursing teams to gain a better understanding of animal cancer. We aim to deliver all of the options to all animals, all of the time.”
Keen to follow a one health policy, the hospital’s specialists will work with their human counterparts to better inform cancer care for all.
“A cancer cell doesn’t care if you are an animal or human. Most human and animal cancers are very similar and we share many of the same diseases,” Prof Fitzpatrick said.
“We are changing the world and making it a better place, one dog and one cat at a time and for the families who love them.”
Equal consideration has also been given to owners, with hospital staff sufficiently skilled to ensure they receive the pastoral care needed.
New team member
Senior medical oncology consultant joins team Fitzpatrick Referrals has added to its growing team of experts with the appointment of senior medical oncology consultant Kelvin Kow.
Mr Kow will take up his post at the Fitzpatrick Referrals Oncology and Soft Tissue Hospital this month. He will work alongside clinical director of oncology and soft tissue, Nick Bacon and senior surgeon in oncology and soft tissue, Laurent Findji.
Mr Kow, who was previously head of oncology at the University of Florida, has relocated to England with his family to take up the position.
Speaking to Veterinary Times, Mr Kow said it was Fitzpatrick Referrals’ unique service offering and joined up approach to patient care that attracted him to the job.
Usually, when a dog or cat has cancer, the owner would need to see a range of specialists at a number of different appointments. Such an approach, Mr Kow explained, can often be slow and result in fractured patient care.
“The concept at Fitzpatrick Referrals is very different,” he said. “It is integrated. We all work together hand in hand.”