The veterinary profession has been told to “watch this space” after a month of firsts for the Pets at Home vets group.

Sally Hopson: Pets at Home vet group director.

After moving into the referral sector with the purchase of Northwest Surgeons, Vets4Pets in Barnsley became the first practice in the group to achieve RCVS hospital status.

The group has also begun trialing a number of 24-hour emergency clinics, and director of the Pets at Home vet group Sally Hopson confirmed there could be more significant developments to come.

She said: “I think the driving force is how we can best match our clients needs. With the 24/7 clinics, our clients have said they want the convenience of taking their pet to a surgery our of hours. They don’t want to pay the huge fees that can be charged by out of hours providers and we are matching that need.

“All our decisions going forward will be based on our desire to match the needs of our clients. 24/7 is one example of that and there will be many more examples of that to come.

She added: “We have done extensive client research, which I think is a unique asset we can bring to the industry given our size. And given our link with the pets group; being able to use the VIP database which is more than three million clients now, we can help our own business but also the vet profession in the wider sense. There will be some exciting developments to come.”

Northwest Surgeons is owned outright by the vets group itself, however, at some stage partners will be sought with the joint venture partnership model proving extremely successful for the Pets at Home vet group – which includes Vets4Pets.

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