The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is the governing body of the Veterinary profession. The College controls who is entitled to work as a Vet in the UK and dictates professional standards within the profession. The RCVS also run the Practice Standards scheme which is a voluntary scheme of accreditation for Veterinary Centres.

Last summer, all four of the Donaldson’s surgeries were inspected and passed the Practice Standards scheme inspection. During the inspection for accreditation, the inspector commented that we exceeded the standards required. He explained that, in almost all respects, we fulfilled the requirements for accreditation as a Veterinary Hospital. Veterinary Hospitals must be staffed around the clock by qualified staff and since the surgery at Maple Street is already a 24/7 centre, we already comply with that requirement.

The status of “Veterinary Hospital” is only awarded to a very few Veterinary Centres which have the very best facilities, equipment and training allowing them to offer the highest levels of care.

Since the summer, we have been looking at the feasibility of upgrading to hospital status. The surgery at Maple Street was constructed in 1964 and has been extensively modernised to keep up with improvements in Veterinary Care. We need to do some further refurbishment and upgrading works in our kennels and theatres to remain at the forefront of the profession and we have decided to “bite the bullet” in December and January. The new “high sterility” theatre will have controlled air flow to minimise the risk of infection, and emergency lighting that will allow an operation to be completed in the event of a power-cut. Air conditioning will ensure that in-patients have an optimal environment for recovery. Dental facilities will be upgraded. The kennels and cattery will be segregated and new high sterility flooring with coved skirtings will be installed throughout the in-patient areas. A new kennel facility will be constructed specifically to accommodate giant breed dogs such as Great Danes and Newfoundlands.

The work has been programmed tightly to minimise disruption and I look forward to telling you about the exciting new facilities we will be able to offer when the work is complete.