Lumbry Park Veterinary Specialists, a small animal referral hospital in Alton, Hampshire, has been awarded a Gold Standard for the way it cares for its feline patients from the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM), the veterinary division of feline charity International Cat Care. IFSM runs an international programme called Cat Friendly Clinic, which rates practices and veterinary hospitals as Bronze, Silver or Gold in terms of the ‘cat-friendliness’ of the environment they offer.
Lumbry Park Veterinary Specialists is part of CVS’ rapidly growing referral network and was created from a former out-of-town office building in Alton following an investment of more than £6 million from CVS. It opened in October 2015 and is one of the most advanced, multi-disciplinary specialist veterinary hospitals in the UK, employing boarded specialists and board-eligible clinicians across a broad range of specialties, together with night vets, support and admin staff. Between them, they offer a range of advanced diagnostics and treatments for dogs and cats, including high-field MRI and CT scanning, keyhole surgery, interventional cardiac procedures and joint replacements.
Dr Luca Ferasin, Lumbry Park’s clinical director, said: “Bringing a cat to the vet is rarely an enjoyable experience, either for the owner or for the cat and we wanted to minimise the stress for both parties. As we designed Lumbry Park from scratch, we were able to include the features and facilities – such as separate waiting areas and wards – necessary to offer our feline patients the highest standard of care from the outset. It has been very rewarding to see them in daily use in our hospital. Our nurses are also highly trained in cat behaviour and in cat handling – they are all great cat lovers and this really shines through.”
“We are delighted to have been awarded the Gold Standard for creating a Cat Friendly Clinic and hope that both our clients and their cats will find their visits a little less stressful in future.”
Dr Andy Sparkes, veterinary director at ISFM, comments: “Worldwide there are around 2,000 accredited Cat Friendly Clinics and it is encouraging to see the influence this programme has had around the world. Reducing the stress that cats experience during a veterinary visit is a vital part of protecting their welfare and also encouraging more regular veterinary visits. We are delighted that Lumbry Park has achieved the Gold Standard Cat Friendly Clinic accreditation. It is a major achievement and International Cat Care is delighted when a large referral clinic, such as Lumbry Park, makes such efforts to create a cat friendly environment for its patients.”
Key to its success is CVS’ ability to attract ambitious veterinary staff and to invest in their clinical skills, knowledge and in research to drive the profession forward. It also provides the business support to ensure its diverse range of small animal, large animal and equine practices achieve their full potential. CVS’ guiding principles include a commitment to excellence in all aspects of its work and a focus on building long-term relationships with its customers and suppliers. The company works in close partnership with the wider veterinary profession and industry colleagues.