Basildon and Billericay MP John Baron has praised a new £16 million animal hospital after a guided tour of the state-of-the-art veterinary centre.
The opening of Southfields Veterinary Specialists’ new purpose-built 42,000 sq ft Basildon centre took place earlier this year and Conservative parliamentarian Mr Baron was given a behind-the-scenes tour by hospital director Daniel Hogan.
Mr Baron said Southfields, which has already created a range of jobs since opening its doors in August and offers 24/7 facilities, was an impressive facility which can help lead the care of sick and injured animals across the south of the country.
He said: “The UK is a nation of animal lovers. Our pets are much more just animals – they are part of the family. Just like our family members, when our pets are ill, we want the best possible medical care for them.
“That’s why our veterinary professionals are hugely important and I was genuinely impressed by the scale, facilities and talented clinicians at Southfields. This has clearly been a huge project and a very worthwhile one.”
Mr Baron also showed a keen interest in the issues surrounding the veterinary industry during his visit to Southfields, lending his support to the British Veterinary Nursing Association’s (BVRA) campaign to protect the title of veterinary nurses by law.
He said: “The title ‘veterinary nurse’ is currently not protected by law. This means anyone, regardless of any training or experience, can call themselves a veterinary nurse.
“Registered veterinary nurses (RVNs) are well trained, highly skilled and dedicated professionals. They are an integral part of the veterinary teams who provide such high-quality care for animals and I am pleased to be able to lend my support to the campaign to protect this valuable title by law.”
Southfields’ Daniel Hogan said it was a pleasure to show Mr Baron around the hospital, which is one of the largest specialist-led referral centres in the UK, and welcomed his interest and support of the BVRA veterinary nurse campaign.
Daniel said: “Our new hospital is a real statement of intent, a clear signal we are committed to delivering the very highest level of excellence in treatment and care, and the team here were very pleased to welcome John.
“We have here one of the best-equipped veterinary centres in, not only the UK, but throughout Europe, with an extensive range of expertise in a wide variety of disciplines all under one roof.
“John was clearly engaged and engrossed, and his support for the industry’s veterinary nurse title campaign will be most welcome, as we all recognise the invaluable work done by our RVNs.”
Southfields offers specialist services such as anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology and interventional cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, exotics, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, radiation and soft tissue surgery.