Axminster veterinary hospital extension opened

Building includes new state-of-the-art operating theatres with upgraded pre-surgery preparation area.

The new clinical extension to Coombefield Veterinary Hospital at Axminster was officially opened on Saturday by former senior partners Graham Godbeer and Michael Shaw.

Also there were Mayor Andrew Moulding, Councillor Douglas Hull, various people involved with the construction of the extension, friends of Coombefield and staff.

A veterinary surgery was first established in Axminster in the 1930s, caring principally for farm animals and horses, with the occasional dog or cat. Over the years, especially from the 1950s when Peter Perry established Peter Perry and tners, the practice developed and expanded. This resulted in the need for a new purpose built veterinary hospital which was subsequently opened 21st January 1989 by then former senior partners Peter Perry and Hector Adams.

Coombefield Veterinary Hospital continued to go from strength to strength. The partners were keen to maintain their high standard of care and facilities and, to this end, local architect Louis Hawkins was commissioned to design an extension and refurbishment to the existing hospital that he originally designed 24 years previously. The project went ahead in February 2011 employing local builders NJ Whittaker Ltd. Despite the challenge of building onto a busy, functioning hospital, Whittakers were able to deliver on time, on budget and with the minimum of disruption.

With the completion of the extension, Coombefield Veterinary Hospital is now able to provide health care from a facility unrivalled in a large geographical area – It includes new state-of-the-art operating theatres with upgraded pre-surgery preparation area, a new imaging suite with digital X-Ray and ultrasound equipment, a new dental suite, a new cattery and refurbished dog kennels and isolation ward. The nurses have a purpose-built administration station within the clinical area for improved communication and co-ordination.

Current senior partner, Tim Lawrence, said: “We are very excited about the extension to our veterinary hospital. The new upgraded clinical facilities will allow us to provide an even higher standard of investigation, treatment and care of our patients. This extension to our small animal facilities is part of our overall strategy to advance the practice as a whole in order to maintain and improve the service we give to all species under our care.

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“In addition to the hospital extension, we are relocating the farm department and equine clinic to Summerleaze Farm, Gammon’s Hill, Kilmington, in early February. This fully staffed barn conversion with new clinical and operating facilities will also help us provide an improved service to farmers and horse owners in a much more convenient environment.”

Mr Lawrence added: “We split the practice into species departments in October 2010. We felt that this would then allow dedicated teams to ensure continuity, a consistent service and an ability to provide more specialist treatment. We currently have vets specialising in orthopaedic surgery, radiography and ultrasound investigation and vets with a specialised interest in dermatology, small mammals and exotics (reptiles, birds, etc). Alongside the vets we have team of qualified veterinary nurses who provide specialist care for inpatients, anaesthetics and also run client clinics for pet obesity, old age, dental health, adolescents and puppy parties.

“In addition, we have an ophthalmic specialist available for second opinion consultations, plus a chartered physiotherapist to whom we refer equine and small animal cases.”

The practice will be hosting a series of open evenings to give clients the opportunity to see the new facilities which will be advertised on their website, in the papers and on hospital notice boards.

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