A Hartford animal hospital is undergoing a major redevelopment to create a new state-of-the-art facility for pets across Cheshire.
The transformation of Willows Veterinary Hospital, run by the independently-owned Willows Veterinary Group, will add four new jobs to the existing 40-strong team and will invest in the latest veterinary technology and equipment.
Head vet Bruce Waddell, who is leading the redevelopment project, said: “The hospital was fitted out to a very high standard a number of years ago and it has worn well but at Willows Veterinary Group, we are always looking to try and keep our practices modern, fresh and as welcoming as possible.
“Willows Veterinary Hospital is our flagship practice and it is important to us that it maintains and reflects the high standards of the group.”
Bruce has worked closely with Northwich-based architect Dane Architecture Limited and Middlewich-based builder Hough Construction to ensure the hospital remains fully functional during a five-stage development process which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
The building floor space will increase to 6,000 sq ft and include three extensions and extensive remodelling of the main entrance and reception area.
The interior of the building will be transformed throughout and the hospital will gain two new operating theatres, an additional X-ray suite and dedicated ultrasound and endoscopy rooms.
A purpose-built pharmacy will also be created, the waiting room will be larger, and there will be extra accommodation for poorly pets.
Bruce added: “As part of the redevelopment, we have also invested in some very modern accommodation for the animals we look after. We have these fantastic new cat condos which have been designed with ledges where a cat can sit up off the ground where they might feel more comfortable. They also have a separate litter area and separate bed area so they can take themselves off and hide a bit if they want to.
“We will also have an increase in the number of walk-in kennels so for our larger dogs, there is more space for them to get up and turn around more comfortably.”
Bruce revealed the newly refurbished practice would also benefit from a state-of-the art £60,000 digital X-ray system, replacing the existing digital X-ray equipment the surgery uses.
The newer technology will mean hospital vets will have access to better quality images which will be viewable on screen almost instantly, making the job quicker and more efficient.
Willows Veterinary Group offers a wealth of knowledge and expertise through 25 small animal practices, a referral veterinary hospital, two equine centres and a seven-office farm practice which are located across Cheshire and into North Wales, the Wirral and Staffordshire. Willows is accredited by The Royal College of
Managing director of Hough Construction Patrick Hough said: “Willows Veterinary Group is a valued client, for whom we have carried out more than 10 projects over a period of five years.
“This is probably the most complex project we have carried out as it involves working within the constraints of a fully operational veterinary hospital and we understand the challenges this may pose. We have an excellent working relationship with the group and we will work closely with Bruce and his team to minimise any disruption to clients visiting the hospital.”
The married father-of-three from Middlewich, who has run his business for 14 years, added: “There will be a team of up to 30 people working on the project and we will be working hard to deliver a first-class new facility for Willows Veterinary Group.
“Clients can expect to see a very modern, welcoming and bright new hospital when it is finished with the latest in efficient heat recovery ventilation and low energy lighting.”