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ID:	58744 One of the UK’s leading veterinary referral centres is going for gold when it opens the doors to its new 16 million hospital as it aims for prestigious accreditation for its cat-friendly facilities.

Southfields Veterinary Specialists, which is set to open its new state-of-the-art Basildon hospital in August, has gone to incredible lengths to ensure its feline patients receive the ultimate in care and treatment.

Sarah Stam, operations manager and cat advocate at the Linnaeus-owned hospital, says the new building will have a dedicated area called ‘Cat Land’, which she hopes will ensure the hospital achieves gold accreditation from the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM).

Sarah explained: “The entire ‘Cat Land’ area at our new hospital has been designed on the advice of Sarah Heath, a veterinary specialist in behavioural medicine.

“Our cat patients and their owners will benefit from a completely separate entrance in and out of the hospital, a separate reception area, two wards, consultation rooms, prep rooms and treatment rooms.

“We’ve also created an exercise room for those feline patients who will be staying with us, such as radiotherapy patients, to help them get back on their feet after treatment.

“Its an area where we can try to get them eating again, too, if they’re struggling with their appetite following treatment.

“We have tried hard to really create a relaxing environment for cats throughout. We even have a sound system installed to play soothing music, plus pheromone plug-ins to help make their visits or stays with us less stressful.

“Even small things such as a lack of pictures of dogs anywhere on the walls, or of any other animals making eye contact’, which could unsettle our feline friends!

“Our team are also all trained to handle cats in a manner that minimises stress, fear and anxiety, as well as advising clients on the best way to safely and comfortably transport their cats to us.

“Its a continuous priority across the hospital and we will always look to keep improving further.”

The ISFM launched the cat-friendly initiative 10 years ago to encourage veterinary clinics to make changes to improve the welfare of cats in their care.

The programme advises practices on how to make their environment as welcoming as possible for cats, as well as providing support in staff training, handling techniques and cat-specific client care.

Sarah added: “The grand opening of our new Southfields hospital is fast approaching and we are all excited at the prospect of working in a purpose-built hospital using the very latest equipment and technology.

“The biggest satisfaction will be knowing we can deliver an even higher standard of care and treatment for our patients, their owners and our referring vets.”

Southfields Veterinary Specialists is dedicated to providing the highest standards of veterinary care for pets and providing a seamless service to owners and referring vets.

The referral centre offers specialist services such as anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, exotics, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, radiation and soft tissue surgery.

For more information, go to www.southfields.co.uk or search Southfields Veterinary Specialists on social media.

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ID:	58746 The new 16m Southfields Veterinary Specialists hospital is going for ISFM gold when it opens its doors next month

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