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Manor Farm Business Park was the perfect choice for us, not only because of it's beautiful setting, but also as a location it affords us the space to develop and extend our range of services.
Initially we converted two barns for use as a reception/consulting facility and clinical facility respectively. Due to rapid expansion and the availability of adjacent extra space we have since expanded into further barns. This has allowed the kennels to be moved into a self-contained block and for the clinicians to move their offices into other self contained barns. More recently one of the barns has been converted into a lecture theatre where we hold our CPD seminars.
Two of our barns are typical black wooden clad Hertfordshire-style barns. One of these houses reception and the waiting room. The buttressed brick building formerly housed three grain bins upstairs (where we now have offices and a staff room). The buttresses were installed to reinforce the upper part of the building where tons of dried grain was stored!
A large house has been acquired on site to incorporate domestic accommodation for six House Officers (veterinary surgeons).
Eleven consulting rooms, including an ophthalmology examination room, allow each clinician to spend the time necessary to obtain a full history and perform a thorough examination in each case.
Six wards, including an intensive care unit, a separate cat ward and an isolation unit, can house up to 90 patients at one time. Each ward is staffed by dedicated patient care nurses who soon become familiar with each animal's clinical problems and particular character. This ensures that optimum care is provided, including special nutritional management and physiotherapy if required. The wards are kept spotless by trained ward assistants.
The intensive care unit (ICU) allows us to manage and monitor both post-surgical and medically ill cases 24 hours a day. The ward provides for both kennelling and all-round access and is equipped with a defibrillator, an assisted ventilation unit and monitoring equipment for blood gas, arterial blood pressure, venous pressure and ECG. Fluid therapy and blood transfusions are also available.The ICU is under the direction of our anaesthesia team.
Our diagnostic facilities are equipped to perform videoendoscopic examinations of the body systems, emergency blood analysis, electrocardiography, electromyography, electroretinography, invasive and non-invasive blood pressure measurement. Numerous tissue sampling procedures are available as required.
We have three radiography suites, two mobile fluoroscopy units, including one for intra-operative use with digital subtraction technology, and two colour-flow Doppler ultrasound machines which allow cardiac, abdominal, orthopaedic, ocular and oncological examinations. We can also carry out percutaneous ultrasound-guided biopsy of lesions and organs.
We also have our own Hitachi APERTO MRI scanner, which was the first of its kind to be installed in the UK. We conduct a wide range of positive and negative contrast radiographic studies. In December 2007 a GE CT/e dual slice computed tomography unit was commissioned and has proven an excellent and exciting addition to our imaging capacity. Nuclear scintigraphy is available locally. We provide a 24-hour turnaround film reporting service which receives some 200 cases a month.
The laboratory enables us to perform 'patient-side' tests where prompt results will make a difference to patient care. Facilities allow for emergency blood and urine tests, clotting screens, cytology and urine analysis. Many other samples are sent out to specialist laboratories for analysis.
Five theatres are comprehensively equipped for anaesthesia and monitoring with access to pressurised air for driving surgical tools. An operating microscope is available for delicate ophthalmic and neurosurgical procedures and our ophthalmic surgeons are equipped to perform phacoemulsification of cataracts. The theatre complex is supported by a sterile supplies unit with two built-in autoclaves.
Our orthopaedic theatre facilities enable the following procedures among many others: arthroscopy, tibial plateau leveling osteotomy, fracture repair (with a wide variety of both internal and external fixation options) hip and elbow replacement and triple pelvic osteotomy.
SOFT TISSUE SURGERY
Soft tissue procedures include portovenography and shunt ligation surgery, limb sparing for primary bone tumours, microvascular surgery, laparoscopy and thoracoscopy.
Ophthalmology equipment includes slit lamp biomicroscopes, tonopens, indirect and direct ophthalmoscopes, a handheld electroretinograph, an operating microscope, a phacoemulsifier and a full range of ophthalmic surgical instruments.
Neurosurgery facilities enable spinal surgery and brain surgery to be performed. This integrates with, and complements, our advanced diagnostic imaging and anaesthetic services. Without such a multi-disciplinary approach, advanced patient care such as neurosurgery would not be possible.
Anaesthesia facilities allow for isofluorane/ sevofluorane inhalation, multimodality anaesthesia and pain management, individualised anaesthesia and analgesia plans and assisted ventilation.
The cardiology service benefits from colour flow Doppler ultrasound, ECG Holter monitoring, event recording, cardiac catheterisation, angiocardiography and pacemaker implantation.
All our facilities would be worthless without our highly trained and skilled support staff. We are proud of the standards of nursing care we are able to provide to our patients. Most of our nurses have already had substantial experience in general practice before working here and learning new skills in a new environment. Many of our senior nurses are 'specialists' in their own right and have obtained the RCVS Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing. Nurses rotate between wards, diagnostics and theatre; each of these areas has a permanent Nursing Supervisor in charge of nursing resources.
As well as the nursing team, our specialists are supported by veterinary interns, who are qualified vets, usually with a period of general practice experience. They usually stay with us for a year or so before moving on to further experience elsewhere; often with the aim of becoming specialists in their own right. Interns rotate between the various specialist sub-disciplines and are responsible for providing on-site veterinary care at nights and weekends.
You may also like read Bert's story which describes from arrival to discharge the basic procedure each owner follows when admitting a pet at Davies Veterinary Specialists