Work begins on £16m state-of-the-art Southfields Referral Centre
One of the UK’s leading referral veterinary centres has started work on creating an incredible new £16 million state-of-the-art building, which is set to be one of the largest referral practices in the UK.
Southfields Veterinary Specialists, which is part of Linnaeus, will be relocating to a new purpose-built, 40,000 sq ft Essex complex in January 2022, with building work well under way on the industry-leading project.
The new referral centre, which is just 10 minutes from Southfields’ current location in Basildon, will boast some of the finest 24/7 facilities and embrace the very latest technology to deliver the best diagnoses and treatments possible.
The multidisciplinary referral centre will continue to boast 15 specialist-led services, including Southfields’ renowned oncology and radiotherapy service, which will have its own building and reception area and be one of a few centres in the UK to house a new Linac system.
The cutting-edge new centre has been designed to allow maximum light into the building, while the Southfields team has been working closely with an animal behaviourist to ensure the facilities and building are as comfortable and accessible as possible for patients, as well as clients and team members.
As a result of the site move, Southfields’ expert team will double in size as more specialists, clinicians and experienced staff are recruited throughout this year ahead of the centre opening its doors in January.
Southfields managing director Tim Richardson has welcomed the significant investment by parent company Linnaeus, backed by global giants Mars Veterinary Health, which he said would reinforce Southfields’ status as leaders in the veterinary industry.
Tim said: “The new hospital is a real statement of intent, a clear signal we are committed to delivering a level of excellence in treatment and care second to none.
“It will provide the region with one of the largest and best-equipped veterinary centres in, not only the UK, but also throughout Europe, with an extensive range of expertise in a wide variety of disciplines all under one roof.
“The fabulous facilities include a cutting-edge imaging suite, comprehensive treatment facilities and a new linear accelerator to assist our illustrious oncology team, which has already seen its status as one of the most experienced in the industry enhanced by the arrival of James Elliott, a renowned specialist in oncology.
“There will be seven operating theatres, 16 consultation rooms, recovery suites, lecture halls, a dedicated ICU department and there are plans for a future hydrotherapy suite.
“We will also be providing separate cat and dog waiting areas, walking and comfort areas for our patients when they visit us.
“By consulting animal behaviourists and sustainability leads from day one, it has meant we can deliver a centre that meets and exceeds the needs of our patients and clients like no other in the UK.”
The new referral centre will not only become a hub of cutting-edge veterinary treatment but also lead the industry in terms of staff wellbeing, with yoga and boxercise classes among the activities available to the Southfields team.
Daniel Hogan, Southfields’ hospital director, said: “This is a huge move for us in every way. The increased size of the hospital will enable us to provide a dedicated staff wellbeing area and to offer a range of activities which will benefit our team in both body and mind.
“Along with exercise and relaxation classes, we will have an education centre which will offer some really exciting qualifications and courses for the wider profession.”
Henry L'Eplattenier, clinical director at Southfields, added: “We will also be ensuring we care for both our community and country by working with Investors in the Environment (iiE) to introduce a bold green initiative to substantially reduce our environmental impact and enhance our sustainability.
“This move promises to be a very exciting and fulfilling one for everyone at Southfields and a major leap forward in the scope of our ability to care for all our patients and clients.”
Bart Johnson, chief executive of Linnaeus, said the investment in Southfields’ new site showed the group’s commitment to excellence for its brands.
He said: “This move is a reflection of the ambition of Southfields, Linnaeus and Mars to continue providing the best veterinary care in the UK.
“It’s a significant investment to provide state-of-the-art facilities and technology, while we will also be attracting new talent to Southfields’ expert team.
“We’re incredibly excited to continue to expand the unique and innovative offerings in patient care at Southfields.”
Southfields is already one of only a few specialist centres in the country to have a linear accelerator and its new site will offer advanced treatments in radiation working closely with colleagues across the globe.