Fitzpatrick Referrals unveils the future of animal care in the UK

Published 16.05.11

Star of the stage and well loved all round entertainer, Michael Ball, today officially opened the final phase of Fitzpatrick Referrals’ new ultra-hi-tech patient wards, marking the beginning of a new future in the care and rehabilitation of Britain’s pets.

The unique, custom designed wards are unlike any other kennel facility and will elevate animal care to a whole new level in the UK.

Fitzpatrick Referrals featured in the recent BBC One series, ‘The Bionic Vet’, and is the brainchild of Dr Noel Fitzpatrick, who has dedicated his career to the establishment of the premier orthopaedic and neurologic surgical facility for dogs and cats in the UK.

The ward boasts bacterial-resistant wipe-down wall coverings and floor surfaces with underground heating, and air conditioning optimised for high efficiency particulate air to minimise the possibility of infection.  The reinforced glass doors, rather than gates or bars, permit a wide field of view for the animals and allow them to feel as much at home as possible. Each kennel has a space for medication and notes, and a “quick reference” daily guide is written on the glass door each morning to ensure continuity of care and ease of visibility for all. Each kennel has a radio and many are equipped with televisions to provide auditory and visual stimulation – creating a home from home experience for patients.

Light is an important part of the “care package” offered in the luxury wards, and numerous windows and night time dimmers provide a diurnal rhythm to help comfort anxious animals and help those with separation anxiety to settle.

Speaking about the opening of the final phase of the wards, Dr Fitzpatrick said;  “I’ve always felt that people who love animals are generally great people, and they absolutely want to know that when their animal friend is away from home, especially if severely ill, that they are receiving round-the-clock care in the best facility imaginable. This in my head does not involve bars, so I have a “no bars” policy. I want the patient to be super-comfortable and not to feel threatened or “in prison”, especially when some of them will have severe physical disability.”

He added; “If it were my dog that was at the vets, I would want her to be comfortable, happy, not in pain, to have a cosy bed and nice surroundings, not feel enclosed or threatened and have the occasional cuddle. I know it sounds corny, but I really do feel that if people knew that our job is to cuddle and to cure in equal measure, they would see that the level of care we give to pets here is better than that offered at most human hospitals, because we have heavily invested in personnel who dedicate their entire professional lives just to looking after the animals in our wards. I would say that one of the things I am most proud of is that we have entirely dedicated ward, physio, medical and surgical teams who interact seamlessly and  provide to our patients a level of care that truly is outstanding, even if I say so myself.  I will not have an animal under my roof in pain – physical or emotional.

Michael commented, “I saw the Bionic Vet on television but I never thought I would find myself here.  Noel has an extraordinary talent for healing and has built an amazing team who truly do care deeply about each and every one of these patients as if they were their own pets.  They really do provide an unparalleled level of care. What Fitzpatrick Referrals has managed to do is truly remarkable. When I look at the level of hands-on care and compassion shown by all of team, I’m overwhelmed. I am hugely honoured to be associated with Fitzpatrick Referrals and what this practice stands for.  The work which is happening here is benefitting the veterinary world and the human world – it’s incredible.”

He added; “I know that Freddie could not have been in a better place on earth, so I’m incredibly proud and excited to be cutting the ribbon on the final stage of what I see as a medical hotel for animals of the highest order. The Fitz Ritz even!”

After cutting the ribbon and declaring the new facility officially open, Michael Ball met with Dr Fitzpatrick for the ‘see out consultation’ for his dog, Freddie, who has been recovering at the practice after a major hip operation at the practice.

Freddie is one of only eight dogs in the world to have a revolutionary new kind of hip replacement put in after he was involved in a traffic accident which destroyed his hip, and today leaves the practice to enjoy a new lease of life back home with his owner.