Welcome to the spring edition of Friends newsletter
A welcome note from Professor Noel Fitzpatrick and Professor Nick Bacon
Noel’s welcome note
First and foremost I would like to thank all our referring vets for your ongoing support. Your trust, encouragement and friendship enables us to deliver the highest level of care and compassion for your patients and their families.
When I built the first home for Fitzpatrick Referrals in 2005, my vision was to create an environment where it would be truly possible to marry compassionate care with excellence in veterinary medicine. I dreamed of building a facility where the diagnostic imaging, preparation areas, operating theatres, surgical equipment and implants, wards and rehabilitation would be world-class, and I took inspiration from hospitals all over the world.
However, any building is only as good as the people within it, and I truly feel blessed to be surrounded by more than twenty highly-skilled specialists across two quality sites who are phenomenal at what they do. I’m also hugely honoured to work beside our nursing, theatre, ward and rehabilitation teams who are second-to-none and provide what I consider to be on par with the best level of care available anywhere in the world today.
We have grown to become the largest and one of the few remaining independent multi-specialist practices in the UK. Our first practice, Fitzpatrick Referrals Orthopaedics & Neurology in Eashing, works hand-in-hand with our oncology and soft tissue hospital in Guildford enabling us to offer a range of multi-disciplinary options, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. From routine fractures, joint surgery and spinal emergencies to urgent cancer care and soft tissue surgery – our focus is on providing you and your client the best service as quickly as possible to help their animal family member.
We aim to see all routine orthopaedic cases within 48 hours when clinical history, including imaging, is provided. We also aim to see all orthopaedic trauma and urgent spinal cases immediately.
In the area of customised partial and complete joint replacements and spinal disc replacement and fusion, we offer more options than any other referral hospital in Europe. We also offer intra-articular injections for osteoarthritis with anti-inflammatory stem-cells and blood-based products. We adopt very strict quality control for such treatments and our gait assessment technology facilitates a stringent evidence-based approach.
It is very important to us at Fitzpatrick Referrals that we provide all of the options without bias, including medical management or physiotherapy, regenerative medicine, minimally invasive or open surgeries, commercially available or custom implants depending on the circumstances. It is fundamental to our ethos that the welfare of patients is our principal concern and that the best interest of our patients and their guardians is our primary interest. This echoes the words of Charlie and Thomas Mayo, founders of The Mayo clinic in the USA in the early 1900s, which has since become the premier institution in America for the evidence-based unprejudiced delivery of medical and surgical care in human medicine. The philosophy of Fitzpatrick Referrals is modelled on The Mayo Clinic.
Of course, none of what we deliver as a team to animals and their guardians would be possible without your continued support. We welcome visits from any of our colleagues to interact and see us in action. I truly hope that we continue to work together as care partners to provide the best possible outcome through compassion and integrity.
I have always considered the veterinary profession a vocation, as opposed to a job. It is this view that has given Fitzpatrick Referrals an unequivocal determination to provide all of the options with transparency and to support those who join us on our journey to help patients regain a pain-free, functional quality of life.
Professor Noel Fitzpatrick
MVB DUniv CertVR DSAS(Orth) ACVSMR MRCVS
An update from Nick
2019 is already underway and it seems the changes within the veterinary profession show no sign of slowing down. Following all the recent well-publicised acquisitions within the referral world, our oncology and soft tissue hospital is now remarkably the only independent private oncology specialty centre in the UK.
We are always looking towards our primary aim – to change oncology and try to help patients, whether they visit us or not. We appreciate this is not an easy path and it means committing to invest in people, projects, and ideas that are key to moving cancer care forward but ultimately are financially altruistic.
For example this year we are excited to be launching a tumour archiving BioBank – a repository for samples from spontaneous tumours in cats and dogs to help cancer researchers with investigative projects for decades to come.
We hold Tumour Rounds every two weeks where all clinicians attend and discuss every new cancer patient we have seen; we share the decisions that were made for the patient and ask for input and feedback on future management.
This benefits the patient by getting input from individuals with expertise in different areas from implant technology to chemotherapy to the most effective surgical techniques. It means the families can count on a world-class service, and it benefits you, the referring vet, as you can rest assured we are offering sound unbiased advice which puts the needs of the patient and the family first.
We are continuing to work closely with the University of Surrey Veterinary Cancer Research Programme and The Rumba Foundation who support many of our technical innovations.
We also remain committed to training junior clinicians – we are very pleased that half of the 2018 class of surgical interns have now moved onto surgical residencies and in March our recent oncology intern started a medical oncology residency at the University of Edinburgh.
The surgical residency programme has been running for several years now with the residents rotating through both Guildford and Eashing, treating patients at both sites. Both (ex) residents who sat the Board examinations this spring are now Surgery Specialists and Diplomates of the European Surgery College.
We are a few weeks away from seeing our 5000th patient and I hope that every family we see, every patient we treat, ultimately makes the landscape better for those that follow.
Warm wishes to you all.