Britain’s leading provider of pet emergency care has marked its 15th birthday with the opening of a state-of-the-art hospital and a new out-of-hours clinic.

It means Vets Now — which was set up by vet Richard Dixon in December 2001 — now has 53 out-of-hours clinics and three emergency and speciality hospitals across the country.

The purpose-built hospital, in the Whitefield area of Manchester, will provide 24-hour emergency care for veterinary practices throughout the Greater Manchester region.

Meanwhile, the clinic in Sutton will offer a trusted and professional out-of-hours service to vets and their clients in and around south London.

Richard said the investment in the new facilities would “significantly” increase accessibility to emergency and critical care for vets and pet owners in the areas.

He added that it also demonstrated Vets Now’s commitment to developing clinical standards.

“This has been an exciting few days in the history of Vets Now,” Richard said.

“Not only have we celebrated our 15th birthday, but we’ve also opened a state-of-the-art hospital in Manchester and a new out-of-hours clinic in Sutton.

“Our growth will allow us to continue supporting the profession in achieving a better work-life balance for their staff while also helping ensure their clients have easy access to emergency care whenever they might need it.”

Vets Now has assembled a team of highly skilled vets and vet nurses to provide its new 24-hour emergency referral service in Manchester.

They will work alongside distinguished specialists who have expertise in areas such as small animal surgery and internal medicine.

Surgery and internal medicine are the two specialist disciplines most frequently required for the treatment of emergency patients.

Among the most high-profile appointments are Professor John Williams, who is an RCVS specialist in small animal surgery (soft tissue), as national surgical lead and Louise O’Dwyer, as clinical support manager.

They will be joined by ECC referral clinician Kerry Doolin and Paul Aldridge, who is an advanced practitioner in small animal surgery.  In total, the hospital will employ 37 people.

Richard said: “We have been delighted by the response of the veterinary profession regarding the opening of the hospital in Manchester.

“It’s abundantly clear they share our vision for improving the standard of emergency provision in the area, and they value the additional support our hospital and team can provide.”

He continued: “The opening of the hospital will enable us to provide a personalised service for veterinary practices throughout the region.

“They will be able to access our team of dedicated vets and vet nurses for advice, to transfer a critically-ill patient or to send an emergency directly to us to avoid disrupting their own practice regardless of the time of day or night.”

Vets Now has also announced plans to open a new emergency out-of-hours clinic in Chippenham in March 2017.

The Vets Now team in Manchester plan to hold an open evening at the hospital on 25 January 2017. To register an interest email: events@vets-now.com