Pet practice is moving with the times in Hawick

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A HAWICK veterinary practice is bucking the current economic downturn with an ambitious growth programme that has seen the creation of a new purpose-built surgery.

Hawick Vets’ new hi-tech facility in the town’s Earl Street will, say owners Sarah Simpson and Andrew Robinson, ensure that pet owners, horse owners and trainers and farmers across the Borders have access to some of the most advanced equipment available, including digital x-ray, ultrasound and endoscopy.

With help from Business Gateway, the practice undertook a two-year, plan-and-build programme to allow it to relocate after almost 40 years in Hawick’s Drumlanrig Square.

“There was certainly an emotional tie to the Drumlanrig surgery, but we had simply outgrown the premises,” said project manager Ewan Simpson. “It’s been hard work, but the extra space and new facilities will provide major benefits to our customers.

Ewan added: “We have increased our anaesthetic stations from one to four and added a large prep room and another spacious consulting room.”

“The imaging suite is also a major boost,” added Sarah. “The speed and quality of the service is vastly improved and the technology allows us to email x-rays and ultrasound scans to referral centres if we need advice on specialist cases.

“The extra space, segregated areas and new technology will be extremely useful in dealing with emergency cases.”

Despite the tough economic conditions, Hawick Vets has continued to grow, with the practice seeing an increase in both small and large animal work.

“We are very busy at the moment and we have seen a particular increase in the amount of equine and farm work,” explained partner Andrew. “Having the facilities to treat certain equine and farm animal cases on site is a huge advantage.”

The move – which has created a much-needed new parking facility at the surgery – will also allow the practice to take on a new member of staff, boosting the team to 11.

As Hawick Vets has developed, both clinical and management personnel have welcomed the one-to-one input from Business Gateway adviser, Chris Trotman, who helped the business deal with a variety of issues.

“The move was quite a challenging process but we had a lot of specialist support from Business Gateway, which really helped,” continue Ewan. “Our adviser is continuing to provide advice to help us take the business forward.”

“Everyone at the practice has worked extremely hard and as a result, Hawick Vets is now in a very strong position,” said Chris. “It was clear that the business needed to relocate if it was to continue to grow and we were delighted to help the team identify new premises and assist with the relocation process.”