Copenhagen Visiting Weekend Review


The BVHA recently held its first overseas visiting weekend since 2009 and it was deemed to be a great success by all.

The festivities commenced on Friday evening with a reception and meal in the bar at the Radisson Blu Hotel in the Fredericksburg Borough of Copenhagen. 

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Saturday started with a short walk to the University of Copenhagen Veterinary School where we were met by Professor Jenson, the head of the school. He, along with Professor Mette Berendt, gave us brief introduction to and history of the veterinary faculty and the new hospital. This was followed by an in-depth tour round the new facility led by Professor Berendt and her colleague Dr Hanne Gredal. The hospital cost over £10,000,000 to complete and is so large that some of the younger staff zoom round the building on scooters!

Needless to say the Veterinary School was very well equipped with all the latest technology. What did impress the BVHA visitors particularly was the high level of style, artwork and design in keeping with Danish tradition. Another feature which stood out was the avoidance of placing anything unnecessary on the floor. All cabinets were wall-mounted as well as all chairs in the many waiting areas and consulting areas. Great attention was paid not only to hygiene but also to making the hospital as easy to clean with smooth surfaces and stainless steel used wherever possible. 

Mette and Hanne very kindly acted as our guides and were kept more than busy answering questions over the 3 hours which we spent in the Small Animal Hospital at the Veterinary School. After a delicious Danish lunch provided by our hosts the BVHA group boarded the Viking Bus to head out of town to the Karlslunde Hospital.

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We were greeted at the Karlslunde Animal Hospital by the Director and founder, Thomas Egelund. Karleslunde is now part of the Swedish veterinary company, Evidensia, which operates 160 animal hospitals in 7 European countries.

Karlslunde Animal Hospital is very large and very impressive. Windows, both external and internal have been used to great advantage allowing natural light to flood the building. The layout is unusual with a long connecting corridor and three perpendicular arms; the first for the public areas such as the waiting room and consulting rooms, the second for the operating theatres, etc. and the third for the kennelling. Needless to say this hospital was very well equipped with CT, a wide range of endoscopes, laparoscopic surgical kit, and an advanced dental suite. One of the theatres had a camera in the operating lamp allowing visiting students to observe surgery from a ‘safe distance’. 

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The last hospital on the tour was the AniCura Animal Hospital, part of the AniCura group which operates 92 hospitals in 6 Northern European countries. We were guided around this very busy practice by the director, Jens Eslau. AniCura has undergone a recent complete renovation and refurbishment and is now a very practical and functional hospital. Notable was the separate cat consulting room and the clever use of windows and natural light in the consulting areas.

The prep area at AniCura was particularly spacious and a comfortable working environment. Careful thought had been given to the design and work flow. The kennelling facilities were excellent too. Cats are housed in warm, white polypropylene kennels while many of the dogs enjoyed an inside kennel with an outside run. In common with the other two hospitals, AniCura also had a CT scanner and an advanced dental suite as well as all the usual surgical kit. Danish style was evident throughout.

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In contrast to the UK, all Danish veterinary practices must have anaesthetic scavenging in addition to active scavenging, to deal with any gasses which may escape during intubation or while masking down a patient. All in-house practice laboratories must also have a fume cupboard. In contrast it is permissible in Denmark to manually restrain an animal while taking a radiograph.

Saturday evening ended with lovely meal at the Cap Horn Restaurant in Nyhavn. We were treated in most generously by the staff who made sure that our glasses were never empty. The weekend concluded on Sunday with a three hour coach and boat tour round beautiful Copenhagen. Of course we all had a chance to stop and photograph the famous Little Mermaid statue!