Paragon Referrals Talks About their Winning Entry


Paragon Veterinary Referrals were the overall winners of the BVHA Design Awards 2019 as well as the Conversion Category winner. Here they tell us about their project.

Practice Name: Paragon Veterinary Referrals


Design Award for: Best Conversion and Overall Winner


Q1. What were you trying to achieve/what was your overall goal?

A1. To provide a client friendly layout to accommodate a Specialist led multi-disciplinary service.

Premises to be built to the highest possible standards in Veterinary care which are directly comparable to human medical specifications.

The design was to be modern, professional, caring and the materials used very robust to cope with high wear and tear.


Q2. What were the 3 most important factors included in your practice design?


1.       A professional hospital focussed on clinical excellence

2.       Functionality / Flow of the Practice

3.      Patient and Staff wellbeing


Q3. Did you use an architect? If not, why not?

A3. Yes, we used DesM.  John Marsh and his team were very helpful and supportive throughout the project. They were always quick to answer any queries and communication was always open.  We had formal monthly meetings and site visits weekly. The site foreman was especially patient and he was fantastic to work with.   


Q4. Why did you decide to undertake the project?


We outgrew our old premises, but also wanted to improve our service to our clients and also wanted to extend the range of services that we could provide to the Yorkshire area and beyond


Q5. Did you keep within your budget? If not by what percent did you exceed your budget?

A5. The budget was largely adhered to.


Q6. With hindsight, what would you do differently?

A6.  Future planning - We are so busy, so already more consult rooms would be great. We already have 8, but most days could do with more. It would also be great if we could have allowed for a larger meeting room which would cater for 100+ delegates for provision of onsite CPD; but unfortunately, other key operational requirements meant we couldn’t give the space needed.



Q7. How has this changed your business?

A7. We are committed to providing outstanding levels of clinical care for small animals referred to us by veterinary surgeons across the UK; by opening Paragon it has allowed us to offer an extensive range of clinical services, provided by an amazing team and supported by excellent facilities and equipment.

We have attracted a specialist-led clinical team of dedicated veterinary surgeons and highly skilled veterinary nurses. In 18 months since opening we have recruited seven diplomates, attained Hospital Status (Outstanding Category Awards), are a recognised nurse training Centre and we have also become an ECVS centre for veterinary residency programmes.

We offer the highest levels of expertise and capability, and treat clients and patients alike with compassion, respect and care.


Q8. What has winning the Design Award meant to you?

A8. We are incredibly proud of our achievements and delighted the high standards we set here at Paragon have been recognised.

This is a terrific compliment to the very careful planning that went into designing the building, the amazing team working very hard within which is all enabled by equipping it with the very latest equipment and technology.



Q9. Was the project very stressful? What was the most stressful situation?

A9. It was stressful at times, especially ensuring that we finished on the specified deadline, but a great team ensured we delivered this amazing project in a way that continues to make us all very proud.


Q10. What parts of the project went as you expected and what parts did not?

A10. The design element, it is exactly how we envisage the finished building to look. 

The patient lift was a challenge to actually find a company that could supply and fit to our specifications.  We settled on a Stannah goods lift.


Q11. Did you use a project manager, or did you manage the project yourself?

A11. Managing Director Ian Monteith and Operational Co-ordinator Rebecca Lunn DipAVN (small animal) RVN, managed the project together.


Q12. Who were the main suppliers that you used?

A12 There were so many as equipment is so specialised; however Shor-line, Canon, Xograph and Burtons Medical were key


Q13. What features are particularly important to you?

A13. All the Clinical areas and the staff facilities. 


Q14. Are you and your staff pleased with the results?

A14. Very pleased.


Q15. Are your clients pleased with the results?

A15. We’ve had some fantastic feedback from clients and visitors. The RCVS Assessor was impressed by the first-class staff and facilities. He’s report said: “The premises are spectacular in design and appearance, creating an immediate impression of clinical excellence and quality patient care to both clients and visiting clinicians”.


Q16. What tips do you have for others contemplating a building /refurbishment project?


·         Plan, Plan, Plan!

·         Do a lot of research into what products and equipment to procure. 

·         Visit other veterinary practices, hospitals and care homes to get ideas. Never be too proud to “borrow” great ideas!

·         Involve your team in the decision making, nurses, vets and client care teams  especially when deciding the layout and content of the rooms within the building as these teams will then make it work; oh and let’s not forget to ask for expert advice from Architects, Engineers etc. as they will hopefully ensure you don’t make any silly and expensive mistakes.