Vets Now Emergency Win as Refurbishment


Vets Now Emergency & Specialist Hospital, Glasgow were the Refurbishment Category Winners in the Design Awards 2019 competition. Here they tell us about their project.

Practice Name:

 Vets Now Emergency & Specialist Hospital, Glasgow

Design Award for:

Refurbishment category

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

A1.  Since opening the hospital in 2001, the hospital had grown its emergency and referral caseload so significantly that it had reached capacity.  The refurbishment enabled the hospital to extend by two floors which has improved facilities and service for staff, clients and partner practices that refer cases to us.


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

A2. Improve workflow, Increase space and facilities, offer enhanced service


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

A3. We used AKA SBA Architects in Newcastle Upon Tyne. This was the same architects we worked with on our Manchester referral hospital project.


Q4. Why did you decide to undertake the project?

A4. To provide an enhanced service to our customers and clients and a modern state-of-the-art, collaborative working environment for staff. Increase working area, improve facilities and service.


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

A5. Our budget was £1.5 million and the project was delivered on time and on budget


Q6. With hindsight, what would you do differently?

A6. As is always the case - more storage


Q7. How has this changed your business?

A7. The ground floor offers an entire space dedicated to emergency and critical care, housing a custom-built ICU and a new first floor offers greater square footage to accommodate more theatres, enabling us to enhance and develop our surgical procedures and services to clients and practices.

In addition to this our new and improved office and meeting space provides an open-plan working environment for the increasing hospital team, enhancing collaboration across the hospital’s core disciplines with better working environment and facilities for staff.


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

A8. Being recognised and shortlisted and then winning has been rewarding for all involved. It also helps practices and clients understand the work involved and how it has enhanced facilities now offered.


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

A9. It took a lot of forward planning to still be able to operate the daytime referral service during the renovations. The support and understanding of the team was crucial.


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


During the ground floor refurbishment we moved the OOH service to our PDSA partner practice.  With careful planning and communication with practices and clients, his went smoothly and worked well for the period of time we were there.

There were issues with lift installation and ongoing problems which proved extremely challenging however the team worked tirelessly to ensure it did not impact on patient care.


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

A11. Project manager: Patricia Colville, our Business Development Director


Q12. Who were the main suppliers that you used?

A12 W H Kirkwood Ltd in Greenock was the main contractor


Q13. What features are particularly important to you?

A13. Dedicated ICU area, and separate floor work areas for referral and ECC which overall create a much better flow around the hospital and between disciplines.   We were really lacking in office and admin space previously and having a floor dedicated to work and meeting space really helped improve communication and productivity between teams.  Finally the addition of a dedicated cat waiting area enables us to offer ISFM gold standard accredited service for pet owners


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

A14. Yes our staff love the new facilities and we’re extremely proud of the exceptional emergency centre of excellent we’ve created here.


Q15. Are your clients pleased with the results?

A15. Yes our clients have commented on the warm and welcoming reception area as well as having the dedicated area in our waiting room for cats. 


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

A16. Plan well in advance, and involve the team. It’s important to have a design team that you trust and understand what you want to achieve.