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First Class Design Award for Pool House Equine Clinic

The highly acclaimed, multi-million pound equine facility has already been recognised by a Royal visit from HRH the Prince of Wales earlier this year.

Richard Stephenson, clinical director for the facility said,

“After the excitement of Prince Charles’ visit, winning this award really is the icing on the cake. We put a tremendous amount of thought into the design of the clinic, consulting widely with staff to ensure everything worked for them and clients. There is nothing I would change - although of course we already have ideas about further expansion!”

The practice mission is encapsulated in their motto: Putting your horse first. The building is designed to create a facility that enables staff to deliver the practice mission, whilst affording an excellent working environment for clinicians and support staff.

The referral case load is rapidly expanding, with some clients travelling large distances to attend the clinic. The team wanted a building that was functional and spoke of quality care without being ostentatious or overtly extravagant. The clinical directors were very clear that functionality, not flights of fanciful design, was what was required.

A particular challenge was constructing the new building, a five-fold increase in facilities, on site whilst continuing to operate the clinic, but the team achieved a seamless service for their clients.

Many of the referral cases are for colic surgery and other types of emergency surgery. The team wanted to ensure that they could cope with two major surgical cases at any time. Two operating theatres with a further ‘standing’ theatre and a completely separate dental theatre were all part of the initial design goals.

Improving working conditions for staff was also a major concern and in line with this each stage of the draft design was discussed with both office and clinical staff with frequent amendments made during the design process. As the clinic is in a relatively remote rural location, there is a Health and Fitness room for staff to use during rest periods as well as a large comfortable kitchen/quiet area.

Another important consideration for Pool House was the development of further business as a CPD provider. A 59 seat lecture theatre and a small seminar room were included within the design.

An important aim of Pool House is to provide quality EMS for veterinary students on the Erasmus programme from other European states. With this in mind, three student bedrooms have been included in the new building.

The practice very much sees these students as the potential interns and residents of the future. A close link with Nottingham University is currently being developed and selective for Glasgow University students are available. Pool House shares two residents with Glasgow University and has three European Diplomats on the staff.

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