Why has AlphaPet become a Veterinary Hospital?
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Why has AlphaPet become a Veterinary Hospital?


In August 2016 AlphaPet became the only RCVS Accredited Small Animal Veterinary Hospital in the Bognor Regis and Chichester areas.

To achieve this status, we have had to invest very significantly in both our staff and our facilities. But why should we do this? Surely if you’re a “Vets” then you’re a “Vets”? …. We’re all the same, aren’t we?

Well no. Not at all, in fact.

All veterinary surgeons working in the UK may have the same basic qualifications, but the practices they work for vary greatly in what they can offer the patients in their care. Unfortunately, this is not always obvious when pet owners set out to select the veterinary practice they wish to care for their pet.

In recent years, there has been a rapid trend for many practices to reduce their personal work commitments in favour of “outsourcing” and only open for limited hours. All primary care vets in the UK have an obligation to provide 24-hour emergency care for the patients in their care, but this doesn’t mean this care has to be with them! Many local practices now open in the morning and close early in the evening after which they direct their patients to Out Of Hours (OOH)/Emergency clinics in Worthing or Portsmouth. They have chosen not to invest in the staff and facilities necessary to provide onsite overnight care for their patients. So at these practices, any patients that have been hospitalised during the day and which need treatment overnight, have to be transported several miles (often by their owners) to these OOH/Emergency clinics in Worthing or Portsmouth. We have also seen patients that have been on fluid therapy being discharged from clinics overnight, with catheters in place, so they can come back in the morning to resume their fluid therapy when the practice is open again!

If we could train pets to only become sick 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, this would all be fine, but the reality is that, like humans, pets don’t choose the times when they become sick. They need to be seen when they need to be seen, which can mean outside of normal opening hours.

All practices are supposed to make their clients aware of their OOH arrangements such that they are prepared to travel to unfamiliar practices in an emergency outside of normal hours. Unfortunately, our experience is that when that emergency arises, many pet owners realise they don’t want to travel to Worthing or Portsmouth and regret not having considered this more when they made their choice of practice.

The good news for AlphaPet clients is that our Hospital status guarantees that patients registered with us will only have to travel as far as our Bognor Regis Hospital at West Meads to receive treatment in an emergency OOH. Just as importantly, hospitalised patients will never have to be transferred to other unfamiliar practices for overnight care - AlphaPet has nursing staff and vets on site every hour of every day of the year to monitor and look after our patients.

That is a big advantage that being registered at a Small Animal Veterinary Hospital confers. We are very proud to be able to offer that!

That is why we have become the only local RCVS Accredited Small Animal Veterinary Hospital.