Big changes ahead for Essex-based veterinary practice

A WELL established veterinary surgery is extending its main practice amid increasing demand.

Mercer & Hughes is currently taking on 20 new clients a week across its three practices in Saffron Walden, Great Dunmow and Stansted.

And in a bid to keep pace, the company is giving its base in Radwinter Road, Saffron Walden a makeover. The 16-week works project will see it upgraded to an open-planned reception area, increase office space, extra food storage room and isolation kennels.

When completed, the upgraded facility will put the practice one step closer to securing hospital status, awarded by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Practice manager Lisa Birnie said: “We are constantly looking to improve the service we offer to our clients.

“As it stands our reception area doesn’t meet our needs. Cats and dogs come face to face, which can cause problems. And if someone brings a pushchair in, it often leads to traffic jams.

“We have also taken on extra office staff to meet demand and the space we had was not sufficient. This refurbishment will really give us the space we need.”

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Mercer & Hughes – which also runs practices in Great Dunmow and Stansted – has also seen a dramatic increase in the number of dogs suffering with Parvo virus brought to its practices. That follows its continued work with several animal charities, including Mutts in Distress and Animal Rescue Charity.

“Parvo virus nationally has been on the rise and things came to a head last summer when we had our biggest influx,” said Mrs Birnie. “It is a nasty condition for any dog to get. So with the new isolation kennels we won’t put our other clients at risk while it also gives us the chance to better treat those who come to us with the virus or other infectious diseases.”

Mercer & Hughes has a work force of 35 made up of six full time and one part time vet (it is hoping to take on another full time vet next year), 11 nurses – including a 24-hour onsite nurse at the Saffron Walden branch – and office workers.

Operations will continue as normal while the refurbishment works are ongoing.

For more information visit or call 01799 522082.