Improved parking and impressive reception area following refurbishment - Veterinary Practice
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Improved parking and impressive reception area following refurbishment

THE Cheadle Hulme Veterinary
Hospital, which won the category for
larger practices (those with more than
10 full-time or FTE staff) in the 2010
Front-of-House Awards, is part of
the long-established Woodcroft
Veterinary Group.

There are currently seven
veterinary surgeons at the Cheadle
Hulme branch, along with 35 support
staff – comprising RVNs, trainees
and modern apprentices – plus the
practice manager and office staff.

As well as handling first opinion
work, the practice runs a very busy
referral and out-of-hours service and
has made sure it has large, very clear
and well-lit signs outside so people
can quickly locate the premises in an

During last December and
January, the practice undertook a large
refurbishment, with the main
emphasis on improving its parking
facilities. Previously, there was very
limited parking available and the
majority of clients had to use a public
car park – for which the practice
reimbursed them.

“It was far from ideal,” says Fiona Knight, the practice’s customer care
manager. “Now we have a fantastic
car park and we get many appreciative
comments from clients about it.”

The main parking area is to the
rear of the building but a disabled bay
has been added at the front, right
beside the ramp which was installed
some years ago to provide easy access
for wheelchairs or clients who had
problems with steps.

The practice has a large waiting
room, which is now sectioned off
into dog and cat waiting areas . “This
is clearly marked and works very
well,” says Mrs Knight. “The poor
little cats are not as terrified – the
separate waiting area plus Feliway
works a treat.”

These separate waiting areas
incorporate species-specific merchandising areas –
one of very few
practice entered for
the awards to have
such an arrangement.

The area has well-
tended , neat and
imaginative display
boards which are
regularly updated; also
in the waiting room
are TV screens to
dispense information.
There’s also a drinks
dispenser for clients
and “treat tins” for

One judge
described the front-of-
house as “very
impressive and
welcoming” with a
great reception area –
large and well-staffed.

But even the
winning practices
came in for some
criticism – one judge
suggested that the
quality of the
information on the
TV screens was a little
disappointing and a
little hard to follow from a distance and with a little
more thought the merchandising
areas could be even better.
n The photos show (clockwise
from top): most of the staff
gathered in the spacious
reception-waiting area for a group
photo; the “pet club” display
board at one end of the waiting
area; one of the two
merchandising areas, with a
considerable range of products on
display and easy to select; one of
the plasma screens displaying
information for
clients; the
reception desk –
showing the
location of the
plasma screen
(one judge
commented that
the placing of
signs on the front
of the desk
looked a little
untidy and it was
not necessarily the
most visible place
for them); the
solid access ramp;
the disabled
parking bay close
to the ramp; and
a section of the
new parking area
at the rear with
the well-marked
practice van on
the right.

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