Pet hospital allays fears over Harrogate cuts

Pet care is highly regarded at Oak Beck VetHospital in Harrogate.
Pet care is highly regarded at Oak Beck VetHospital in Harrogate.

A popular vets hospital in Harrogate has responded to some pet owners' concern over a reduction in services.

National pet health care company Medivet said it had been forced to end out of hours and emergency cover at Oak Beck VetHospital from next Monday, January 7 because of financial reasons.

The alternative would have been to increase fees to customers.

A spokesperson for Medivet said: “We are constantly reviewing the services we offer against the needs of our local communities to ensure we maintain the very highest standards of affordable care.

"At Medivet’s Oak Beck branch there was simply not the demand to support a 24-hour service and it was not feasible to continue to offer the service without a significant increase in fees.

"We have, therefore, taken the decision to support all Oak Beck clients’ out of hours and emergency care needs at our Skeldale Veterinary Centre in Thirsk. "

But some customers, while praising standards at Oak Beck VetHospital off Skipton Road, said it was too much to ask of ill pets to travel all the way to Thirsk in future.

Harrogate resident and dog owner Stuart Rhodes said: “Until now I have been very happy with the way my pet has been treated at Oak Beck but I am worried over the dismantling of what had been a superb service up to now.

“Currently I don’t know if there is any other 24-hour/365-day and emergency cover attached to a hospital in Harrogate.

“Surely a town our size deserves to keep this facility?"

But Medivet, a successful company set up in 1987 which own 245 veterinary practices in the UK, said facilities at its Thirsk branch were superb.

A spokesperson said: "Pet owners in need of emergency treatment will find the same excellent facilities and standards of affordable care at the Skeldale Veterinary Centre, as they currently receive at Oak Beck.

For any enquiries, the Skeldale Veterinary Centre out of hours contact number is 01845 522 297.

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