Southfields hospital director Daniel Hogan and RVN Katie Lewis with South Basildon and East Thurrock MP Stephen Metcalfe.

The member of parliament for South Basildon and East Thurrock has enjoyed a glimpse behind-the-scenes at Europe’s largest and best-equipped veterinary referral centres.

Conservative MP Stephen Metcalfe visited Southfields Veterinary Specialists’ 42,000 sq ft Basildon animal hospital and was given an access-all-areas tour of the industry-leading facility by hospital director Daniel Hogan.

Mr Metcalfe, who was first elected to his seat in 2010, said Linnaeus-owned Southfields, which has already created dozens of jobs since opening its doors last summer, was incredibly impressive.

The MP, who has a specific interest in apprenticeships, was keen to visit the lecture theatres and training facilities to learn more about how Southfields attracts apprentices into its ranks.

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He was also keenly interested in all of the state-of-the-art equipment at the hospital, including the newly opened linear accelerator machine which helps target and treat certain types of cancer.

He said: “I was absolutely blown away by the standard and level of equipment and expertise on offer.

“It was such a pleasure to talk first-hand with patient care assistants, Registered Veterinary Nurses and the wide range of veterinary specialists at Southfields. I was mightily impressed by the genuine warmth of care on offer.

“Most people don’t know dedicated animal hospitals such as this exist, which local vets can refer their difficult and complex cases to. It was brilliant to see such a breadth of expertise on our doorstep.

“What I was most interested in, however, was the training facilities. The work Southfields does to attract apprentices is excellent and I would recommend anyone interested in getting into the veterinary profession to have a look at Southfields.”

Southfields’ Daniel Hogan said it was a pleasure to show Mr Metcalfe around the Essex animal hospital, which is one of the largest specialist-led referral centres in the UK and indeed Europe.

Daniel said: “It makes me hugely proud to have the opportunity to show off Southfields and the amazing things our teams do together on a daily basis to help our pets.

“Stephen was keen to see the facilities we have on offer, talk with our teams and learn about the work we do. He showed how knowledgeable he is when talking with our specialists, who really enjoyed answering all the questions he had about our work.”

Southfields, which moved into its cutting-edge Basildon hospital last summer, offers specialist services such as anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, exotics, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, radiation and soft tissue surgery.

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