Visiting Us

Finding us

You’ll find the Small Animal Teaching Hospital on the School of Veterinary Science's Leahurst Campus on the Wirral. The hospital is easily accessible from major road networks and is within an hour of Liverpool city centre. You can view our full address and a map at our contact page.

There is ample free parking outside the hospital. On arrival please check in at the Small Animal Hospital Reception. Further details on the waiting area facilities are available here.

When it is time for your appointment you will be seen by one of our clinicians and / or a student.

Visiting a Teaching Hospital

We pride ourselves on having high standards of client and patient care and will keep you fully informed of your pet’s progress.

However, you need to be aware that we are a teaching hospital and students under supervision may be involved in all stages of patient investigation, diagnosis and care.  You will commonly have a veterinary student or students present during your consultation and they may carry out the initial part of the consultation without the supervisor present.   The students may take a history and perform a clinical examination of your pet, however, this will always be under the direction of the fully qualified clinician responsible for the case. They may also be involved whilst procedures and treatments are carried out: again, this will always be under the direct supervision of a qualified veterinary surgeon.

Students will also be assigned to your case during any hospitalisation period for investigation or treatment. All diagnosis, treatment planning and prescribing of medication remains the responsibility of the qualified clinician.  

Staffing of the hospital

The hospital is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to provide care for our patients. This is provided in two time periods, the first being between 8:30am and 6:00 pm Monday to Friday, where it is staffed with a full compliment of staff including a reception team. The second period is between 6:00pm and 8:30pm Friday to Monday where the hospital is staffed by a smaller, dedicated, Out of Hours team who provide emergency cover to local vets and  care for our inpatients.

We have dedicated nursing teams that will look after your pet to the highest standards of patient care. Twice-daily ward rounds and regular assessments are also carried out by the specialist team, residents and veterinary students.

Updates on your pet’s progress

Owners of hospitalised patients will receive regular progress updates from the team caring for their pet. Telephone calls to owners are usually made once a day, often in the afternoon or evening as the day team hands over to the staff on duty overnight. You may also receive additional calls should the clinician need to discuss a particular aspect of your pet’s treatment or care with you. Please ensure that you give us your correct contact number as well as at least one alternative. If there is any significant change in your pet’s condition we will call you to inform you of this as soon as possible, whatever the time of day or night.

If your pet is hospitalised over the weekend we would ask that you wait for us to call you with a daily update. This allows us to make patient care our number one priority.

Calling the Hospital

The hospital main number is manned by our daytime reception team during office hours of 9:00am to 6:00pm. Morning ward rounds are completed by 9:30am and you can speak to reception staff for updates on your pet’s progress after this time by calling 0151 795 6100. Mornings can be very busy in the hospital so please be patient if you encounter difficulties getting through.

After 6:00pm the telephone line is manned by an overnight call handling service. This service is there to ensure that Out of Hours calls are directed to the correct area which may include your own vet.  The service is not able to offer a helpline and cannot provide owners with updates on their pets. We would respectfully ask to avoid calling this number for updates during the Out of Hours period.

If there is any significant change in your pet’s condition we will call you to inform you of this as soon as possible, whatever the time of day or night.

If your pet is hospitalised over the weekend we would ask that you wait for us to call you with a daily update. This allows us to make patient care our number one priority.

Collecting your pet

Your pet’s primary clinician will arrange a time for collection directly with you. This will normally be during the day up until 6pm, but outside of the ward round times of 8am to 9am, and 5pm to 5.30pm. Collection after 6pm or at weekends can be arranged in exceptional circumstances; in these cases, your primary clinician may not be available, and the duty clinician or nurse at that time may not be able to answer very detailed questions about your case. If such questions do arise, please telephone us on the next working day, when you will be able to speak to the clinician or team in charge of your case.

Food and Personal possessions

Prior to arriving you will be given a diet quetionnaire where you can list the brands and product names and the amount of ALL food, (including treats, snacks etc) that
your pet currently eats. This can include the food you use to administer medication, and list any commands you use to encourage feeding (eg "go on" or stroking). Pets with no special dietery requirements will be fed on a leading brand of nutritionally balanced food.

Possessions such as leads, collars, blankets, food and toys should be taken home with you to comply with our infection control measures. All patients have an ID collar fitted at the time of admission, and we provide suitable food and clean bedding for all of our in-patients. Under exceptional circumstances, for example, if your pet is on a very unusual diet, you might be asked to leave some food with us; your clinician will discuss this with you during your appointment.

Raw meat diets

Raw meat-based diets for cats and dogs often contain a variety of bacteria called enteropathogens, including Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridium difficile, Clostridium perfringens and strains of E.coli, all of which cause intestinal infections and diarrhoea. It has also been shown that animals fed raw meat diets may shed higher levels of bacteria in their faeces. Raw meat diets and faeces from animals fed these diets may pose a risk to hospitalized animals and clinic personnel, and may contaminate the hospital environment. As such, our infection control policy means that we are unable to accept RAW diets into the hospital. Your pet will be fed a suitable alternative, complete balanced diet, whilst they are hospitalised with us.

Further appointments

If we need to see your pet again, we will usually tell you this at the time of discharge. Ideally, you should make the appointment at the reception desk before you leave. If this is not possible please call us on the next working day to make arrangements.

Visiting your hospitalised pet

Routine visiting of your pet in the Small Animal Teaching Hospital is discouraged. This is because we feel owner visits are not in the best interests of our patients. Most are in hospital for a relatively short period of time and many pets become unsettled when their owners come to see them and then go home without them. Please be assured that while in hospital your pet will be tended to by our expert team whose primary concern is your pet’s welfare and comfort.

In some circumstances we understand that visiting may be of benefit, for example, for long-stay or very ill patients. Visiting in these circumstances is under the advice of the clinician looking after your pet, and should be arranged through discussion with them. Visiting outside of normal opening hours (9am to 6pm) is only allowed under exceptional circumstances, to help our hospital staff to fully focus on the care of in-patients during those times.

Where visits are allowed, they will usually take place in a quiet consultation room, where you and your pet can spend some time together away from the hustle and bustle of the main hospital areas. Access to the wards is only allowed under exceptional circumstances, and when it is not in the patient’s best interests to be moved.

If you would like to speak with us about any aspect of your referral please contact us.