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The completion of Bridge Referrals Veterinary Referral Centre brings a new approach to advanced animal care in the North East


Bridge Referrals have completed the final stage of the development work at their state of the art veterinary referral centre at Boldon Colliery. This brings the total level of investment from the Bridge Referrals team to £3.6 million over the last 24 months. The completion of this ultra modern referral centre greatly increases the availability of high quality care for pets in the North East of England.

The Bridge Referrals team have now created over 60 new jobs, attracted leading European College recognised Veterinary Specialists and constructed state of the art treatment facilities that rivals any in the UK and beyond. The team has placed Boldon Colliery front and centre of veterinary care.

Bridge Referrals wanted to build a modern veterinary referrals facility to significantly enhance patient care and overall patient experience. With such a facility and with great capacity the North East is set to significantly benefit from such an investment.

Bridge Referrals is privately owned and operated by local families, this approach sees a transition away from the corporate model so bogged down with higher pricing and low competition. Bridge Referrals is also a member of the Federation of Independent Veterinary Practices. The five owners work together within the practice and play a significant role in its day to day activities.

Advanced Technology and Equipment

Bridge Referrals have invested in cutting edge imaging and laboratory equipment enabling more accurate and faster diagnosis. Our equipment now includes a CT machine, Ultrasound machines, Radiography, Endoscopy, Arthroscopy, Electro-chemotherapy and Fluoroscopy. 

Our in-house laboratory is fully equipped to test cytology, microscopy, haematology, urinalysis, biochemistry (including drug monitoring), endocrine assays, infectious disease screening, blood gas and coagulations.

“Our investments are leading to minimally invasive procedures. Advanced surgical tools are reducing recovery times and improving outcomes”, Darren Long, Owner and Director.

Enhanced Patient Safety

The Bridge Referrals Veterinary Centre has been built with multiple aims in mind. One of these has been infection control.  Bridge Referrals’ modern facilities incorporate advanced infection control measures, including the latest positive pressure filtered ventilation systems, modern easily sterilised materials within the building itself and isolation kennels.

The Bridge Referrals team invested in green paperless technology. Integrated systems for the creation of a patient’s clinical record, the management of the patient through the hospital and even the submission of the referral itself. All these reduce human error. 

“Greater visibility of the patient, as they journey through the centre is aiding clinical care and enhancing outcomes”, Alison Kennair, Owner and Director.

Enhanced kennel and cattery facilities

Bridge Referrals have created well spaced and planned out kennel and cattery facilities. The kennels are now split into medicine and surgical kennels to help with infection control.  New and modern cattery facilities ease the stress and increase comfort of any feline patient. The facility can now comfortably house up to 30 inpatients at any one time.

“It’s fantastic to be able to provide high quality, comfortable kennels and cattery stays for our patients. They deserve the best and we’ve certainly not skimped on anything. We even have oxygen provision incorporated in all areas”, Alice Whittingham, Nursing Lead for Kennels and Cattery.

Holistic and Specialised Care

The Bridge Referrals Veterinary Centre boasts 8 fully functioning consult rooms, 2 medicine and cardiology rooms fully equipped with modern ultrasound, cardiology and endoscopy equipment , a fully equipped Ophthalmology surgical suite with surgical microscope, Soft Tissue and Orthopaedic surgical theatres with the latest arthroscopy and fluoroscopy systems.  Bridge Referrals’ purpose built chemotherapy suite has been future proofed with an externally venting fume cupboard to ensure patient and staff safety.   Building in such a way has allowed for expansion of our Oncology service to include electrochemotherapy – we were the first centre in the region to offer this technology.

Bridge Referrals

Surgical theatre

Multidisciplinary Teams within a patient-centred building 

Collaboration between different disciplines improves the quality of care enabling positive outcomes for complex cases.  Setting up dedicated spaces within the building for the team to meet allows Bridge Referrals to offer a truly collaborative approach to our patients.  The expanded workspace includes areas to offer internal staff training and external Continuing Professional Development to our colleagues in the area.  

“By integrating these elements, modern medical facilities not only enhance the quality of care but also improve the overall patient experience, contributing to better health outcomes and satisfaction.” Toni Moon, Practice Manager.

The independence to take strong environmental design and green implementation decisions

Independence has allowed the team to take bold action to reduce our impact on the environment. The building boasts heat recovery systems, air source heat pumps and a super efficient hot water system. 

These technologies are never the cheapest to implement. The team at Bridge Referrals are committed to knowing the true cost, to the planet, of running a referrals centre and have mitigated this as best they can.

Bridge Referrals have insisted on Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) certificates. 100% of the energy supplied to the building comes from renewable sources.

Bridge Referrals

Advanced infrastructure

The complete Veterinary Referrals Centre

The Bridge Referrals team knew what they wanted. A facility that delivers patient care to the maximum quality possible. This facility delivers this in the following areas:

  • Soft Tissue Surgery
  • Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Cardiology
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Internal Medicine
  • Neurosurgery
  • Oncology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Physiotherapy