21st Birthday Party!

Hans, Tedi and Duncan, original practice partners.


March marks our 21st birthday as a BESTPRACTICE accredited hospital. Back in 2000 that was like reaching Everest. No veterinary practice in New Zealand had done that before and it would be 15 years till the next one achieved it. There are currently just 2 other veterinary practices out of the nearly 500 in New Zealand that have achieved the top-level Hospital Standards BESTPRACTICE accreditation.

Why is this important for your pet?

Because this gives you the assurance that your pet is being cared for by well-trained staff working in an excellent, well-equipped facility using systems and protocols that help us deliver consistently better outcomes. You don’t have to take just our word for it. We are independently audited to make sure we meet the standard. The auditors can arrive in the middle of a hectic day and see a true picture of what really happens at Halifax. Our 2017 audit was like that. Read about it here

To get registered to work as a veterinarian in New Zealand you have to satisfy the Veterinary Council that you are a person of good character and that you have an appropriate level of skills and knowledge in the type of practice you want to do. You can then work in or start a veterinary practice of your own. But it takes a lot more than good character and good skills to deliver consistently good outcomes for our patients.

Think of flying to Auckland. You certainly want to know your pilot is trustworthy and well-trained. But much more is needed to make sure that every flight gets to Auckland safely. That pilot is supported by a huge safety net of systems and protocols to make sure risks are minimised and you have the best chance of getting to your destination safely, comfortably and on time.

The aviation sector is the leader in systems management to ensure that facilities, equipment, staff training and protocols deliver a very high level of safety. In veterinary clinical practice that is the role of BESTPRACTICE. It is a voluntary scheme, unlike the aviation industry, and compliance does cost time and money so currently only about 14% of New Zealand practices are BESTPRACTICE accredited, all but three to the Clinic Standards entry level. The Veterinary Association wants to get 50% of veterinary practices accredited to either Clinic or Hospital Standards by 2030.

To read the Halifax back story:

Why we took on the challenge of BESTPRACTICE Hospital Standards – read an earlier blog here

We owe a lot to those who have gone before.

Coffee and cake!

Our first pet taxi, Alex Gilchrist at the wheel

We are serving coffee and cake during our party week 22-28 March. If you are passing drop in to say ‘Hi’ and share the festivity. Bring your dog in too for a weigh and a treat – not the cake!

Here’s to another 21 years!

Hans Andersen and the Halifax Team