The University of Liverpool, which provides specialist care for large racing events such as the John Smith Grand National, is to establish a £2 million intensive care unit (ICU) at its Equine Hospital. The ICU, due to be completed in July, will provide state-of-the-art-facilities for the care of injured and sick horses, as well as specially designed areas for the treatment of foals.
The facility will comprise of 11 intensive care horse boxes across two wings of the new building
Professor Chris Proudman and Dr Ellen Singer have provided veterinary care for the entire Aintree Festival – including the Grand National – for the past 11 years. The vets have use of endoscopy and X-ray facilities at the racecourse to help identify injuries, such as tendon problems or fractures.
Specialists Professor Peter Clegg and Dr Debbie Archer are based at the University hospital to respond to any orthopaedic or soft tissue difficulties.
Each hospital wing will be connected to a large examination and treatment area, which will include a patient observation area, as well as a fully-equipped laboratory for rapid testing of disease samples. The unit will also have a motion detection system – the first of its kind in the UK – in each horse box to allow vets to identify changes in a patient’s behaviour over a short period of time.
Professor Chris Proudman, from the University’s Philip Leverhulme Equine Hospital, said: “The ICU has been designed to provide the best possible care for injured and sick horses. The new technologies available to us will further improve our assessment of injuries in horses and how they are responding to medication.
“The unit will be available to all horses, but it will also play an important role in the care of racehorses coming to us from sporting events such as the Grand National. As well as the excellent facilities available to vets at the racecourses, we will have new stabling and services to care for those horses that require further investigation and treatment at the hospital.”
The ICU has been made possible through a bequest from University veterinary scientist graduate, Henry Edwards, and generous donations from the Bransby Home of Rest for Horses and the Leverhulme Charitable.