Queen opens new facilities at RVC

  • The Queen visited the Royal Veterinary College’s Hawkshead Campus near Hatfield, Herts last week, to open the college’s new ground-breaking diagnostic imaging unit, which includes the only CT scanner in veterinary use in the country, plus the new “Eclipse” learning resource centre.

    The “Eclipse” building was named after one of the most successful racehorses of the 18th century and is home to an extensive library, IT suites, seminar rooms, plus a museum, which includes the skeleton of the racehorse, who was unbeaten during racing seasons of 1769-1770.

    “The founder of the RVC, a French vet named Charles Benoit Vial de St Bel, undertook the autopsy on Eclipse to find out why the horse had been so successful, and we have named the building after the horse in his honour,” explains RVC spokesperson Virginia Fisher.

    The £5m diagnostic centre includes a £150,000 CT scanner, which can be used for equine patients and small animals alike, and is expected to help the college move into a new era of diagnostic understanding.

    “The diagnostic imaging unit holds the first CT scanner in veterinary use in the country,” says Virginia. “We are phenomenally grateful to everyone who helped us raise £88,000 in voluntary donations, which went a very long way towards the cost of this fantastic piece of equipment.”

    The imaging unit also contains digital x-ray equipment, scintigraphy facilities and ultrasound scanners, plus facilities for students to watch diagnostic work in progress.

    Hundreds of well-wishers gathered to welcome the Queen and Prince Philip, who arrived by helicopter and spend more than a hour touring the £15m additions to the college, including meeting some of the centre’s equine patients.

    For more information about the RVC visit: www.rvc.ac.uk

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