Siamese cat Spock, a blue point

Siamese cat Dracs, a lilac point

This article was previously on Ann's Page


PDSA's Newcastle PetAid Hospital

A photo tour around Newcastle's PDSA PetAid Hospital and a cheque presentation on behalf of the Catsup Project.

PDSA's purpose built Newcastle PetAid hospital at Cowgate, opened for business in July 1998. It replaced the hospital in Blandford Street which had become too small to handle the number of cases with which it was dealing. There was no room for expansion of the old premises. PDSA were able to purchase land and build from scratch, through the generosity of the Ann Coleman Trust who gave half of the building costs. (The other half came from PDSA's reserves, but, thanks to other Trusts and fundraisers, some of this has now been put back.)

The balance in the Catsup Project's bank account recently reached just over £1,000 again, so it seemed like a good time to hand over another cheque. This time I arranged to make the presentation at the hospital itself. Jen, Nora, Margaret, Helen and Ann from Winlaton, all of whom have helped the Catsup Project, came along too. None of them had actually been to a PetAid hospital before, so for the first time, they were able to see what their time and effort was helping to maintain. The Boys sent their apologies. Despite numerous assurances that they would not find themselves on an operating table, being given a whiff of gas and then regaining consciousness to discover they were minus a body part or two, they were adamant. They had urgent appointments with a duvet and a radiator that they were unable to cancel.

I took the digital camera with me, and, with the hospital's permission, I was able to take a number of pictures of the hospital, including some behind the scenes. (Don't be disturbed, none of them are graphic. I'm far too squeamish myself for that!) Please remember as you look around, that

PDSA receives no state aid at all.

They are entirely dependant on donations. I hope you'll be as impressed as we all were, at how the money that comes in, is spent.

Now the introduction's over and the pictures have all had time to load, please step inside and take a short tour of the Newcastle hospital.

Reception area, showing the reception desk


This is the reception area. It's quiet in this picture, but it would have been a different story a few hours earlier.

(We had naturally arranged a time for our visit when the hospital was likely to be at its quietest.)

Reception area showing the doors to the consulting rooms.

This view of the reception area is taken from a different angle. The 3 doors lead to consulting rooms where the pets are examined. The door on the far left is the nurses consulting room. The Catherine Cookson Trust kindly paid the building costs of it. You can just see a plaque on the door acknowledging this.

A plaque acknowledging The Boys contribution to the building costs of the Feline Ward is on the wall between the two doors to the left. It is the lower of the two plaques.



A plaque acknowledging The Boys fundraising efforts


This is the plaque in more detail. The project has already given £1,500, so the latest cheque brings the total to £2,500. (For more details of the Catsup Project, click here)

One of the consulting rooms with veterinary surgeon Geoff in attendance.


Go into one of the consulting rooms and this is what it's like (although I can't guarantee you'll get greeted by the good looking vet we found there!)

Geoff is one of 5 veterinary surgeons working at the Newcastle Hospital.

A large operating theatre.


Moving away from the public areas, we were taken round the large operating theatre. This is where minor or routine operations are carried out.

The large operating theatre and some of the hospital's staff.


This is the other end of the same operating theatre. Margaret, who's standing behind the table is one of the Newcastle Hospital's veterinary nurses and their longest serving member of staff. Marion in the middle of the picture is the Senior Veterinary Nurse and was our guide throughout the tour of the hospital. Joanne on the right was at the hospital doing work experience.

Entrance to a small operating theatre.


Leading off the large theatre was a much smaller one. This is where the more serious procedures are done.

Inside the small operating theatre.


This is the inside of the small theatre.


The xray room.


Opposite the smaller operating theatre is the xray room. The table is especially appreciated by the staff as it is fully adjustable and they no longer have to lift heavy animals who need an xray.

The Board on the right of the picture lists all the surgical procedures scheduled for the day. Those in blue were prebooked. Those in red were emergencies that had cropped up as the day went on (It was about 2.30pm when I took the picture.) Some of the operations had not yet been done.

The Feline Ward.


Near to the operating theatres were the Canine and Feline wards. This is the Feline Ward. (Unfortunately, the picture I took of the Canine Ward was very blurred and the quality was too poor to put it here. It was much bigger than the Feline Ward, and the cage sizes varied, but was otherwise similar to this picture.)

Both wards have special heating, which can be adjusted, independently of the rest of the Hospital.

I especially liked the comforting touch of the heaps of blankets in both wards.

The drugs store.


The drugs store. Marion told us that ordering the drugs and ensuring there were sufficient stocks of them was her responsibility.

We saw other areas of the hospital too, an isolation ward, a small laboratory, a small office and the staff rest room where we were given tea and coffee and had the chance to have a chat. We were made so welcome, it would have been easy to forget the main purpose of the visit!

Presenting the cheque.


Presenting the cheque.


Presenting the cheque.

From left to right:

Rob, PDSA's Trust Manager
Ann in her Catsup "uniform"
Jen, also in "uniform"
Helen (who's responsible for the wonderful Cats and Computers illustrations)

Ann from Winlaton
Paul, PDSA's Area Fundraising Manager



The volunteers with Marion. Our "uniform" is the one Jen and I wear when we run one of the Catsup stalls.




As anyone who has looked around the Catsup site is aware, although it's very lighthearted, its purpose is to help to raise awareness of, and funds for PDSA. Behind the scenes Ann has a lot of friends whom Spock and Dracs have persuaded to give their time and expertise to help make the Project successful. Without their neighbour Paul, there would never have been a website. Without friends like Nora, Ann from Winlaton and Margaret, much of the stock for the stall and the online shop would not be available. Without Jen's help, it wouldn't be possible to run the Catsup Stall at local cat shows. Ro, Helen, Den and Richard have all contributed their artwork which has been used in numerous ways. These are just some of the contributors. To all of them and to the others I haven't mentioned,


To find out more about the Catsup Fundraising Project, click here

To go to Catsup's PDSA Page, click here

To go to PDSA's official website click on their logo below.


You can never be sure what you'll find on Ann's Page. It changes whenever Ann feels inspired and it's completely different each time. If you'd like to see what was previously on Ann's Page, click go to our Archives If you'd like to know when Ann's Page changes, please feel free to join our mailing list.


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