Sick pets will benefit from a major expansion and refurbishment at a leading veterinary hospital.

The Goddard veterinary hospital has had a presence in Wanstead since 1952, moving to its current premises in New Wanstead in 1970.

Thousands of animals pass through its doors every year, and now vets say they will be able to offer a better  service than ever after a new wing was opened at the hospital as part of a £1 million upgrade.

It took 18 months to complete the work which has seen three new theatres, an additional X-Ray room and an isolation area open.

Tom Flynn, clinical director at the hospital, said: “This is the most significant work we have done in a decade since we built our dedicated cat ward.

“It gives us around 50 per cent more floor space.

“We now have the capacity to bring in CT and MRI scanners, although we have not yet invested in those items.”

The new rooms benefit from state-of-the art climate control and ‘sun tubes’ which flood the theatres with natural light.

Mr Flynn said: “It has a more open feel and the additional natural light in rooms which have no windows makes a real difference to the animals and the staff.

“We have always had air conditioning which is very important, especially in the warmer months when the animals get hot, but the new system allows us a lot more temperature control in the theatres.”

The hospital employs 50 full-time staff, including nine vets, but with the extra room and space to increase the number of animals treated, Mr Flynn said there was scope to create new jobs.

He added: “There has a been a bit of a slowdown because of the economic climate, but I have been here 21 years and demand has risen steadily, this will ensure we can continue to meet it.”

As well as the new wing, the hospital is also benefiting from a new IT system and improvements to its car park.