The University of Melbourne has partnered with Greencross Pet Wellness Company to operate U-Vet Werribee Animal Hospital.

Following feedback from community, staff, and students over the proposed closure of the facility, the University of Melbourne has chosen to enter a commercial partnership with Greencross which will enable the continuation of the GP clinic and 24-hour emergency care.

Roughly 80 current staff, some of which have been there over 30 years, have been told they are no longer needed and will be offered redundancy packages shortly.

Merissa Govers, a Veterinary Nurse who has been with U-Vet for six years, said they are working as normal today, but the rest of the week will be spent packing up the hospital before the planned opening on 16 January 2023.

“I just wish this wasn’t happening. It’s such an awful thing. To be in the last week and not even be able to be nursing, just packing up.”

Govers said that staff have been told that after the initial phase of operation, about three months, Greencross will review their operating structure and staff may be asked if they’d like to reapply for their positions.

In a statement, Greencross said they are focused on redeploying staff from within their network who are experienced and already trained in their operational procedures to ensure clinical standards are in place.

Moira O’Bryan, Dean, Faculty of Science at the University of Melbourne, said in Greencross, they have found an organisation that shares their commitment to the training of an outstanding veterinary workforce and service to the community and their animals.

“The University of Melbourne has an unwavering commitment to the delivery of a high-quality Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and excited about the possibility that partnering with Greencross Vet Hospital at the University of Melbourne will bring.”

Dr Michelle Kellaway, Chief Operating Officer at Greencross and a veterinarian with an extensive executive career, leads Greencross’ Vet Services business, and will be bringing in her own team.

George Wahby, CEO of Greencross, said they are excited to be partnering with the University of Melbourne to bring their exceptional care to pet parents while nurturing the next generation of vets and vet nurses.

“This new location expands our geographic footprint and is consistent with our strategy of bringing care close to home for our patients no matter where they are. The partnership will ensure convenient access to the most advanced health care and services for pet parents in the Port Philip area.”

The facility will also continue to support future veterinary students, with the two parties coming to a mutual agreement to provide students with access to leading facilities, equipment and services that will complement and grow the University’s highly regarded programs.

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