Fitzalan house

Veterinary Group

FAQ's

Fitzalan House Veterinary Group is an RCVS Accredited Practice. What does this mean?

Click here to find out...

What do we do in an Emergency?

Outside normal opening hours, emergencies will be seen by Worthing Emergency Vets based at Grove Lodge Veterinary Hospital in Worthing, West Sussex BN14 9DL
Please telephone 01903-203999 (out of hours only)

What happens to your pets in our hospital when the surgery is closed?

Fitzalan House in Littlehampton is the only local practice in the Littlehampton, Rustington, East Preston and Angmering areas to have a fully qualified Veterinary Nurse living on the surgery premises all year round to monitor inpatients. We have a large rear garden in which we exercise all canine inpatients and feel that allowing them to stretch their legs and sniff the air often gives our patients' spirits a significant lift during periods of illness.

Do you make home visits?

Home Visits - Currently not available. Pre-Covid we were happy to visit pets at home....

In an emergency it is almost always best to transport casualties to the surgery as this is generally the fastest way to see the vet, who will be busy seeing other clients and patients, and our life support equipment will be ready to hand. Please always telephone first - we can get vital equipment ready and advise you what to do.

If my pet has a really complex illness does Fitzalan House Veterinary Group have specialists on hand to help?

Fitzalan House employs five very experienced clinicians with a wide variety of individual specialist interests amongst them ultrasonography, orthopaedics, cardiology and ophthalmology. So much experience under one roof means the very best of care for each and every illness.

Veterinary medicine and surgery has, however, advanced so much over recent years that there may be occasions when we will recommend that your pet’s best interests be served by seeing a specialist. We will make all the necessary arrangements for you.

Can you tell me something of the history of Fitzalan House Veterinary Group?

Fitzalan House Veterinary Group was established almost 100 years ago, well before it acquired it's current name. The original horse and farm-orientated practice was based in Arundel, and served all the farm and domestic animals in the surrounding area. Mr Angwin, the then Principal, commuted over from Brighton every day and carried out farm calls with his horse and cart. He was succeeded in 1926 by a Canadian Cavalry Officer, Mr. Hill, who presided over the young practice and set up a branch in Littlehampton in 1946. He was joined by Olaf Swarbrick, who later became a partner and renowned poultry expert, in 1950. In 1951 the practice was taken over by Mike Ashton. Ian Hutchinson joined the partnership in 1966.

Bill Skelton Bill Skelton joined the practice in 1967, at which point the main surgery was located in Surrey House, Maltravers Street, Arundel.

In 1970 this farm-based practice decided that with the increasing specialisation and depth of knowledge evolving within the veterinary field, the community would be best served by specialist branches of the original practice. It therefore split into Equine, Farm and Small Animal components. Mike Ashton retained the Equine side, later to become Tortington Equine Clinic, and Ian Hutchinson assumed control of the Farm work.

Bill took over the running of the Small Animal side and assumed control of the Arundel and Littlehampton surgeries. In 1972, he purchased outright the goodwill of the Small Animal component of the business.

The Small Animal Practice flourished in Mr. Skelton's hands and in 1974 Bill set up a branch practice at Church Hill in Angmering (where it is still situated today). In 1977 the Littlehampton branch moved to it's current site in Fitzalan Road and it was then that it acquired it's current name, Fitzalan House Veterinary Group. In 1979 the Arundel branch moved to River Road.

John Wooton had established a Veterinary Clinic in East Preston from scratch in 1962. In 1984 Bill Skelton acquired this clinic, which at that time was located in Sea lane, in a converted stable block. The East Preston Surgery relocated in February 2003 to it's current site beside the Library in The Street.

Michael Kingsbury joined Bill Skelton as an assistant in 1988 and then became Bill's partner in 1993. On Bill's retirement in 2002 he became sole principal.