Please note the significant changes regarding our COVID-19 protocol below. We are currently contacting the clients affected.
Following the government announcement of a lockdown beginning on Monday 23 March, we are now in the position where we have to significantly change the way we work in order to make sure that we continue to be able to provide urgent and emergency care.
As a result, we have taken the decision to split our team in half and work one week on one week off in order to make sure if one person becomes unwell, we have a team in place to cover. We will ensure detailed case handover between the vets caring for your pet so that even if you do not see the vet who has been looking after your pet, you can be sure we will continue to provide the high standard of care they need.
If you fall into any of the categories below:
- Have travelled abroad recently
- Are currently showing symptoms of a cough, higher than usual temperature or any of the usual flu symptoms
- Live with or have been in close contact (under 2 metres distance, for longer than 15 minutes) with someone who has been diagnosed with Coronavirus (COVID-19) or is currently in self-isolation due to potential exposure or symptoms, or are the caregiver for someone in isolation or who has been diagnosed
- Have been diagnosed with COVID-19
- Are currently self isolating because you are in a risk category
And your pet needs medical care, medication or food – please contact us by telephone on 01435 864422 so that we can arrange to provide what your pet needs. Please do not arrive at the practice without having spoken to a member of staff on the telephone first, and make sure to inform them which of the above categories you fall into so that we are able to give you the best advice.
We would just like to reiterate that we are always here for our clients and their pets – if you have any concerns about your pet, please contact us so that we can advise you on the best way forward.
We are now in the position where we must, on recommendation of the British Veterinary Association and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, reduce the amount of non-urgent treatment we are doing. This means that we will not be offering nail clips, weight watchers, confidence clinics or puppy parties for the foreseeable future. Annual health checks and booster vaccinations will be assessed on a case by case basis, please contact us when these are due so that we can discuss your options with you.
For all other consultations, please contact us and we will advise you on the best next steps for you and your pets.
When you have a consultation booked:
- Please wait in your car and telephone us to let us know that you are here on the usual number, 01435 864422. We will then be able to let the vet know that you have arrived for your appointment.
- A member of staff will come to fetch your pet while you remain in your vehicle for the duration of the consultation.
- The vet will telephone you from the consult room to discuss any concerns you have, take a detailed history of the problem your pet is here to see us for and they will then conduct a thorough physical examination.
- Once the examination is complete, the vet will make their recommendations and discuss the treatment plan with you.
- We are still working out the logistics of the telephone transfers. At this point, the vet will either hand the phone to a receptionist, who will take payment over the phone and prepare your invoice or the vet will finish their conversation with you and the receptionist will call you a few moments later. We will not be accepting cash payment at this time. By speaking to the receptionist at this juncture, it will allow the vet time to dispense any medications and prepare them.
- A member of staff will then bring your pet back to your car, together with their medication.
In order to ensure the safety of our staff and maintain the social distancing recommended by the government, no clients will be allowed into the waiting room of either building. We ask that all clients remain in their cars in order not to crowd the front door, and we will try to maintain an efficient and thorough service, as we always have. We apologise for the impersonal nature of this protocol – we hope that all our clients understand that this is to protect everyone involved while still making sure your pet is receiving the care they need. We ask that clients who are walking to the surgery please bear in mind the weather.
We recognise that for end of life consultations it would not be possible to utilise this protocol, and we would want to make sure you are able to say goodbye to your beloved pet in a dignified manner. We will discuss the arrangements for this with you when you call. Please rest assured we will be there for you, as we always have been.
We are in the process of setting up the ability to hold remote consultations. This is with the understanding that it is only suitable for certain situations, and we will offer this as an option if this is the case. There are two options:
- Phone consultation: You are able to contact reception and if they feel that a phone consultation may be appropriate, they will ask you to take a photograph of what you have called about and ask you to send it in an email. They will book a telephone consultation slot (the same duration as a normal consultation slot) and take payment for the telephone consultation fee. Once this has been received, it will be passed to the vet who will phone you in the booked slot. Please make sure we have up to date contact information for you.
- Telemedecine (video) consultations: In some cases, it may be appropriate for the vet to conduct an examination using video technology. We are in the process of setting this platform up. Once it is ready, if the receptionist feels that it would be appropriate for the case, they will offer you the option to book a slot. They will send you a link on which to book it. The platform will take payment for a 15 minute consultation and reserve your slot. At the appropriate time we will begin the call and conduct the consultation via the video link.
In the event that during the course of the remote consultation it becomes evident that a physical examination is necessary, we will arrange this with you and the cost of the remote consultation will be deducted from the cost of the normal consultation, provided it is attended within 24 hours of the remote consultation. If a re-examination is attended in person or remotely within 24 hours this is charged at the usual rate.
Procedures and surgeries:
As with certain types of consultations, the British Veterinary Association and Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons have recommended postponing any non-urgent procedures or surgeries. This may impact on some neutering procedures and dental treatment, but please discuss this with a member of our team as not all of these procedures are non-urgent.
When you have a visit to our surgical suite booked:
- Please wait in your car and telephone us on 01435 864422 to let us know that you are here. If you are here before 08:30am when our phone lines open, please ring the bell to the surgical suite and return to your car. A member of our team will come out to you.
- We will take your pet into the hospital and transfer them onto our leads or into our carriers, and we ask that you take all your pet’s personal belongings including blankets home with you. We love to let them have their personal items with them, but for now we will need to ask that this does not happen.
- The team member will then return to your vehicle with your lead/carrier, which we ask that you bring with you when you collect your pet in the afternoon. They will also bring the iPad in order for you to answer the final few questions and sign the consent form, and wipe it down afterwards. Please note we are not allowed to carry out any treatment without the signed consent form, so please do not leave before this has been done!
- Your pet will have their procedure done, and a member of the team will be in touch to let you know how your pet is and arrange a home time. We will also take payment and arrange any re-examinations at this stage, so that when you return for your see-home appointment, you do not also have to make contact with the reception team.
- When you arrive to collect your pet, please telephone the practice to notify us you are here. We will come to collect your pet’s lead/carrier, and then fetch your pet and bring them straight to you in the car.
Please see the second to last paragraph under ‘Consultations’ regarding the closure of our waiting rooms to all clients.
We are not able to offer home visits at this time. All treatment and examinations must take place at the practice. We have always recommended this as this is where we are best-equipped to be able to carry out a thorough examination and any treatment necessary, but at this stage we are not able to offer home visits owing to the increased risk posed by SARS-CoV-2.
Food and medication
Please order your food and medication using our online request form for repeat medications and food . It would be much appreciated by our team if you were able to do this as it would allow urgent and emergency calls to come through, and we anticipate that the phone lines will be busier in order to implement the non-contact consultation/surgical admissions procedures. We are operating on a split team basis going forward, which means that staff numbers on each day are reduced.
We will contact you to let you know it is ready and take payment over the telephone.
For you to collect food and medication we are operating a concierge service. Please phone us when you arrive in the car park and give us your car registration. We will then deliver your medication to you in your vehicle. We would appreciate it if you have a passenger window we can reach through or if you are able to open the boot from within your vehicle.
Please note we are not currently experiencing any shortages in medication. The only delays we are experiencing is owing to delivery slots and days having changed, in light of the effects of COVID-19 on the supply chain. Please allow at least 48 hours for orders to be processed, and make sure to request medication in advance of running out.
We ask that you request your pet’s prescription refills as needed. Stockpiling medication (like stockpiling toilet paper and hand sanitiser) only increases pressure on manufacturing and creates a more immediate shortage – if everyone carries on as they normally would, manufacturing can continue at its normal rate and the supply of medication will continue. Items that may be in short supply because the base products come from severely affected areas are being closely monitored and we will do everything we can to prevent any interruption to supply.
Please submit requests for insurance claims to be processed online. We are not accepting any forms over the counter in reception. Once we have received your request we will be in touch to clarify any further details with you, and we can then process your request.
We have slightly reduced our opening hours, so Monday to Friday we are available from 08:30-18:00. Saturday hours remain the same from 08:30-11:00.
Other relevant items:
- In the unlikely event that you need to enter a waiting room, we ask that you use the hand sanitiser available and maintain a minimum 2 metre distance from any staff member
- We will be using a non-contact temperature monitor on all staff when they begin their shifts. If their temperature is too high, they will be sent home and asked to self isolate.
- We will be doing the same for any client or third party who enters the building. If you are suffering from any symptoms, please let us know so we can barrier nurse your pet for their visit and ensure the safety of our team.
- Our team are wiping down door handles, the front desk and other commonly touched areas even more frequently than before
- Our usual stringent cleaning protocols will continue to be in place, even more frequently
- All delivery people are being asked to leave items outside and knock on the window or door rather than coming in to deliver them
Other services we offer to make life easier:
- If you are not sure if you need to bring your pet in, please just give us a call and we will advise you of the necessary steps.
- We can post medication out directly to you. Please note this does incur the postage charges, and all medications must be sent signed for and insured up to the value of the medication contained within the parcel. We are not able to post out any controlled substances. Please let us know if you would like to make use of this service.
- You are able to send someone else to collect items for you if needed – just give us a call to pay for the items, and let us know the name of the person who will be coming to collect them. They can then follow the food and medication protocol outlined above.
We appreciate your help and support in facing this problem together – we hope that these measures will only need to be in place for a limited amount of time. We will continue to update this page as the situation changes.
Last updated: 26 March 2020
Call us on 01435 864422 if you have any questions about how we are dealing with COVID-19.