Sad news for our equine clients – from 17 August 2017, we are no longer providing equine services.
Here is a copy of the letter which has been sent to you:
25th July 2017
Dear equine client
As you are aware, the face of veterinary practice has changed dramatically over the past decades, and the number of clients who choose to use a mixed small animal and equine practice with an equine specialist, rather than an equine-only practice has fallen significantly. This has led to an equally dramatic reduction in client numbers and the demand for our equine services.
Over this same period, the veterinary profession has undergone significant change and, with increased specialisation, the traditional mixed “James Herriot” country practice has become something of a rarity. Much of the equine work has moved to specialised equine practices, many of whom cover large areas, have enormous buying power with the drug suppliers and can therefore supply a much more cost-effective service to the equine community. A single centre practice like ours is now unable to compete on a serious basis.
Increased specialisation inevitably means that most vets coming into the profession gravitate to practices which treat only a certain spectrum of animals, i.e. small animals (pets), horses or farm animals. This has made the recruitment of colleagues with experience in all disciplines, especially horses, virtually impossible, severely compromising our ability to offer the highest standard of service which we would like and that all horse owners can rightly expect. All these factors have meant that the omni-competent vet, who can treat all animals with equal skill, is a dying breed.
Unfortunately, we are now in the position where our only resident equine specialist, Donal O’Leary, has chosen to move to another practice, and with that, we now have to close down the equine side of the business as of the 17th August 2017, as recruiting a vet that does both small animal and equine practice as well as Donal has for the last 14 years is near impossible. This decision has been made with a heavy heart, as many of you have become friends to the practice, as well as clients. We would like to thank you for your loyalty and friendship over so many years. We can, however, reassure you that for those of you with companion animals, we will continue to provide you with the same high-standard, excellent-quality service that we have for so long.
In order to facilitate your transition to using another practice for your equine needs, we have discussed this change with Blowey and Wood, of Uckfield, who have expressed that they will welcome any of our equine clients to their practice. The process of changing over is fairly simple – all you need to do is contact them, register yourself and your horses, and they will then contact us for their clinical history. We will then promptly forward this on to them, so that they are able to provide any medical care that your horse needs. Of course, Blowey and Wood are one of the many equine veterinary care providers in the area, and whichever you choose to move to we will do all we can to facilitate that change. We do recommend that you choose your new provider as soon as possible before the 17th August 2017, so that you are able to benefit from all their services, as well as emergency care.
As of the 17th August 2017, the 24-hour emergency service for horses will be provided by the practice that you choose to move to, either through them or through their external emergency service provider. We recommend that you choose your practice and register with them before this service is required so that you have all the information that you need to know about how and where your emergency services will be provided.
This is not a decision that we have taken lightly and we regret any inconvenience that this will cause you. We hope, however, that you understand our reasons for doing so.
We would like to take this opportunity to wish you every success and hope that you will soon develop the same warm professional relationship with your new practice that we have enjoyed with you in the past.
Ian Killian BVSc, MRCVS, Philip Snyman BVSc, MRCVS, Gerald Stam BVSc MRCVS
To discuss your horse or pony’s transfer to a new equine practice, please Call Us on 01435 864422