Like everyone else, we have had to make some changes to the way we work.
It is impossible for our staff to socially-distance from each other at all times while looking after your pets. This means we have to do everything we can to protect our staff and you from the increased infection risk this brings. For this reason, we continue to ask clients not to enter the hospital. We appreciate your ongoing understanding with this “no-contact” policy:
- If you have had symptoms of cough or fever in the past 7 days, or anyone in your household has had these symptoms in the past 14 days, please do not attend the practice. Instead, please make arrangements for a friend, family-member or neighbour who does not live with you to bring you animal in.
- When you arrive for your appointment, please phone reception to let them know you’re here.
- Wait in your car or outside until you are collected for your appointment.
- Please keep your phone on – the vet may call you to discuss your pet initially.
- Your pet will be taken inside to be examined while you wait outside. The vet will discuss your pet’s symptoms and treatment with you either outside at a safe distance, or by phoning you from the consult room.
- We are not able to offer home visits except in exceptional circumstances where animal welfare is significantly compromised, such as if an animal is trapped or impaled. The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons is very clear that it is the owner’s responsibility to be able to get their pet to a veterinary practice. Please plan in advance for how you would do this in various situation such as if you were isolated, if your pet was collapsed etc. Enlisting the help of friends, family, or neighbours, or sending your pet unaccompanied in a taxi are all possible options.
Our consultations are now booked in 20 minute slots, rather than 15 minute slots. This is because of the extra time it takes to allow the necessary social distancing and cleaning between patients.
The knock-on effect of this is that we don’t have as many consultations available as usual. Plus, we are working through a backlog of appointments from earlier in lockdown when we were only able to see emergencies. We are grateful for your understanding that there may be a longer wait than usual to see a vet for routine appointments.
Vaccination Schedule for Puppies
For most puppies, we will now offer only a 10-week start (rather than an 8-week start) for vaccinations. This is because the 10-week start only requires two visits, where as the 8-week start requires three. We know new puppy owners are anxious to get them out and socialising as quickly as possible, but actually, starting at 10 weeks doesn’t delay this process. Our blog post explains more.
In order to reduce unnecessary contact, we are still offering phone consultations for certain things – for example routine post-op checks and repeat prescriptions for certain medications. We may also suggest a phone consultation if you are having to self-isolate or are clinically vulnerable.
We are also offering phone consultations free of charge for new puppies and kittens after they have seen us for their first vaccine – this way our nurse can answer any questions you may have about feeding, training, flea and worm treatment and anything else on your mind!
Unfortunately at the moment we are unable to offer our normal nurse consultations and puppy socialisation classes. We hope to have these up and running again soon. In the meantime, you are welcome to see a vet for things like nail clips and anal gland emptying but this will incur a standard consultation charge.
How you can help us
Unfortunately everything takes much longer and requires more staff than usual (for example, all our vets now need a nursing assistant to help them examine your pets, as we no longer have owners coming into the consultation room).
Wherever possible, we are trying to take the pressure off our staff by using online services more than we have previously:
- If you would like to book your pet in for a vaccination you can use our vaccination request form.
- For repeat medications, you can use our online prescription request form rather than calling us.
- To pay an outstanding balance or deposit, you can use our secure online payment page.
Thank you for being patient with us as we do our best to adapt to this new way of looking after your pets while keeping you and our staff as safe as possible.