Practice COVID UPDATE 10.1.21
Further to the Government introducing another National Lockdown, our governing body the RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) has issued further guidance to Vet Clinics late last week. Whilst Government guidelines explain that visiting the vet is considered an essential activity, it is important to limit our interaction with our wonderful clients, to keep you and my team as safe as we can. The clinics will therefore be offering a reduced service for the next month.
The RCVS has advised that we postpone all routine appointments for healthy animals that could otherwise wait to be seen until the end of February, so as to limit visits to the Clinic to essential only.
My team have been busy phoning clients who had previously booked appointments, and who would fall under this category. We have managed to move most of these appointments now to late February or March. Thank you to all those who were understanding with this.
For clarity, the following type of appointment has been postponed for now:
1. Annual vaccines for adult animals. If your pet is due for a vaccination, the vaccine company have confirmed that the animal has a 3 month ‘window’ in which the previous vaccine should provide sufficient immunity, over the 12 month duration. We will not be postponing those dogs and cats who risk going over this time period, and would require restarting their course.
2. Nail clips - Dogs should be walked more on pavements if their nails are getting long. Using a nail file at home can be useful too.
3. 6 month Paxton Health Plan visits to see the Vet Nurse - these will be conducted by phone instead
4. Weight checks - please email in the weight of your pet if they are due a check up, and the Vet Nurse will call you back to discuss it
For those of you with puppies or kittens, we will continue to complete their vaccination courses, so that they have full protection, and can be socialised.
For unwell animals, or those undergoing advised treatment or procedures, these will continue as normal, with our strict protocols currently in place:
- Please do not attend the clinic if you or anyone in your household has any symptoms of Covid 19
- Only one owner per pet, to allow for social distancing in the consult rooms
- Owners are asked to wear a face covering; all our staff will be wearing one too
- We ask you to use the hand sanitiser provided on entry to the building
Other safety measures we have in place are:
- Our consult rooms have a Perspex screen over the examination table
- Our reception desk also has a Perspex screen
- We ask that you let us know via the external intercom that you have arrived for your planned appointment. Once they are ready for you, the vet will invite you directly into the consult room
- We are asking all payments to be by bank card, and not cash
- Payments for ordered medication and food, can now be done online, so that we can do a quick handover at the door, and you do not need to enter the building
- Our teams have now been split, so that if a member of the team does come down with symptoms we have done all we can to continue to offer a service to our valued clients, from the other clinic.
- If you have concerns with visiting the clinic, we totally understand and we can offer video consultations with the vet. The vet will talk you through the consultation and find out if they are able to prescribe medication from this appointment, or if they do advise a visit in person, which would be at no extra cost.
- If you would like to wait outside the clinic while the Vet examines your pet, rather than coming in to the consult room, this is absolutely fine too - just let us know when you arrive.
If you have not received a phone call from the team regarding a booked appointment, then please attend your appointment as planned.
I realise there is frustration and concern at this time, and I can assure you that we are certainly feeling that too (!), however our main priority is to keep you and our team SAFE, and therefore changes have to be made to mitigate risks and keep our Clinics open.
I ask you to please understand that we are being bombarded with telephone calls and emails, along with clients collecting food and medication from the door - all wanting immediate attention. We are trying our very hardest to continue to provide the best service possible, but like so many others, we are all incredibly exhausted from the relentlessness of this pandemic.
If you have access to email, and your query is non urgent, please use this method of contact, so that our phone lines are free for those with emergencies.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. Let's hope this is the last time I will have to write to you all with this type of news.
Helen Spencer MRCVS