Lockdown III Covid-19 Practice Policy 11.01.2021
As a practice we are aware that we have a responsibility to our staff, our clients and our patients. With the current pandemic we have to ensure that we can provide our services to the best of our abilities but there are limitations in place beyond our control. We are continuing to keep clients out of the practice buildings for medium term future as the Covid situation continues to evolve and will speak to clients prior to animals being brought inside for examination, this situation is being continually monitored and we update this policy as things evolve.
Guidance from the RCVS and BVA has been updated for lockdown and does guide us to assess what is and isn’t necessary during lockdown when people should be travelling less. We have taken an approach that tries to balance clinical need, staffing levels and an uncertain time line to allow us to continue to offer our services. Our safety first approach is limiting some very small areas of our services on offer. We are still unable to offer some of our routine nurse clinics and we will update you as this is transitioned back in.
We will be asking all clients to phone us from the car park on arrival at the practice. We are still not allowing clients to enter the buildings at all. We will need to confirm the mobile number you have with you as it does not show on all of our phone systems and will request that you stay outside until you are telephoned by one of our vets or nurses. Please have your phone on and loud in the car so you know when they are calling you back.
After speaking to you on the phone the vet or nurse will come to fetch your pet (they may advise you where to meet them) when they will take him or her into the practice for an examination or treatment. We will social distance where ever possible from you to ensure ultimate safety. We expect our staff to be wearing PPE during any hand over due to the interactions within the buildings.
We are requesting that clients wear a facemask while in handing over patients or speaking to vets in the car park, we know this is outdoors but would like to stay as safe a possible for all involved. We also would like to remind people about maintaining social distances with both staff and other clients while waiting to be seen. Please try to have the majority of the conversation with the vets over the phone as it can be tricky to hear each other in masks outside.
We are trying to make use of all of our sites to keep the work level balanced and utilize our branches to ensure we can stay within safe client numbers at the main surgeries. If you call for an appointment or an ill pet who is unlikely to require a stay with us, you may be offered an appointment at a different branch to your normal site to be able to accommodate you within a suitable time frame. Our Southwell, Calverton and Burton Joyce teams are working to share work load where needed. Our Newark surgery is utilizing our new Bingham surgery as well as our Fernwood branch to try and ensure timely visits for all clients.
We are open for booked appointments, emergencies and sick patients, as well as medicines collections. We will however continue to maintain a reduced staff to allow physical distancing for our staff.
Some more routine appointments such as vaccinations and medicines checks may be booked a little further down the line to ensure a sensible work load and utilize clinically safe time windows without risking patient safety. We may also request that we dispense volumes of medications that take us beyond the initial muted end of lockdown to try to reduce the number of visits needed during the lockdown period. We may also encourage a time delay in some routine/non urgent surgeries where the vet feels the wait is sensible.
We are implementing measures to limit exposure where we can but do need our clients to help us. Distancing where ever possible and good hygiene will remain key. Our staff will be cleaning all risk areas repeatedly throughout this period of uncertainty. As a health care provider hygiene has always been important, but we are increasing cleaning levels further.
We are taking payments over the phone at the time of treatment where-ever possible to limit contact at any hand over.
If you are showing any symptoms of Covid-19 or have been in contact with anyone showing symptoms, please do not attend the practice. In these circumstances, please contact the practice for advice and where possible arrange for a friend or pet taxi service to attend the practice on your behalf. This helps to safeguard our staff as well as the general public. Please be honest regarding any illness, we will not discriminate against your pet in the care they receive but it will allow us to take the highest levels of protection.
We also advise that anyone self isolating for their own protection must also consider their options where ever possible. We can limit contact with our staff and other members of the public but can in no way guarantee zero transmission risk. If you are at increased risk and feel you have to attend the surgery, please let us know in advance.
For prescription medications we are technically still governed by the same laws and regulations. However, we are applying a common sense approach to this and may arrange a discussion over the phone to make clinical decisions regarding repeat prescriptions.
For non-controlled prescription medications we would suggest that higher risk persons or people wishing to attend the practice less regularly may request a larger volume of medication to be prescribed. The volumes will still fall under our standard guidance with dispensing quantities and time periods. Controlled drugs are still limited in the prescribing volumes and frequencies. If you are under self-isolation you can send an authorised person over the age of 18 to collect the prescription on your behalf.
We can courier medications out to clients via DPD , this will be charged at cost and will require someone to be present to confirm receipt (they are unlikely to want a signature, may ask for a name), we can’t be sure of delivery times on this so please order at least 5 days before the medication runs out.
PLEASE ALLOW UP TO 72 HOURS FOR ALL MEDICINES ORDERS.
As the situation evolves we will continue to update our policies. We really do appreciate your patience and understanding at this time.
Stay safe everyone!
We have had confirmation that vaccinations can continue. There are some general guidelines from the manufacturers that we are going to follow to try to allow a safe working environment for our staff by delaying some booster vaccinations for a short period where possible.
We are now carrying out puppy and kitten primary vaccination courses as well as rabbit vaccinations.
We will also be offering cat and dog booster vaccinations but we will be trying to spread these across our sites to avoid too much footfall at any one practice. Please follow this link for for more vaccine information.
We may offer you an appointment at one of our other branches other than the one that you usually attend if we are unable to accommodate you at your usual practice. Please bear with us if this is the case as social distancing and safety is the reason behind this.
Horse booster vaccinations will now commence again. Horses that are part way through a primary course may need to utilise the extremes of the date windows. We are in discussion with the manufacturers for any horse that missed its booster in the initial lockdown period regarding restarts, but as there is no testing data available, neither the manufacturers or relevant equine bodies are willing to allow any extension to the vaccination periods.
We have been advised that neutering can be commenced where this is deemed beneficial or necessary for animal health and welfare. We would request that anyone wanting to book for neutering please call the practice to book an appointment. Any neutering may require you to join a small waiting list or attend one of our other practices. We appreciate your patience and understanding with this.