* URGENT UPDATE REGARDING COVID-19*
In light of Boris Johnson’s statement (20:30, 23/03) and in line with RCVS Guidelines we will only be offering emergency and urgent care visits until further notice. These guidelines prevent us from performing routine visits so please do not expect us to come out for these. We have a duty of care not only to our clients and patients but also to members of our staff and the wider public. As such we have been instructed to prioritise human health whilst trying to maintain animal welfare to the best of our ability.
So what does this mean practically for you and your horse:
Emergency Visits: These will be performed 24/7 as they would have been up until now and include things such as colic’s acute and severely painful lameness’s, issues associate with eyes, serious wounds etc.. Anything that basically requires immediate veterinary attention. Should you have such an emergency please call the office as you normally would. If it is during office hours, they will arrange for a vet to come out, or if it is out of hours, call the duty vet who’s name and number is given on the answer phone message directly.
Urgent Care Visits: These will be performed during the normal working day and are assessed on an individual basis. You will more likely or not be required to speak to a vet before hand to determine the exact nature of the visit so as that they can perform a risk assessment. These will be visits that don’t need to be seen immediately but waiting until the lock down is lifted could seriously affect the health and welfare of the individual. These also might not require a face-to-face visit and you could be asked to send photos or videos for us to assess and then prescribe relevant medication where appropriate.
Short conversations in particular those that do result in a visit will continue to be free of charge, lengthier phone consults particularly those that result in drugs being prescribed may be charged at a reduced examination rate. This is to ensure that we have adequate records as to why drugs have been dispensed.
Routine Visits: These will not be performed, as we have been instructed not to by our governing body to aid in the preservation of human life. These include anything that does not directly compromise the welfare of the individual should it have to wait until the lock down is lifted such as pre-purchase examinations, routine dentals and 6 monthly flu boosters.
Dispensing of Drugs
For the time being we are still dispensing drugs from the Cassiobury Drive Surgery and via postal service. When drugs are requested the office staff will inform you as to when they will be ready. We request that you call again before heading to the surgery to ensure the drugs have been dispensed and are ready for collection and then again upon arrival in the car park.
A member of staff will then bring the drugs out to you so as to reduce the amount of foot fall within our surgery and safeguard our staff. In light of these uncertain economic times we will no longer be able to credit large quantities of drugs onto accounts. This will be restricted to a two week supply only, any more will have to have been paid for upon collection.
Ideally via phone before arrival. All non essential drugs and feed supplements will also have to be paid for upon collection. Due to reduced staffing levels turnaround of dispensing will be slower than normal please keep this in mind when ordering drugs. As vets will be primarily working from home and only in the office when needed, things such as prescriptions may take 24-48 hours to finalise. Please bear with us.
These will be open as normal but at a reduced staffing level to safeguard their health. We apologise in advance should the phone lines be busy.
Self Isolating and Social Distancing
Should you be showing signs of COVID-19 (fever, new and persistent cough etc.) and are self isolating or are self isolating due to a close family member showing clinical signs, we request you do not visit the surgery and ask someone else to collect drugs for you. Should your horse require a visit, please arrange for an alternate person to be available at the yard to present your horse.
We request that should visits be required, only one person be present and no more than two people in the immediate vicinity. Our vets will be observing good social distancing protocol and will attempt to keep a 2m distance where possible. This will only be broken for health and safety reasons and a decision not taken lightly by the vets. With this in mind as previously stated we may be required to sedate horses where they would ordinarily be restraint manually.
We will be regularly updating our Facebook page over the course of the upcoming days and weeks and as situations change, we request you keep an eye out for these updates.
We would like to wish for all our clients and their horses to stay safe during these difficult times and know that we will be there for you should you really require us.