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Coronavirus: COVID-19 Pandemic Veterinary Procedures Update

This information was last updated on 12/04/21

A message from Jeremy…

From the 12th April 2021, the UK Governments next stage of lifting of lockdown restrictions takes place in England. Both the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the British Veterinary Association have made recommendations for this change in working practices. These are ‘In line with the four UK governments’ roadmap for easing restrictions, practices across the UK are able to open without restrictions and provide services to clients in accordance with their professional judgement. However, practices are to be mindful of the ongoing requirement to maintain biosecurity and social distancing.

We do not expect veterinary practices to offer business as usual for the time being. Vets will need to make difficult decisions in light of the travel and social distancing restrictions currently in force across the UK, taking into account the health of both their clients and their teams.

We appreciate that decisions may vary between practices, and in different parts of the country, depending on the circumstances and the latest government restrictions/guidelines in place.

Here at Heathside Veterinary Surgery we regularly review the Covid-19 situation, involving all our staff and their concerns. Taking into consideration the views and opinions of staff, clients, our regulatory bodies and discussions at in house meetings we have decided to continue with our present way of working with respect to Covid-19. This is to provide safety for the health of our clients and staff until the effects of the relaxing of lock-down regulations over the next 4 – 6 weeks are seen. We are continuing to work in the same way as we have done for the last year because safe social distancing within the clinic is not possible with the number of clients we see per day and the layout of the building.

We count ourselves extremely lucky that we have not had to close as many other practices have had to do over the last year. We have been fortunate throughout this pandemic to have been continuously working and providing care for all our patients over this time. We have had to adapt to new ways of working to continue to provide care through this period. There have been a few close calls with contact with COVID-19 positive clients through this period, usually from track and trace, necessitating home isolation for some staff until negative test results have been returned. However due to the hard work and dedication of our fantastic team we have managed to continue to look after your pets.

Much like in September last year when we elected not to open our doors despite a clamour to do so, we are waiting to see what the next 4 to 6 weeks brings. Last year we were glad that we stuck to our principles of pet, client and staff safety and continued to work through the second wave of the Coronavirus. No one knows whether we will experience a third wave with the present relaxing of the rules. A loss of our caring services is not something that we wish to see and of there is still the ongoing requirement to maintain biosecurity and social distancing. 

Please be kind to and patient with our staff throughout this coming period as you have done so far. It is down to their strength, dedication and resilience through these difficult times that we have continued to provide a nearly full service with no backlog in vaccinations and routine treatments even after a year of this pandemic. This is despite it taking twice the amount of time for a consultation from outside the building, plus the need for a nurse in every consultation without a client being present. The phone traffic in working in this way is also 300% more than at normal times. Working in this way is very time and staffing demanding. I would like to take to this opportunity to praise my staff in the way they have handled this difficult situation. I would also like to thank everyone out there for their support over this unprecedented and demanding period. All our staff are trying their best to support you in difficult circumstances. Please remember it is still not a normal world and will not be for the foreseeable future. Patience and kindness will be our greatest assets over the coming months. 

Maybe soon the world may return to what it was before March 2020. Let us hope that we are soon welcoming you all back in but only when it is safe for us all to do so. Thinking of you at this time from all here at Heathside Veterinary Surgery, and promising you our attention at all times, no matter how busy we are. 

 

Jeremy Giles 

Clinical Director 

Heathside Veterinary Surgery