To our Loyal Clients,
Now that the changes to the COVID Alert levels have been announced we thought it was timely to set out what this means for your animals and the services we can provide.
Firstly, a big thank you to everyone who has worked with us during this period of massive changes. The result is that we are able to provide care to those animals that need it most without risking our team or our clients. Thank you for your understanding and support.
At Level 4, we were required to do only work essential for animal health. This meant things like routine desexing, vaccinations and similar treatments had to be put off.
Under Level 3, all work is permissible, however, this doesn’t mean “business as usual” to coin a phrase. The safety of our staff and our clients is still an absolute priority. To this end, whilst we do not need to screen work as being essential or otherwise, will still need to manage work so that social distancing and contact tracing can occur. To this end the clinic will still be operating with its doors closed.
So what does this mean in practical terms;
1. You will need to phone before you come in. We will not see any walk-in appointments during this time. We still ask you ring for supplies so that these can be packaged and waiting for you when you arrive. We are pleased to confirm that we can now supply any of your animal health needs and that we can now do routine consultations and surgery.
2. We shall still be looking for cases that could be managed using phone consultations to save a visit to the clinic. So when you phone to book an appointment, you may be asked to speak to a vet first to see if this is the right option for you. Phone consults resulting in medical advice or treatments will have a $40 charge.
3. When you arrive at the clinic, please call our usual number and announce your arrival. You may be asked to wait in the car until we are ready for you, to reduce your contact with others whilst you are in the car park. Please bring the least number of people necessary.
4. Our friendly staff will take your pet in for their consultation without you. We cannot observe social distancing properly within the consult rooms. Don’t worry, our team will treat them as our own and give only the best care. We will also ensure that we communicate any treatment plans and get your OK before these are carried out.
5. We ask that you be prepared to make contactless payments at the time of your visit. If this is not possible, please advise the staff at booking and we can make alternative arrangements with you.
6. If you do need to enter the clinic for any reason we ask that you; sanitise your hands on the way in and way out, wear a face mask, touch as little as possible, stay only as long as necessary and respect social distancing with our staff and any other clients.
7. Help us keep our team working by informing us if anyone in the household has been unwell. Your animal will still get the care it deserves, but we will find safe ways for our staff to do this.
8. Unfortunately, house calls for any reason are still not available.
Our large animal team is on board, so equine work and production animal work can be booked by calling the clinic. Please be prepared for small delays, as it is likely we cannot attend to “things on the day” unless they are genuine emergencies. You can help us here by planning ahead and booking ahead. You can also phone in any retail orders you may have or ask to speak to a large animal vet for animal or product advice at any time.
We would continue to ask for your understanding at this time, as obviously these ‘safe’ systems will slow us down. In addition, our team is still split into two to allow for social distancing within the clinic. This may mean that you don’t get an appointment as soon as you would desire, or you can’t have the person you normally see on the day you want to come in. We ask that you understand we are doing our best under the current environment. Your animals well-being remains our priority, but we also have to respect the need to keep everyone safe. We also ask, that maybe for the next few weeks, if something isn’t urgent, you delay a little longer to allow us to get the urgent work done. You could still ring and book that work in for that time, please just don’t be in a hurry to get it done yesterday if it doesn’t need to be.
To assist with meeting your needs, we have opened the clinic up to a full seven-day service. This means surgery will be performed on Saturdays and Sundays to help us catch up with previous cancellations. Our hours will remain at 8.30am till 4.30pm for all seven days. We still have our usual after-hours service available outside of those times.
My last comment is regarding your pets at this time. Whilst many are obviously loving having people at home, some may also be picking up on your anxiety about the world at the moment, or are anxious because your routine (and hence their routine) has changed. For any pet, it is important to try to keep their routines the same as much as possible – extra pats and walks aside, try to keep everything else the same, for example, who walks the dog, where you go, when you go, feeding times, diets etc. This will help them be less anxious under the circumstances. Please feel free to give us a call if you need any further advice on this.
Thanks again for working with us both in the past four weeks and in the future. It is very difficult being separated, especially not being able to do things like hug our clients at difficult moments, and not feeling the fur when we pat your pets because we have gloves on. We will keep you in contact with changes to our services as they occur. Looking forward to a time when these things can be back to normal.
Sharon & the team at VetsOne