COVID-19, What are we doing?

COVID-19, What are we doing?

COVID-19, What are we doing?

Posted - 05-03-2020

Date: 26 | 03 | 2020

Vale Referrals telemedicine service

After government advice and advice from the BVA and RCVS Vale Referrals are having to make the decision to see only urgent and emergency cases. We are still offering telemedicine consultations to discuss your pets condition and from here we can help make a plan and assess what can or should be done during this “lockdown” period. Our telemedicine calls can be done either over the phone or via a video link!

For our referring vets we offer this same service where we can aid you in managing patients if clients are unable to travel to us or are perhaps self isolating. We have put together a service for you on our website here Telemedicine

*Please note all telemedicine consultations are payable at the time of booking. For referring vets we can invoice your practice.

** Should our referral clinician wish to prescribe treatments these must be paid for prior to postage

Should you be attending the practice or requiring a video consultation the following rules apply:

  • Our external door will now be closed (not locked) and our internal door to reception will be locked.
  • We are no longer booking face to face consultations in the practice.
  • Vale Vets are now only accepting urgent and emergency phone calls and consultations
  • All consultations are to be done over the telephone or via a video consultation link.
  • Telephone and video consultations must be paid for at the time of booking.
  • Medications prescribed over the phone by your vet will be required to be paid for before they are collected or posted to you.
  • If the vet requires you to bring your pet to the practice as they feel your pet requires more veterinary intervention we ask that when you arrive for your appointment please stay in your car and call reception to say you have arrived in the car park (let us know the type and colour of your car).
  • Your Vet will then come out into the car park and collect your pet.
  • We advise only one person to travel to the practice with their pet. We do not want our vets to meet additional members of the public.
  • Please do not arrive at the practice unannounced - we are not able to dispense you flea and worm treatments without prior booking. 
  • If you are collecting medication put on glove (pack of gloves to be placed by door) and press buzzer Receptionist will then ask via buzzer what you have come in for ● You will be screened to see if you are healthy and can come in (only 1 person)
  • You must use hand sanitiser in porch
  • Receptionist will then unlock internal door to allow you to enter, the door will then be locked again
  • Our team will continue cleaning the buzzer hourly along with other touch points.

Telemedicine consultations - How do they work?

The process is very simple. Follow these 3 easy steps.

  • If you have been referred to us we will contact you and arrange a time and date suitable for your call
  • For Referring Vets call us or request online Request a call
  • The receptionist will take some information from you and explain how the consultation will work. They will then arrange your video consultation over the phone which involves taking payment
  • Your video consultation takes place at the arranged date and time . Our clinician will advise you of the next steps you need to take

Our goal is to work with our first opinion practices and your owners to ensure you all receive as much support from Vale Referrals as possible.

Please keep in touch and stay healthy.

**ALERT - Further changes to services **Please read**

Date: 22 | 03 | 2020

Our management team have been in discussion and the following rules now apply to minimise the number of people entering reception.

  • Our external door will now be closed (not locked) and our internal door to reception will be locked.
  • All of our clients are already being screened over the phone prior to making appointment - this will continue.
  • We ask you to please pay by card.
  • When you arrive for your appointment please stay in your car and call reception to say you have arrived in the car park (let us know the type and colour of your car).
  • Your Vet will then come out into car park and call you in.
  • We are still only allowing 1 person to enter building with your pet.
  • Please ensure you use hand sanitiser provided in the porch on entry. **For walk in clients - we ask where possible you call in advance and pre order food and medications. You can then pay over the phone and we can pass you your order quickly on your arrival. If you do arrive unannounced please be aware you will need to do the following.
  • Put on glove (pack of gloves to be placed by door) and press buzzer Receptionist will then ask via buzzer what you have come in for
  • You will be screened to see if you are healthy and can come in (only 1 person)
  • You must use hand sanitiser in porch
  • Receptionist will then unlock internal door to allow you to enter, the door will then be locked again
  • Our team will continue cleaning the buzzer hourly along with other touch points

These are unprecedented times and we thank you for your support. Your cooperation means our teams can provide care for your sick and injured pets for as long as possible.

To contact us call 01453 542092 - our phone lines are very busy currently.

COVID-19 Practice Update

Following on from our previous update we have reviewed the current COVID-19 situation and along with advice from governing bodies we are now progressing our policies.

Currently our opening hours remain unchanged.

The welfare of our staff is our first priority, to allow us to continue to care for your pets.

Making your visit as safe as possible

We ask clients who are showing symptoms (fever, dry cough and high temperature) to NOT come into our hospital. Where possible please ask a friend or relative who is symptom free to bring your pet instead.

When phoning to book your appointment you will be asked some “screening” questions to ensure, in the interest of public health, that you are not at risk. To aid with this process it will no longer be possible to book via our online booking system.

We understand that during this phase you may prefer to wait in your car. Please let reception know you are here and we will contact you when your vet is ready for you. Please allow additional time for your visit in case of small delays.

We ask that only one person comes to the practice with your pet. This is to limit numbers of people in the waiting room and reduce the number you come into contact with. We have made more space between seats in the waiting room to help you keep a healthy distance from one another.

We ask that clients continue to use hand sanitisers on entry to the practice and again at check in at our reception desk. We ask that where possible please pay by debit card to avoid exchange of money - this is a known vector of the virus so reducing your need to handle money is a good way of safeguarding yourself.

Home visits

At this moment in time we do still offer home visits but we ask you consider the urgency for this. There may come a point over the next days / weeks that this may be a service we can no longer provide should things change. We will keep you posted. If you are self isolating or do not pass the screening process we are unable to visit your home.

Client and pet events

As many of you know we hold various client events for you and your pets, such as Puppy Parties and Tortoise Parties and other informative client events. During this time, we are sadly having to put these gatherings on hold. Stay tuned for upcoming articles from our team offering advice on healthy tortoises to well socialised puppies!

Repeat prescriptions

We would advise owners to ensure you are adequately supplied with long term medications. Please allow 48hours notice when ordering these. Consider having enough medication for 1-3 months. If you would like your prescription posted by recorded delivery for the additional postage fee we are happy to do this and save you coming out.

Your pet and COVID-19

This article from Idexx explains how no cats or dogs have tested positive for COVID-19:
Read more here: Leading Veterinary Diagnostic Company Sees No COVID-19 Cases in Pets

Other useful links

What are we doing?

Covid-19 or Coronavirus, is a hot topic currently with public health at risk.

As more and more information is coming through from government bodies and virologists, we at Vale Vets and Vale Referrals are putting in some additional precautions to help make your visit to our practice as safe as possible.

Step 1: We have put signage through the practice asking that clients use hand sanitisers on their entry to the practice and again at check in at our reception desk. For staff, additional sanitisers have been placed more readily around the practice, including offices and meeting areas, along with additional supplies of tissues.

Step 2: We would ask that where possible, you try to attend your consultation solely. We appreciate that this is not always possible. If you or a member of your family have not been well and shown symptoms similar to those given out by NHS England in relation to coronavirus, we ask that you reschedule your appointment (if non urgent) or ask a friend to bring your pet if urgent care is required.

Step 3: For now, we will not be shaking hands with clients or visitors to our centre, such as sales representatives. This is to reduce risks of transmission. Please do not take offence to this and we hope before long we will be back to greeting everyone with open hands!

Step 4: Our staff have got wipeable keyboard covers arriving for ease of cleaning and we have stepped up our contact point cleaning at front of house to an hourly rota.

As a clinical environment we already have a high level of hygiene in practice, you may have seen our blog post HERE

Should the risk of COVID-19 escalate further we have plans in place to escalate precautions. We hope we will not get to this stage.

As an extended part of our Vale family, we hope you and your family stay healthy and understand the steps we have decided to take to help reduce risks.

What about our four legged members of the family?

Coronavirus: are pets at risk?

The frightening virus is spreading rapidly, but will it affect our pets?

Coronavirus continues to cause upset and unrest among the human population, but does it pose a risk to our pets too?

Can the virus affect pets/animals?

Not at the moment. There’s no evidence that pets can catch the disease, or that they can transmit COVID-19 between humans.

Will this always be the case?

At the moment, it’s difficult to be sure. The coronavirus outbreak has sent the UK and the rest of the world into uncharted territory and it’s unclear what the next steps will be.

It’s important to be on the lookout and to contact a medical professional if you feel unwell. Likewise, give us a call if your pet seems unwell.

If I’m poorly, should I worry about spreading illness to my pet?

COVID-19 is not yet known to affect pets, but similar viruses can be transmitted from humans to pets and vice versa.

To be on the safe side, stay as hygienic as possible. Wash your dog’s paws thoroughly after a walk and wash your hands regularly. At home, clean your pet’s sleeping/living area regularly and if you’re ill, keep physical contact to a minimum… and avoid letting your pet lick your face altogether.

Concerns about exposure to the virus…

If your pet is ill and you think exposure to coronavirus is the cause of their symptoms, give us a call before your visit. It’s important to make your veterinary team aware.

Symptoms of illness may include:

  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Reluctance to eat, drink or move
  • A change in personality
  • Lethargy or tiredness

Keep up with the news…

The COVID-19 virus has caused a great deal or unrest and uncertainty, but do your best not to panic. Keep an eye on the news, both for trusted advice and for what is happening in your area.

Meanwhile, stay as hygienic as possible and be sure to give your doctor a call if you’re feeling at risk. As ever, if you’re worried about your pet, don’t hesitate to;

Call us

01453 542092 or 01453 547934

Vale Referrals

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