How our small animal team is working now August 2020
Please Be Kind
As September approaches, we really did not expect to still be working in a socially distanced way, but here we are and it is what it is. We are lucky we have private open space at Haverfordwest and Fishguard to continue to use our car parks to meet you when you arrive.
For best practice we are continuing to follow Welsh Government and BVA guidelines (British Veterinary Association). The BVA states:
“Throughout the Covid-19 crisis veterinary professionals have been able to work, in line with the UK government's advice to business. Initially, this work was limited to urgent and emergency services, and services to maintain the food supply chain. Practices then transitioned to providing services that are essential for animal health and welfare, or public health, including to relieve pain and suffering. As the UK begins to ease lockdown restrictions, veterinary practices will begin transitioning to providing as full a range of services as possible, whilst working safely. This does not mean a return to pre-Covid 'business as usual' ways of working. All veterinary services must be provided in a manner that supports social/physical distancing and good hygiene and biosecurity.”
As an employer we have an obligation to our employees, as well as to yourselves as clients, to keep everyone safe. Although we would love to welcome you all back in (and it would make our lives an awful lot easier in many ways), we simply cannot do this yet.
Although we are offering most services, we cannot do this in the way we used to. We cannot provide same or next-day appointments for non-urgent (non-life threatening or painful) conditions – we simply do not have the capacity within our buildings to do this whilst keeping our teams safe.
This is causing some distress at our reception, as a minority of callers are putting undue pressure on our front line team, appearing to disbelieve the reasons why a same-day appointment cannot be given. Frankly this is ridiculous, as our team have no reason to mislead or ‘make it up’ (yes, honestly, our reception team do hear this). They will do their best to fit your pet into the most suitable slot. They are trained and very experienced in assessing whether a patient is truly an urgent case or not. Please trust their judgement, and know that if there is any doubt they will speak to a vet about it before making a decision. That’s how we work – as a team. And when they say there are no available slots, that means there are no available slots, and they will offer you the next convenient time. We will always see the genuine emergency, as you would expect, but rudeness will not be tolerated at The Oak (and will not get you up the list any quicker……). So please treat our team with respect, and be kind.
Maintaining our emergency 24/7 service is paramount for our patients and to you. With Wales Test, Trace and Protect rules, we must take steps to ensure the teams providing our emergency service are not exposed to COVID (In England Vets have been exempted from this rule, but not in Wales), hence the need to continue to restrict entry to our premises.
On arrival - please remember to let our team know you have arrived in our car park. Our team are multi-talented, but have not yet mastered the art of seeing through walls, so a phone call or the use of our doorbell lets us know that you are waiting.
For vaccinations we are still on ‘catch-up’ from all those we were not permitted to do in the spring. Most cats and dogs have 15 months from their last vaccination to be able to have their booster, so we will continue to spread these out over the next few months, with our team risk assessing each case. This is to prioritise any urgent or emergency cases within our day-to-day appointment management. So don’t be concerned if you are offered an appointment for 2-4 weeks’ time for such requests.
Vet phone consultations – are still available, and do incur a charge. Our vets are professionals, who have trained, and continue to train, long and hard. Their advice does incur a fee. For urgent / same-day advice, you may be called back by any vet on that daily team. Our team of vets working that day will make phone calls in order of urgency. If you need to speak to a specific vet, we advise giving 48 hours’ notice to receive a call back.
We regret that we are unable to accept new clients for the foreseeable future. If you wish to be added to our waiting list, our reception team will be pleased to help.
And for those of you who have taken the time to read this all the way through, we thank you. The majority of our clients are fantastically understanding and patient, and can appreciate how hard our team have been working, usually with a chance for a smile and a quick hello in-between cases. We enjoy working with you, to obtain the optimum health outcomes for your pet.
Please be assured that we continue to be here for you and your pet at what we know has been a worrying and stressful time.
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We care for your pets and farm animals providing the best quality service possible. At The Oak Vets, we deal with emergencies, preventative healthcare, and everything in-between.