Corona Virus Notice – LATEST DEVELOPMENTS
Following the government announcements this week and the extension of current ‘lock-down’ restrictions, we have had up-dated guidance from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the British Veterinary Association, on the type of work and service we can responsibly conduct. The guidance is clear that only ‘essential’ work can be performed and we must continue to enforce rigorous social distancing. We need to continue to support “Stay at home, Protect the NHS, Save lives”.
“Veterinary professionals can continue to work, but must only provide in-person services that are essential for animal health and welfare or public health. These services must be provided in a manner that supports social distancing, including avoiding all unnecessary in-person contact with clients, maintaining a safe physical distance, and ensuring animals are only seen face-to-face where absolutely necessary.”
So, as over the last three weeks, we will continue to provide emergency and urgent care for our patients. As often as possible we are doing this through remote telephone / video consultations. We are continuing to offer full medicines prescribing and dispensing services – however in-line with government guidance we are posting / delivering medicines wherever possible; if this is not possible we have an outside medicines collection process at the Hospital.
As the restrictions extend we need to address other priority clinical work that cannot safely be postponed for an extended period – please see our advice below on vaccination and surgical and medical procedures (including neutering).
Our over-riding priority is to keep our team safe so that we can continue offering care and services for our patients and clients over the weeks ahead – we want to be there for you when you need us.
Thank you to all our clients who have been amazingly supportive and co-operative through these difficult weeks, helping us to continue to work under testing conditions.
OUR TEAM & OPENING HOURS
As you can imagine with members of our team isolating and away from work – some for extended periods – our team is reduced in size, yet we still need to provide 24/7 services to our patients and clients. This is challenging and our team is stretched. To help deploy our team as effectively as possible, and to maintain the highest standard of care, we will keep in place some of the changes we have made to our sites and opening hours.
Nether Stowey surgery – closed until further notice
Our Nether Stowey branch surgery will continue to be closed until further noticed so that we can concentrate our resources and services at the Bridgwater Hospital.
Bridgwater – temporarily restricted opening times
Under the current conditions our opening hours at the Bridgwater Hospital are as follows:
Mon – Fri: 7:30 am – 5 pm. Emergency Service only after 5pm.
Sat – Sun: Emergency Service only. Our normal opening hours at weekends have been suspended and we are operating an emergency service only all weekend.
We have delayed all vaccination of our patients during the initial ‘lockdown’ period. However there are higher risk groups of pets for whom vaccination now needs to be planned – and we will start prioritised vaccination from Tuesday 14th April. If your pet falls into any of the following categories please contact the Practice to discuss vaccination planning:
- Dogs: Puppy 1st and 2nd primary vaccinations, and first annual booster vaccination. The full advice and care package will be provided remotely via telephone consultation.
- Cats (that cannot be kept indoors): Kitten 1st and 2nd primary vaccinations (from 12 weeks of age), and first annual booster vaccination. The full advice and care package will be provided remotely via telephone consultation.
- Rabbits: outdoor rabbits or those that live in groups or 2 or more.
If you pet does not fall into any of the above categories and vaccinations are due, or if you have any vaccine related questions or concerns, please talk to a member of our staff who will advise you when we will start planning for their vaccination.
SURGICAL & MEDICAL PROCEDURES
We use oxygen, anaesthetic drugs and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) when performing surgical and medical procedures. These resources are in huge demand by the NHS and are in short supply – we want to ensure the NHS has the resources they need to treat us and so only essential surgical and medical procedures will be performed at the Hospital during April and May.
Neutering is not an emergency or urgent procedure and so all neutering is suspended unless it is essential for animal health and welfare. There are certain situations where neutering will be a priority – these are:
- mixed sex pairs or groups of unneutered cats that cannot be kept separated.
- unneutered cats that cannot be kept indoors.
- mixed sex pairs or groups of unneutered rabbits that cannot be kept separated.
- mixed sex pairs or groups of unneutered ferrets that cannot be kept separated or with reproductive health concerns.
If your pet does not fall into any of the above categories and you have any neutering related questions or concerns, please talk to a member of our staff who will advise you when we will start planning for their neutering.
If you have any questions regarding any of the above, please do call us on 01278 450 080 to discuss.