After a long time in lockdown, everyone is beginning to work out how their lives will necessarily have to change even as restrictions are gradually lifted. We have been grateful for the overwhelming acceptance of our new way of working due to the pandemic.
Please be reassured that the health and welfare of the animals entrusted to our care remains our absolute priority. Over these past few weeks we have been learning how to continue to provide the veterinary service on which you and your animals rely, whilst keeping our clients, Hay Vets staff, and the wider community safe.
Coronavirus Update – The Headlines
- We continue to operate social distancing, and only staff members will be permitted to enter practice premises for the time being
- Any client or staff member with COVID-19 symptoms must stay at home.
- We will manage clinical cases from COVID-isolating households to ensure they receive veterinary attention that they need as safely as possible
- We are beginning to offer an increased range of veterinary services and we appreciate your patience as we get to grips with the ‘new normal’
- Where possible, please email non-emergency enquiries to us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to ease pressure on our busy telephone lines.
For the immediate future we will not be opening practice premises to clients. We have found that by working in small vet + nurse teams, we have been able to examine and treat animals easily and effectively while their owners wait outside.
We understand that it can be disconcerting to hand over a much loved pet in the carpark, particularly to a vet or nurse wearing PPE, but it has been remarkable how relaxed and happy our unaccompanied patients have been.
You would be reassured to know that the treats and cuddles provided by our nurses during consultations keep your pets content. As an added bonus you get two experienced clinical brains for the price of one during the consultation.
By working in this new way, face-to-face contact between staff and clients is kept to an absolute minimum, and almost entirely at a distance greater than 2 metres.
With the roll-out of the UK and Welsh Governments’ ‘Track and Trace’ systems, we will continue to do all that we can to minimise the number of close contacts our teams have to make. This is because, in the event that members of staff are instructed to self-isolate, it could severely limit the scope of services that we would be able to provide.
Within the practice we continue to stick to social distancing wherever we can. Some clinical procedures require staff to work in close proximity (e.g. operating on tiny patients) and, when this is the case, PPE is employed to minimise the risk of transmission of infection.
We continue to work in small teams to minimise the contact we have with each other. As you would expect, we are also maintaining a rigorous cleaning and disinfection protocol in all areas of the building.
We have fewer staff than usual in the practice each day, so managing busy phone lines can be a challenge at times. For non-urgent messages or prescription requests, please contact us via email at email@example.com . These messages can be picked up by staff working remotely, which eases the pressure on clinical teams in the clinic.
Talgarth surgery is now open once or twice weekly for pre-booked appointments. For clients who find it difficult to organise transport to Hay we can usually arrange to dispense pre-ordered medication or food from Talgarth too.
We will continue to provide a telemedicine consultation service where it is clinically appropriate. This can be via Zoom or telephone. As time goes on there are chronic cases for which a hands-on clinical assessment can no longer be delayed. If you have a pet with a long-term condition, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will call you to discuss their needs and assess whether they should now see a vet.
We now have capacity to offer some routine surgical procedures. By using careful anaesthetic-sparing techniques and in-house oxygen concentrators, our use of resources that might be required for human health care has been minimised.
If you wish to book your pet in for neutering or other routine work, please get in touch and we will be able to help.
With planning, home-visits may be possible for pets. Sadly, these are often requested for end-of-life care. We ask that clients requesting a home visit give us as much notice as possible.
We will need to risk-assess the visit in advance (usually over the phone) to ensure the safety of staff and clients is maintained.
Essential farm and equine visits have continued throughout the pandemic. We have developed ways of working to ensure social distancing, including vet + assistant teams visiting to carry out work together, sedation of animals and the use of PPE.
We ask all clients expecting visits to inform us if anyone in their household develops COVID-19 symptoms, BEFORE the vet arrives. Please help us to keep everyone safe by remembering to respect social distancing rules. Where possible, leaving yard gates open, and providing a bucket of water for hand washing would also be appreciated by your visiting vet.
Routine vaccinations for dogs, cats and rabbits are being triaged, with rabbits, young animals and those overdue for boosters being seen most urgently. We have received reassurance from our vaccine manufacturer that boosters in adult animals (> 2yrs) can be done up to 15 months after their last dose.
If you receive one of our automated vaccine reminders it would be really helpful if you could email us in preference to phoning. We can then offer you a suitable appointment dependant on your pet’s individual circumstances.
We will now be able to offer routine vaccinations for horses in most cases too, although you will understand that short interval flu boosters to comply with competition rules continue to be low priority. Please email a photo of the vaccine page in your horse’s passport if you are in any doubt about what is required.
Although our shop is not currently open, we still have a wide range of food, toys, beds and pet accessories for sale.
Horse wormers, supplements and fly repellents are also available. If you need a particular item, this can be ordered with only a couple of days’ notice. We have a huge range of items to choose from and are really grateful to anyone who makes the choice to shop locally.