Covid-19 Our Veterinary Practice – The second “new normal”
It seems likely that in the next two or maybe three weeks the COVID hazard level will come down to Level 3, and lockdown will be released a little bit more. So how is this going to affect how we see your pets without compromising the safety of staff, owners or pets? We don’t want to be responsible for any rise in the R value!
Moving forward with new procedures
For the last 8 weeks we have been restricting access to the building to protect staff from COVID. This has been easier as we have had only one vet working. We will start to have owners accessing the building again and allow two vets to consult at the same time. Appointments will be longer [15-20 minutes] as the hygiene measures do take a considerable time to implement before/after each appointment. So longer consulting hours are going the be the norm. The other benefit of this is that it should reduce the number of owners in the waiting room at any time. We think a maximum of three owners in the waiting room at any one time should allow adequate social distancing. This will only be possible with one owner per animal, so unfortunately no family outings to the vet for now.
Entering our waiting room
Entering the waiting room, the first thing you will notice is a hand sanitiser. We will require all owners to use the hand sanitiser. A thorough hand cleanse means that the practice is at reduced risk of having contaminated surfaces which can be hazardous to staff and owners alike.
Using consultation rooms does give us many benefits with equipment being to hand including computerised records, but also makes social distancing more difficult. To cope with this we will need all owners to wear face coverings while inside the practice to minimise risk. This is important not only for staff but also for other owners as nobody knows if they have an early asymptomatic COVID infection. Ideally you will bring your own covering – nice designs will be appreciated greatly! We will have surgical masks to purchase [about £1 each] if you don’t already have one.
Veterinary Courtyard Marquee
The marquee in the courtyard has been a feature for the last 8 weeks and we will be keeping it for the foreseeable future. Medication collection for repeat prescriptions via the reception window really reduces waiting room congestion which is going to be so important. We may well put a slightly more permanent version in place before the autumn to keep everyone dry!
Pet Vaccinations – Covid-19
Many of you have worried about pet vaccinations over the last two months and we should be able to re-start these in the next few weeks. We will start sending reminders to those that are most overdue so that double doses are not required. If any pet is more than 3 months overdue we are able to provide a free of charge second vaccine to ensure adequate immunity.
We will also be able to start more routine surgery such as neutering.
Finally, we hope you can see we have been thinking about the changes needed for some time. As long as the COVID infection comes under control we can move to the second “new normal” soon.