As we near the end of COVID restrictions, it’;s time for another update on what’s happening at Magnolia House and how we plan to handle this next phase.
We’ve seen clients and patients return to the waiting room a couple of months ago in limited numbers, and so far that’s mostly working well. The next step, which is to have you back in the consult rooms with us, is a bit trickier. We have a duty of care to protect our team, some of whom will not be fully vaccinated for another several months. Track and Trace poses an additional problem – in a small practice like ours, we all work in close proximity, and if one of us becomes symptomatic we’ll all have to isolate and the practice will have to close for 10-14 days, which will have a huge negative impact on the pets under our care.
We have to continue to minimise risk as much as possible, so from 19th July the plan is as follows:
- – maximum of 4 people in the waiting room, socially distanced
- – you will still need to wear a mask inside the building (unless medically exempt)
- – hand disinfection upon entry
- – no clients in the consult rooms except for an euthanasia appointment
If you have any symptoms of COVID, even if you have been vaccinated or if you’ve tested negative, please help us protect our team – let us know ahead of time and please and do not enter the building.
Please be aware that routine appointments and non-urgent surgeries/procedures are currently booked out 2-3 weeks ahead, so allow for that time if you need to book a vaccine or a neutering appointment. If you have an urgent problem, please call us, as we may not have a chance to read emails or messages until late into the evening.
We have several new team members joining us in the next few months, including an amazing vet who will start with us in September (and Rachel will introduce herself soon!), which will help get us back to more normal scheduling. In the meantime, we are making more urgent appointments available for on the day booking to make sure we can fit everyone in, and we are once again reducing the number of new clients we can accept.
Thank you all for your understanding and for coping with all the changes over the last 16 months!
Dalya, Stan, and all the team
IMPORTANT UPDATE – LOCKDOWN JANUARY 2021
1. We are still open and able to continue working, and the clinic hours are unchanged.
2. All appointments and surgeries that are currently booked will be honoured, unless you would prefer to delay the appointment or convert it to a video consultation (if appropriate)
3. Vaccinations will continue to be carried out – given the number of dogs and cats who had to repeat a vaccine course despite best efforts last time, we would prefer to avoid both over-vaccinating and leaving them open to preventable infections
4. Post-op checks and some more routine patient reviews will be done remotely via video
5. Spays and castrates will be delayed, unless you have a male/female pair or a welfare reason
6. Nail clips will be done if there is a welfare concern
7. We cannot carry out home visits during a lockdown
8. We can deliver your pet’s repeat prescriptions and flea/worming medication if required, but may need to have a set day of the week for deliveries.
We had planned to allow clients back into the waiting room next week, but unfortunately that will have to be delayed until at least the end of the lockdown period.
Please wear a mask if possible when communicating with us in person, and keep a distance of 2m as per government guidelines.
For ease of communication during this time, we would encourage you to download PetsApp (available for iPhones and Android). It is free of charge to you as a pet owner, and works similarly to WhatsApp with some additional functions. It makes video calls very easy, also enables us to email you forms and documents, provide quick updates on your pets when they are hospitalised or having surgery, and you can even pay your invoices through it if you wish.
Our phones continue to be very busy, and we were not managing to keep up with the calls during the last lockdown. If you can order prescription medication via our website or via PetsApp, please do so. If you have a question that does not require an immediate answer, or are sending us a post-op update, please use PetsApp or email the clinic where possible to try and keep the phone lines open for emergencies and unwell pets.
If you have any concerns, especially if you are shielding and might have difficulties getting your unwell pets seen, please get in touch. We’ve learned a lot from the last lockdown and there will always be a way to make sure your pets are looked after!
Stan and Dalya
COVID UPDATE – 3rd November 2020
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) have now clarified the government lockdown advice as it pertains to veterinary practices. The BVA advises that practices must continue to work in COVID safe ways, and that veterinary professionals should exercise clinical judgement to assess and triage essential animal health and welfare needs in the context of the lockdown.
With that in mind, we need to balance the welfare of pets under our care with a responsibility to protect our community and the mandate to stay at home as much as possible.
We shall therefore implement the following measures from 5th November until 2nd December:
– we shall honour all appointments currently booked; however if you have an appointment booked and think your pet’s appointment can be deferred by a month than please contact us at the earliest opportunity and we’ll reschedule for December
– November vaccinations shall be deferred until December; October vaccinations can still be booked in and all pets due in October should have received their reminders by now
– puppy, kitten and rabbit primary vaccination courses will continue
– requests for neutering will be considered on a case by case basis; most neuters will be delayed
– nail clipping will be deferred until December, unless the nails are causing discomfort
– routine dentistry where pets appear to not be in discomfort will be deferred until December
– puppy social visits can continue, as we’ve already seen a negative impact on puppies who missed out on these during the first lockdown
We are still offering video, telephone and email consults where appropriate. Please note that we did find them substandard for most unwell patients during the first lockdown – there is no substitute for a physical exam!
In the event of practice closure for 14 days due to a COVID positive team member, we shall endeavour to keep the telephone lines open as much as possible, and shall arrange for any urgent cases to be seen by a neighbouring practice. We shall not be able to dispense any medication during such an event, so if your pets are on long-term medication (including parasite prevention) please make sure that you have at least 2 weeks of medication at home at all times.
Repeat prescriptions can now be ordered via the website, the order page is in the “Contacts” tab, which on some browsers may appear as a large white dot at the end of the menu on the front page.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do contact us.
Best wishes and stay safe,
Dalya and Stan
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