During the last 9 months one of the main points we as a practice have learnt is the importance of our pets and the crucial role our pets have played in supporting our mental health, providing vital companionship to you and your family. We fully understand the key role, we, as an independent veterinary practice have played and we are here to support you.
Due to recent government guidance Arun Veterinary Group owner Matt recently held a ‘live’ update on our Facebook page to reassure our clients that as essential businesses all 5 of our clinics will remain fully open during Lockdown 2.0.
Just like local medical practitioners and dentists we are open and safe to visit. Maintaining your pet’s overall health and wellbeing is important and we would encourage you all to keep your appointments.
Our governing bodies have advised the following:
• Practices must continue to work in Covid-19 safe ways. Arun Veterinary Group upholds good biosecurity practices with strict social distancing, outdoor consultations and robust protocols in place.
We have taken the following action:
• Our teams continue to work in small bubbles without meeting fellow colleagues unless part of their working bubble. Most staff have not seen colleagues outside of their bubble for 9 months either inside or outside of working hours. This include our dedicated night team who work independently from our day teams.
• To ensure we maintain our standard of service, no staff have been furloughed.
• Many members of the administrative team are working from home.
• Due to good planning, Arun Veterinary Group are in a position to be able to support neighbouring practices (for example practices experiencing staff shortages due to illness or self-isolation or practices with only one or two branches which may need to close due to Test and Trace) to ensure continuity of veterinary services within a geographical area.
• As well as emergencies and non-routine appointments, we are also available for all routine appointments and procedures such as puppy and kitten vaccination courses, boosters (if you have received a reminder) and all neutering procedures.
• We are completely equipped with PPE and committed to your health and well-being.
• Throughout these times, we have felt very grateful to be an independent and family owned practice which has enabled us to be able to make some rapid decisions and have the flexibility to adapt. We are extremely proud to be the largest, independent group within the county. Our size has enabled us to be able to confidently support each clinic in the event of a closure due to Test and Trace, minimising any disruption to you and ensuring the good continuity of care we are so passionate about.
• We are fully prepared and feel extremely secure with the processes we have in place.
Over the last 9 months we have developed excellent safe guarding and support which involves outside consulting. We hope the weather is kind to us over the coming weeks, however it is important the we limit entry into each clinic only for payments and collection of medications/foods. During this time, we have also been able to fully accommodate owners coming in to the practice to say goodbye as part of the euthanasia process and we understand that it is vital we get this important time right for you. As a practice we are prepared to be extremely flexible and this has worked very well for you and us. The reasons for these strict limitations are due to the Test and Trace system and the fact that the longer you as a client spend inside our buildings, the greater the potential risk that the clinic will be closed in the event of a positive test. This would of course affect our ability to provide the level of support needed at this time. Simple solutions such as making use of your cars – our vets are happy to perform much of their consultation via the telephone whilst examining your pet, however if the weather is fine, we will always endeavour to obtain a history whilst chatting to you outside before taking your pet inside for an examination and associated treatment.
What we expect from you in turn:
• Just as before we are still not in a position to offer home visits, however we would urge you to always give your local clinic a call and we can talk to you regarding further options.
• It is compulsory to wear a face covering whilst on our premises and whilst communicating with the team outside. We also have hand sanitiser available and would ask that you follow the guidelines on our A frames outside the clinics. We would like to remind you that failure to wear a mask or follow our practice guidelines will lead to a refusal of entry.
Many other practices have had to take the unprecedent decision to close their books and no longer take on new registrations. As you can imagine this is usually unheard of within the veterinary profession. Based on these circumstances, we have seen a large increase in new client registrations but we’re proud to say that we have maintained our high service standards in part due to successful recruitment of some additional highly skilled local vets and nurses, who we are delighted to welcome to the AVG family.
Lastly, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your overwhelming, continued support during these times. The positive messages and continued gratitude have been heart-warming and we are very grateful to you all.