Update on Coronavirus

It has been a strange and worrying week.
Who would’ve thought even a fortnight ago that our ‘Cute Puppy’ posts would be sharing our page with lockdown warnings?
For the uncertain days ahead, we would like to assure you that the health and wellbeing of our patients, clients, staff, families and friends are at the forefront of our thinking. 
To that end, we will be taking the following measures in the days to come:
Our patients.
We have always tried to follow the ethos that ‘your pet is our priority’.
This will not change. We are still available all day, every day to assist you in caring for your pets. Our shared ‘Out of Hours’ rota with our friends in Flynn Vets and Cornerstone Vets will continue as usual for emergencies outside normal working hours.
We realise that pets are great healers in times of loneliness and anxiety, and we want to keep them healthy.
However, to protect our staff, clients and their families and friends we will be instituting the following measures from Monday onwards;
  1. We will limit physical appointments for urgencies and emergencies.
    We understand that different things constitute an urgency in individual circumstances.
    We have seen dogs this week for nail clips in the knowledge that they previously have had ingrown nails which have become infected and painful if left alone. We have seen pups that without a timely second vaccination, wouldn’t have had adequate protection for the outside world.
    Therefore we will not be putting a blanket ban on one type of procedure over another. However, we would ask that our clients exercise common sense when booking. If your dog’s booster expired yesterday, he’ll still be protected for the next couple of months, so he’s fine to wait a while for things to become more normal.
    We would also ask that you remain patient and calm if we ask you to reschedule a non-essential appointment for later. We’re trying our best to keep everyone healthy.
  2. From Monday, we will start to offer the facility for video consults. These will take the form of a 15 minute slot on FaceTime or messenger video with a vet or a nurse.
    We will offer the possibility of such a consult at the time of booking so we’ll need to check your details and agree on a time.
    Because this is a new service, we are offering it at a reduced price of £15 for first consults and £10 for ongoing consults. We would ask that this is paid at the time of booking, unless covered by your pet insurance. If medications are required, we will accept payment over the phone and either deliver them to you or have them available for collection.
    Of course, a ‘virtual’ examination will never provide the same level of information as a physical one, so in some cases we may advise you to bring your pet in to be seen.
    In such circumstances, the money you have already paid will be taken off the normal consult fee.
    Appointments can be booked for both clinics by phone or online as usual at https://www.combervets.com/appointment/
  3. We will also be contacting clients booked in for free wound checks etc and offering their consults remotely.
  4. For information on self isolation etc, please follow this link:
    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/
Our People.
Our staff are currently well and in good spirits. In line with government advice, we have advised certain staff members to self-isolate for their continued good health. We also value the health of our clients and friends so would ask the following of everyone:
  1. On booking a physical appointment, you will be asked if you are currently showing symptoms or are self-isolating. Please do not be offended. This is for your own good. If you have any health concerns, please share them with us in the strictest confidentiality. We will make the necessary arrangements to see your pet if needs be.
  2. If you require repeat prescriptions or preventative healthcare products (flea treatments etc) we would ask that you order these and pay for them in advance over the phone or online at https://www.combervets.com/prescriptions/
    That way, we can have them made up and ready to hand over to you with minimum waiting time. 
  3. We are also happy to post out or hand deliver medication or pet food. Postage will be charged at the royal mail rate and hand deliveries at a small fee to cover fuel and staff time. This fee will be waived for OAPs.
  4. We would ask that you limit visits to one family member per pet, so as to avoid congestion in the waiting room. You may be asked to wait outside for a time so please bear with us.
  5. We would ask that you sanitise your hands upon entering and exiting the clinic. We have alcohol based sanitisers available.
  6. Our people are trained in hygiene and disease control, and during this time we have increased our excellent hygiene standards within clinic. Please continue to graciously accept their recommendations.
Our Community
We love our towns and the people and businesses that keep them going.
We will continue to support our local businesses and ask that you do the same. We’ll be buying our supplies, medications, coffees, buns and sandwiches from our friends and neighbours and ask that you do the same.

We value our clients as friends and we are proud to be at the heart of the local community.

To that end, we would like to offer ourselves as a trusted source of help in difficult times.

We are currently thinking of ways to help, so if you, or someone you know needs something and you think we could help, let us know.

This applies to clients and non-clients, pet owners or not.

If we’re delivering your pet food or medications and you need a pint of milk, just say so and we’ll do our best.

If someone you know is self isolating and needs a prescription delivery, a bit of help with shopping  or just a friendly phone call, let us know.
We’re all in this together folks, let’s be kind, and maybe something better will come out at the other end.
James, Robert and all the team.