We are open for business to see emergencies and to dispense and deliver medication. However, due to the current coronavirus pandemic, we are making some changes and taking addtional steps to ensure that we can continue to stay open for emergencies and delivery of medication for as long as it is safe to do so. Therefore, for the time being , we are closed on Saturdays and will not be seeing any non-emergency patients in the practice at any time. However, please book a video or telephone consultation and if, following this, we think your pet needs to be examined urgently, we will make arrangements to see them in the practice or deliver medications to you. Please see here for the information emails sent to our clients about this situation and do call if you have any queries.
April 24th 2020:
I hope that you and your loved ones are well.
I just wanted to get in touch to let you know about a change in our policy regarding seeing patients at the practice. It is all explained below in a message that we posted on facebook a few days ago. Please take a read and let us know if you have any questions. Incidentally, we often post smaller updates on facebook in order not to overload everyone’s inboxes. If you want to keep up to date with what is going on at the practice, please follow us at https://www.facebook.com/thefinchleyvet/.
Here is the post that we put up:
Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives - this is still our guiding principle and why we will be continuing to only see urgent and emergency cases in person and everything else by phone or video consult (and then deliver any medications to your door as necessary).
However, In light of the fact that lockdown is likely to continue for some time and in line with our regulator's advice, we are now extending the definition of urgent cases to include those pets who, without treatment, are likely to have significant welfare issues within the next 2 months. Previously, our benchmark was 3 weeks (as per our regulator's guidance).
Importantly, this means that
vaccination, neutering, dentistry and other treatments may now be appropriate
for SOME pets when it was not previously. Examples of this would be vaccinating some new puppies who are unvaccinated and neutering cats who are living with other un-neutered cats of the opposite gender However, as you have come to expect from us, we will treat each and every pet and owner as individuals. All cases will need to be assessed by phone or video consult first before deciding whether face to face contact is appropriate and if we agree that your pet does need to be seen, we will minimise your contact with the staff as much as possible, in line with Public Health England's advice.
For those pets who were not able to be seen over the last 3 weeks due to the previous regulations, we will get in touch if we think that the new regulations may mean that they should now be booked in. However, no need to wait for us to call you. If you think that your pet should now be seen, please call us on 0203 6034441 or email email@example.com.
Warm Regards and please stay safe,
Dr. Oli Robinson
Veterinary Surgeon and Proud Owner of the The Finchley Vet
March 27th 2020:
As you are aware, since my email a few days ago a lot has changed and with lockdown comes additional challenges for our mission to ensure that all our pet patients remain cared for during these most difficult times.
We agree fully with our industry regulators (the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) who have stated that only emergency cases should be seen in veterinary practices for the time being.
But we want you to know – We are still here for you and your pets
Most important for us is that we are able to stay open to continue to provide that emergency care, but also to continue to provide care to non-emergency cases (remotely), so that all pets can be looked after as best as possible.
Here are some of the measures and services that we are putting in place to help our pets and their owners at this time:
Telephone/Video Consultations: Although nothing is as good as an in-person examination, in order to prevent pets from being ill and suffering unnecessarily, we are making telephone and video consultations available with our vets and nurses. – please call us to arrange this.
Delivery of medications and other pet provisions (e.g. food, treats etc.): We can deliver to your doorstep for all households within a 7-10 min drive of the practice. We deliver medications, but also can deliver, pet food, pet treats, poo bags and other pet supplies. This delivery service is free for pets who are members of the club and £3 for others (just to help cover our petrol). – please call to discuss your requirements.
Saturday service: The practice is usually open on Saturday mornings (9am-1pm), but for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic the practice will be closed during this time. This is so that we can try to ensure that we have the staff available to continue to provide emergency care in case staff have to go on sick leave. Emergency services (and phone advice) will still be available and will be provided by our regular out of hours emergency service (Vet 24 in Belsize Park)
Emergency services still open: We are still seeing emergency cases. There will always be a phone / video consultation first, but should we need to see a patient in an emergency, we still have a vet available to see them. Please, please call first and do not turn up without an appointment. For the protection of you and our staff (and the wider community), we are taking barrier precautions when pets have to visit us and we need to explain them before you come in. These include clients not coming into the practice (but handing pets over outside) and strict barrier care of pets from households with exposure to the covid-19 virus among other precautions.
Of course, these measures are temporary. We look forward to resuming normal service and welcoming you all back into the practice once it is safe to do so again. But in the meantime, thank you so much for your understanding and support.
All the best to you and your family, please stay healthy and safe.
Dr. Oli Robinson MRCVS and the Finchley Vet Team.
17th March 2020:
Currently, we don’t think pets can get infected or act as carriers of the covid-19 coronavirus, but we wanted to let you know what steps we are taking to reduce the risk to our clients, staff and community.
We are still open for business as usual to help care for the pets of North London, but as from this week we will be introducing the following measures to help to reduce the potential of transmission of the covid-19 coronavirus between our clients and staff. Currently, these are voluntary measures, but please cooperate with the staff as much as possible at this challenging time, we know these measures are a pain in the bottom, but they are being put in place to help to protect everyone :
Pets should be accompanied by one person only (unless absolutely impossible – e.g. in the case of dependent children not being left at home).
Clients with a new persistent cough, high temperature, other upper respiratory symptoms or who have been in contact with anyone suffering from any of the above or clients who have travelled back from abroad within the last 14 days should not enter the practice premises. – if you are unsure, call us on 0203 6034441.
Every person entering the practice should wash hands in the room behind the reception desk on entry or re-entry to the practice.
Chairs in the waiting room will be spread out so that people sit as far apart as possible.
Please pay by card (not cash) to avoid the possible transfer of viral particles on bank notes.
Please book in any of your pets who are due vaccinations or neutering within the next 6 weeks for an appointment now. These are important for your pets' health and we need to get them done ASAP, before travel and social interaction need to be reduced even further.
We are also introducing two new services for people who wish to minimise their time in the vet practice or who are self isolating and therefore cannot bring their pet to the vet:
Video/Telephone Appointments: You will have a booked time slot when the vet will call you and may be offered a video consultation if they are available. It MIGHT still be necessary to examine your pet, but if so, we will do that in a way which reduces your exposure to others. Any medication may be able to be posted or dropped to your door if we have capacity to do so. Currently, you will pay no more for this service, than had you have brought in your pet to the practice – so for pets who are members of The Club (pet health plan) this will be free of charge – please call us for details.
Drop and Hop appointments (NOT FOR PEOPLE SELF ISOLATING): When you call the practice, you will be emailed a consent form to either print and sign, or to read and sign when you come to the practice. Your pet will be booked a bed in the practice and you can then bring your pet in and leave after signing the consent form. The vet will then call you to discuss your pet’s problem and examine your pet as they would do if you attended a consultation with them. If wanted, you can then pay over the phone and pop in to collect your pet and any medication, without waiting for more time than necessary. Currently, you will pay no more for this service than had you have brought in your pet for a classic face-to-face consultation. So this will be free of charge for members of The Club.
These two services are most appropriate for non-emergency problems, but please call us for more information.
We have also implemented general measures to reduce the impact on our clients and staff:
Regular disinfection of commonly touched areas
No physical contact between people
Tissues, hand washing stations and bins
Higher risk staff are not working in the practice at this time.
The health and welfare of our pet patients, clients, staff and local community are our absolute priorities and always will be. That is why we hope that you will help us to implement the measures that we are planning to take. As per the government’s recommendations, we are still open and providing a full service, but this will be kept under review and will change if the government’s guidelines change.
Please be in touch to discuss any of this by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (0203 6034441)
Dr. Oli Robinson MRCVS
Director and Proud Owner – The Finchley Vet