After the end of the most recent restrictions, we are operating as normal. We have removed most of our perspex screens (including the ones in the consultation rooms) and are inviting all clients back into the practice. We no longer require masks as standard, however, in order to protect our most vulnerable clients and staff, we are still politely requesting that you wear a mask if requested to do so (unless exempt). Should you require any of our staff to wear a mask when serving you please just ask. Many thanks for your continuing patience and support.
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
04th October 2020 (information also correct regarding Third Lockdown):
As you are no doubt aware, tomorrow sees the beginning of the second lockdown for England.
BUT WE ARE STILL OPEN TO LOOK AFTER YOUR PETS
As always, our priority is for the welfare of our pet patients and human clients and staff. We have now received guidance from our professional regulators and we are pleased to say that we will be staying open to ensure that pets continue to receive the care that they need. However, there will be some changes:
1.Only staff allowed in the practice building: Sadly, we can only allow staff into the practice, for the time being, and will need to ask you to hand your pets to us and then to wait outside (or in your car). Please also be aware that, due to the new cycle lane on the A1000, the on street parking outside of the front of the practice is no longer available. There is still plenty of parking in Kenver Avenue, Eton Avenue and Fallow Court Avenue (the adjacent side streets), but please leave a little more time if you are not familiar with these roads.
The vet or nurse will call you just before and during the examination of your pet, so please bring a mobile phone and ensure that we have your correct number before you leave your pet with us. A few minutes after the examination, we will ring you again to let you know that any medication is ready and to settle payment (over the phone). We would also ask that you pay by card over the phone, rather than cash, to reduce the amount of contact between the clients and staff.
2. Video Consultations: Our preference is always for us to be able to sort any pet health problems without asking you to come to the practice, to protect you and the wider community. We will, once again, be offering video or phone consultations in cases where we feel that we can sort problems out remotely. These are a paid for service (although included free of additional charge for ‘The Club’ members) If we cannot advise you without examining your pet once we have spoken to you, you will not pay an additional consultation fee for that examination. We may feel that it is better to see your pet in clinic without first talking with you remotely. We will advise you if this is the case.
3. Vaccinations: The timing of most vaccinations is vital to ensure your pet’s health. There are some vaccinations that are safe to be delayed by a few months and if this is the case, we will let you know and ask you to postpone these vaccinations until after this lockdown.
4. Collecting medication: Last lockdown we were able to deliver many medications and pet care products to you, our clients. However, due to staff illness, we do not have the staff to guarantee that we will be able to do the same this time round. We would ask that, where possible, you arrange to collect any medication from the practice in person. Where you are self isolating or are unable to visit us, please let us know and we will try our best to help.
There are also some internal processes that we are putting back into place to help protect you, our staff and the wider community, but I will not bore you with those at this time. If you have got this far down this email then thanks for taking such an interest in us and I look forward to welcoming you back into the practice when the situation eases.
Thank you so much for your continuing support.
Dr. Oli Robinson
Director and Veterinary Surgeon