COVID-19 Update

Update 08-01-2021

Dear All,

Firstly, thank you for your continuing patience in these trying times.
Guidelines for this lockdown are slightly different to the initial March lockdown but again the government is insisting on as few journeys as possible, and minimal personal contact.

We respect and will follow this advice and if you feel that your animal can be treated remotely with a telephone consultation and distanced prescribing, we are happy to offer that service, with or without video and email back up. The charge for this service is £25.

One of the lessons we learned in the first lockdown, however, is that there is no substitute for a clinical examination.

To this end we are endeavoring to allow clients to come into the buildings and speak to the vet face to face, albeit behind Perspex screens. We feel safe doing this and feel our infection control procedures allow this to continue, so, if you are in any way concerned, we are happy to see you.

Strict protocols must be observed. These will vary between the clinics and are detailed below but consist of reducing the number of persons within the building at any one time and strict distancing between the vet and clients. At present, shared air space may mean that you cannot stay with your pet when the examination takes place. This will vary between practices and consultation rooms. We are working to improve this but please bear with us.

Sadly, no house visits can be made. We realize that this is far from ideal but there will be no exceptions unless animal welfare is endangered

MAIN PRINCIPLES

Only ONE person per animal. If you have children or other persons with you, we will arrange a handover within the car park.

MASKS must be worn. We appreciate that some people are exempt from this requirement and sympathize but there can be no exceptions. Again, we will arrange a handover outside

Do NOT come to the practice if you are unwell, have tested positive, or are isolating.

Anyone with any cold or flu like symptoms or with a cough, even if this is of a chronic nature should not enter.

Please sterilize your hands, both on entering and leaving the building.

Please listen to and carry out any instructions when asked. This is to ensure your safety and that of the practice team.

SERVICES
We will continue to run a full service, offering vaccinations and routine procedures as well as emergencies.

  • We will continue to run a full out of hours service.
  • We will continue to offer appointments at all four sites, but times will vary according to staff availability.
  • No house visits will be carried out

Repeat Medication
Each case will continue to be reviewed on an individual basis, but it is likely that the requirement for regular check-ups, may be extended for stable patients.

Please ensure that 48 hours’ notice is given for repeat medication and routine flea and worming products so that they can be processed and are available for immediate handover.

Local Site Instructions

Cullompton
Opening hours:
Monday – Wednesday : 0800 – 2100*
Thursday : 0800 – 1800
Friday : 0800 – 1700
Saturday : 0900 – 1300

*NB: From 1800 – 2100 The surgery doors will be locked, please arrive for your appointment promptly and the vet or nurse will let you in.

At all other times, our emergency service will continue to operate. Please note that some consultation slots are reserved for emergencies

Please come into the practice as normal, by the main entrance up the ramp, ensuring that there is a 2-metre space between you and any other person.

Remember one person only. Please ring us from the car park if this is not possible.

Sterilize your hands before and after using the doors.

If there are more than 3 people in the waiting room, you may be asked to wait outside or in your car. Please do not stand on the ramp.

Take the seat shown to you and wait for your appointment, you will be then asked to come into the consulting room where you will find a Perspex barrier between you and the vet. Please do not attempt to crawl under this barrier or attempt to touch your pet once it is on the other side.

You may be asked to return to the waiting room whilst an examination of your pet is carried out.

After your consultation, please make your way back to reception to pick up your medication ensuring that distancing is still observed. After payment, please leave the waiting room by the exit door in the large glass wall.

Tiverton
Opening hours:
Monday to Thursday : 0800 – 1800
Friday : 0800 – 1700
Saturday : 0900 – 1300

At all other times, our emergency service will continue to operate. Please note that some consultation slots are reserved for emergencies.

On arrival at our Tiverton practice car park, regardless of the reason you are here (appointment, medication collection, enquiry), please telephone us on 01884 258585.

If you are here to collect medication, we will bring this outside to our collecting point.

If you are here for an appointment, we will tell you whether there is room for you to enter our practice.
If there are 3 people already in the waiting room, you may be asked to wait outside in your car. Please do not wait on the path as it is too narrow to allow socially distanced passing. If you can see another client standing at the reception desk, please wait for them to leave before entering.

Please use the sanitizer in our lobby before entering the building.

Take the seat shown to you by our receptionist and wait for your appointment.
When you are called into the consulting room please use the sanitizer before entering.

Inside the consulting room you will find a Perspex barrier between you and the vet. This gives you a safe viewing area that allows you to be in the same room as the vet and your pet. Please do not attempt to bend down under the barrier or handle your pet.

Please note you may be asked to return to the waiting room during the examination of your pet.

After the consultation, the vet will ask you to return to reception to collect and medications that have been prescribed and to make payment.

Please sanitise before you go through the door to leave.

We thank you for your patience.

Honiton
Opening hours:
Monday to Friday : 0800 – 1700
Saturday : 0800 – 1300

Arriving for Appointments
If possible, please park facing the building and let us know you are here (wave, phone or come to the door!) and wait in the car. Please do not wait on the ramp.

We will invite you in when the waiting room is free, or we will come out and collect your pet for examination.

Please maintain 2m distance between yourself and any other clients.

Inside the consulting room you will find a Perspex barrier between you and the vet. This gives you a safe viewing area that allows you to be in the same room as the vet and your pet. Please do not attempt to bend down under the barrier or handle your pet.

Please note you may be asked to return to the waiting room during the examination of your pet.

If bringing your pet for an operation, please bring a pen to sign your consent form

Ordering repeat medications
When ordering repeat medications, we will ring to ask for payment, before collection

When arriving for collection please let us know you are here (wave, phone or come to the door!) and we will put your medication in the box outside the main entrance to save you coming in.

Payments
We prefer to take payment by card contactless up to £45. no cash please if possible.

We can take payments in or outside the building.

All receipts will be sent by email.


Update 02-12-2020:

Dear Clients,

Firstly let me thank you for your patience and good will. Throughout the last 6 months, many reports have come through the veterinary press about abuse of the members of staff at other practices. Perhaps it is the laid back Westcountry air, but I am pleased to report that we have been very lucky and that our clients appreciate the work and effort going on to enable the safety of our staff and the continuing care of our patients. Thank you.

Following the announcement this weekend, all practices will continue to be open and fully staffed, and we will continue to honour all appointments that have been made.

As many of you will be aware, we have put systems in place at our practices to allow safe consultations to take place, face to face, inside our buildings. Every consult room has a Perspex cubicle to allow this to happen. We have reassessed the risk with the advent of the new lockdown, and we are content to continue this. It may still however mean that you may have to wait in your car until the waiting room has sufficient space to allow you to come in.

Please do not enter the practice if you have any symptoms or have been in close contact with anyone who might have the virus. We will ask you to wear a mask and hand sanitize on entry and before leaving. We appreciate that not everyone can wear a mask and we will therefore see you and your pet in the car park. We will also offer this service to anyone that does not wish to come into the practice for any other reason.

We will continue to see all cases where you the client are concerned. One person’s emergency may be different to that of someone else, and we will continue to offer a service which will keep you and your pet happy. Please be assured that we are here for you. If you wish to discuss a particular issue then ring your usual number.

There is no shortage of essential medicines. Please continue to order both routine flea and worm treatments, and repeat prescriptions as usual. We would encourage you to ask for these to be posted, which will continue to be free of charge for those clients on our Premier Paws Club. Please ask for details if you wish to know more. We will continue to offer essential annual and puppy vaccinations, and will continue to neuter all cats. Dogs will be assessed on an individual basis and neutered if essential or in case of emergencies.

Thank you again, stay safe and well.


Update 23-06-2020:

Cullompton, Tiverton and Honiton practices are now open and offering vaccinations and boosters and we are seeing all urgent, important and emergency cases.

Please contact your local practice to arrange an appointment and to obtain advice.

Social distancing measures are being observed at all sites and we ask that you please adhere to these to safe guard yourself and our team.

We would like to thank you for your patience throughout the lockdown and realize that this may have been challenging at times.

Medicines may be collected from all sites by prior arrangement or can be posted to you. We ask that you give us 48 hours notice for all repeat medications.

Cullompton: 01884 35558
Tiverton: 01884 258585
Honiton: 01404 44095

Thank you and stay safe and well.


Update 21-04-2020: The Vale will be running a vaccination clinic from its Honiton practice every Thursday morning from 23rd April.

This is for primary puppy vaccinations and first boosters only. You must have an appointment to use this service, please call as usual to book. 01404 44095.

Please note that precautions will be being taken onsite. We ask that you remain outside of the building. There will be a place for you to leave your pet on the ramp outside of the practice, if when you arrive, you see that the ramp is occupied please wait with your car and until it is clear to approach.

Please respect our physical distancing protocols they are there for the safety of both you and our staff.

Thank you for your continued support, from all at The Vale


Update 08-04-2020: Some useful information regarding pets and the coronavirus from the British Veterinary Association


Update 25-03-2020: In light of recent government announcements The Vale will be taking the following steps with immediate effect:

At the heart of all our decisions is the fine line of ensuring we are here for your pets when they need us and at the same time, by minimizing of the risk of spread of Covid 19, the protection of our staff and our clients alike. Please rest assured that we will never compromise the care of your pet and if you need us we are available to you 24/7. We are open for all essential, urgent and emergency cases, but will no longer be seeing non-urgent or non-essential cases provisionally for the next 3 weeks, this may be subject to further changes.

This means that we will be cancelling all boosters and routine operations until restrictions on movement have been lifted. Under RCVS guidelines issued on 25/03/20 we will only be seeing sick and unwell animals, this unfortunately means cancelling all vaccinations.

We are currently available for telephone consultations and by the end of the week we will be able to take more routine consultations via a video service. If you are at all concerned about your pet and need to contact us please do so as usual and we will be able to advise accordingly.

We have had to make the decision to centralize our services so that all urgent and essential cases will be seen at out Cullompton practice. Clients who are registered at Tiverton or Honiton will still ring their usual telephone number and receptionists will handle your call as appropriate. This does mean that clients from Tiverton or Honiton will have to go to the Cullompton site. If you are unsure of the location of the practice, the directions are on the website or alternatively, the receptionist will be more than happy to help you. Whilst we understand that this may not be as convenient for some clients as we would like, it does mean we can run several separate teams meaning if one of our teams becomes unwell, we can still provide a comprehensive service . For all urgent and emergency cases please call 01884 35558.

We are able to post your flea and worm treatment and other repeat medicines, and will continue to offer this service for free to those Premier Paws Club clients and at cost for those that are not members. Please contact us as normal and follow the instruction to organize this.

If you wish to order medication for your pet, please call our Tiverton branch on 01884 258585 or email your request including your name and the pets name to meds@valevetgroup.com Please bear in mind that medications will take longer than usual to be dispensed so make sure you give at least 72 hours’ notice, if not more. To prevent us going out of stock of medications a maximum of 1 months’ worth of medication will be dispensed. In the case of human medications we will only be able to dispense 2 weeks’ worth. We will not be offering collection of medications except where this has already been arranged.

When you arrive at the surgery, please do not enter the practice building, wait in your car and call to let us know you are here. A member of staff will collect your animal and examine it inside whilst you wait in the car. Children should ideally not be brought to the practice, however if you have no other option they must wait inside the car. Please respect social distancing whilst you are here and keep at least 2 meters away from other clients and our staff at all times.

If you or anyone in your household is showing signs of a continuous cough or high temperature (>37.8ºC), please notify a member of our staff during the initial phone call. If your animal needs to be seen, you will need to arrange someone to collect your pet and bring them to the practice on your behalf. Do not break quarantine to bring your pet to the practice.

These measures have been put in place due to regulations and guidance from the government and the RCVS in order to protect our patients, clients and staff at this challenging time.

Can we take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and understanding in these challenging times. Please rest assured that we continue to be here for you and your pet’s needs, please do contact us to discuss anything you need to.

From All at the Vale/practice team.


Update 19-03-2020

Our online booking system is currently closed due to restrictions in place regarding Covid-19, please call the surgery and speak to a member of our team. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.


Update 16-03-2020

Whilst the current situation poses some challenges The Vale is open for business as usual. We would, however, ask that clients notify us if they have travelled to an infected area in the UK or have travelled outside of the UK in the last 21 days. If you have come in to contact with anyone returning from the mentioned areas or displaying symptoms of Covid-19 please mention this to our staff.

If you are feeling unwell please notify staff at the time of booking your appointment or prior to arriving. We can then take the relevant precautions when seeing your pet. If you are showing symptoms of Covid-19 and are concerned about your pet please contact the practice so that we can make appropriate arrangements.

When attending our practices, we would ask that you use the hand sanitizers when you first arrive and when leaving the buildings

Thank you for your help in managing this situation.