We’re nearly through the first 3 weeks of “lockdown” and the restricted services we have had to implement especially to our equine and small animal clients. Our governing/advising bodies, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the British Veterinary Association issued statements on Thurs 9th April indicating a relaxing of a significant number of current restrictions, which could be applied from Tues 14th April, subject to various criteria being met. Social media will doubtless spread the word very quickly, though not always accurately, so we thought we should state our current position here at White Mill.
While we are desperate like everyone else to return as quickly as possible to normal times and service, we feel these intended relaxations are somewhat premature. We believe we should wait at least until the Government have reviewed the national lockdown guidelines, likely next Tuesday or Wednesday and then see how that impacts veterinary services. Only then should we start to slowly consider changes, which can easily wait at least another week in our opinion. UK Covid-19 cases have not peaked yet and the death rate is still rising.
All emergency cases and all sick and injured animals are still being seen by our dedicated staff across all the species. We don’t believe there is enough justification to resume many of the routine procedures suggested from next Tues except under truly exceptional circumstances. Veterinary practices work under different management systems, under different pressures and in a diverse number of locations so will interpret the latest guidelines differently - this will cause confusion with the public from the current situation where largely, we are all doing the same thing. There is a joint webinar on Sunday for vets from RCVS and BVA which may help clarify the situation but all still in advance of any Government advice next week. We have contacted some of our furloughed staff, and put them on standby status, in case we need them next week. This is in additional to our wonderful skeleton crew who have worked so hard over the last 3 weeks.
We hope we won’t need to call on the standby team just yet but will respond if circumstances dictate otherwise. Animal health and welfare problems will certainly stack up if the restrictions go on for too long or for many weeks but we don’t believe we’ve reached that point yet after just 3 weeks. The situation alters almost daily so we will update any changes to our policy as they happen. Thank you for your patience in these difficult times and we promise the health and welfare of our staff, clients and their animals is always at the forefront of any decisions we make
Please stay safe. Michael and Amit - Directors White Mill Vets.