COVID-19 UPDATES

24th March - Update

Update 24th March 2020.
Following the Prime Minsters Public Address last night and updated guidelines from the RCVS and BEVA, we have the moral responsibility to our staff, public and local community to change the way in which we provide our veterinary service to protect human health, reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect NHS workers. At the same time, we need to maintain the provision of 24-hour emergency care.
This situation is changing rapidly, and you should be aware that further guidance from the government may alter this advice. Effective immediately (24thMarch 2020 ) we are postponing all routine work. Over the coming days,we will be contacting all clients booked in for routine work.

There is no change to our emergency service, both in and out of office hours. If your horse has sustained an injury or illness that constitutes an emergency on animal welfare grounds we will attend –please call the practice as normal.

  • All routine procedures, including pre-purchase examinations, routine dentistry, routine health checks, poor performance/mild lameness exams etc.. will be stopped immediately.
  • Non-emergency visitswill be categorised as to whether specific veterinary advice or treatment are necessary to prevent further complications. Those that would have routinely been given a visit will be offered a telemedicine consultation. This will be achieved where possible through the use of Video ConferencingorMedia Messaging, e.g. WhatsApp videomessaging.
  • There will be a reduced cost of £20 due to the inability for the vet to conduct a ‘physical’ exam. If the vet decides that a visit is necessary, the cost of the tele-consult will be deducted from the examination fee at the visit.
  • All medication checks for repeat prescriptions will be conducted by video call (WhatsApp)at a cost of £15. Please call the practice as normal if you require a medication check for repeat prescriptions. Medications can be posted to you or you can arrange a time to remotely collect medications from the practice.
  • Routine 6 monthly ‘flu’boosters for competition purposes will be STOPPED
  • ALL annual flu boosters will be halted for 1 month and will be reviewed at that time
  • ALL other vaccines such as Tetanus, Equine Herpes virus and Rotavirus vaccines will be discussed with the client on a case by case basis. Please call the clinic to be put through to a vet to discuss.

ESSENTIAL VISITS

During any essentialvisitswe will adhere to strict physical distancing rules, in addition to the following protocols:

  • When a visit has been confirmed we will only attend if we have been given assurances that any individual handling the patient has not had any of the clinical signs consistent withCOVID-19, has not been in contact with confirmed cases or has been in any form of isolation –as per government guidelines.
  • When attending any visit no spectators should be present –only the attending vet in conjunction with the owner or handler. There should be no more than TWO people present at any visit.
  • When present a minimum of 2 metres distance must be maintained at any time. If this is not possible we will use addition personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • We recommend all clients wash their hands as per the government guidelines before and after each visit.
  • If possible we would prefer to attend patients and have a discussion about any findings / treatment plans over the phone.
  • We request you do not touch any equipment (unless instructed to do so) and please be patient as we will be spending an increased amount of time disinfecting equipment between visits. Our advice will be updated following governing body guidelines as and when they are communicated to us. Please watch our facebook and Instagrampages to keep abreast of any updates we post.

Currently we are experiencing very high call volumes. We understand you are concerned for the welfare of your horse, pony or donkey. Please bearwith usand we will try to address all your concerns as quickly as possible. Thank youNewnham Court Equine

Emergency Care Records

𝐀𝐑𝐄 𝐘𝐎𝐔 𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐏𝐀𝐑𝐄𝐃? 🚨

Make sure all your horses’ needs are covered in case you have to self-isolate or are taken ill by using our Emergency Care Record Forms. Click here to download your copy.

Vaccine Information Update 25th March

CLARIFICATION OF NEWNHAM COURT EQUINE POLICY ON VACCINATIONS

We will NOT be doing annual INFLUENZA vaccinations for the next 3-4 weeks.

If this results in your horse going out of date:
a) there will be a vaccine amnesty later in the year to help those having to restart
b) the British Equine Veterinary Association is in urgent discussion with equine sports regulators to ask for an extension to the usual 365 day rule.

NO 6 MONTHLY influenza vaccinations as all competitions are cancelled

IF YOUR HORSE IS NOT COVERED FOR TETANUS, i.e. requires second tetanus in a course or a new horse that has never been vaccinated, then please contact the clinic to discuss on a case-by-case basis with our vets.

Due to the ‘lock-down’ measures, experts are of the view that a delay in annual booster will have NO impact on EQUINE WELFARE for the next 3 weeks.

Please do not worry about this. We will be reviewing the guidelines daily and will update you regularly as soon as guidelines change.

There has been much debate about this on equine forums, particularly in light of last year’s Influenza outbreak and the importance of vaccination. YES, vaccinations are incredibly important. This is not an ideal situation. This is not what we want to advise but must do so for safety.

Common sense must prevail. I am sure you can all understand that in a GLOBAL PANDEMIC, the priority, as medical professionals ourselves, is to put all our efforts into stopping the spread of this virus, protecting each other and most importantly supporting the incredible NHS workers. Potentially delaying your horse’s vaccine for 3-4 weeks to save lives is the correct thing to do morally and ethically.

BVA Guidelines

BVA Guidance for Veterinary Practices in assessing Emergency and Urgent care during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This afternoon, the British Veterinary Association released new guidance for vets in clinical practice on classifying cases as urgent, emergency or routine.

We, as veterinary practices, provide essential services for safe food production (farm vets) and to safeguard animal welfare (small animal and equine vets). Government advice is clear that people need to stay home except for very limited purposes, including travelling to and from work, but only where absolutely necessary. These restrictions are in place for 3 weeks from 23rd March. At the end of this time, the advice will be reviewed and we will update you on the position moving forward.

During this period vets can continue to work but must only provide urgent treatment and emergency care where animal welfare would be compromised by delaying for this 3 week period of time. These services must also be provided in a manner that avoids all unnecessary contact with clients, maintains a safe physical distance and ensures that animals are only seen face-to-face where absolutely necessary.

EMERGENCY: Immediate threat to life, significant impact on welfare if left untreated.

URGENT: Significant impact on welfare but currently stable, or moderate impact but significant risk of deterioration.

NON-URGENT: Minor impact on welfare and unlikely to deteriorate.

Below is a chart of case examples that fit these categories. We hope this will help all our clients understand the strict guidelines we are working to, for the sake of stopping the spread of COVID-19 and saving lives.

We are busy with tele-consultations which help us ascertain if your case is urgent and warrants a visit. All tele-consult charges are deducted from your visit costs. We are getting really positive feedback from these consultations so don’t hesitate to call and have a video chat.

90987359_2716952635205960_3441338908082700288_o

 

 

 

 

Client Update 14th April 2020

14th April 2020

Dear Valued Client,

UPDATED GUIDANCE FOR PROVISION OF VETERINARY CARE effective from 14th April 2020 (to be reviewed in line with government advice):

We would like to assure you that we are open and able to provide a veterinary service to all our clients. We have split our team into two groups, maintaining a skeleton staff at the clinic, with multiple administrative staff working remotely from home. All ambulatory vets are working from home, to minimise social contact and protect the health and safety of our staff and clients.
We, as Veterinary surgeons must follow current government advice (https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus) that states that everyone:

  • Should stay at homeOnly go outside for food, health reasons or work if cannot work at home
  • Stay a minimum of 2 metres from other people
  • Wash our hands when you get home • Should not meet others, even friends and family – you can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms

However, veterinary practices provide essential services to safeguard animal health and welfare, and it is vital that this work continues during the current lockdown. We need to carefully try to balance the following needs:

  • to maintain animal health and welfare
  • to work in ways that prevent the spread of COVID-19
  • to protect ourselves, our colleagues and our clients
  • to protect the NHS
  • to keep veterinary businesses working and viable
  • to be mindful of the prudent use of PPE and oxygen.

In order to comply with the most recent government requirements, the number of clients seen face-to-face should be kept to an absolute minimum. For non-urgent work, BEVA expects veterinary surgeons to assess the risk to animal and human health prior to performing any visits or procedures. A client information sheet explaining procedures will be emailed to every client prior to any visit taking place. We consider that some elective work is fundamental to the functioning of the equine industry and this is acceptable where it can be performed in line with government recommendations for outdoor businesses (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/socialdistancing-in-the-workplace-during-coronavirus-covid-19-sector-guidance#outdoorbusinesses).

 

What’s changed since the initial 3-week period guidance?

  • We will be working by risk assessing every case on an individual basis. There is a simple flow chart published by the RCVS, shown below, and risk assessment guidelines published by BEVA. This is to protect the safety of our vets and nurses on the front line and to protect your safety, minimise travel, protect the NHS and save lives. This will be followed to help determine whether or not it is appropriate to consider undertaking any non-urgent work.
  • Vaccinations are now considered acceptable in accordance with governing body rules. This is because the likely longer period of lockdown will potentially negatively impact animal welfare if vaccinations are lapsed for a prolonged period. However, each case must be individually risk assessed to ensure it is essential, and appropriate social distancing can be maintained. This will very much depend on the location and the temperament of the horse. Needle shy horses may not be vaccinated. Six monthly influenza boosters for competition purposes will not be performed. For those of you registered as a client before March 1st, 2020 and that had your horse’s vaccination cancelled between March 23rd and April 13th, we will help you with cost by undertaking a vaccine amnesty. The first restart will be paid for as normal, as you would have paid for your booster and the second vaccine in the course will be free. Zone visits are not currently feasible with time taken to disinfect between calls so an in-area visit fee will apply. We ask for your understanding and support in our endeavour to minimise risk to our staff and you. We feel it is prudent and appropriate to follow RCVS guidance and risk assess each case. Increasing non-essential travel and face-to-face contact at this time is not considered safe or appropriate, as it will not protect the NHS or save lives.
  • Mares in foal – reproductive work involving mares already in foal can be carried out in order to safeguard animal welfare.
  • Castration may be carried out due to the longer- term benefits, based on an individual case-by-case risk assessment. Such procedures may have to be performed at the clinic, where social distancing can be adhered to better.
  • All emergency work will result in a visit being booked immediately
  • All urgent/essential work will be assessed via video-consultation and a visit booked if necessary. The cost of the video-consultation will be deducted from the examination fee, if a visit results
  • Whilst we are now able to do more, BEVA do not consider that this is “business as usual” and we, the veterinary profession, must comply with the latest Government advice on Coronavirus at all times (https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus).Certain work such as pre-purchase examinations and poor performance examinations are not considered appropriate at present.

Once your needs have been risk assessed by a vet, COMPLIANCE WITH THE GUIDELINES BELOW WILL BE MANDATORY FOR THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF OUR FRONTLINE TEAM OF WORKERS AND FOR YOU, OUR CLIENT.
WHEN BOOKING YOUR VISIT

  • The reception team will ask you about your health and the health of anyone in your household, or that you have been in-contact with. Please be honest if you are sick or self-isolating.
  • The vet may call you separately to risk assess the need, and obtain a history over the phone to minimise actual contact time at the visit.
  • All visits will be paid for by card over the telephone, as card payments at the visit do not allow safely for social distancing.
  • We will call ahead to make sure you understand social distancing measures put in place and what to expect and you will be emailed a client factsheet.

AMBULATORY VISITS

  • We will expect there to be ONE person only present and to maintain a physical distance of at least 2m at all times from other people. This will also apply if multiple horses are being seen on one yard. Please allocate ONE person only.
  • Please bring your horse in and tie it up in the stable and then step away. If this is not possible, we will discuss and risk assess the plan with you prior to the visit.
  • Please ensure the access gate is open to avoid vets handling gates, and ensure no loose dogs running about the yard.
  • We may not be able to attend if appropriate social distancing is not feasible.
  • We will wear clean, protective clothing and gloves at all times, changing these regularly between calls.
  • It may be necessary to consider sedating animals needing treatment where appropriate, especially if the horse/pony is not amenable to interventions or if this helps maintain 2m physical distance from the handler
  • If you are self-isolating or confirmed to have Covid-19, we will expect someone to attend on your behalf, or we may consider taking a second member of practice staff to assist for safety.
  • Where possible, all contact with you, our client, will be by telephone only.
  • Where face to face interaction is required, this should only be with one person per visit
  • We will cleanse all door handles and surfaces in our car on leaving the yard
  • Failure of clients to adhere to these protocols to protect our staff and you will result in the visit being terminated and the vet leaving.
  • There will be no cash or card machine payments. All payments will be taken by phone prior to the visit.

CLIENTS ATTENDING THE CLINIC

  • We will minimise all visits to the clinic where possible
  • We can post medication out to you to avoid unnecessary travel
  • Clients collecting medication will be asked to wait in their cars and telephone reception on arrival.
  • Payments can be taken on the phone and a nurse can bring your drugs out to a collection point
  • No clients will be allowed in reception at any time

CLIENTS BRINGING HORSES TO THE CLINIC

  • You will be advised which stable to place your horse
  • Please remain in your vehicle and do not wander around the yard or enter the clinic building
  • Only ONE handler will be allowed
  • Separate transporters must remain in their vehicle
  • We will communicate with you which stable to place your horse
  • Please take away ALL rugs, headcollars, leadropes and travel boots
  • You will be asked to leave your horse and come back later to collect
  • All admissions and discharges will be done by phone
  • No clients will be allowed to attend the appointment in the clinic, but rest assured we will communicate with you about everything, and nothing will be done without your informed verbal consent