Dick Vet Equine Hospital Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for clients and referring vets
With the challenges facing us all over the next few months it is prudent that we provide an update to our referring practices and clients.
The guidance below is based on the information we have on 16 March 2020 and outlines our current plan for the provision of services. We will be reviewing this weekly, and will be available 24 hours a day to discuss all cases.
The Dick Vet Equine Hospital will always put animal welfare at the top of our agenda, and our doors remain open to treat urgent and emergency cases. However, we regret that there will be some disruption to the provision of routine services. Whilst we are mindful of country-wide limitations to medical supplies such as disinfectants, oxygen and some medicines, we have good reserve stock that will allow us, at a minimum, to provide emergency services for a number of months. We also have a provisional plan to divide staff into operational clinical service groups in order to minimise the potential impact of the virus.
If the University closes, our hospital will continue to operate on this basis.
- Our reception staff will be available by telephone as usual, but may work remotely. Please do not visit without phoning first.
- Reception will take referral letters, e mails, and phone calls as normal and forward to the relevant service. The senior clinician on the service will triage the case and in consultation with the client or vet decide on a suitable timescale for making an appointment.
- If delaying an appointment for two weeks does not negatively impact on the welfare of the patient, then we are likely to defer a booking. All outstanding referrals will be reviewed every two weeks.
- If a client is showing any symptoms such as fever or coughing, has been in contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive, has recently travelled to a high risk area, is immunocompromised, suffers from any long-term illness or meets any of the guidelines for self-isolation, we ask that this information is shared with us immediately to protect our staff, our clients and the provision of care to our patients.
- If a client meets any of the above criteria, the same booking process will apply but we would ask that the animal is brought to the clinic by someone else.
- We ask all clients to follow the recommended hand washing advice and to ensure they have washed their hands before interacting with hospital staff.
- The hospital is closed to all but critically ill horses, reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
- We are not currently aware of any evidence that horses can be infected or transmit COVID-19. However, we will continue to monitor this situation.
We hope that the above information is clear and helpful. These steps are necessary to provide for the needs of our clients and the welfare of our patients, while protecting our 24-hour emergency service. If you have any queries or concerns, please contact us.
Patrick J Pollock BVMS, PhD, CertES (Soft Tissue), DipECVS, FHEA, FRCVS
Director of the Equine Hospital and Practice