Coronavirus Information For Referral Clients

Information for referral clients

During this difficult time our aim is to continue to support all our referral clients and their pets and to ensure that you get the help and advice that you need. However at this time we have to follow RCVS guidelines on what procedures we should and should not be offering. In line with this we have made the difficult decision to postpone any appointments or procedures that are not critical in the short term to your pets welfare. From now on we will be triaging each case based upon individual circumstances and if it is decided that it would be harmful to your pet to postpone the procedure then we can still go ahead using strict social distancing measures already in place. If a procedure is postponed then we have a waiting list open and as soon as we are able to offer a full service again any client that was postponed will be given priority for the earliest appointment available. We understand that this may be distressing for you and we apologise for any difficulties that it may cause, but we are reducing services in order to ensure staff and client safety and to reserve precious supplies of equipment such as oxygen and face masks for the NHS where they are desperately needed. We are happy to give advice and support via email or telephone and we will be contacting you on a regular basis to check on your pet’s progress.

If we feel that your pet’s treatment cannot be safely postponed then we have procedures in place complying with government advice to ensure client and staff safety whilst still providing a high level of care to our patients. Below is some useful information so that you know what to expect.

  • What do I do when I arrive at the clinic?

When you arrive at our clinic we would like you to stay in your car in the car park and call our reception team on 0117 967 7067 to inform them of your arrival. A member of staff will come out of the building and give you instructions in order for us to examine your pet. We will ask for patients which are in a secure, closed carrier to be placed 2m away from the car so that the staff member can collect them. All dogs must be on a secure lead and you will be asked to get out of the car with your pet and encourage your dog to go towards the staff member where they will apply a practice lead. Your pet will be taken into the clinic through a private entrance into the referral consulting room for the surgeon to examine them. The surgeon will then contact you by phone to discuss the findings of the clinical examination and the advised course of care. In some cases the surgeon may ask you to walk your dog on the lead outside the practice so that he can assess their level of lameness before taking your pet inside.

  • What will happen if my pet needs to stay for a procedure?

If your pet needs to stay with us we will ask you to sign a consent form which a member of staff will bring to your car. It’s advisable to bring your own pen so that you can avoid the use of a communal pen. Once the consent form is signed we will begin preparing your pet for the procedure. We will keep you updated by telephone regarding any investigation and we’ll contact you once any surgery has been performed. At this point we will advise you when you can collect your pet.

  • What happens when I come to collect my pet?

As before when you arrive at the clinic please phone our reception team to notify them of your arrival. Our staff will then call you to discuss the after care involved and instructions regarding medications. Once all of the postoperative details have been discussed the team will ask you to settle your account. We then bring your pet to you with written instructions of their after care and medication. Although staff are happy to help as much as possible we are not able to enter any client vehicles at the moment and so we cannot assist with placing dogs or carriers into the passenger seats of a car. We can place your pet into the boot of a car providing that our staff members can do it without your assistance as we need to follow social distancing guidelines at all times. If you think that you will be unable to lift your pet into the car yourself and you don’t have a suitable boot please bring someone with you who can assist. Dogs should not be allowed to jump in or out of the car.

  • How do I pay for the treatment?

Under current circumstance we have limited the ways that we can accept payments. We can not accept any cash or cheque payments in order to avoid unnecessary handling. We can accept Apple pay, Google pay or contactless payments. This is to avoid multiple people touching the card machine. We can also process payments over the phone which will require you to read information from your debit or credit card for us to process. We have put these measures in place to ensure your safety and we apologise for any inconvenience. If you are making an insurance claim we would advise to bring your own pen to sign the form in order to avoid using a communal pen.

We would like to take a moment to thank you for your cooperation at this difficult time.

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Fernlea Orthopaedic Referrals

We continue to be  available for orthopaedic advice and referral during these difficult time please don’t hesitate to contact us