From 26th March the Cecil Avenue (Sale), Ladies Lane (Hindley) and Tonge Moor (Bolton) Surgeries are closed and will re-open when it is appropriate to do so. We will provide regular updates on Facebook and Social Media and on this website.
During the lockdown period we will be providing limited services from the Leigh Surgery. If you have concerns about your pet then in the first instance call the Leigh Surgery for advice.
Currently the Leigh Surgery is open 9.00 am until 3.00 pm on Mondays and 9.00 am until 1.00pm from Tuesday to Sunday inclusive.
We will continue to provide the following services:
- Consultations and essential treatment for emergency cases and essential surgery;
- Telephone consultations (using other technology where appropriate) for non-emergency work;
- An out of hours emergency service;
- A collection or where available a postal/delivery service for essential medicines including repeat prescriptions*;
- A collection service for pet-foods including prescription foods and life-stage diets;
- A telephone or email advisory service.
Repeat Prescriptions and Ordering – during the ‘lockdown period’, although we are operating on reduced staff and opening hours from only the Leigh surgery, we are still able to offer a prescription and ordering service for all four of our Vetcare sites, particularly for essential items. To help reduced the large volume of telephone calls we are receiving, and to free the telephone lines for emergencies, please may we ask that you order all supplies online:
Wherever possible please provide several days’ notice for repeat medication and food. Our suppliers also have reduced staffing and deliveries, although please do not panic as we are still receiving deliveries every couple of days.
To support social distancing we will mostly be posting out medication using Royal Mail Signed For delivery service, for which there will be a small fee.
Throughout the social distancing phases we will not be seeing routine appointments – Annual Health Examinations, Nail Clipping and problems where there are mild symptoms in your pet will either be postponed or, in some cases, we will arrange a telephone consultation with the Veterinary Surgeon. They may be able to give advice, decide if you need to be seen and possibly prescribe medication. Such consultations and the postponement of routine work significantly reduces social contact for us all. Telephone consultations will be charged at the same rate as face to face consultations. The Veterinary Surgeon may ask you to send images or videos to view during the process.
We still believe preventive health is important so call us or email and discuss if you are on a health program for flea, tick and internal parasite / worm prevention, and to discuss vaccinations if they are becoming due. It’s important to remember that the current lockdown period is for three weeks and for the vast majority of pet vaccinations it is not urgent for them to be carried out in that time period. The same applies to many other preventive health products. Adult boosters can and must be postponed for now. The vast majority of primary vaccinations in puppies, kittens and rabbits can also be delayed in order to protect human health in relation to halting the spread of Covid-19. However, we recognise there may be a small number of exceptions where vaccination may be required.
Please read the rest of this page for further information, particularly if you are self-isolating or have coronaviral disease.
Coronavirus and Corona Viral Disease (COVID-19)
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which can cause illness in animals or humans including the common cold and more severe diseases including SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and the most recently discovered coronavirus causing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in humans.
There is no evidence this far that the COVID-19 virus can spread from humans to animals or vice-versa, but if you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms and have the virus, then you would be able to spread it to other people. The Virus can survive in the environment for prolonged periods of time (hours to days) and is spread by touch (then touching infected fingers to your face) or by inhaling droplets in the air spread directly by someone’s cough. Whilst, as far as we know, you cannot pass this disease on to any of your pets, it is possible for the pet to have the virus on their coat and they can pass infection on from there. You also need to remember that you could have the virus and be shedding virus particles before you start showing symptoms (during the incubation period). The virus can be passed on via anything you touch – dogs’ leads, money, door handles, cat carriers and so on. We recommend that if you are ill, or have been confirmed to have the virus, or are self-isolating with an ill family member, then avoid contact with your pet.
We have an obligation to protect our staff and other members of the public using our facilities. Because of the above information and to help us to be able to continue to provide a service we respectfully ask that you read and do the following:
- Please do not attend the Surgery if you feel ill or have difficulty breathing or have a fever or a new persistent cough. If you need medication or your pet is unwell and needs Veterinary attention then, in the first instance, please telephone us or email for advice.
- When you contact us to make an appointment we may ask if you are self-isolating or have tested positive for this virus.
- When you arrive for your appointment then, if possible, please wait in your car and telephone reception to let us know you have arrived. We will call you or come for you when it is your turn; we wish to reduce the number of people in the waiting areas to a minimum.
- We ask that only one member of the family attends with a pet.
- If you are over the age of 70, pregnant, or in the risk category (e.g. with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart or lung conditions (including asthma and COPD), obesity, cancer and so on) please do not attend the surgery (you should be actively social distancing). Instead, please telephone us for advice.
- When you attend the Surgery, on entering and before leaving, we ask you to use the alcohol-based hand sanitizer provided (if stocks are available) rubbing it well into your skin to kill any virus present. If hand sanitizer isn’t available, then we will ask you to wash your hands on entering or leaving, for at least 20 seconds. Please also try to avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth.
- Please do not shake hands with or hug staff however fond you are of them. Please try and stay at least 1 m away from staff or other members of the public. If you need to cough or sneeze, do so into a tissue or your sleeve, not into the atmosphere.
- Only in extreme emergencies or where there are marked welfare problems will we see the pet of someone who is self-isolating or who has the disease. Please contact us for advice. If we do see your pet, we will have a designated room available and our staff will need to wear full Personal Protective Equipment. It is very unlikely that we will be able to do house visits during this social distancing period and in the face of this pandemic.
- If in the unfortunate circumstance that a member of the Practice Team tests positive for the virus the entire staff at that surgery will need to self-isolate. We will tell you how long that will be for and direct you to other sources of assistance, for example one of our other 3 surgeries or our emergency service provider.
- If we are short staffed, we may need to cancel or defer routine procedures, appointments or operations and concentrate on more needy patients. We may also need to change the timings of our consulting sessions. We will give regular updates on our website and on social media.
- In some circumstances we may be able to provide some services remotely. For example, consultations by telephone. If we need to do this the consultation will be chargeable at our usual rate. We may ask for photographs and in some cases have live video chats.
- We may also be able to dispense medication remotely, for collection or by post. This will be up to the individual Veterinary Surgeon dealing with your case. This will be easier for us if the Veterinary Surgeon has seen your pet recently or knows you and your pets well. Whilst we may be more relaxed about policy there are still laws and professional conduct rules that we need to obey the spirit of.
- If you are on long term medication and need repeat prescriptions, please contact us at least one week before you run out. We are not currently experiencing any supply problems but that may change. Whilst we have stocks, we will allow you to order 30 days more medication than you would normally collect and may in some cases relax the rules about when we next need to see your pet before prescribing medication.
- We will be happy to post (recorded) most repeat prescriptions to you, once you have ordered and paid. There is a charge for postage which you will be informed of when making your order. We cannot post controlled drugs.
- If our emergency service provider must close, we will advise of an appropriate after-hours provider or else may provide such service ourselves. In the event of an emergency call the usual surgery number.
- We will be grateful if you can make payments by card rather than cash wherever possible.
These are difficult time and the situation is very fluid. We will do our best to provide you with as complete a service as possible and will update you regularly as the situation changes.