Covid-19

Current News – June 2021

OPENING HOURS – Can change at short notice – please check this page regularly.

Current opening times are:

The Leigh Surgery is open each day from 9am – 5 pm, 9am – 3 pm on Saturday and 9am -12pm on Sunday).

The Bolton Surgery is open from 9am – 5pm on Monday, Thursday and Friday, 9am until 12pm on Wednesday, and 9am – 12pm on Saturday.

The Sale Surgery is open from 9am – 5pm on Monday, Tueday and Friday, 9am until 12pm on Wednesday, and 9 am to 12pm on Saturday.

The Hindley Surgery is open on Monday and Wednesday, 9am to 5pm, and on Thursday from 9am to 12pm.

In the first instance Contact us to discuss how we can help you. You can also register, make appointments and order medications via the home page links on this website.

To reduce contact and to protect our staff and clients, our current service provides consultations at the surgery for essential cases, emergencies and some routine treatment. We are also conducting remote consultations and providing provisions (including medications and pet-food) each day during the above opening hours. We will provide regular updates regarding our service levels on Facebook, other Social Media and on this website.

Practice Services

During this period some services are limited but gradually re-introducing routine services as the risk levels reduce. If you have concerns about your pet then in the first instance call the Leigh Surgery for advice, or the Bolton Surgery, Hindley Surgery or Sale Surgeries on the days listed.

We are currently providing the following services:

  • Consultations and treatment for most cases, and where the Veterinary Surgeon believes there is a need to be seen at the Surgery;
  • Vaccinations for all pets;
  • Most theatre cases and neutering on a triage basis (enquire);
  • Chargeable telephone consultations (using other technology where appropriate) for non-emergency work or where your pet may not need to be seen face to face;
  • 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; and,
  • A telephone or email advisory service.

We are providing:

  • Initial vaccinations for puppies and kittens. – enquire
  • Regular Booster vaccinations.
  • Rabbit vaccinations -all are available enquire.
  • Rabies vaccinations if required for certification for planned travel.
  • Surgical Neutering, especially where otherwise there would be be a welfare or risk issue)- enquire.
  • Temporary Chemical Neutering where there isn’t an urgent need for surgical neutering.

See client leaflets about can my pet be vaccinated and Can my pet be neutered during this period.

Please note that with vaccination appointments we may take your pet from you at the door, examine your pet, administer the vaccine and return your pet to you. Many of our staff aren’t vaccinated yet!

For most appointments we will take your pet inside for examination and treatment. In some circumstances we may let one person accompany your pet into the surgery buildings. PLEASE COME EQUIPPED WITH A MASK OR FACE COVERING IN CASE WE INVITE YOU TO THE CONSULTING ROOM.

Repeat Prescriptions and Ordering – during this period, although we are operating on reduced staff and opening hours, we are still able to offer a prescription and ordering service for all four of our Vetcare sites. 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:

http://www.vetcareltd.co.uk/contact/repeat-prescriptions/

Wherever possible please provide several days’ notice for repeat medication and food.

To support social distancing and reduce non-essential travel we are able to post out medication using Royal Mail Signed For delivery service, for which there will be a fee for postage and packaging. Collection can be arranged if the need is urgent.

Throughout the period of time that there are lockdown restrictions we will see most minor problem or routine appointments provided we have appointment space. During telephone consultations we 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 and risk for us all. Remote 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. If you have a paid for remote consultation and subsequently we need to see you at the surgery there won’t be a charge for that consultation.

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 (we can provide these treatments), and to discuss vaccinations if they are becoming due or if you are overdue. The work we will do depends on the risk associated with any particular situation and this has to be balanced with social distancing including human safety for you and our staff.

Please read the rest of this page for further information, particularly if you are self-isolating, shielding 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, have difficulty breathing, have a fever, a new persistent cough, have lost your sense of taste or smell or have a symptom that could be suggestive of coronaviral infection. 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 (although the waiting areas are equipped with pods and screens surround the reception areas).
  • We may not need you to enter the building at all and may speak to you outside or telephone you with questions and only take your pet in for examination or treatment. Please bring your mobile telephone with you. We request that you wear a face-covering or mask both inside and outside the buildings.
  • We ask that only one member of the family attends with a pet.
  • If you have not been vaccinated, are over the age of 70, pregnant, or in the higher risk categories (e.g. with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart or lung conditions (including asthma and COPD), obesity, cancer and so on) think carefully before attending the surgery to minimise risk to yourself , even if you have been vaccinated (we should all be making use of social distancing opportunities).  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. Or we may 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 (preferably 2 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. Someone else other than you will need to fetch your pet. It is very unlikely that we will be able to do house visits in the face of this pandemic.
  • If in the unfortunate circumstance that a member of the Practice Team tests positive for the virus it may be that other staff will need to self-isolate. If the Surgery has to close 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. We may also have staff (currently furloughed) available to step in at short notice.
  • If we are short staffed, we may need to cancel or defer some 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.
  • 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 observe.
  • 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 (and prefer) to post (signed for) most repeat prescriptions, 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.