Pandemic News

Orchard Vets Pandemic Update

The Wednesbury team fights Covid-19

Here at Orchard Vets we pride ourselves in providing excellent care to you our clients and to your pets. To protect everyone we have had to make major changes in the way we operate and these changes mean that each case takes longer, so fewer appointments are available. We have to spend much more time on the phone, causing delays when you phone us.

To compensate we have:

  • increased the number of vets and support staff available at each branch
  • opened the Oldbury surgery all day on Saturday to provide more appointments
  • introduced a telephone triage system to fast-track urgent cases
  • worked hard with the backlog of vaccinations and neutering

Now shops, pubs and restaurants have reopened, does this mean clients can go back into the Vets?

The lockdown has been very effective in driving down infection in UK but in the week starting 20th July there was a large increase in cases in Sandwell and Birmingham. This means that infection is still around us and we must not drop our guard.

It is still not possible for clients to enter our surgeries for two main reasons:

1. Test, Track and Trace. Our number one commitment is to you and your pets. We have managed to keep all our branches open throughout lockdown, but if a client enters the building and is later diagnosed with coronavirus the tracing team will ask our whole team to isolate. This would cause a sudden, without-notice closure of that branch and we don’t want to put your pet in a position without veterinary care nearby.

2. Social distance. These rules are still in force. Staying two metres if you can; if not, then one metre with protection and good ventilation. This is not possible when a pet has to be held for close examination. Our amazing nurses have been holding and cuddling your pets whilst our vets examine and treat them and we will continue to do this to avoid close contact with dozens of different people and increasing the risks to the team and our clients.

Procedure for bringing your pet for an appointment

  • If your pet needs to be seen, please telephone to book an appointment.
  • Arrive at the surgery 5-10 minutes before your booked time and wait in your car in the car park.
  • Please bring your mobile phone with you and call reception to tell us you have arrived.
  • A team member will come outside to see you and discuss your pet's needs.
  • Your pet will be brought inside the surgery for the examination or procedure required.
  • The vet may need to speak to you on the phone while the animal is being examined.
  • We will bring your pet back outside to you, discuss the ongoing plan and dispense any medications your pet may need.
  • Please bring a credit or debit card with you to pay over the telephone before you leave.

This way we can avoid unnecessary close human contact and keep each other safe.

Thank you for your patience

It is likely that our new way of working will have to be in place for several more months so we appreciate your understanding during this time. The well-being of our patients is still our priority and by making these changes we can continue the important veterinary care of your pets while protecting our more vulnerable clients from unnecessary risk